Dolce Far Niente by John William Godward
“It was not really alarming at first, since the change was subtle, but I did notice that my surroundings took on a different tone at certain times: the shadows of nightfall seemed more somber, my mornings were less buoyant, walks in the woods became less zestful, and there was a moment during my working hours in the late afternoon when a kind of panic and anxiety overtook me…” – William Styron, Darkness Visible
Sometimes the Depression Self-Screening Tests are just too clinical, and the symptoms don’t really “click” with you. Some of the criteria are general, and if you’re suffering from depression, specifics are easier to understand.
I know that I might not have diagnosed myself with depression just on the basis of those symptoms. I had no change in appetite, and no sleep problems (getting out of bed was what was difficult). Below are some un-clinical symptoms.
- Things just seem “off” or “wrong.”
- You don’t feel hopeful or happy about anything in your life.
- You’re crying a lot for no apparent reason, either at nothing, or something that normally would be insignificant.
- You feel like you’re moving (and thinking) in slow motion.
- Getting up in the morning requires a lot of effort.
- Carrying on a normal conversation is a struggle. You can’t seem to express yourself.
“Our perhaps understandable modern need to dull the sawtooth edges of so many of the afflictions we are heir to has led us to banish the harsh old-fashioned words: madhouse, asylum, insanity, melancholia, lunatic, madness. But never let it be doubted that depression in its extreme form is madness.” – William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
Boreas by John William Waterhouse
What is wrong with using the word “madness” in relation to depression? I ask because over the years I have received several indignant emails from people insisting that I stop using the word in the title of this website. According to them, I’m adding to the stigma surrounding mental illness and am being politically incorrect to the extreme. Continue reading
Hi everybody. Cara Santa Maria here. As we’ve been discussing mental health this month, I’ve read some pretty cynical comments on my blog posts about how people with depression should “just get over it.” About how “we all get sad sometimes and it’s hard to deal…what makes you so special?” Well, for anybody watching who feels that way, I have to tell you: depression is a brain illness. It is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
By Nancy Foster, Special to the Press-Telegram
Reading by John Singer Sargent
Being married to the mayor offers a marvelous opportunity to be the voice for mental illness in Long Beach, the 5th biggest city in California! Our city has embraced my story since I came out in November of 2006.
One person can make a difference and others are sharing their stories as well and getting help. It’s important for people to realize that a public figure is being open…it made a huge difference in our city…amazing response and still people are thanking me today 2010. Continue reading
I thought it would be helpful and informative to share good/bad psychiatrist or therapist stories.
We’ll start out with my experiences…
My first experience with treatment was at the mental health clinic at the local hospital. I was fairly indifferent toward the first psychiatrist I had there, but I was unpleasantly jarred to find out that he was leaving after six months. Apparently they were on some sort of rotation. When I walked into the new psychiatrist’s office, I immediately got a bad feeling. It looked like he felt this was a temporary situation, as the office was completely bare except for the desk and two chairs. The reason for my visit was to ask him to raise my medication, as I was feeling the familiar signs of depression after being fairly stable for a year. He never even looked at me, and only asked me one question to determine whether I was depressed again or not, “Do you have thoughts of harming yourself or others?” I said, “Well, no, but I never have, so that’s not really an indication for me.” He ignored all the signs of depression I was recounting and refused to raise my medication. I absolutely hated him, and wouldn’t go back until he was gone six months later. This time when I walked into the new psychiatrist’s office I was very wary, but the difference he had made in that cold office was amazing. I’m a little fuzzy on the specifics, but I immediately noticed that the place smelled great. He had air fresheners in the office that made you want to inhale when you walked in. Continue reading