ICM Radio Takeover Gearing Up For Return

ICM Radio brings you the latest and greatest indie tunes from across the globe. After a successful year at #OMGRadio, ICM Radio is set to takeover again on Mondays 6pm-8pm starting September 25th.

For more information head to IndieCentralMusic.com.

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How Depression Affects Your Partner Too

Health: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. (World Health Organisation 1948)

Depression: “A mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep”. (Oxford Dictionaries, 2015)

Partner: “Either member of a married couple or of an established unmarried couple”. (Oxford Dictionaries, 2015)

Depression

Depression is a complex mental disorder caused by shifts in the brain chemistry. It causes changes of moods and behaviour. It is often triggered by an unexpected event such as bereavement, job loss or another traumatic experience.

Research by the World Health Organisation found that every year 1 out of 15 people suffer from depression in the United Kingdom. More than 350 million people worldwide are suffering from Depression and an estimated 80% of depression patients are suicidal.

The symptoms of depression are various and can range from simple mood changes to feeling low and worthless, sad and hopeless, losing the joy of life and feeling trapped in dark thoughts and moods. Even self-harming or suicidal thoughts are likely. It also can have physical effects such as: change of eating habits, unexplained pains and disrupted speech and sleeping problems. This can have an enormous impact of disruption on relationships and family life if a close family member suffers from depression.

Financial and Emotional impact on the partner

It’s important to remember that the sufferer has not chosen depression. Depression is a complex illness and can have a dynamic impact on a relationship both financially and emotionally.

To live with a partner with depression is often stressful, as the sufferer is not acting like their usual self, and in many cases the sufferer is unable to work. The partner will find himself or herself as the only earner, putting an extra strain on them.

There is financial support, which might be available to the family, but it can take a long time for the Department of Work and Pensions to make a decision. This will cause some extra financial and personal pressure on the partner.

The recovery will take a long time even with the right and appropriate treatment. By addressing the issue to the wider family, responsibilities can be shared. Creating such a support network for each other can lead to a closer and more appreciated relationship for the couple and the wider family. This can be an unexpected positive impact of depression.

Support available

As the depression not only affects the sufferer, but also the partner it is necessary to act as soon as the diagnosis is made. Waiting can increase the strain on the relationship.

It is important for the partner of the sufferer to protect their own mental and physical health and not to lose their own happiness. Understanding the illness and its implications will give the partner an overview of typical problems and enable them to seek help for himself or herself and also for the sufferer.

There are also various support groups from the NHS, Mind or Depression Alliance available who can help set boundaries to avoid burnout or resentments. These support groups offer support across England and can offer help for both the sufferer and their partner.

Support groups are usually weekly and mostly run by volunteers in a friendly atmosphere. NHS, Mind and Depression Alliance also have online forums available where sufferer and partner can get in contact with former patients to get advice.

Counselling or therapy for couples can also help to address feelings and improve mutual understanding of each other. Support from family and friends can also help, it is important to discuss the condition with friends and family to make them aware of current issues and specifically how they can assist.

Whilst there is evidence of a range of support available, mental health issues are still stigmatised by society, which amplifies the feelings of anxiety and depression in both the sufferer and partner.

Depression is an invisible disease that is often not recognised by Society at large.  Depression is a genuine, severe medical condition which is not easy to cope with for both the sufferer and their partner.

It can be divisive, but also bring the wider family closer together. To accomplish the best support for the sufferer and the partner communication is essential. Couples and families who discuss and improve their understanding of depression can achieve a positive and better functioning relationship. This enables positive support for the sufferer and the partner making them more able to efficiently handle the illness in the long-term.

Game Review: Unravel

Unravel is one of the few games out there that really pulls on your heart strings.

A story of a grandmother who feels she has become lost and disconnected from her family, she yearns to relive her happy memories in order to be reunited with her loved ones once more.

What’s most beautiful however, is how the story is told using only music, pictures and Yarny, an adorable tiny creature made of yarn. He serves a metaphorical purpose of representing the ties that will bring the family closer together again.

No dialogue is used, which can be quite difficult to get the intended message across to the audience, but the developers at Coldwood Interactive, a Swedish indie studio, have pulled it off excellently.

Playing as Yarny, you traverse through old memories, solving the physics-based puzzles using the yarn that you’re made of. There is only a finite amount of yarn however, so you must use it wisely otherwise risk unravelling at the seams.

The controls are easy enough, with only a few actions to learn; lasso yarn to reach higher places or to swing from branch to branch, grab hold of your yarn tail that constantly flows behind you and use it to abseil down ledges, the ability to tie your yarn to specific points, to act as anchors and you’re able to jump and also push and pull certain objects.

No game would be complete without collectibles and Unravel encourages the player to think outside the box to reach secret locations to gather up collectible flower head coins.

The graphics come second to none. It’s only a 2.5 D platform side-scroller, but Coldwood Interactive have really out done themselves. Inspired by the beautiful country of Scandinavia, players are treated to absolutely jaw-dropping environments.

Each memory takes place in a different landscape, from boggy swamps to seagull-infested beaches. The harmonious soundtrack that plays out the raw emotions of the memories, compliments the realistic graphics, combined with gorgeous lighting effects, even more.

The game definitely does what its genre intends to do… puzzle you… a hell of a lot. The difficulty gets increasingly harder and conquering the obstacles requires some dedicated effort, really putting your puzzle solving skills to the test.

There are multiple puzzles that will have you well and truly stumped, using the yarn in various ways until you finally discover the solution. However, that triumphant feeling of solving each obstacle is well deserved, and players feel rewarded by just being able to advance along the idyllic scenery of the beautifully detailed environments.

Unravel is a definite must-have for any puzzle game fans. Coldwood Interactive have really put their heart and soul into making this a game that’s not just a real joy to play, but is utterly beautiful and has a deep, heart-warming and meaningful story.

With plenty of content to keep you satisfied and the replayability factor of getting every last secret collectible, Unravel is a must for those mellow gaming moods. And of course, Yarny is just too adorable!

Staffordshire University’s Student-Run Media Outlet