Alastair Campbell: Depression and Me got personal with a jam jar

The latest entry in the BBC mental health season saw former spin doctor Alastair Campbell out of his comfort zone and in a more sensitive light as he spoke about his ongoing struggles with depression.

Campbell brought the topic to a very personal level (keeping a video diary rating each day between one and 10) and it was this diary aspect that kept me hooked. It made me wonder what he would be feeling the next day.

He explored the many quirky techniques that have been – and still are – used to cure depression.

These ranged from regular exercise to eating magic mushrooms. Above the fungi however, one method stood above them all – a jam jar. More specifically, a mental illness jam jar.

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Now I know what you're thinking. In a serious film about depression, where in the world does a jar come into play? Towards the climax of the documentary, Campbell spoke to Dr Jehannine Austin who gave him the jar as a visual aid to use to explain his mental outbursts and help manage them.

The jar over time gets full with genetic and environmental factors to the point where it eventually overflows causing the breakdown. The programme is definitely worth a watch and opens up thoughts you had not had before.

The only thing that didn't impress me was when Campbell spent five minutes talking about his beloved Burnley FC.

It's great that football helps him to connect with others, but why does it have to be Burnley of all the clubs? Why not Bournemouth?

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