Moodscope's blog

18

November


An Awkward Question. Wednesday November 18, 2015

"Mummy, can you die from depression?"

We were at the open evening at the school which my elder daughter attends and which we very much hope will offer a place to our little one. But I had only got as far as the first stop in the science labs before I had to sit down with an attack of the shakes and was escorted down to the library by a junior science teacher and sat down in the quiet with a plastic cup full of water.

I spent the whole evening there, fending off kind concern and gratefully accepting more cups of water and tea.

The open evening finally ended and the library staff solicitously escorted me to the reception foyer to wait for my family. My little one held my hand while Daddy and daughter no. 1 collected the car and brought it round so I had only a few yards to walk.

That's when the question was asked.

Thankfully she also supplied the context. "Because when Kylie at school shook like this she fell down and they had to call an ambulance and she nearly died."

Kylie has epilepsy. Grand Mal. My daughter was right beside her when she had an episode last school term. It was pretty tough on her. (But tougher on Kylie, obviously.)

What could I say? The truth is, "Yes darling. You can die from it. Your grandfather did. One of your great uncles did. More people in your family have died from depression than have from cancer."

But she doesn't want or need to know the rather depressing suicide statistics in our family. She needs reassurance. Which thankfully, I can give her.

"Well, yes darling; some people do die from this. But I'm not going to."

And I'm not.

Oh, the temptation is there. Every single bloody episode of depression it's there. Ironically the impulse grows stronger just before I'm able to leap out of the pit (or – for readers of previous blogs – just before the leviathan spits me out).

But I can't do it. I'm loved too much. Only today I got a present from my son and his girlfriend. It was a mug with the legend, "You are loved. Now and Always. And don't you forget it!" written in happy lettering.

And that reminds me how quickly things can change. This time last year I didn't have my son Tom (see You Can't Choose Your Family, 18th February 2015) and he didn't have his Jenny. Things can change in a heartbeat.

My husband loves and needs me. Tom, Jenny and my daughters love and need me. I couldn't ask my mother and siblings to go through the whole mess of suicide yet again.

So I have to hold on. For their sakes. For your sakes (because you guys would be upset too – wouldn't you?)

I'm not able to slip away unnoticed, unremembered, unforsaken.

Damn.

So I'm staying for my family. I'm staying for you. Until I'm better and it seems worth staying for life itself. That will happen soon. I promise. It has before. It will again. It will. It will. It will.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Barbara Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 4:45am

Yes Mary, it certainly will. Cyber love to you. xx Barbara.

Sally Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 5:33am

We guys WOULD be upset, Mary!! Fortunately, it looks as if you have enough "reasons for living". Nowadays, at least, depression is talked about. Forty years ago, people often suffered in silence and the anguish in their head spun round like a load in a washing machine.
I am a firm believer in the talking therapies at such times, in conjunction with pills, if they work for the individual. It saved me from an untimely death.
Sharing with us like this as you did, Mary, is healthy ,and promotes understanding of the condition, I believe. Everyone is a potential sufferer. No one would want censure ,or the condition trivialised. All of us hope for a swift resolution and cure for a nasty illness. This is what I sincerely wish for you today, Mary. We are crossing fingers for you!

Nithu Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 5:36am

I have been a part of Moodscope, reading the blog almost everyday for about 3 years now. I have never made a comment on any body's post. But today, after reading your post, I want to. I don't know you, but I definitely love your posts. So yes, you are loved :)

Melissa Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:06am

Dearest Mary, your blogs just reach right into my heart and make me feel not so very alone! My eyes water as I write! Your words and thoughts are so elegant. My hope is that you will feel well again soon, and until then, let the love sustain you through the darkness. You have a beautiful soul. With love, Melissa from the U.S.A.

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 9:17am

So glad you've pooped by to introduce yourself Nithu, will be great having you along for our bumpy ride together! Bear x

Nick Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 7:03am

I would be upset, Mary. xx

Debs Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 7:14am

Hi Mary - I haven't posted for a while because I'm in a bad place but I just wanted to reach out and hold your hand. At the moment I don't see the point, don't see any joy but your blog has reminded me that I am loved. My son and my parents and my sister all love me and I couldn't do it to them. Thank you for such a beautifully written piece, the world needs your talent and your heart so stick in there xxx

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 9:16am

Feel betterer soonest, Debs...thinking about you. I was lucky enough to see the kingfisher this morning and I hope by telling you all it will bring some cheer...bright flash of blue whizzed by, and it was the shiniest, bluiest blue. Bear hugs to all...x x x

LillyPet Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 10:05pm

Sounds beautiful Bear! Debs so sorry to hear that, big hug to you.LPxxx

Nikki Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 7:23am

Morning Mary, thank you for a beautifully written blog and for sharing how you are with us. I'm sorry to hear it's a tough time for you right now but admire your strength and determination. You are loved and it sounds like the love you have will carry you for a while until you get to a better place. Big hugs Mary xxx

Paul Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 7:24am

Gosh Mary that's one powerful story. You would leave a massive hole in lots of people's lives, it's very sad reading and talking about it. Please please don't even think about it. You are an inspiration to others. You have been low before, one of my little sayings is what a difference a day makes. Also
Never worry never hurry and always stop to smell the flowers. Hang in there Mary and read all the posts today I am not that good with words, but I know there is going to be lots.

A long virtual hug from Paul

Eleanor Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 7:30am

Hi Mary we need you so please continue sharing your life with us - it may sound strange to you but you are one of life's enhancers. Big Ellie hug to you. xox

Adam Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 7:47am

"So I have to hold on. For their sakes. For your sakes."

Damn right Mary!!

Lou Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:00am

"'So I have to hold on. For their sakes. For your sakes (because you guys would be upset too – wouldn't you?)"

Yes. You would be much missed, so would rather you stayed.

It's a tough fight some days but at least we are all here fighting it together!

Lou

Melissa Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:08am

Darling Mary, I don't know if my previous comment was posted but I just have to let you know that your words and thoughts are so elegant and profound. Please continue the fight, not only for your dear loved ones but for all those that you truly help with your blogs. I am eternally grateful. With love, Melissa from America. XO.

Hopeful One Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:11am

Hi Mary darling- great blog and yes you bet I would be damned upset!

I can cope with thoughts of suicide as I know its my top ANT or top NUT and as long as it only remains a thought. Like in when I say 'I wish I was dead' I know don't mean it. Its only when one plans the way one is going to do something or actually make an attempt that definitely needs professional help.

Anyway we all love you so there.

Fancy a joke?

A woman goes to doctors office. She is seen by one of the new doctors, but after about a few minutes in the examination room, she bursts out, screaming.Her own doctor meets her in the corridor and asks her why she is upset. She tells him so he goes to the new doctor. and demands, "What's the matter with you? Mrs. Terry is 63 years old, she has four grown children and seven grandchildren, and you told her she was pregnant?" The new doctor smiles smugly as he continues to write on his clipboard. "Cured her hiccups though, didn't it?"


Mary Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:44am

Thank you. Love this one!

the room above the garage Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 9:46am

Brilliant HO! I am passing that on go someone who needs it today! Thank you xxx.

Mary Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:21am

Thanks so much everyone. Love you all right back. Writing for you guys is another thing that keeps me going. Hugs to you.

Down the well Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:25am

Ah Mary, thank you again for another beautiful blog, I'm always happy to see your blogs arriving in my inbox as you write with such beauty and spirit. So yes trust me you'd be missed by this gal. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time just now but I hope youre buoyed up by the love you know is there for you from many many sources. Keep fighting the good fight and writing your wonderful and inspiring blogs. Your existence certainly enhances my life. Love DTW x

LillyPet Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:29am

Yes we would be so upset Mary. Your blog will have reached out to others who feel the same and will share the support it brings. What a difference a day makes indeed!

You and your blogs are loved and valued. Your loved ones give you reasons, but life itself can be beautiful for YOU and although at times the illness clouds that, I hope that there are also times when you are not in that place, but out in the light seeing the small and awesome beauties of life.

I hope that the right medical support is in place for you Mary. You are as entitled to it as much as if it were a physical treatment that you needed. I'd be interested to know.

Could you let us know how you are now? and thank you for your open and heartfelt blog.
Wishing you hope, faith, determination and sending you love and sunlight.

Even for your blog I know that laughter and smiles aren't too far away knowing this lovely lot!
The sky is bright after yesterdays storms!
Huge hug Mary, LP XXX

Mary Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:42am

Hi Lily pet. Where am I now? Just grinding along and taking one day at a time. I thought I'd come out of this latest down a couple of weeks ago but then did the usual trick of doing too much too soon so it's back to the sofa and the meds. Frustrating, but not too dire. Tom & Jenny are here this w/email so something for us all to look forward to.

Mary Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:43am

Weekend even - not email. Blasted auto correct!

Mary Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:44am

And thank you for asking and your concern.

LillyPet Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 10:21pm

You're more than welcome! One day at a time is the way to go, all I can deal with too! Disappointing when you don't pick up as soon as you'd hoped for. I know you dont like to stay on the meds, but it's a good thing to get the chemical balance right. Let them do their thing and rest if your body is telling you to. Lovely that you have something nice planned for the weekend. Take care of you. LP xxx

Mary Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 11:27pm

xxxxx

danielle Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 8:52am

Mary I am tearful just reading your post. It is Moodscope blogs which are the little bit of light on those mornings when I am almost disappointed to have woken up. You are SO loved, here and within your own family. I remember your blog about Tom and remember thinking just how beautiful you and your family must be for Tom to have adopted you all. You want to be there when your children have children and share those memories with them, when your girls walk down the aisle, to help them when they have their first heartbreak, to spend many more moons with your husband. there is so so much more happiness, memories and joy to come and soon you will see that these outweigh and engulf the darkness much more. and until that day - we are all here for you lots of love dani xxxxx

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 9:13am

Dear Mary....of course we'd miss you....what else to look forward to on a Wednesday??!!!
And following on from HO's funny joke...here's one about accountants....
What's the definition of a good accountant?

Someone who has a loophole named after him!

Keep smiling and shining, Mary, Mary.

Mary Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 10:33am

Hi Bear. Thanks so much for looking after folks here on the blog -esp when I don't have the energy to reply to everyone. Love and appreciate you so much.

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 12:36pm

Have sent you a kitty funny to keep your chins up! x

Vivien Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 9:17am

Hi Mary, yep, you would be missed and by so many. Sometimes, although painful, the awkward questions need to be asked and more often than not by those who love and care for us. I only joined Moodscope recently but I find it does help to 'talk' and be 'listened' to, and that's what happens here. I'll send you a 'virtual' hug - my teddy bears will also do the same. Take care
Love Viv
xxxxxx

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 9:19am

Ooh lubberly, Vivien...more bears! x x x

the room above the garage Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 9:44am

Hello Marydoll, a hard question indeed! For me, even contemplating what the world would be like without me in it can be the turning point in that particular battle. I also see it as my responsibility not to 'pass on a hot potato'...I will arm my children with knowing how to claw out of difficult situations not give them one. And in your reply and your opened with your children you have done just that. Love to you xxx.

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 12:40pm

It's sad, but when I'm ve ve low, I dont think my lot would miss me...I think they'd miss the clean house, the washing done, meals made oh and maybe some of the crazy words I come up with...they might miss those.....but when I'm on a higher rung of the ladder, I know that we all love each other and the glue holding us tight is still ve ve sticky! Am a rambling Bear, soz x x x

the room above the garage Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 9:45am

Opened = openness

susan Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 10:23am

Ohhhh Mary! If something happened to you....quite apart from the sorrow and loss we'd feel...there would be a lot of Moodscopers thinking 'If Mary couldn't do it, then what hope is there for me?'. We are all connected. And your repeated conquerings of your depression not only educates so many of us, but provides that beacon of light that, who knows? has possibly saved a few lives amongst us already. Sorry -- that's a bit too heavy, but you did ask:) Glad to know you are feeling a bit better. You've got such a rich and varied life, I can imagine how hard it must be not do 'the usual trick of doing too much too soon'. Sending love to you, Mary. xx

Lexi Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 12:17pm

For the sake of someone in Chicago that you have helped so much, hold on. But more importantly, for your sake Mary. My wish for you today is that you discover how to love yourself as much as your family (biological, adopted and Moodscope ones all!) loves you too.

The Gardener Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 12:27pm

Dear Mary - what courage - I gathered, through one or two things said, that those who run Moodscope kept off the possibility of what depression could ultimately lead to. I said in my last post to down the well last night that the temptation to leave forever the misery of depression is so great at times, but it is pure cruelty to inflict the aftermath on family friends. My real terror is that if my husband dies, I might go the same way and inflict this hell on my children. Many people, intelligent, articulate, responsible, are openly talking Switzerland when they see themselves as sick, incapable, and that awful, ubiquitous word, a 'burden'.

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 12:52pm

Hi TG....ah, Switzerland - now you see, that's my get-out-of-jail-free card...have already told mine to always keep enough money in the kitty to send me over to Switzerland (if I get something dreadful) because I have first hand experience on how badly they react when I have been laid up in bed after ops, for six weeks at a time (multiplied by three times for different ops) and they do not cope well. Everything is too much trubble and they become ve ve selfish. When I see them like that, I'd KNOW I won't be able to cope with them either so would rather beetle off out of it all. I am not trying to make this sound glib....I have also nursed my mother in law and mother through illnesses in hospital and we, as a family had to do more to care for both dear ladies than the staff did...so it's not a time in life that I look forward to, and am hoping it's either a blip on the horizon of a Bear's life, or not there at all. I do hope you are coping well today, as you always seem to dear TG...love Bear x

readerwriter Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 12:53pm

Mary -you live and write with truth and beauty and honesty. I don't underestimate that makes for hard work, and weariness. Thank you for your post -keep posting please.........

Crystal Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 1:36pm

I have been feeling really suicidal lately. It has constantly been on my mind. But thiS has helped me alot. The whole thing made me smile alittle which I Haven't been doing at all anymore so thank you...

Hitchhiker Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 2:05pm

Mary wrote me a reply yesterday that made me smile and get out of bed and so here is one for you Crystal. There are many of us battling these obnoxious thoughts and forgetting to smile. Forgetting to feel loved, seen valued. Well, I for one am thankful you and Mary and the other kind folks here ARE still here. Thanks and hope you give yourself credit for writing here and smiling in the dark. HH

Colette Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 2:45pm

O Mary, please don't leave us! I love reading your blog entries, each one makes me think deeply and cheers me up at the same time. Don't give up! We need you.
Thanks for your words, always!
Colette xxx

Dave Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 3:03pm

You are loved by many as we all are....I kind of think about suicide in a different manner...it is not that one really wants to harm themselves. Instead it is more that we do not want to continue living in a depressed state...to me this is a big difference when one thinks about it. So instead of harming one self we fight and battle and never give up and most of the time we ultimately prevail over these dreaded ailments. Love you all and yes you too Mary

The Gardener Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 5:58pm

To Bear, really. I was coping - things even happening positively (even scads ready for 'treat' visit to my pal at the dump on Friday). Then, to hospital. Husband seemed to have been saving up moans all day. Could not even start on my 'programme' of entertainment. He has to be restrained, but he hates it, and as I was there they took the belts off and 'put him on his honour' not to get up. I was exhausted and dropped off for nano-seconds. He was attempting to move into another chair, wheelchair would have slid away, and, behold, a fall. Had to keep eyes glued to him almost all the time, he insisting that he could walk perfectly well. I try to get in to him that in the last series of falls he finally lost the sight in the right eye. But I am the wicked witch. Despairing, trying to organise for him to come home - I don't want him in an institution nor does the country want to pay for it - but I am so desolate, do not feel I will every be physically, spiritually or emotionally strong enough to cope with this poor creature who is still my husband, and, yes, a burden.To add to the sadness I am down to two children who are willing to help - the other three have 'chickened' out. Going tomorrow with a friend, my kids' age, who's troubles nearly outdo mine - we shall lunch and buy cheap cheap Christmas decorations for my shop. Seeing geriatric doc tomorrow afternoon - what is our future? Is there a future. I feel a bit Mary-ish, who WOULD care if I was not there? Sick-ish joke Bear, two artistic, musical and very talented friends are saving up for Switzerland to go 1st Class. Bet they get bumped off the plane(no pun intended, not very funny anyway)but it would please Mr Sod no end. Oh, light relief, do you remember the scene in 'What's new Pussycat' when Woody Allen was trying to commit suicide? For the rather gloomy air of today's writing we ought to light a mythical bon-fire, sit round it, hold hands and sing songs of hope. All together now. 'My favourite things' a bit too silly? For all of us, one nice thing to happen tomorrow may bring others in its wake.

Nicola Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 7:15pm

Beautifully written Mary, and so powerful. I think it is a good thing to acknowledge the darkness, and the temptation to leave - it is the elephant in the room that we dare not mention, and that means that other people do not realise how many people have those thoughts, and that they are not alone in them. I think Dave is quite right, it's not about choosing to leave as much as not being able to carry on. But it will get better. It must. And it always has before. Thinking of you x

The Gardener Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 7:43pm

I hope Moodscope won't come up with a bill for the space I take up! For Nicola - just had an hour of lively conversation with an old friend - coalman's son who has done the most amazing things. I left my husband after a horrid three hours -I come home, and want him home at any cost - but in his present state I could NOT carry on. And to Bear and Switzerland - not flip at all, I reckon lots of people have looked it up. To 'let go' there is a serious business. You can't just get fed up, turn up, ask for a lovely room facing the mountains, and ask for a bottle of Bollinger with your injection. With the info come endless 'add-ons' of organisatons, many religious, all set to persuade you out of these feelings. Listening to marvellous jazz - MAKE myself do very positive things in the evening - going to bed on my own with TV, however good - only underlines the loneliness, and that it is not a 'shared' life anymore.

Camilla Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 10:16pm

Huge huge sympathy - so glad you've had all these wonderful comments

Victoria Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 10:24pm

It's so hard when the idea of the relief of just not being here anymore becomes more and more appealing. I've spent the day organising fundraising for our local refuges and plans to run some craft sessions to cheer up the residents. But when I think about it this evening I think I'm subconsciously trying to arrange engagements that will make me feel too guilty to let go. I am so lucky in a lot of ways and yet so sad.

I'm sorry, I desperately wanted to write something positive. I always enjoy your posts Mary and you literally bring colour to the world.
Best wishes

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 10:27pm

Brilliant, Victoria...doing for others always gives our minds comfort as well as 'giving' of ourselves to others...sorry if that doesn't make sense...time I was in bed...but glad you wrote in. Bear x

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 10:25pm

Dear Tg...you are flipping amazing and you deserved that lunch today with your friend. You really needed the break and a bit of distractin from the ordeals that are your daily visits to Mr TG? And to think you are still trying to sort out chrimbly decorating for your shop too?!!! Bless your liddle cotton socks missus...I bow to your greatness and as you have been told before...don't worry about writing to any of us here...one of us is always around at some point in the day to reply in some way. Don't worry about a bonfire..candles are lit for you both and all of the wonderful peeps here on Moodscope.

Note to Crystal....write to us when you're feeling so bad...we are here to help everyone :) Biggest
Bear hugs x x x

Mary Wed, Nov 18th 2015 @ 11:39pm

It's 11.31pm and this is my last check-in for the day. It's not been a great day, but when I read all your comments I am buoyed up immensely. We are indeed a community. We all go through dark times (TG - please don't stop sharing with us - I love your posts - even when (especially when) you go through and share with us those dark times). In my day job, while I know that I bring immense value to my clients, who can really extend honour and recognition to an "Image Consultant"? Likewise, when does a "wife and mother" gain standing in the world? But if I can stand tall and say "I brought hope to a community struggling with depression" then I can tick that "proud" box with more than a grudging "1". Many of you have been kind enough to say that my posts help you. Please know that your comments help me far more than I can ever hope to help anyone. I love you all. Thanks to you I will survive another night and another week.

Sophie Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 12:54pm

Dear Mary
This is my first ever post on Moodscope, but I was so moved by your blog that I wanted to let you know that you should feel so proud of the fact that you don't want to cause pain to your family and friends. I didn't read it yesterday as I was chasing my tail, but so glad I opened the email and read it even a day late. My husband committed suicide just over 3 years ago. Every day I miss him desperately and wish I had somehow realised where his thoughts were heading. Having had depression myself (which is why I subscribe to moodscope)I have some understanding of how dark life must have been. I defend him when people say what a selfish thing to do, as in his mind he didn't think he had a choice. However,for my three children and myself life will never have the same meaning without David. He brought such light and joy into our lives despite his annual blip with anxiety and depression. I just want to add my voice to say that you are obviously a very special person and I am so glad that you can hold onto that even in your darkest moments. The long term effects on my children are yet to be realised, but my eldest son is struggling with his own mental health issues and has become addicted to cannabis as a consequence of trying to cope with his feelings. Believe what your family say to you and keep posting as you bring such hope and support with your perspective. Thank you. Sophie

Victoria Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 6:54pm

Thank you for posting. I really appreciated your point of view and sharing about your husband's death. I found it reassuring somehow when I'm in a dark place.

Sophie Fri, Nov 20th 2015 @ 2:01pm

I am so glad you found some reassurance in my post. It helps me keep going thinking that what I have experienced could potentially help others. I have read your earlier post and am sorry you are struggling. You did write something very positive - you are reaching out to other people and that in itself is really important and I hope in time will make you realise you have huge value not just to others, but as yourself. keep going. Hugs Sophie

Laura Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 1:41pm

@Sophie, I'm so very sorry to hear this. Every day you make it through, every time you do something nice for someone, you are winning.

Mary, I would miss you, too. "Oh, the temptation is there. Every single bloody episode of depression it's there. Ironically the impulse grows stronger just before I'm able to leap out of the pit..." But somehow, we do. Our innermost selves are somehow able to escape from that pit, despite ourselves. Impossible as it sometimes seems, we are each stronger than we even know.

Some days, it's 5 minutes at a time. Keep hanging in there - you must be doing something right!

Laura from Minnesota :)

Liz Sat, Nov 21st 2015 @ 3:40pm

Thank you for staying, Mary.
And I look forward to reading more of your blogs.
You are loved.
Liz

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