Wing of Madness Depression FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Head of a Nymph by Sophie Anderson

Below are answers to some questions that I am frequently asked. Remember, these answers are my own opinion on these matters (and I can be very opinionated).

Q.Where did the title of your page come from?

A. What inspired me was this passage from William Styron’s Darkness Visible, a recounting of his own depression:

One bright day on a walk through the woods with my dog I heard a flock of Canada geese honking high above trees ablaze with foliage; ordinarily a sight and sound that would have exhilarated me, the flight of birds caused me to stop, riveted with fear, and I stood stranded there, helpless, shivering, aware for the first time that I had been stricken by no mere pangs of withdrawal but by a serious illness whose name and actuality I was able finally to acknowledge. Going home, I couldn’t rid my mind of the line of Baudelaire’s, dredged up from the distant past, that for several days had been skittering around at the edge of my consciousness: “I have felt the wind of the wing of madness.”

I have seen other translations of the line since then, but for me this passage captured how I felt when I realized that something was wrong with me that I could not banish on my own. Continue reading


Depression and High School Students FAQ – NIMH

Answers to students’ frequently asked questions about depression.

Image: Titania Welcoming Her Fairy Bretheren by Henry Maynell Rheam

Titania Welcoming Her Fairy Bretheren by Henry Maynell Rheam

Depression can occur during adolescence, a time of great personal change. You may be facing changes in where you go to school, your friends, your after-school activities, as well as in relationships with your family members. You may have different feelings about the type of person you want to be, your future plans, and may be making decisions for the first time in your life.

Many students don’t know where to go for mental health treatment or believe that treatment won’t help. Others don’t get help because they think depression symptoms are just part of the typical stresses of school or being a teen. Some students worry what other people will think if they seek mental health care. Continue reading

Share FAQ Part 1 of 5 FAQ

Here you will find the FAQ from the newsgroup. I have made no changes other than formatting. As you can see, the FAQ has not been updated since 1994, therefore some of the information, especially regarding antidepressants available, is somewhat out of date. However, this does not greatly diminish its usefulness.

Archive-name: alt-support-depression/faq/part1
Posting-Frequency: bi-weekly
Last-modified: 1994/08/07 FAQ
———— is a newsgroup for people who suffer from all forms of depression as well as others who may want to learn more about these disorders. Much the information shared in this newsgroup comes from posters’ experience as well as contributions by professionals in many fields. The thoughts expressed here are for the benefit of the readers of this group. Please be considerate in the way you use the information from this group, keeping in mind the stigma of depression still experienced in society today.

The following Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQ) attempts to impart an understanding of depression including its causes; its symptoms; its medication and treatments–including professional treatments as well as things you can do to help yourself. In addition, information on where to get help, books to read, a list of famous people who suffer from depression, internet resources, instructions for posting anonymously, and a list of the many contributors is included. Continue reading

Share FAQ Part 3 of 5

Part 3 of 5

**Medication** (cont.)
– If an antidepressant has produced a partial response, but has not fully eliminated depression, what can be done about it?

**Electroconvulsive Therapy**
– What is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and when is it used?
– Exactly what happens when someone gets ECT?
– How do individuals who have had ECT feel about having had the treatments?
– How long do the beneficial effects of ECT last?
– Is it true that ECT causes brain damage?
– Why is there so much controversy about ECT?

**Substance Abuse**
– May I drink alcohol while taking antidepressants?
– If I plan to drink alcohol while on medication, what precautions should I take?
– What's the relationship between depression and recovery from substance abuse?
– What does the term "dual-diagnosis" mean?
– Is it safe for a person recovering from substance abuse to take drugs?
– How do you know when depression is severe enough that help should be sought?

**Getting Help**
-Where should a person go for help?
-Where can I find help in the United Kingdom?
-Where can I find out about support groups for depression?
-How can family and friends help the depressed person?

**Choosing A Doctor**
-What should you look for in a doctor? How can you tell if he/she really understands depression?

– How may I measure the effects my treatment is having on my depression? Continue reading

Share FAQ Part 4 of 5

Part 4 of 5

**Self-care** (cont.)
– How can I help myself get through depression on a day-to-day basis?

– What are some books about depression?

Self-care (cont.)

Q. How can I help myself get through depression on a day-to-day basis?

On a day-to-day basis, separate from, or concurrently with therapy or
medication, we all have our own methods for getting through the worst
times as best we can. The following comments and ideas on what to do
during depression were solicited from people in the newsgroup. Sometimes these things work,
sometimes they don’t. Just keep trying them until you find some
techniques that work for you.

* Write. Keep a journal. Somehow writing everything down helps keep
the misery from running around in circles.

* Listen to your favorite “help” songs (a bunch of songs that have
strong positive meaning for you)

* Read (anything and everything) Go to the library and check out
fiction you’ve wanted to read for a long time; books about
depression, spirituality, morality; biographies about people who
suffered from depression but still did well with their lives
(Winston Churchill and Martin Luther, to name two;).

* Sleep for a while

* Even when busy, remember to sleep. Notice if what you do before
sleeping changes how you sleep.

* If you might be a danger to yourself, don’t be alone. Find people.
If that is not practical, call them up on the phone. If there is no
one you feel you can call, suicide hotlines can be helpful, even if
you’re not quite that badly off yet.

* Hug someone or have someone hug you.

* Remember to eat. Notice if eating certain things (e.g. sugar or
coffee) changes how you feel.

* Make yourself a fancy dinner, maybe invite someone over.
Continue reading