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Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA

A path away from depression and anxiety

Renewing old friendships and making new ones can be a path away from depression and anxiety.

Brian McLaughlin

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To Whom It May Concern:

I have recognized for some time now that I spend entirely too much time in my head. Far too often my world seems to collapse to that space just behind my eyes and between my two ears.

I think about the past, and imagined a future, or more accurately multiple imaginings of the future.

I have heard it said that "an unexamined life is not worth living." However, I have discovered that I linger in my "examination," to the point of illness.

My excessive examination results in isolation, anxiety, and depression. This is a painful state. However, I have discovered that even a painful state can grow too comfortable and too familiar over time. Further, the energy to change is sometimes lacking.

I think many of my peers have at one time or another endured a similar state or collapsing of their world. And while my successes in this area are at best humble, I do know of a way forward. I am reminded of the quote, "those who can't, teach."To this I plead guilty.

The best way I have found to expand my world is to make or revive my connection to others; write, call, gather and or meet. This sounds simple enough. However, the devil is in the doing. So start small and build on your successes. The process of expanding will not be free of stress. Begin and build anyway. Connecting with others can and eventually will gradually eclipse the stress. Setbacks happen, push forward.

In conclusion, I begin again.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration,

Brian Patrick McLaughlin MS/CSP
MH Consumer Advocate
Erie County, Pa.