24 February 2019

Reasons To Stay Alive


It’s one of those moments you will remember exactly where you were and what you were doing. You know; the memories that etch themselves into your brain, for immediate recall.

I was driving to my parent’s, a usual weekly non-descript kind of journey. I was in one of those ‘not thinking about much’ driving zones when I was alerted to a strong sounding voice talking with passion on the radio. Hearing the word ‘depression’ got me interested and then I was really drawn in.

And a lot of what followed was as if he was talking about my experiences 19 years ago when I too was struck down with depression, which hit me out of nowhere. He talked about the intense and horrid feelings of when you want to hide from absolutely everyone and so on. He emphasised that each case is different to the next.

He reiterates this in what I (and many other people, as it is a major best-seller) have discovered in the book entitled ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ since I heard him talk on the radio show.

For example I did not think of suicide or have the same level of anxiety he talks about in his book. But there is SO much that resonated in the radio interview with him which meant I felt that I had to read the book. What’s great about the book also is that apart from ideas about self-help, it provides some suggestions for people close to the person going through it all to consider.

Depression is quite a difficult thing for many who have never experienced to understand. What the book depicts strongly is how you can seem ‘ok’ on the outside whilst being absolutely torn apart on the inside. This insight, and the message that one will get out of it if certain things can be put into place/happen, are the smost salient points to come out of it.

With Matt identifying music as a strong tool for self-help, he found a partnership with musician Andy Burrows, which resulted in an album with the same title – how unusual a music album with the lyrics all about depression and anxiety! The song played on the radio made a strong impression too (I had seen Andy Burrows live too!) and I then read the book which I fully recommend.

Matt also writes non-fiction books for children and adults but returns to the subject of anxiety with Notes on a Nervous Planet, which explores how to stay sane in our fast-moving, anxiety-inducing world. He is appearing at HOME Mcr to talk about his latest book on the 15th of April but unfortunately it is sold out. Get on a waiting list for returns, it will be worth it!

Read more about Hormoz's experience with depression here.

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