Recently I had the privilege of addressing a group of people at the annual Vancouver Wellness Fair. The subject of the talk was ‘Is there a non-pharmaceutical solution to depression?’
At the start of each talk I asked if anyone personally knew someone who suffered from depression and everyone, every single individual, raised his/her hand. Now, that is astonishing. That gives you an idea of how the idea of depression has taken hold of our collective psyche. It is not too outrageous to state that we as a species are depressed.
It’s 3 am on the night before my first badminton match of the Beijing Olympics. I’ve tossed and turned for four hours now and still no closer to falling asleep. My roommate in this tiny room snores peacefully beside me, which does nothing but increase my anxiety.
I imagine my family, sleeping soundly I’m sure, crammed into the small Beijing apartment they’ve rented for the week. Halfway around the world they’ve come to cheer me on. I must not disappoint.
Relax. Relax. Relax, damn it- I tell myself. But I can’t, my mind is racing and I have no control of where it’s going. I’m paralyzed, fear is running this show.
Finally, as the sun begins to rise, my mind tires and I’m able to sleep a few precious hours. The alarm goes and my mind jumps out of its temporary slumber, skips the warm up and goes straight back to full speed ahead.
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