Let’s Talk About Depression, In a Non-Depressed Way!

I’m not talking about what people call depression when they are feeling down, sad & frustrated for a few days. That isn’t depression. Please do make sure to educate yourself about the most common & wide-spread mental illness called “Clinical Depression”. Because let’s save some time here instead of talking about the differences and the actuality of the illness.

I wanna talk about it because I’ve been battling with depression since late teenage, Of course not non-stop, but rather during different years and periods in my life. I’ve been medicated against depression multiple times. And the result? Relapsing over and over again. Sometimes depression came alone, & some other times it came hand in hand along with anxiety. And those two are seriously gruesome.

It’s seriously disturbing how mental health medicine & services related to mental health are super scarce in my country. But, recently things are beginning to change. In all my years with depression, no doctor suggested any type of therapy, other than pills. Seriously, why? Why mental health holds no value in this place whatsoever?

So, during the Covid-related lock-down, during the height of it, I was watching a Netflix series called “Sex Education”, it really did cheer me up during those days. But what inspired me is a main character who happens to be a sex therapist. This idea made me stop & pause & give myself a minute to wounder. The word “Therapist” or “Therapy” made me look online for any psychology & therapy courses. & I learned that “CBT” or ” Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” is wide-spread (around the world, not in my country), it’s also been used for decades now & it’s used for depression & anxiety.

So I enrolled in a “CBT” online course, & another & another, to understand the concept & learn how to use it. Yes, it isn’t easy to apply it, but it’s easier to apply it on people rather than applying it on yourself when you need it. Oh man, it’s so hard to be a therapist & a patient at the same time.

Another question that left real scars in my cognition was, why no one taught us basic simple principles of “CBT”? What are schools for? Why I never heard a single teacher emphasizing on the importance of mental health?

My studies continued, as I became very interested in the matter. I enrolled in a course that talks about Buddhism & mental health. One very popular concept is meditation & focusing on breathing when needed or just to reset the mind, & the wholesome benefits people get from that. & the importance of the concept of self awareness. Why no one ever emphasized on the importance of meditation? Why do we have to learn; 1st, the hard way, & 2nd, late in life, when changing your mindset or habits take serious time & efforts.

I’m sure it would have been worth it if such matters were addressed in schools, & taught & used to help children in need. You know, instead of telling us people who commit suicide go to hell, they should have been less judgmental & more proactive to know that some mental illnesses cause people to kill themselves with no remorse or second thoughts.

Instead of wasting our time learning stupid subjects, they could have taught us to be self-aware. But hey, who are we bullshitting? I don’t think any of my teachers back then knew anything about either subjects. It’s easier to be ignorant & judgmental.

I don’t want you to think that I’m blaming it all on school or some other party. I do understand now that it’s an individual responsibility to watch out for one’s well-being.

But it also bugs me when a doctor, or a bunch of them, tell depressed people things they believe are facts like “If someone relapses more than twice, they are doomed to deal with depression for the rest of their lives, & that this is now called a chronic depression.” WOW doc! Thank you for trying to depress me even more! But no, I’m not falling for that, because doctors are doctors, they know only enough, they don’t know everything. I’ve been told things by physicians that almost convinced me to go under the knife, to later discover that I’ve always dodged a bullet. MFs want money. (MF is an abbreviation for a bad word).

Depressed or not, anxious or not, a few care, many don’t. Which means, please, do try your best to live day by day, one step at a time. & if you need to talk about your mental health & well-being do make sure to reach out to me.

Katia ๐Ÿ™‚


Teaching Kids to Play the Piano “A perfect therapy!”

My Niece and I
My Niece and I

Dealing with kids was never my favorite thing to do. As I didn’t have enough patience in general, and for them precisely. But with time my patience stretched itself to become wider than before. Kids are indeed the small versions of adults, but in a vulnerable way. They are smart, open, sensitive, joyful, playful, cheerful, curious, considerate, and positive. Unlike adults they learn faster, whether academically or socially, and their tempers are also shorter; not necessarily in a bad way, a child’s action and reaction are quite fast and short lasting. Which means it’s easy to deal with. Kid’s have their own worlds of imagination, they do create their own fantasies and they do like to live in their own bubbles when they have a chance to, and this is absolutely beautiful, since imagination helps them understand people and things around them, and of course themselves better.

It is very important to look at any child as a very important investment, and to take in mind that whatever input they get now ,the output in the future will be reflected, sooner than we expect. What I like about kids, besides being innocent, is their observation skills, and how their brains are made like sponge, they absorb everything they hear, see and notice. Therefore we should be careful around them, seriously careful.

Noticing a child’s talents and skills is their parents huge responsibility, and whatever skills and talents they have must be taken in consideration, in order to expand them and help the child reach out for something new, and something they can benefit from either in the present time, or in their future or both.

So how’s dealing with kids a positive necessary experience?

I’m ย not saying I’m ready to have a child but for me, my work obliges me to deal with adults on daily basis, which means massive amounts of stress, headache and pressure, sometimes for a reason and sometimes for nothing. Not everyone you meet at work is a sweetheart! right? So when comparing dealing with kids and dealing with adults, kids do relief stress with their spirit as children, with their joy and laughter, besides their problems and worries ย are relatively small and can be solved in no time. Unlike adults, since some adults like to live their problems and worries as a never ever ending drama movie, or maybe they do have serious problems and issues that actually cannot be easily solved.

I disagree with parents who say children and demanding and needy! STOP here for a second! You either spoiled them too much, or they need you because they are helpless and without you they cannot be or do, and being a parent it is your responsibility to help them in certain subjects to a certain extent, plus being a parent means you wanted to bring these kids to life not that they asked you to, so please? On the other hand, adults are needy and demanding while they are capable of doing everything by themselves, of course we are talking about healthy adults here.

Children have no hidden agendas, and they don’t have bad intentions, I’m talking about the majority of kids. And in case you hurt a child with or without intention you’ll soon find it out, as they are open and cannot hide their feelings. So again kids are easy to deal with, because it’s easy to understand what happened to them and what they want and what they don’t want. While adults in general do have hidden agendas, bad intentions and are able to hide their feelings; either to protect themselves or hurt others.

Kids are curious in a good way, not that they can control it, it’s part of their nature, and this is why they learn and absorb info. That means if they like a certain person they consider them their prefect reference. How cool is that? So If you are cheerful and happy, even if you have to fake it or pretend it for their sake to keep them happy, and have something new to say or show they do listen, process and apply, and take you as a role model. This by itself helps you learn how to behave, decide what to say, and what not to do, and it does affect you positively to feel like a super hero for a child. And that is not what you may get from adults, as every adult believes they are a super hero (lol) and so they do not need other super heroes around (double lol)!

The more you live the more you miss your childhood days! Yes! I have noticed that. And yes I do know and understand that today’s children have complete different childhoods than we had. But still they are still inside their childhood zones, so keeping in touch with them means keeping in touch with your own childhood in a way or another, which is very very cool and interesting.

And so, how’s teaching kids to Play the Piano ( or any other instrument or skill) a perfect therapy?

Well, during the piano class, I chill and relax, I explain things in so many ways until things are clear. You may wonder how can someone chill and relax while teaching a class of anything? Well If I compare what I do at work and what I do at home for the kids, then yes I do have a chance to chill and relax during a piano class, unlike when I teach a class at the gym! makes a difference right? So the piano class is a physical relaxation therapy session. Plus I keep the atmosphere friendly during the class, because I don’t want students, I want students who are my friends, even if they are maybe decades younger than me.

During my piano classes, I keep in mind all the things that I hated when I was a piano student and I don’t apply them in my class. Example, I hated so much in summer school holidays the fact that I couldn’t use any nail polish because my piano teacher back then forbade us from using such things, saying: YOU MUST LOOK ELITE LIKE A LADY. Ok well-done! I agree! a pianist is an elite person who looks well and behaves well. BUT!! school kids don’t have a chance to do things like nail polish, let hair loose, use fake tattoos on arms and shoulders, wear jeans pants or shorts. And this goes on almost the whole year. So if I had a student coming to play the piano with their slippers, I do not mind, because these are kids, and maybe they were swimming before they came to me, so I’m cool cool with that. One of my piano students is 5 years old, and she doesn’t notice how she sits down properly at the beginning of the class, and as time passes by and her concentration level goes up her feet automatically lay underneath her, or she crosses her legs and plays the piano. If I did that when I was a child I would have been scolded biiiiiig big time! But hey! That is just a child who is trying to focus, why make it harder? So here I’m breaking old rigid rules from my past that I hated and I smile while I let those rules break one by one! SET OUR KIDS FREE! Yes please.

Listening to kids hitting the keys trying to make the thing they are playing sound like proper music is fantastic and fascinating. Their little hands and fingers can actually do so much, they do impress me a lot to be honest, I haven’t been around kids for so long, up until I decided that I want to teach how to play the piano again. I actually did in the past and I stopped since I had no patience for kids.That does make me think deeper of a human’s physical and mental structure and PRAISE THE LORD! ๐Ÿ˜€

Looking at their facial gestures changing as they get excited by being successful or unsatisfied by making mistakes helps me each day see behind their faces, and that helps me know how to let them get over their weaknesses. That leads to understanding adults through children. And it is indeed a necessity.

Teaching a kid something they want to learn, helps you motivating yourself to get up and go learn something you’ve always wanted to learn, or to do something you’ve always wanted to do. How? Because when I sit for an hour motivating a child to do what they came for, I realize that yes I’m a motivator so why not to motivate myself? Nothing stops me!

Life sometimes can be rigid and boring, the routine can be a killer, and running in a hamster’s wheel is something I refuse to do for long periods. So teaching kids to play the piano is something that breaks my routine, and for that reason, I try my best not to make the class rigid, lame, pressuring or boring; for my sake and for the children’s.

The fact that you teach a child something (good) and them being successful doing is a very big reward for you! If they succeed it means you also succeeded. So that is also another good reason why adults should teach kids something good and wait for the results, to evaluate themselves as successful or unsuccessful creators.

A note to adults!

Keep your kids busy with good and useful things. I hear adults on daily basis complaining saying they are bored. Boredom is destructive for the body, the mind and the soul. And teaching people since childhood to get busy will guarantee them being busy their entire lives.

I might have sounded sarcastic in some parts of this post, but I’m sorry that is my personality. At least I hope you enjoyed reading.

Katia ๐Ÿ™‚