Moodscope's blog

28

July


Coping with 'Moods' through the ages. Thursday July 28, 2016

The news Tuesday morning was of another mass killing – in Japan – different in that the murderer wished to 'cleanse' Japan of handicapped people.

Quixotically, on my desk is the manuscript of a book I wrote in the 1970's on manic depression. More than a generation ago. Technology has galloped on in treatment, and most dramatic that we can share our worries through this medium. At the same time the population is aging and depression on the increase, whilst funds and personnel to 'care' decline.

I looked back at treatment through the ages. Herbal and other concoctions have been used right through history, many of our modern drugs still have a botanical derivative.

For many centuries any malady of the mind was thought due to pressure from within the body. Purgatives were often advised, and blood-letting a favourite, the leech (ugh) being used a lot.

In the Dark Ages any form of mental aberration was looked at as possession by devils, and these were cast out by exorcism, or at worst burning at the stake. Women sufferers were believed to be witches, and the practice of putting a stake through the heart when buried to stop them rising up to continue their witchcraft was popular.

In the late 17th century there was an idea that draining off some of the blood from someone mentally ill and substituting that with the equivalent from a healthy young man would do the trick.

In the 18th century it was shock tactics, flinging people into cold water, firing cannons, and confronting them with a facsimile of their own hallucinations.

Occupational therapy started in the Bicetre hospital in France. Psychiatry is pretty new, the other extreme being ECT and its like – still awful memories of the film One Flew over the Cuckoo's nest.

Among Moodscopers who have suffered long-term and recurrent depression, I'll use the question which was the subject of a previous blog of mine. 'From whence cometh your help?'

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

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


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Comments

Anonymous Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 7:18am

This is not a solution - nor indeed an answer to your question.However, for interest, since I mentioned the new study yesterday to Mary, if you did not see the article, you can find the link at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/07/22/encouraging-depressed-people-to-do-the-things-they-enjoy-could-s/ Go well.

Bridget Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 7:30am

When I was 20 and became aware of my dark thoughts, I was then rescued through discovering my passion for aerobics. As I've got older, I've come to realise that whilst this was absolutely brilliant for lifting my mood, I could also use it as a drug. Over the last 10-15 years, I have explored my spirituality more and I would say that my faith is the one and only thing nowadays that keeps my head above water through the good and the bad times and as time goes on, my faith has become more and more absolute and my dark times more manageable.

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 7:47am

Faith definitely, but also deciding to use my condition to help and educate others. It gives me purpose.

Jul Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 8:14am

The occasional valium! Acceptance that my depression is not as bad as it might be even though it seems pretty ghastly for me. Moodscope advice has been vital in my understanding of depression. Friends who treat me as normal. Therapy has never helped me although I acknowledge it helps many. Anti depressants have helped for 6 months only in the past. Not having to work for anyone has helped since it allows me to structure my day around my energy levels although this isn't always possible. Nothing really helps as I am still depressed/ insomniac but all the above helps me to get through each day. Lovely writing Gardener. Onwards and upwards. Julxx

The Gardener Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 8:24am

Thanks Jul, Mr G waiting for taxi - I am drawing on every bit of inner strength to cope with 24 hour harrassment and misery. Whilst writing the blog I remembered a modern day cruelty I experienced. We were in India, deep in every human misery possible. I'd made baby clothes - I was sent to a Mother Teresa refuge (they sold the clothes and bought cheap, very sensible). That order takes all the human detritus the other organisations refuse. This was a scary psychiatric 'home', near prison, due to state of some of 'patients' (and the fact that they could not afford drugs). A lady 'fastened' on to me, and we walked round the courtyard hand in hand. She told me her husband was a professor at the University and her two children students. She herself spoke excellent English, so she had been educated. I presumed she was hallucinating, but no. She was either depressed or suffering menopause - she was telling the truth - and her husband had thrown her out, literally, into the road - where the police picked her up and took her to the convent. Being India, I presume that there was no come-back on the husband.

Leah Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 9:05am

Gardener,
Thanks for your blog. I have often been grateful that I wasnt born 50 to 100 years earlier than I was, because I would have been locked up in an asylum.
After over 40 years of living with a diagnosis I feel my help must come from within as ulimately I am the only one who can help me and I must draw on inner strength. Friends, moodscope, books, family all help but it really is up to me.
I hope your words help you as much as they help and touch others. xx

Sue Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 9:24am

Morning all, after 30 years of recurrent depression and anxiety I now take a low dose of anti d which I'm sure does some good but recently I'm trying to just accept my mood and thoughts, waiting it out and not going mad trying to keep busy. As a popular story book says 'you can't go round it, you can't go over it, you can't go under it, you have to go through it'. It has helped a lot but everything I've read seems to point to the busy, busy element. Hmmm we shall see. Sue xx

Duma Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 10:36am

Not susceptble to depression, being a 'pure manic'.
But I do have a strategy for burning off the excess energy of 'the foothills' of mania.
I practice. I'm a mart artist (of thirty years standing) and I find that the augmented physicality of the mania helps me adapt, adopt and improve my style. Plus it lifts the mood.

Duma Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 10:39am

Oh and I always take my meds.

the room above the garage Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 10:54am

Lots has helped over the years, in fact the current thing I try always helps. And then it doesn't and I try another. It's a see saw. At the moment little is helping and it's frightening falling down the spiral wondering how far, how cold, how dark, how lonely, how long. The hardest part it never knowing it is GONE. I do remember how it feels to be free. Thank you TG, love ratg x.

Another Sally Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 12:19pm

When I was younger, and had a young family, I used to go to an aerobics class. The vigorous exercise burnt off 'stress toxins', I also did a yoga class. These two things complemented one another. I no longer do aerobics, as knees not good enough. I swim regularly - in summer in beautiful outdoor pool- and I do Iyengar yoga. The yoga poses really bring body and mind together - trouble is I don't get around to practicing at home, only once a week at class.


Mary, I loved your blog yesterday. Why do we always feel guilty wanting some time and space for ourselves? I am the same and in your situation, would relish a few days to myself, especially taken as a 'holiday' . The perfect staycation. Enjoy yourself.

Gardener, I read your contributions with interest and feel so deeply for you in such a difficult situation. God bless you and give you some respite from your daily trials. The garden is a wonderful place to be. I can see mine through the window and there is a large drift of big white daisies, nodding in the breeze.
Go well fellow Moodscopers.
Love Another Sally

Another Sally Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 12:19pm

When I was younger, and had a young family, I used to go to an aerobics class. The vigorous exercise burnt off 'stress toxins', I also did a yoga class. These two things complemented one another. I no longer do aerobics, as knees not good enough. I swim regularly - in summer in beautiful outdoor pool- and I do Iyengar yoga. The yoga poses really bring body and mind together - trouble is I don't get around to practicing at home, only once a week at class.


Mary, I loved your blog yesterday. Why do we always feel guilty wanting some time and space for ourselves? I am the same and in your situation, would relish a few days to myself, especially taken as a 'holiday' . The perfect staycation. Enjoy yourself.

Gardener, I read your contributions with interest and feel so deeply for you in such a difficult situation. God bless you and give you some respite from your daily trials. The garden is a wonderful place to be. I can see mine through the window and there is a large drift of big white daisies, nodding in the breeze.
Go well fellow Moodscopers.
Love Another Sally

The Gardener Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 1:11pm

Sue - I gather you feel having to be 'busy' is a doubtful answer. But I reckon inertia and depression feed on each other - doing something, anything might break the cycle - physical activity seems to be the cure-all these days - news item this morning - 8 hours at our office desk will kill as quickly as smoking! (True, radio 4).RATG - this spiral - how do we know what triggers depression? Heart, emotions, brain, sentiment - often physical illness and its aftermath. There is one early warning system I know is true - the tone of voice - flattens with depression - BUT someone has to notice it, have the courage to issue the warning then risk the 'nothing wrong with me'. Leah, yes, we are lucky to live in a more understanding world - and, yes, you are right - we only have ourselves in the last analysis. I am now coping with fear at nights - dealing with a person who is no longer reasonable - trying to work out a modus operandi - but somebody threw the rule book away. Another Sally - garden definitely soothing - will go and scrub terraces - most satisfying.

Cyndi Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 1:21pm

Thanks for your blog! It struck some memories. One, I was a Occupational Therapist, working in Mental Health at a state Psychiatry Facility for most of my career, until depression "got" me, once again. I have had many bouts with extreme depression, but with that bout I had to retire from a career I loved. It was a long climb out - one step forward and 2 steps back became the norm. What got me through was DBT, ECT medications,and a loving husband, through thick and thin. DBT (Dialtect Behavioral Therapy) was very humbling. Here I was, I taught cognitive behavioral skills, to both clients and staff. Heck, I even lead a humor group for the chronically mentally ill, then here I was, I was one of them and I wasn't laughing! In my worst times, I even had 2 sequences of ECT12-16 sessions each). They were both life savers, I was so grossly suicidal. It took me a long time, but I now have a life worth living. I am very involved with various hobbies and interests daily. That doesn't mean I am with out depression. It still gets me once in awhile. Moodscope helps greatly in monitoring my condition. Low scores send up red flags that I need more help. Thank you for your blog and to all who keep moodscope going.

John Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 4:07pm

w

John Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 4:14pm

I had depression as a child and no one knew what it was. I had depression as a college student and everyone - including me - thought it was my fault - "laziness," "poor choices," "lack of direction," etc. I had depression as a successful young adult and I first knew something was "wrong" and sought help, but still didn't acknowledge the illness. It's taken YEARS (about 15) of half-hearted attempts, ignorance, and failed treatment to get to the best place I've been in years.

Most helpful (in no order):
1) admitting I needed medication;
2) not giving up on therapy when I went to multiple people who just didn't work for me;
3) not giving up on medication when I tried multiple drugs and dosages that didn't work for me;
my wonderful spouse;
4) talking openly to my sister who spent 15 years of trial and error;
5) committing to a spiritual path;
6) paying attention to myself, with the assistance of tools such as Moodscope.

Tutti Frutti Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 9:54pm

John I agree with so many of your helpful things, particularly the need to stick with it trying out different meds and counsellors if necessary to find the one that helps you. TF x

John Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 2:52pm

That's probably my biggest lesson: keep trying. Thanks, TF and thanks, Gardener, for the blog post

Antonella Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 5:52pm

Hi Gardener! 12 years ago I suffered from depression (this is a self-diagnosis, as I did not seek help).The depression lasted 2 or 3 years. At the time, I found an exercise book based on principles of cognitive behavioural therapy useful, and I used to think that it helped me get better. However I have read that depression tipically lasts 2 or 3 years, so maybe the book had nothing to do with the end of my depression.

I was very motivated to get better because I wanted to have children. I was married, years passed, and I really wanted to get better so I could have children.
From the book I learned tactics not to get depressed. This was both a good and a bad thing, because later on I have also been very unhappy, but I kept in a state of equilibrium with my unhappiness.

Maybe I am manic depressive. But I have decided I prefer not to get a label. I prefer to try and find a way of coping with my strong mood swings, and with my eccentricity.As a scientist, you can play the “I am sort of a mad scientist” card. I am also somewhat artistic/arty, so my childish enthusiasms and catatonic downs can also be seen as part of my being a “creative type”.
I have started psychotherapy one and a half years ago. Humanistic existential psychotherapy. You don’t get labelled. Psychotheray is helping me a lot. I had, and still have, problems in relationships. This has improved, and so now I feel less lonely. My mood still goes up and down. But I am closer to accepting that I am like this, and I am trying to find meaning in my life, and I am looking for my way of making sense of my life, and of how I am.

Antonella Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 5:52pm

Hi Gardener! 12 years ago I suffered from depression (this is a self-diagnosis, as I did not seek help).The depression lasted 2 or 3 years. At the time, I found an exercise book based on principles of cognitive behavioural therapy useful, and I used to think that it helped me get better. However I have read that depression tipically lasts 2 or 3 years, so maybe the book had nothing to do with the end of my depression.

I was very motivated to get better because I wanted to have children. I was married, years passed, and I really wanted to get better so I could have children.
From the book I learned tactics not to get depressed. This was both a good and a bad thing, because later on I have also been very unhappy, but I kept in a state of equilibrium with my unhappiness.

Maybe I am manic depressive. But I have decided I prefer not to get a label. I prefer to try and find a way of coping with my strong mood swings, and with my eccentricity.As a scientist, you can play the “I am sort of a mad scientist” card. I am also somewhat artistic/arty, so my childish enthusiasms and catatonic downs can also be seen as part of my being a “creative type”.
I have started psychotherapy one and a half years ago. Humanistic existential psychotherapy. You don’t get labelled. Psychotheray is helping me a lot. I had, and still have, problems in relationships. This has improved, and so now I feel less lonely. My mood still goes up and down. But I am closer to accepting that I am like this, and I am trying to find meaning in my life, and I am looking for my way of making sense of my life, and of how I am.

Antonella Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 5:52pm

Hi Gardener! 12 years ago I suffered from depression (this is a self-diagnosis, as I did not seek help).The depression lasted 2 or 3 years. At the time, I found an exercise book based on principles of cognitive behavioural therapy useful, and I used to think that it helped me get better. However I have read that depression tipically lasts 2 or 3 years, so maybe the book had nothing to do with the end of my depression.

I was very motivated to get better because I wanted to have children. I was married, years passed, and I really wanted to get better so I could have children.
From the book I learned tactics not to get depressed. This was both a good and a bad thing, because later on I have also been very unhappy, but I kept in a state of equilibrium with my unhappiness.

Maybe I am manic depressive. But I have decided I prefer not to get a label. I prefer to try and find a way of coping with my strong mood swings, and with my eccentricity.As a scientist, you can play the “I am sort of a mad scientist” card. I am also somewhat artistic/arty, so my childish enthusiasms and catatonic downs can also be seen as part of my being a “creative type”.
I have started psychotherapy one and a half years ago. Humanistic existential psychotherapy. You don’t get labelled. Psychotheray is helping me a lot. I had, and still have, problems in relationships. This has improved, and so now I feel less lonely. My mood still goes up and down. But I am closer to accepting that I am like this, and I am trying to find meaning in my life, and I am looking for my way of making sense of my life, and of how I am.

Tutti Frutti Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 10:08pm

Gardener Thanks for a really interesting blog. Like Leah, it makes me feel lucky to be alive today. We may still not have a great understanding of mental health but at least there is much less stigma than there once was and we have some treatments which generally work. I'm glad to say we've moved on from the brutality of leeches for everything and treating people as witches. Here's hoping that the stigma will continue to reduce and future research will help develop more effective treatments and lessen the side effects some people have to suffer with the current meds.
Best wishes to you Gardener for the energy, resilience and patience to keep on going in your very difficult circumstances.
Love to all. TF x

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