Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grief/Depression III - Telling the Difference

Once, when I was seriously under and still headed down, a friend said to me, There have been times in my life when I was sad, so sad I couldn't imagine being any sadder.  But it seems that what you and others with depression are describing is a whole different level that I know nothing about.

See, that's what would be helpful, instead of, I know just how you feel.  I remember when [fill in the significant loss]...  I knew that he knew times of deep sadness, because I knew some of those times, and because he is a person is thinks and feels deeply.  And listens deeply.  Everyone should have such a friend.

It was Social Hour.  We were in a corner to protect me from all those people being social.  I leaned against a wall, because I was very tired.  I guess the wall gave me the idea.  I said, Yes, there are times I have been so sad I couldn't imagine being sadder.  It's like the sadness became a wall I could lean against, because I was so tired.  But Depression IS different.  Imagine if the wall gives way.  Imagine there isn't a limit.  You lean and the wall gives way.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Grief/Depression II - Rise in Rates of Mental Illness

Are we really getting sicker?

A New York Times article, When does a broken heart become a diagnosis? sells papers with its usual technique - latch onto a fringe element and substitute good writing skills for substantive analysis.

I am all for good writing skills, and perhaps stumble in the same direction at times.  But depression is my beat.  So God willing and the brain permitting, I am going to beat this bit to the ground.  Two weeks ago I discussed three contexts for the discussion, the cost of health care, the scientific value of the DSM and the hobby horse of the author featured in the Times article.  I promised more contexts to come.

Are We Getting Sicker? - Context IV

James Wakefield's thesis is that we are turning natural human emotions, (the ones we want to get rid of, because they are unpleasant), into a diagnoses.  His beat is depression, as well, but the Times is on this bandwagon with autism and no doubt other diagnoses to come.

Well, I grant some validity to the concern in general.  Is it shyness or Social Anxiety Disorder?  Is it artistic nonconformity or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?  Is it the sleep disruptions of normal aging or Overactive Bladder Disorder?  Was it all those wings, doritos and beer you guzzled Superbowl Sunday (and most Sundays), or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

For When Your Therapist Goes on Vacation

I have two therapists and they were both on vacation the week I got home from my mother's funeral and all those issues and all the family and all those issues.  And still on vacation the week after that!  My brother-in-law subbed - thank you, Darryl - with the following email.  I offer it as a resource for when your therapist picks a lousy time to go on vacation.

For extra entertainment value (my entertainment, anyway), I have identified which one I hear Michael telling me with >>, and which ones I hear Liz telling me with **.  One of them regularly irritates me.  I'll let you guess which one.  I have to keep both, because the double-teaming seems to help.

Wisdom Learned From the Seat of a Tractor


Your fences need to be horse-high, pig tight, and bull-strong.