Former Stanwell Corporation chief executive Ted Scott has written a novel with a Buddhist bent about mental illness.
Former Stanwell Corporation chief executive Ted Scott has written a novel with a Buddhist bent about mental illness. Allan Reinikka

Take a journey with no ordinary hero

MANAGEMENT consultant and former Stanwell CEO Ted Scott’s new novel has no ordinary hero.

The central character of Yu the Dragon Tamer has a mental illness he must overcome.

Trapped in a cave with the dragon, Yu is forced to confront his problems and face down his illness.

Mr Scott said his interest in mental illness was a natural extension of his lifelong curiosity about why people act the way they do.

He said he first became interested in human behaviour when he began his senior management career at Stanwell Corporation.

He said he realised his knowledge of human behaviour was “deficient”.

“That’s the most valuable knowledge anyone can have.”

Mr Scott said he believed wellbeing was determined by how a person related to others and how well a person understood himself or herself. Mental illness was “one extremity of human behaviour”, he said.

“If you are interested in human behaviour it is interesting to look at the outliers.

“What I was trying to get across (with the book) was that people who are mentally ill can have good

characteristics.”

He said the character wants to develop his own spiritual journey and learns wisdom from a Buddhist sage which he uses to defeat his personal demons embodied in the dragon.

While not claiming to be a psychologist or psychiatrist, he refers to people with depression as having a propensity to become self-absorbed.

Mr Scott said that was because they felt bad and could not stop thinking about themselves.

He refers to a quote from psychologist Dorothy Rowe that “says depression is a prison we build not to keep ourselves in, but to keep others out”.

That prison was predicated on filters people with depression saw the world through.

People with depression are normally pessimistic and they do not have the strategy to preserve their sense of self.

Mr Scott said they believe that when something went wrong it was “permanent, personal and pervasive”.

Returning to his book, he said Yu was finally able to be freed from his prison after he put aside his warped view of the world.

He cited Phil Harker’s model on how people could become psychologically robust as an example of good mental health.

Mr Harker was his co-author on several books about organisational behaviour.

The three steps are knowing yourself, then you might accept yourself and then you might forget yourself, meaning your self-absorption.

Mr Scott said he hoped his book would help some people know themselves better and accept themselves.

ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

October is Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month

One million people in Australia live with depression

More than two million Australians experience an anxiety disorder each year

A person may be depressed if he or she has felt sad, down or miserable most of the time for more than two years

A person may be experiencing an anxiety disorder if he or she feels worried or anxious most of the time and/or finds it difficult to calm down

If you are concerned you or someone you know has an anxiety disorder or depression, consult a doctor or other health professional

It can also help to talk to the person about how they’re feeling

Listen to what they’re saying

Spending time with the person lets them know you care

Source: www.beyondblue.org.au



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