Letter to the Editor: Following on from my letter (Cambrian News, 12 October) about litter and how modern technology has changed the way we communicate, shop and watch films, we will probably have to accept that, since the pandemic, these things have changed forever. However, I read with interest about the soaring rate of suicide in Ceredigion (Pain and questions..., Cambrian News, 26 October). As the article stresses, there are many factors that can cause a person to fall into this state of mind and it is a shame that it can still be a taboo subject with stigma attached to it.

As a virtually life-long sufferer of depression, I can fully understand the state of mind that drives a person to do such a drastic thing.

I have found that the standard treatments available are anti-depressants (that is a medicine approach) and a non-medicine approach such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Both methods of treatment have been or are available locally in Aberystwyth and I admire the organisations trying to help people but these services are vastly over subscribed and waiting lists are long.

In the meantime, sufferers are given leaflets or directed to specialist websites which can help but it is a personal, face-face approach that is more effective in my experience, I believe. Also well-known is the anxiety/depression link.  We have created a complex, fast moving society that creates stress and hence anxiety.

People, like myself, who can find it hard to relax can easily fall into the resulting depression and I have found recently that the two therapies I have mentioned can help greatly by the individual recognising the negative or irrational thoughts and modifying them into something more practical and positive. It takes a lot of willpower to use this method and not rely on anti-depressants but I do accept that the medicine approach can work for some people.

Whatever the method of recovery, what is of paramount importance is the recognition of depression in our society, of vulnerable people and a willingness to talk and engage with them.

Even with the wonders of medical science in the form of medication and the ‘mind over matter’ approach to treatment I have found that simple talking, socialising and a willingness to talk about these states of mind can help people immensely.

Will Johnson,