The totally unexpected benefits of low mood

It’s probably fair to say that virtually everyone suffers from low mood.

For a fortunate few this may simply be the occasional bout of feeling a bit below par.

For others, of course, it can be more serious.

Low mood – and ultimately depression – is debilitating, destructive and downright dastardly, so it would be hard to believe that it has any upside whatsoever.

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An old friend kept her mood issues pretty much to herself, but because we were able to be honest with each other she did open up to me.

Somewhat to my surprise, chatting to her did make me see one definite advantage I’ve accrued from my own trips to the dark side.

‘Ah,’ she said. ‘But you understand.’

And with those four words she explained the powerful idea that the bad times we go through make us better able to empathise with others. They help us connect with the people around us who’ve also either gone through it, or who are going through it right now.

Empathy, of course, is inclined to be a two-way road. I understand you, you understand me, we understand each other.

We’re told that to be upbeat we should surround ourselves with positive people, but isn’t this rather simplistic?

Sometimes those who understand you best are your fellow travellers.

6 thoughts on “The totally unexpected benefits of low mood

    1. Yes, it is very simplistic, and nauseating. The trouble is, it isn’t always easy to find fellow-travellers, though the internet can help to find fellow-sojourners.

      1. I suppose Andrew , you mean the strategy to find only other ” positive ” people
        to be with, is simplistic ? I agree with you – and of course Jon – on this one.

  1. I see, each day on Moodscope, that all those who suffer with some form of mental health issue are often the same people who offer great hints, help and advice to fellow sufferers, as do you Jon. We are on that same journey together.

  2. Absolutely true. Following on from this I think the best therapists are those who have themselves had therapy in order to understand themselves better and generally be more self aware and aware of others’ struggles.

  3. I work for a mental Health organization which believes in the support of ‘people with lived experience’ being very helpful to the people who are struggling with depression and other issues.
    As ‘Peer support’ staff they are often more ‘in-tune’ with the concerns and issues raised by people who are having difficulty with life. Even with things like ‘expressing their feelings’ for example.
    The Peer supports have proved very beneficial to many of the people (as an organization) that we support.

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