B is for…


A very important skill used by tightrope walkers to prevent sudden death or injury during their working day. It is also important for everyone to maintain a sense of balance about what is important in their lives. Most people with a balanced view would put family, friends and health at the top of their list for personal happiness.

The A-Z Guide to Good Mental HealthAdolf Hitler, who was a trifle unbalanced, put world domination at the top of his list and as a result became very unhappy and very dead. There is also the balance of everyday life. This is about maintaining a sensible proportion of work, play, and sleep in our day to day lives. Admittedly this can be very humdrum, and it is a good idea to do something different or exciting once in awhile. This can range from bungee jumping to attending the world tiddlywinks championships.

An erratic and unbalanced sleep pattern can have the quickest effect on mental health. Admittedly it is not always easy to sleep when anxious or angry, unfortunately this can become a self-perpetuating spiral. Exhaustion will often lead to losing a sense of perspective and becoming angry or worried out of all proportion to original problem. Too much sleep can lead to lethargy and depression. Again this can spiral into a serious bout of depression. It is very difficult to face the world when depressed and much easier to stay in bed. The more time spent cocooned in bed, the harder it becomes to fight for your sense of self worth, and so it goes on ad infinitum. Moderation in all things is a terrible cliché but is an obvious truth. Balance also means that there are times in everyone’s life of misery and despair and to balance this, there are also times when it is really good to be alive.

…Baked Beans

Baked Beans and chips. Essential tucker for the male pubescent growth spurt. Basic food that gives calories, though not much else, other than turbulent air. The Southern equivalent of the Chip Butty, that is so popular in the North of the country. Try other foods after the age of 19… see ‘Cook books’ or ‘Mother’s number’ in phone book.

Excerpt from ‘The A-Z Guide to Good Mental Health: You Don’t Have to Be Famous to Have Manic Depression’
Jeremy Thomas, 2008