Music Sweet Music

Mom says depression runs in my family. I didn’t know!

The symptoms of depression are sleeping a lot, avoiding taking care of business (not opening your mail, etc.) avoiding daily life in general. Getting panic attacks, and generally not being able to cope. Of course, those people who have these symptoms can’t get themselves to the doctor for help, so they need people around them to help them. [A relative] has been off work on “stress Leave” it seems every year. She works as a teacher’s assistant. She doesn’t even go home to her house, she lives on her sailboat, because she doesn’t want to answer the phone, or open her mail. She ends up in a big mess because of this, then has to cope with even bigger problems. She is on a medication to help her now, but school is already out, so she won’t be going back to work until next fall. We hope she gets better. [Another relative] is quite bad, but being of the generation that doesn’t even recognize depression, she just carries on best she can. She doesn’t change her clothes or wash her hair, but that could be said of a lot of older people. She also sleeps a lot, especially when they lived here. It didn’t matter what time of day you called them, they were napping. They slept in front of the TV as well…She is a lot more active since they moved to the retirement center, lots to do there, and they have to come out of their rooms for meals, and tea-time and coffee-time. She even plays bingo in the mornings. [Yet another relative] has panic attacks, and gets stressed out easily, I have to be careful what I say. He has been much better this past year, but he still cops out and disappears to the local old-mens’ club, i.e. the Legion, every day. So much for that, keep your chin up, but don’t hesitate to ask questions of your doctor if you feel blue for long periods of time. Sometimes counselling helps and you don’t need medication.

Well, I don’t feel blue for long periods of time (just after I get dumped). I never get panic attacks. I do avoid opening my mail sometimes, but only for a few days (typically these are bills). I often ignore emails but only if they require long indepth replies, or replies that involve answers that I don’t have. However, I do have a distinct lack of ambition and distinct antisocial tendencies. I cannot schmooze worth a damn. I do absolutely loathe anything that has to do with bureaucracy and paperwork, i.e. taxes. I just let my driver’s license expire and I am loathe to think about the hoops I’m going to have to jump through, i.e. leaving the house and waiting in line. Filling out forms of any kind doesn’t agree with me. I hate the telephone, and use it as little as possible. But I am emailing people constantly. So who knows what’s going on in my brain. Not me.

3 Replies to “Music Sweet Music”

  1. The same thing that goes on in my brain. As much as we don’t really like one another (although I do enjoy reading the blog for the most part and do enjoy your music), we are disturbingly similar. Maybe that’s why we get on each other’s nerves. Of course, I verbalised that annoyance much more. Though I’m trying to give that sort of negativity up.

    (This note isn’t a verbalisation of any annoyance … just pointing out that I understand where you’re coming from with this entry.)

  2. “Sometimes counselling helps and you don?t need medication.”

    Again with the ignorance. Why the fear of antidepressants? Like being gay, being clinically depressed is not a choice; you have it whether you like it or not! And like being gay, clinical depression is widely misunderstood.

    Now let me make a distinction. There’s the blues, i.e. break-up, dead dog, no money, evicted from you apartment, etc. Yes these things suck but they are external forces and one overcomes them with time and contemplation. Then there’s clinical depression i.e. symptoms described above. This is prolonged, debilitating and has nothing to do with the world outside of your brain. And it more than sucks. You can have everything you want, every wish fulfilled, the love and respect of friends and family, physical health and beauty but it means nothing. Your moods shift for no good reason, you live day in day out paralyzed with fear, you exist only in black cloud of suffering, life is a hollow lie and you feel at any moment that the Sword of Damocles will to strike.

    Clinical depression is believed to be the brain’s inability to retain serotonin in it’s receptors which leads to the depressive state. Most anti-depressants are called ‘serotonin re-uptake inhibitors’. This basically means that once serotonin is released by the brain and gets into your neural receptors the drugs keep the brain from reabsorbing it too quickly so you can use the chemical to its fullest effect. This then allows one to get up, eat, work, laugh, socialize and be free of the constant desire to throw oneself into a wood-chipper. Serotonin is like 10W30 motor oil for the engine that is one’s brain. Without it, things seize up, burn out and you’re going nowhere.

    I’m tired of people saying you just need a swift kick in the ass and you’ll straighten up. You wouldn’t say that to someone who is diabetic would you? No, becasue you know they have a disease, which is lack of insulin production. Same deal, a chemical deficiency. Those silly diabetics! It’s all in their head!

    Yes, antidepressants don’t do all the work in clinical depression, but they allow you to get you head above water so you are then able to swim to shore yourself.

    Get with the program world.

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