Welcome to Wing of Madness Depression Guide

Image: Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Welcome to one of the oldest depression sites on the Web. Since 1995, Wing of Madness has been providing information and support to people dealing with their own depression or that of someone they know.

This web page is about clinical depression, also referred to as major depression or major depressive disorder. Here we address not the “down” mood which we all get from time to time and which leads us to say, “I’m depressed,” but the often debilitating illness which affects one in five people, children as well as adults. Continue reading

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Simplify the Holidays to Preserve Your Sanity

My parents do a beautiful job with decorating for Christmas – they always have. Every year they get a real live tree. They have a couple of hundred of beautiful ornaments, as well as garlands and other assorted decorations. The tree is always put up at least two weeks before Christmas. Granted, they’re retired, but it was always like this even when they both were working.

In contrast, my husband and I broke down a couple of years ago and got a fake tree (I love the smell of evergreens, but it’s not enough to counter the expense of a live tree and the cleanup). I feel virtuous if we get the tree up a week before Christmas, and it’s been done on Christmas Eve on more than one occasion. It took me a long time to let go of my parents’ standards and to stop feeling guilty if I didn’t live up to them.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas. I have some great memories of Christmas, especially sensory memories. The smell of evergreen and mulled cider, the sound of Christmas music and the dazzling display on the tree. They were such an essential part of my childhood that I’m ensuring that my son has some of the same experiences. Last year we had his best friend over to decorate Christmas cookies.

But, oh my gosh. It can be stressful. Let’s face it, those childhood memories generally don’t involve spending every weekend in crowded shopping malls finding the perfect present, opening the credit card bill in January, cooking and cleaning for fifteen people and basically running around like a chicken with your head cut off. We’re always struggling to live up to an ideal that is literally impossible to match, unless we’re Martha Stewart. And really, at least half of the people who read her magazine are trying to emulate an ideal, but usually just don’t have the time, right? Continue reading

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Depression and the Holidays Survival Guide

Image: Angel by Abbott Handerson Thayer

Angel by Abbott Handerson Thayer

Let’s be honest – even if you’re not suffering from clinical depression, the holidays can be stressful and often disappointing. We run ourselves ragged buying gifts, cooking, decorating and entertaining. Tempers flare as we’re thrown together with relatives whom we see infrequently, and don’t necessarily enjoy spending time with. Expectations are high that this season will be magical and perfect as we try to recapture the anticipation we felt as children waiting for Santa, or wait for a rush of emotion as we ponder the religious significance of Christmas and Chanukah. When those feelings don’t automatically well up, we’re disappointed. And, of course, we’re ready to take the nearest heavy object to the tv or computer when we see the same holiday commercial for the 487th time. Continue reading

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Men and Depression

burne_jones_prince_entering_the_briar_wood_detail_smSoon after I created this website in 1995, I wrote an article about women and depression. At that time it was believed that women suffer from depression about twice as often as men do, although no one was sure why. Some hypotheses posed biological reasons, such as greater incidence of sexual assault and abuse and role in society.

I was never completely comfortable with the idea that more women than men were depressed. It didn’t seem to make sense to me. For one thing, most of the famous people with depression who came to mind (for me, at least) were men. Winston Churchill, Mike Wallace, Abraham Lincoln, Robin Williams and Terry Bradshaw, to name a few. Not that famous women didn’t come to mind, but I couldn’t come up with a much larger number of more women than men.

The other thing that bothered me, as it always does, is that there was no clear reason why women would experience depression so much more than men. I admit that I like to have reasons for things; I don’t want there to be unknowns when it comes to something like depression. And all the explanations for the disparity were vague at best. Hormones, sure. Societal issues, maybe. But nothing that accounted for this purportedly large difference in the numbers between men and women. Continue reading

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Can exercise cure depression and anxiety? – The Washington Post

Please note that the writer of this article should not have used the word “cure.” Exercise is a treatment for depression, not a cure. There is no cure for depression at this time. Also, your depression treatment should always be under the care of a doctor, whether medication, therapy or exercise. – Editor

At the age of 16, Heather Troupe received a diagnosis of chronic severe depression and a prescription for an antidepressant. Eight years and 20 pounds later, she was sleeping poorly, felt a lot of anxiety and had lost her therapist because of insurance complications. Looking to “fix herself,” as Troupe, of Knoxville, Tenn., put it, she began using an elliptical machine every day at the gym, hoping to sweat away what was ailing her. Today, Troupe, 33, has been medication-free for nine years and credits her daily exercise habits with helping her achieve mental health.

Read on: Can exercise cure depression and anxiety? – The Washington Post

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Kristen Bell opens up about having ‘no shame’ in battling anxiety, depression – TODAY.com

She’s likable, talented and, in her own words, “very bubbly.” But there’s a lot more to Kristen Bell than that.The actress is also someone who lives with anxiety, depression and codependency — and she’s perfectly content to be known for those things, too.In a candid interview for “Off Camera,” Bell opened up about her mental health history and the importance of feeling no shame about it.

Source: Kristen Bell opens up about having ‘no shame’ in battling anxiety, depression – TODAY.com

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