Wow! It is now 2 days to go to the online release of my book “Shadows in the mirror – The many faces of depression” on Amazon on 10 October 2015 (World Mental Health day), and I wish I could so describe all the emotions and excitement I feel. It was not easy doing this. But I am thankful… and so in counting down, I begin to look at all the things I gained from the journey. At the time a few years back, it did not seem appealing. Pain can deter you. But many many months down the line now, being fully recovered and having seen this project through, I begin to count my blessings. Here are some reasons why I am thankful for my encounter with depression.


  1. It gave me a broader perspective of life: It has taught me that there’s so much to learn and that there are many things I don’t know but will learn at different points and seasons. I have come to understand that everything is not black or white; there are grey areas. And so when we don’t understand certain things or why people are acting a certain way, before you judge, take time to ask questions. Life doesn’t stop at what you know personally.


  1. It gave me a better understanding of pain and people: Today I have come to understand the word “compassion” at a deeper level, and how it can make a world of difference to someone going through a rough patch. The world needs compassion… and if you are not already doing so, please do take time out to say “nice words” to at least one person everyday. Also learn to be kind to yourself. Move on from what you can’t change and don’t beat yourself up about it – take it as a learning experience


  1. It gave me freedom: I am a high flier and have had this trait of being a bit of a perfectionist. For people like me, the ideal is that nothing should go wrong. Everything must be perfect – no room for failure. Lol! But then life threw me a ball, and I learnt that things won’t always go the way I want. In fact, I learnt that I don’t always need to get it right, and it is okay to miss it sometimes; no need to feel pressure to always be right. Success is a journey of good and bad times. The experience certainly broke my need to be perfect or have everything perfect. It gave me freedom


  1. It gave me a greater appreciation for life and health: They say that when you haven’t known what it means to be deprived of something, you sometimes don’t appreciate it. Today, I am grateful for life and health at a much deeper level. I understand that my body is dispensable, and that I have a duty to look after myself. Please make sure you look after yourself too.


  1. It taught me gratitude for where I am now and what I have: Sometimes its so easy to sit there thinking about all the things you want to do in your life, where you hoped to be, and the things you hoped to have achieved by a certain time, and get discouraged by the fact that you haven’t fully ticked the list yet. But it takes just a moment of counting your blessings and considering the state of many other people to know that you have a lot to be thankful for. No matter what level you are, there’ll always be someone better off than you, and you will also always be better off than someone else. So my resolve is this – I may not be where I want to be yet, but I’m still in a good place, and I am going to keep moving


  1. It made me an author: Ok! So I always knew I had a flair for writing. But since the age of 16 or so when I last wrote a poem, I haven’t done any writing (well… you could say I have done some writing if you include my PhD thesis of year 2010 and my journal papers – but that’s technical) or so much as even regarded myself as a writer. But then the experience brought out the creative me. It taught me how to turn my lemons into lemonade and turn what seemed negative into something positive. I started blogging, and I now also have a book. YIPPEE!!!! It is an achievement I am so proud of. Today I have the privilege of being able to touch lives and impact knowledge, and it is an opportunity I am so thankful for, and honoured to do. 

If you haven’t already done so… make sure you pre-order your copy of “Shadows in the mirror – The many faces of depression” today. It will challenge your thinking and help many lives. I am certain that you or someone you know will need this book.


Click here to pre-order your copy:


 Praise for Shadows in the mirror

“Thank you for writing this excellent book. Its genuineness, understanding, compassion and insight… make it a very important addition to the literature. Your book will help people.”

Dr Tim Cantopher; Consultant Psychiatrist, Priory Hospital Woking and Bestselling Author of Depressive Illness – The curse of The Strong (UK)


For anyone experiencing depression or caring for someone with depression, I want you to know that you are not alone. Depression is shockingly so common, and it is not weakness, failed faith, black magic or a white man disease. It can just about happen to anyone, and can also be overcome. So don’t suffer in silence. Take action now! … Seeking help is a sign of strength


**I am thankful for the journey mindset**

Have you had any experience with depression or known someone who has, and care to share? Why not do so in the comments box below. Also feel free to contact me via the “Contact” tab



© Dr Vivian O. Ikem, 2015

#DrVivinspires, #VivianOIkem

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About The Author

Writer, prospective author, speaker, singer/song writer, God-lover and mental health advocate. I know what it means to be broken and shaken, and write from my heart on things that also encourage me. We all go through different things in life. I hope my words can offer some hope, and help others in their journey of healing and self re-discovery. In my role as a Christian, I am eager to see more and more people take off the mask saying 'Everything is perfect', and work through their brokenness humbly and healthily. I also want to see churches talk more about important matters affecting people, including depression, compassion, and issues of self confidence or self esteem, amongst others. To know more about me, please check out my 'About Vivian' page. I am also available to talk on or discuss issues you may wish to take further personally, or at events. Please feel free to contact me via the 'Contact' page. Thank you !

2 Responses

  1. Yinusa

    Feel privileged to have met such an inspiring figure like you in your person. You ve become my motivator in the very short time that have known you.