Many well-known writers down through the ages have suffered from melancholy or melancholia. This sort of ongoing negative feeling that artistic people often suffer from is different from everyday sadness or occasional bouts of depression that many of us feel from time to time. Extreme...

In 2008 I attended a Convention in Singapore for followers of the New Kadampa Tradition of Buddhism, introduced to the West by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in 1977. He now resides at the mother centre in the UK. These festivals are annual events, and I was a novice, trying to understand in more depth what this form of Buddhism is all about. The master, in this case Geshe-la, teaches highest meditation practices and gives empowerments, which must be handed down in a "pure" state by the teachers of the tradition. The title of "Geshe" means "Spiritual Friend" and he is known as "Geshe-la" by his followers. Monks and nuns of this tradition devote their whole lives to meditation and sacrifice to the spiritual needs of their followers.

We were so close ... she was my golden angel! How could I have let this happen? Was it all my fault? Our faults? Of course not, it was no one's fault. But that's the first thought that you have ... at the time of the diagnosis. And for a long time afterwards, too. It's natural to blame yourself initially. After all, there's a lot of stigma and ignorance surrounding mental illness in society. I'd struggled myself with ongoing emotional difficulties during most of my childhood and adolescence.  That is, until I discovered the right sort of treatment and "got to the bottom" of my problems.  After therapy and a momentous breakdown, things suddenly cleared.  I no longer had to live with the long-term, ongoing depressive symptoms. The "black dog" had disappeared for good. Of course, a certain amount of anxiety remained, but that seemed normal to me by this time.