Taming The Black Dog

May is Mental Health Awareness month and our Stephen Higginson has been working with us on our latest social awareness shoot to help us raise awareness and support for anyone suffering with mental health issues, and in particular to get men speaking out and getting the help and support they need. By sharing his experiences and normalising depression and anxiety, Stephen hopes that others will follow his lead and feel able to talk about what they are going through. We are so fortunate within Art & Soul Tribe to have such a brilliant group that we have a lot of admins on our Black Dog Project page, set up to support anyone going through something that they need support, advice or just a confidential and non judgemental ear to listen and shoulder to cry on and i'm incredibly proud of them all for their continued support.

Here is an exert from another of our Tribe's own experiences: "Hey homies My name is Inch, I am an Art & Soul Tribe Member just like you, here's my story: So here's the thing, I am a guy who's fast approaching 40 & I have lived with mental illness for as long as I can remember. I have a few disorders or as I like to call them my alphabet soup descriptions, you know "ADHD", "PTSD", "MDD" & so on...... Now I'm not really the kind of guy who likes to put himself into a box so unless people ask me for specifics I just like to say they my brain is wired differently to a typical A Neural brain because these descriptions are for others to help them understand not me. Here are some of the things that I have found help me: 1) You are probably not drinking enough water!! Sounds simple enough but just sitting around all day drinking tea & coffee or pop isn't healthy & doesn't help your liver & kidneys do their job properly to remove toxins from your body. 2) When was the last time you had a wash/shower/bath or brushed your teeth?? Let's be honest most of us when we are struggling either stay in bed rotting away in our own filth or just move ourselves to the couch to rot away in front of the TV & completely bypass our own hygiene. When you wake up force yourself to have a shower/bath, it's not going to cure you but what it will do is stop you from smelling like a sweaty sock & make you change the clothes you've been wearing for five days straight ‍️ 3) Open your curtains/blinds & let some light into your house!! Sitting in darkness 24/7 makes you tired & drains your energy & in times like these you need that energy to help you focus on getting better. 4) Tidy your house & open a window! This is a hard one I know & it will take a lot to tackle the pile of dishes/washing that's just been stacking for days, but it will be worth it. When you're sitting around in your own mess it adds to the stress & negative thoughts & feelings towards yourself. If nothing else it will stop your house from smelling because let's be honest it probably does. 5) Go outside & get some fresh air! You've probably been locked away in your house/flat/room for days now so go out, even if it's just for 5 minutes & breath. 6) Try & eat well! When we are struggling we tend to eat comfort food like crisps, chocolate, biscuits & skip meals. Try & replace these things with fruit & nuts because even if your skipping meals at least you'll be getting vitamins & protein. - Let's be honest sitting around binge watching Netflix & eating junk food wallowing in self-pity when you haven't showered in five days & cant remember when you last brushed your teeth isn't going to make you feel better. Clean yourself up, clean your house up, deal with the basics first. Take it one step at a time. "

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