“Even as a kid I had this feeling that something was not quite right, but I never really knew what it was. I remember I had lots of tummy aches; I was sort of twitchy during the day and made my mother crazy at night with my nightmares. It feels like a low hum inside my head that never stops, then sometimes the hum gets louder and louder and I can’t think straight or do much of anything. I know I worry a lot: my head is filled with an unending stream of “what if?” God knows there are plenty of things to worry about: mortgage payments, college tuition, falling house prices to name a few. It’s frustrating, because as soon as I get rid of one worry another seems to crop up right away - I’m exhausting myself putting out brush fires all day. But a lot of the time I’m not thinking about those worries specifically: I just feel scared, like I’m sure something terrible is about to happen. And my chest feels tight and it gets hard to breathe... it passes after a while, thankfully, but then I feel completely wiped out. My wife tells me to stop worrying. That’s a laugh: it’s like telling me to stop breathing. But I’m so tired! I don’t know how much longer I can go on this way. I’d give anything to make that noise in my head go away. Even just for a minute or two.”
On April 2 Caring Circle will be hosting “Clinging to the Rock”, an evening of information and discussion about depression and anxiety. Most of us know a bit about these issues, because we've felt depressed or anxious - or both - ourselves, or we know somebody going through it. But even though a lot of the stigma associated with emotional difficulties has disappeared, it's still hard for many of us to talk openly about what's happening, or to reach out for help. And it can be really overwhelming to figure out how to find help: the system can be very confusing and not particularly friendly. As islanders, we all know how isolation and ferry schedules add to these challenges, making what’s already difficult seem almost insurmountable. What can be done?
The evening was planned with two purposes in mind. First, to offer the community basic information on depression and anxiety, including symptoms, treatment options and local resources. Second, to ask the community for their input and ideas on how to best support Bowen Islanders struggling with these issues: for example, would Bowenites be interested in learning coping skills? Or coming to a support group? To that end, a survey has been developed, available on the evening itself or through Caring Circle thereafter. Or, you can fill it out online here.
This information will be essential, as it will be used to create programs slated to begin in the spring.
The professionals offering their expertise for the evening are Dr. Steven Kiraly, Maureen Mackey RPN, RN, BSN, M Ed (DE) , RN, Dr. Carolyn Nesbitt, PhD, RPsych, Suzan Ross, RN, and Sonia Usmiani, MA, RCC. Everyone is welcome: those who may be struggling, concerned friends, family, neighbours, or anyone interested in learning, discussing, or helping to develop a plan for the future.
Clinging to the Rock is a Caring Circle initiative, developed and supported by Colleen O'Neil and the Caring Circle Board of Directors. It will be held on Apr 2, 7:00 pm at Collins Hall.