Thursday, May 29


Do you remember the movie 'Beaches'?

I really enjoyed that movie, & bawled like a baby in parts. I could watch it again right now, but I probably wouldn't cry & sob like I did, when I first watched.

I am not really getting more cynical as I age, -although I might be. I think my capacity for crying has been greatly reduced by medication.

I have suffered from deep troughs of depression over the course of my life. I initially refused to take any forms of mood altering medication. It seemed a form of weakness, somehow. Who wants to admit they are weak, & cannot manage on their own? The waves of utter despair must have been my own fault, & were to be ridden & battled with some mysterious, stoic, valour, or I 'lost'.

In a way it is an admission of 'failure'. It is to be hidden away, swept under the carpet. Slink into the chemist, hope no-one bellows out your prescription details- as has been done, believe me!! "Small-town-areas" can be as bad as "Small towns". No one really wants everyone else to know their complete medical history.

In spite of organisations such as & raised awareness of depression, & it's debilitating effects, there is still the lingering feeling of 'shame', maybe even 'weakness', attached to needing to take medication for a condition you have no control over. The lack of control can be very frightening. The complete fear of falling, & failure, can swamp you. The fact that there are often no answers is also a concern.

Some of the antidepressants have left me in a Zombie like state lying about snivelling, & limp, or popeyed & dazed seemingly unable to move, let alone think.
Something similar to this 'button'.

Perhaps the worst thing about Depression, is that males won't admit to having the condition. Or, if the admit it, they won't seek help.
Or if they seek help, they are often brushed aside, given placebo medication. A short term fix. Dismissed.

I am lucky. I have found a medication that doesn't 'Zombify' me. I am sure that is not a word, but who cares!!. I can function without bursting into tears in the middle of the shopping centre. I can cope with family misery, stress, drama, illness, deteriorating minds.

A male, close to me, has not had the same luck. His battle seems so lonely. So hard. He has told me he is made to feel like he is some sort of 'drug addict', if he dares to ask for some relief, for the unrelenting agony. His symptoms are brushed aside, treated with ignore. The physical manifestations of depression are no less real, than the mental manifestations. Why do so many Medical Practitioners seem unable to recognise this??

This post was not going to be about Castaways, on the Beaches of life.

It was going to be the story of my near death, from drowning, when I was quite a young child, on a beach made of sand & surf.

Sometimes the posts just write themselves..... buggers!

A deceptively peaceful sunset sky. It rained next day. It clouded over. It got very dark & ugly. It all looked so Tropical, & Warm, & Promising.... didn't it??

In spite of the tone of this post~

Nancy Wilson, How Glad I Am.


Pauline said...

One of the reasons it is such a pleasure to read here is the honesty with which you write.

I may have to go get some of those buttons and post them around -

jellyhead said...

I have to echo Pauline.... your posts are so refreshingly open and unpretentious. I always look forward to reading them.

As for depression - well hopefully most people now realise it is a biochemical problem, which may need variable treatment approaches, often including medication. As you know, it has nothing to do with a person's personality or strength of character. In fact often the 'strong' types fall the hardest, because their pride keeps them from seeking help until their depression is severe.

Just as a diabetic may require tablets or insulin, so a person suffering depression often needs anti-depressants.

I'm glad you are well these days Meggie.

Sheila said...

Meggie, I'm so glad you posted this. I 'came out' on my blog regarding my depression last year. I sought treatment for it, and now nine months later, I feel better than I have for years. As Jellyhead says it is no less an illness than diabetes, and there is no shame in taking insulin.
I am fortunate that the first medication prescribed (Effexor XR) worked for me, the dosage had to be tweaked until I was at a level that worked. The Dr says that in a year he will wean me off it, but, if I don't respond well, I shall stay on it.
I realise now that I have been depressed since I as a child, and probably because my seratonin levels were out of whack. There are different causes for the 'blues' but there are also different meds. Fortunately, my meds do not make me a zombie, just make me feel human.
As for male depression,I am shocked that it is brushed aside as often as it is. I just read an article that says male depression can be a cause of heart attacks in men, as they often don't admit to it. Getting help for depression helps your physical as well as your emotional health.
I think the stigma attached to this so called 'mental illness', is based in fear. By speaking out we help others to seek help, and live normal lives.
Hugs xxx

smilnsigh said...

It totally stinks that in this day and age, some docs still do more harm than good. I have to crow that thankfully, I've never encountered one of this callous breed.

My heart goes out to the close-to-you male, who is sentenced to a lonely time with this. Damn! There ought to be a law! :-(((((((


Anonymous said...

I never took any meds when I was depressed. I don't actually think I realised that I was depressed - I didn't have the energy to think about it, just got through each day really. I don't think I would have had the guts to go and see a doctor to get any anyway. I have no idea if anyone could have convinced me to have done so.

If I felt like that again I would not hesitate to seek treatment. Although maybe in a depressed state, I wouldn't. Who knows?

When you are depressed you are not yourself really so it is hard to know what you would or would not do.

I'm glad you found something that works for you and I am so very glad I no longer feel the way I did.

Thimbleanna said...

I don't really know what to say about depression except how hard it is to watch someone you love who is depressed and not know what to do to help them. I love those buttons -- haven't seen the first one before (now to be a new favorite!) and have that second one on my desk at work!

ancient one said...

Been There Done That... still on meds... I have been in church and have been told that people who use meds "for their nerves" are weak...Then I read an article from a local pastor telling about his period of deep depression...finally some are seeing that your mind can get sick like the rest of your body...

Thanks for this post!

leslie said...

I'm glad you "confessed" to this as I believe more people need to understand that this is a biochemical problem, and that those who suffer from any sort of "mental" illness are not whacked out crazy idiots, but are just like us, but physically ill. If you've read my bio on my blog you'll know that my husband suffered terribly all his life and ended up comitting suicide, leaving me with 2 young daughters to raise. And now my younger daughter struggles with bipolar. It is a terrible thing to have to endure and there is a ripple effect on everyone in the family and circle of friends. Do take care Meggie and do all you can to help yourself. Hugs.

bluemountainsmary said...

You can imagine how deep a chord this struck with me Meggie!

Fortunately in my case we are in good hands.

Tanya Brown said...

Good for you for your honesty, Meggie.

I have met those who don't "believe" in depression, as though it's something one can choose to believe in or not like the tooth fairy. There are also those who are obsessed with stigma in a medieval fashion, watching suspiciously lest the sufferer start gibbering and need to be burned at the stake.

I look forward to the day when brain chemistry is better understood, and when people don't have to struggle so. My heart goes out to your male acquaintance.

Mike said...

I didn't take any meds for depression either. Instead, I self-medicated with copious amounts of alcohol. No that I am alcohol-free, I am having a hard time with it. I guess I will need to look into the whole drug thing.

Isabelle said...

Our lovely son-in-law suffers badly from depression. It's a terrible thing. Sympathy.

fifi said...

I believe that it makes a difference to "know thine enemy", and thid understanding makes the problem easier to deal with.

When I was on medication, the doctor assured me that anyone with my "reasons" would find it hard. Its really so physical!

However, I must say the medication was nasty and I put on about 15 kg and was a brain dead potato. I managed my way out of it, and now I'm good, despite the fact that my blog gives the impression of me being a complete and utter EMO.

fifi said...

oh, and do tell about the drowning. I hope you don't suffer flashbacks when you come over to my place since I'm always underwater!! hahahahahah

Linds said...

I am so glad you posted about this, Meggie. I have friends who suffer from depression, and they have been immeasurably helped by the medication, which enables them to function, but also by the counselling. I think the talking part is the most difficult. Some of my friends agreed to the medication but could not initially bring themselves to go for counselling. The ones that did found it so helpful. The stigma has to be eradicated. We all need help one way or another.

I really hope your male friend gets the help he so desperately needs as soon as possible.

Kitty said...

I honestly don't think someone who has never experienced depression can possibly imagine how debilitating it is. How one is as incapable of functioning as if one were missing a limb, or flat out with the 'flu.

I hope your friend gets the right treatment soon.


Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Your words, oops... the words that your blog posted by itself will provide comfort and insight to those who needed to read them today. Thank you for your candor.

alice said...

I love the open, honest way of your post. Thank you - for many reasons.

Ragged Roses said...

such an honest post Meggie. I have suffered from depression in the past and, thankfully, for the time being, those days are behind me. But I can understand totally the way that this thing colours everything in your life. Take care
Love the buttons

Molly said...

The buttons are priceless!I know someone male who I believe to be depressed. But to him, seeking counselling would be a sign of weakness! Men and their egos. They'd be so much healthier, mentally,without them! Hope your friend gets help soon. Glad you made it through.....

Molly said...

The buttons are priceless!I know someone male who I believe to be depressed. But to him, seeking counselling would be a sign of weakness! Men and their egos. They'd be so much healthier, mentally,without them! Hope your friend gets help soon. Glad you made it through.....

Rosie said...

I want one of those button badges...then I can demonstrate what mood I am in without having to bite anyones head off!