Lockdown, Star Trek and Mental Health

You’ve probably realised that I’ve been battling with Mental Health issues for a while now. Like many people who suffer, I suffered in silence for a long term. Back in the 70s and 80s it wasn’t something that was spoken about, especially by males, so I learned to mask it. That mask occasionally slips but that’s to be expected.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected the whole world and I can’t imagine that this planet we call home will ever be the same again. From small things like blowing out birthday candles to bigger issues such as mental health, this pandemic has changed us permanently. Its been a burden on everyone and we are nowhere near the end yet but some good can come from it.

The one thing this period has taught us is that everyone can be affected by mental health and that it is ok to talk about it. In fact, the more we talk about mental health, suicide and everything that links with it, the easier it will be to remove the stigma surrounding it.

I’ve had to find many ways to distract myself. One wasn’t enough as boredom would set in. So I make models with my 3D printer, upload them to Twitter, I sometimes remove them as I feel inadequate when I see others. I run competitions on Twitter. Sometime for charity and sometimes just for the hell of it. I watch TV/Film (Star Trek/Wars, Death in Paradise, Rizzoli & Isles, MCU and more), I listen to music to help calm me and Katie Melua has been my lifeline. I also write about things here on my blog- it helps take my mind off of things, writing about things that I love or are important to me. I don’t know if people enjoy reading them or not but I do it anyway. I have also been very impressed with how Discovery Season 3 dealt with mental health but that’s for another post.

I’d love to hear how others have coped. What have you done to pass the time? Have you taken up a new hobby or perhaps restarted something you gave up on? Learned to play an instrument? I’d love to hear.

For me though connections have been the most important thing. I’m not on Facebook (though I still have an account, its just unused) and I find myself being drawn more to Twitter where I can easily engage with fellow geeks/nerds. Being able to talk sci-fi, TV and Film all the time with like-minded people has helped a lot.

I’ve made a few friends on there and the Trek community on Twitter is a great place for the most part and we all look out for one another. If someone is having a bad time someone will step in to help. I’ve had help from people and I’ve helped others. Having these connections has helped me so much, especially if you are someone who finds communicating hard when battling depression and more.

I’m also grateful for a number of Star Trek actors who have interact with us fans on a regular basis. It may seem like nothing to them but I know it means everything to me and I am forever in admiration of them. Rachael Ancheril, Samora Smallwood and Noah A-K are just some who have helped whether they know it or not. I even managed to interview Rachael for my blog and I’m really hoping to be able to do more interviews with any of the cast who are willing!

Thank you to all those who have helped me personally- there are too many to name.

I’ve rambled a lot during this post and if you got this far congratulations, you’re almost at the end!

I’ve seen lots of people suffering during this time. This pandemic has affected everyone whether they choose to admit it or not.

I have one thing to ask of you. Reach out to someone and make a connection- it may help someone and it may also save a life. Don’t wait for someone to go quiet or disappear altogether, make a new connection now and hopefully you can help each other.

Share your hobbies and interests and tips for getting through this with each other. Be open to listening to others and open to new ideas. You could even go as far as reaching out to someone who you feel is the complete opposite to you. People that are having problems find it hard to ask for help which can make them worse. A simple “Hi, how’s things with you?” or “How do you feel about Star Trek: Lower Decks?” can mean a lot to someone.

Remember, a smiling face, an online presence and a happy disposition doesn’t mean everything is ok.

We’re all struggling so let’s help each other out. We can get through this together. I have hope that we will all come through this different but in a good way. I have hope.


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