Health & Wellbeing

6 reasons why I am thankful for my encounter with depression

(Previously published on 8 October, 2015)

As I reflected on my journey releasing my book “Shadows in the mirror – The many faces of depression”on Amazon, I wish I could so describe all the emotions and excitement I feel. It was not easy but I am thankful… and so in reflecting, I begin to look at all the things I gained from the journey. At the time a few years back, it did not seem appealing. But many years down the line now, being fully recovered and having seen this project through, I begin to count my blessings. Here are some reasons why I am thankful for my encounter with depression.


  • It gave me a broader perspective of life:It has taught me that there’s so much to learn and that there are many things I don’t know but will learn at different points and seasons. I have come to understand that everything is not black or white; there are grey areas. And so when we don’t understand certain things or why people are acting a certain way, before you judge, take time to ask questions. Life doesn’t stop at what you know personally.


  • It gave me a better understanding of pain and people:Today I have come to understand the word “compassion” at a deeper level, and how it can make a world of difference to someone going through a rough patch. The world needs compassion… and if you are not already doing so, please do take time out to say “nice words” to at least one person everyday. Also learn to be kind to yourself. Move on from what you can’t change and don’t beat yourself up about it – take it as a learning experience


  • It gave me freedom:I am a high flier and have had this trait of being a bit of a perfectionist. For people like me, the ideal is that nothing should go wrong. Everything must be perfect – no room for failure. Lol! But then life threw me a ball, and I learnt that things won’t always go the way I want. In fact, I learnt that I don’t always need to get it right, and it is okay to miss it sometimes; no need to feel pressure to always be right. Success is a journey of good and bad times. The experience certainly broke my need to be perfect or have everything perfect. It gave me freedom


  • It gave me a greater appreciation for life and health:They say that when you haven’t known what it means to be deprived of something, you sometimes don’t appreciate it. Today, I am grateful for life and health at a much deeper level. I understand that my body is dispensable, and that I have a duty to look after myself. Please make sure you look after yourself too.


  • It taught me gratitude for where I am now and what I have:Sometimes its so easy to sit there thinking about all the things you want to do in your life, where you hoped to be, and the things you hoped to have achieved by a certain time, and get discouraged by the fact that you haven’t fully ticked the list yet. But it takes just a moment of counting your blessings and considering the state of many other people to know that you have a lot to be thankful for. No matter what level you are, there’ll always be someone better off than you, and you will also always be better off than someone else. So my resolve is this – I may not be where I want to be yet, but I’m still in a good place, and I am going to keep moving


  • It made me an author:Ok! So I always knew I had a flair for writing. But since the age of 16 or so when I last wrote a poem, I haven’t done any writing (well… you could say I have done some writing if you include my PhD thesis of year 2010 and my journal papers – but that’s technical) or so much as even regarded myself as a writer. But then the experience brought out the creative me. It taught me how to turn my lemons into lemonade and turn what seemed negative into something positive. I started blogging, and I now also have a book. YIPPEE!!!! It is an achievement I am so proud of. Today I have the privilege of being able to touch lives and impact knowledge, and it is an opportunity I am so thankful for, and honoured to do.


If you haven’t already done so… make sure you order your copy of “Shadows in the mirror – The many faces of depression” today. It will challenge your thinking and help many lives. I am certain that you or someone you know will need this book.


 Praise for Shadows in the mirror

“Thank you for writing this excellent book. Its genuineness,understanding, compassion and insight… make it a veryimportant addition to the literature. Your book will help people.”

Dr Tim Cantopher; Consultant Psychiatrist, Priory Hospital Woking and Bestselling Author of Depressive Illness – The curse of The Strong (UK)


For anyone experiencing depression or caring for someone with depression, I want you to know that you are not alone. Depression is shockingly so common, and it is not weakness, failed faith, black magic or a white man disease. It can just about happen to anyone, and can also be overcome. So don’t suffer in silence. Take action now! … Seeking help is a sign of strength


**I am thankful for the journey mindset**

Have you had any experience with depression or known someone who has, and care to share? Why not do so in the comments box below. Also feel free to contact me via the “Contact” tab



© Dr Vivian O. Ikem, 2015


It's only fair to share...!

Vivian (Dr Viv) is as vivacious and full of life as her name ‘Vivian’ suggests. She is a Certified Coach, People Builder, Consultant, Speaker and Trainer with a passion for helping ambitious Leaders and individuals build resilience, rediscover their value and potential and thrive in work and life. She is also a Chemical Engineer by background (with a PhD), multiple award winning researcher, ex-management consultant with a top UK based Consulting firm and Founder, The Reset Squad. Inspired by her journey as a high achieving professional and recovering perfectionist who overcame major trauma, depression and sudden change, Vivian taps into her invaluable lessons learnt, to empower and help people reset, rediscover and grow through their experiences. She is the author of Shadows in the Mirror - The Many Faces of Depression and contributing author in Unzenable – A Guide to Stress Less and Be More. To know more, please check out the 'About Vivian' page. Vivian is also available to speak on or discuss issues you may wish to take further personally, or at events. Please use the 'Contact' page to get in touch. Thank you.

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