Recommended Film: ‘Hancock and Joan’

Mike of Mike’s Tunes and Michael’s Story has highly recommended this film about the British comic genius Tony Hancock, who suffered from serious alcohol problems. The film was shown on BBC4 in the UK and is available in six parts on YouTube. This is what the BBC had to say:

‘Starring Ken Stott (Rebus, Messiah) as troubled comic genius Tony Hancock and Maxine Peake (Cinderella, Shameless) as Joan, Hancock and Joan charts the final year of his life.

Only months after her marriage to Dad’s Army favourite John Le Mesurier, Joan Le Mesurier fell in love with his best friend, the godfather of British sitcom, Tony Hancock. Tony was fresh out of rehab and desperate to resurrect his career with the offer of a new series in Australia.

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‘These Digital Meditation Tools Can Be Your Gateway To A Calmer, More Effective Life’ by Carolyn Gregoire

rsz_n-meditation-large570Here’s an interesting blog from the Huffington Post, which also provides summaries on 12 online meditation tools. Here is part of Carolyn’s excellent blog. Check out the rest of her original blog.

‘Meditation, an ancient practice of calming the mind, would seem to be incompatible with modern technology, with its emphasis on speed and connectivity.

But as more and more Americans have embraced meditation as an antidote to hyper-connected lives, the world of technology has joined the movement. The result is a growing field of meditation tools – from apps and podcasts to timers and online classes – and a growing acknowledgment that, paradoxically, technology can help us to turn inward, still our minds, and shut out the many distractions around us.

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‘My Story of Recovery: Prayer, Community, and Healing’ by Douglas Bloch

dbloch‘In his book, Prayer is Good Medicine, physician and researcher Larry Dossey maintains that praying for one’s self or others can make a scientifically measurable difference in recovering from illness or trauma. It is one thing to understand such a healing intellectually; it is another to know it from experience.

Such an experience came to me in the fall of 1996 when a painful divorce, a bad case of writer’s block, and an adverse reaction to an antidepressant medication plummeted me into a major depressive episode. For the next ten months, I was assailed by out-of-control anxiety attacks which alternated with dark, suicidal depressions. Each day felt like an eternity as I struggled to stay alive in the face of overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and despair.

My depression was called “treatment resistant” (a condition that applies to 10 – 20% of those who suffer from a depressive disorder) and for good reason. Medication, the mainstay of conventional treatment, simply did not work. Drugs, such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, made me agitated; others such as Lithium made me even more depressed; and the rest did nothing at all.

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Chiara de Blasio Tells Her Story

Chiara is daughter of New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. In this professionally prepared clip, she talks about her depression and anxiety and her illicit drug use and treatment. Chiara also emphasises that recovery can’t be done alone.

YouTube clip intro reads:

‘For many, the holiday season is a time for joy. But it’s also a time when many of those battling depression and substance abuse find their struggle most difficult. In the hopes of helping others, Chiara de Blasio wants to share her personal story.

If you think you have a problem, don’t wait. Ask for help. Talk to a friend, family member, or health professional today.’

Mark Williams on Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

Professor Mark Williams of the University of Oxford talks about mindfulness meditation as an alternative treatment for depression. In fact, mindfulness is also a powerful tool to help someone recovering from addiction.

Check out various other YouTube clips on mindfulness from Mark Williams, Jon Kabat Zinn (who was instrumental in promoting mindfulness as a tool for health issues in the Western world) and others.

I include the book Mark refers to in my list of six books that can help your recovery in our Resources section. Here is what I say about the book:

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Kevin and Kerry: ‘A Family Story’ (Part 1)

Mother and son describe Kevin’s heroin addiction and how it impacted on the family as a whole.

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