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

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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

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alt.support.depression FAQ Part 5 of 5

Part 5 of 5
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**Famous People**
– Who
are some famous people who suffer from depression and bipolar
disorder?

**Internet Resources**
– What are some
electronic resources on the internet related to
depression?

**Anonymous Posting**
– How can I post anonymously to
alt.support.depression?

**Sources**
– Sources

**Contributors**
– Contributors

Famous People
————-

Q. Who are some famous people who suffer from
depression and bipolar
disorder?

This list represents a
few of the famous people included in a list posted to a.s.d. on a
periodic basis. Much of it is taken from the book by Kay Redfield
Jamison, “Touched With Fire; Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic
Temperament.” The Free Press (Macmillan), New York, 1993. Used without
permission, but with intent to educate, and not for profit. Please send
updates (or additions) to jikelman@ngdc.noaa.gov

“This
is meant to be an illustrative rather than a comprehensive list… Most
of the writers, composers, and artists are American, British, European,
Irish, or Russian; all are deceased… Many if not most of these
writers, artists, and composers had other major problems as well, such
as medical illnesses, alcoholism or drug addiction, or exceptionally
difficult life circumstances. Continue reading

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Melissa Miles’ Therapy FAQ

Image: Miranda by Frank Dicksee

Image: Miranda by Frank Dicksee

by Melissa Miles

Introduction

So many people have asked me questions about therapy and there is so little information out there on the web that I decided to write this Therapy FAQ. Its purpose is to help people who are not yet in therapy but would like to try it out. People who have been in therapy are welcome to challenge anything I write or send me your own inputs for appending this FAQ–send this to mmiles@uta.edu.

My Background

You might be wondering why I think I am qualified to write this FAQ. Since my point in writing this is to answer questions I have been asked more than once, I have familiarity with what people want to know before they go into therapy. The most important qualification is the fact that I have been in therapy for over a year, with two different types of therapists (male and female), so I have asked all of these questions also. I also am an aspiring clinical psychologist who has taken many psychology courses–the most applicable course I have taken was a course called Internship in Psychology in which we covered many of the technical aspects that go along with being and choosing a therapist. Continue reading

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alt.support.depression FAQ Part 2 of 5

Image: The Sorceress by John William Waterhouse Part 2 of 5
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**Causes** (cont.)
– What initiates the alteration in brain chemistry?
– Is a tendency to depression inherited?

**Treatment**
– What sorts of psychotherapy are effective for depression?

**Medication**
– Do certain drugs work best with certain depressive illnesses? What are the guidelines for choosing a drug?
– How do you tell when a treatment is not working? How do you know when to switch treatments?
– How do antidepressants relieve depression?
– Are Antidepressants just “happy pills?”
– What percentage of depressed people will respond to antidepressants?
– What does it feel like to respond to an antidepressant? Will I feel euphoric if my depression responds to an antidepressant?
– What are the major categories of anti-depressants?
– What are the side-effects of some of the commonly used antidepressants?
– What are some techniques that can be used by people taking antidepressants to make side effects more tolerable?
– Many antidepressants seem to have sexual side effects. Can anything be done about those side-effects?
– What should I do if my antidepressant does not work?

Causes (cont.)
————–

Q. What initiates the alteration in brain chemistry?

It can be either a psychological or a physical event. On the physical  side, a hormonal change may provide the initial trigger: some women dip into depression briefly each month during their premenstrual phase; some find that the hormone balance created by oral contraceptives disposes them to depression; pregnancy, the end of pregnancy, and menopause have also been cited. Men’s hormone levels fluctuate as deeply but less obviously.

It is well known that certain chronic illnesses have depression as a frequent consequence: some forms of heart disease, for example, and Parkinsonism. This seems to be the result of a chemical effect rather than a purely psychological one, since other, equally traumatic and serious illnesses don’t show the same high risk of depression.
Continue reading

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