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.
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.