Broaching certain subjects can be tricky – especially when you're not looking for people to make a fuss or you worry it sounds like you're trying to make it "all about you". However, being embarrassed about the state of your own mental health is as stupid as being embarrassed about the myriad other things we often can't control that people often try to hide from those around them.

Short version; a few months ago I started to get occasional episodes of what I call 'bad mental health days'. This means either (small-d) depression (feelings of worthlessness), panic attacks or periods of not being able to think clearly. These can be very unpleasant – for example when I'm in a depressive period I quite literally cannot remember what it was ever like to not be in that situation. However, so far I have been very fortunate that, one or two occasions aside, these tend to last less than a day – the panic attacks mostly lasting less than four hours. This, combined with the fact that these 'bad mental health days' average less than a handful of days a month mean that it's certainly something I can cope with, especially given support from Annie.

I have read two very good essays recently about people living with self-acknowledged mental health issues. In each case their strictly rational worldview has enabled them to focus on what they know is true regardless of how they currently feel. For example, comparing feelings of deep worthlessness to an objective view of one's achievements makes it much easier to cope with such thoughts by putting them down to just 'bad neurochemistry'.

They were "Depression, Rationality, and the Difficulty of Perspective" by Greta Christina and "Sick Though I Am, I Hold A Cautious Hope" by JT Eberhard.

Anyway, I wanted to be open about this as I have recently been embarrassed when Annie has brought the issue up in front of friends and, as I said above, that's really rather foolish. So, be aware that some days I might be a bit 'off' and may act somewhat less rationally than usual or need more space (or a hug). However, please don't walk on eggshells or ask me if I'm okay every five minutes. 1 in 4 adults in the UK suffer from mental health issues at some time in their lives. Sometimes I just need to focus on getting through these spells and getting on with my life.

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