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On the periphery. Sunday January 29, 2017

A theme runs through my life, of being on the periphery. Somehow always on the edge of what's happening. But it feels comfortable here, in the cloisters, a soft web shades, protects and envelops me. I can watch what's going on in the brighter centre from safety, without an uncomfortable spotlight on me, a grey shadowy image. Undisturbed.

For several years I have been reading the Moodscope blogs. I don't have the terrible challenges that some of the other writers have. I admire their bravery and courage; tears come to my eyes as they describe their feelings and thoughts. One day I realise, I am watching, from the outside, a different world. I feel like some sort of voyeur- I stop reading.

A couple of weeks go by. Then I come back, now I am reading not just the blogs but also the comments, some times a few times a day - I wonder what I am doing. I realise that no I don't have severe depression or anxiety, but I know that in my adult life, I have stubbornly fought against being mildly depressed refusing to accept it, and I must have more anxiety than a "normal" person. I hadn't noticed the anxiety - my family & friends had commented. The conclusion is, here I am because I am on the borders, not somebody with entrenched depression and anxiety but with some mild condition, and the blogs help me.

So from the cloisters for those in the centre, I salute you and offer to share my woolly web cloak to warm and protect you.

A Moodscope member.

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

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Molly Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 5:39am

Hi Rachel, I wonder if I am on the borderline too. Severe depression I do get, but when I look at mental health sites, the people seem much worse off than me, it's a difficult one isn't it, it's a minefield. I haven't found a place to talk as civilised as this. Sometimes I am in despair, sometimes I'm kind of ok. I'm fighting all the time to be somewhat normal, as I think that is where I should be. Sadly some people don't have that capability at all, which is why I struggle, because I appear capable, so no one takes me seriously really, but I suffer with depression, big time, and anxiety, a separate illness in itself, not something I can say others notice (I wish they would) but I'm feeling that cloak you offer, thank you xx

Isabella Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 7:32am

Molly, I've written a bit more to you on second year running at the end xx

Hopeful One Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 8:36am

Hi Molly - while anxiety and depression may appear separate illnesses in reality they are linked.So most people with depression will also suffer from anxiety and vice verse. One may suffer from too much of one or the other. The link between the two are the 'losses' we suffer in our lives These can be real , perceived, tangible , intangible , imagined - the list is endless and often individual. One person's 'loss' can mean nothing to another. Depression is thus a reaction to our loss/ losses in the past and anxiety is a reaction to a loss / losses in the future. The exception to this appears to me to the bi polar condition where tthe depressive phase may have a different explanation.The treatment of depression and anxiety involves rewiring the brain circuits so the individual learns to cope with their loss ..but that is another story!

Jane Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 8:55am

I liked your explanation of losses Hopeful One. This is useful. Thank you x

Sally Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 10:52am

That's really interesting, Hopeful One, and a new way of explaining it to myself. Thank you for putting it in a nutshell.

Rachel Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 12:03pm

Hi Molly - I hope you are ok. I wrote the blog thinking about the struggle, that so many have on a daily basis, and how hard they work and strength they need to do the everyday things. I guess there are many others who on the surface are serene like a swan but underneath the surface are paddling like mad and struggling to keep afloat. For me I didn't want to be depressed and fought against admitting it. Perhaps admitting it, gave me a chance to do something- to read the Moodscope blogs which help. I guess if others understood they would also empathise with you. Take care and don't be too hard on yourself

Molly Mon, Jan 30th 2017 @ 6:57am

Thanks Rachel and Hopeful One. Very interesting and helpful xx

Hopeful One Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 8:52am

Hi Rachael - I have written at length above but you might be interested to know that so called mild depression is one of the most difficult to correct . Admittedly not too helpful to you but maybe let you realise not to best up yourself too much because of it .

My laugh for today .

A new dentist set up in a small town and quickly acquired a reputation of being the latest kind of "Painless" dentist. But a local chap quicky disputed this. "He's a fake ! " he told his mates. "He's not painless at all. When he stuck his finger in my mouth I bit him - and he yelled like anyone else."

Rachel Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 11:47am

Love the joke for today and thanks for the comment

Jane Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 8:54am

I like your blog Rachel. I felt quite reassured by it as sometimes I've been unsure whether I 'belong' to the Moodscope family as I've never had a diagnosis, apart from for anixiety, although I do suffer from bouts of depression, paranoia, I'm 'too' sensitive' and overthink everything. I've read Moodscope for many years but have only recently began to comment. By commenting and receiving replies I have gradually felt better about being here and it's helped me so much. Thank you for the cloak x

Rachel Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 11:48am

Yes it is good join and comment and see so many ideas and views

DAVE Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 9:15am

Hi Rachel,
My middle daughter Rachel who is 40 has a mild bipolar, diagnosed about 4 years ago. She follows in her Dad's footsteps, she's one of life's real givers. Goes more than the extra mile and consequently 'Burns Out'. But where we differ is she procrastinates quite a bit which gets her anxious and always in a muddle...mislaying her car keys. We smile a lot when she brings her two children with her, her husband due to his partnership in his solicitors firm, sometimes comes separately.
Rachel's sounds very much like you, although she stands back and watches, but not for long. Her circle of friends love her, but she can become ascertive when she needs too.
If you are happy as you are that's good, but if you feel bereft, alone or lonely, try giving a little more, go the extra mile.....where others give up because, in so doing it will completely change your life. It takes time and a lot of compassion...In so doing we become part of all that goes on around us...Also miracles start to happen for no reason, we feel 'uplifted' and very blessed !
Thank you Rachel for your blog today....
Dave X
ps you may well be a true giver already, and may well be a witness to all that is happening around you, non of which is coincidental.

Rachel Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 11:50am

I hadn't thought about things in the way you describe it is helpful. I used to be lonely but not too much these days. My thought is I am a giver, but also need take care of myself

Michael Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 4:20pm

Just to redress the balance: this is a double edged sword. I went the extra mile, giving, thinking of others first before myself, being up all night with victims of sexual assault etc. Now I'm burnt out and a basket case. Would I do things differently in retrospect. YES. More boundaries, more reflection on work life balance. I am not indispensable, someone else can help out, if I am struggling or need rest and most importantly learn to say NO.

Molly Mon, Jan 30th 2017 @ 7:07am

Like you Michael, I burnt myself out too. Not only with my work (where I went completely well above the call of duty) but also in my personal life, over the years, I did far too much for other people and then crashed and realised that none of those people were there for me. I doubt I will change my caring nature but I hope I have learnt some lessons.

Leah Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 10:19am

What an intriguing blog. I also feel on the periphery of many things in life. I think moodscope is a welcoming inclusive community so we all belong here and we shouldn't compare our depression with others . It does not matter if we have a label if we have strong or mild-whatever that is depression we all are one community.

Rachel Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 11:53am

Hi Leah - yes Moodscope feels and is very inclusive- I think that is why it is so valuable- the walls are only in the mind and really there at all. Thank you

Rachel Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 12:04pm

Typo meant not really there at all

Christine Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 11:11am

thank you Rachel for this blog I understand exactly where you are coming from, I have mild depression and have anxiety too, there are so many sufferers who are much worse and I try and count my blessings every day, live in the moment. I too feel on the edge of things, outside looking in. thanks again Rachel

Rachel Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 9:20pm

Thank you christine

Vivien Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 12:39pm

Thanks Rachel for your blog. I too feel anxious and 'hide' away. What I am afraid of, I don't know. I sometimes read the blogs and think, do I really belong here. I don't suffer a full blown mental illness or depression, and can I just say to those of you who do, my cuddly warm blanket (and soft toys) are here for you. I feel a fraud, but maybe I am mildly depressed - anxious & paranoia yes. I just welcome the opportunity to be honest and not be judged by those who don't know or understand.

Rachel Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 9:20pm

Soft toys - sounds lovely

Lacey Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 1:10pm

I feel like I am dressed in your cloak and it seems to me that it is a 'cloak of goodness' my gut tells me this although I don't know you and we have never met....
As others have stated mild depression is hard to deal with ,we all find ways to cope and live our lives to the full as best we can.
I am going through a good stage,my Bro asked me when I will 'go down'and truthfully I told him I did'nt know. I have cycles,4 months fine and then 4 months completely floored. Unable to stand,pain in the whole of my body (tension) and aches and pains everywhere. With anxiety going through the roof and unable to leave the house I spend those four months telling myself 'it's only here for a while,it WILL go.It WILL go IT WILL GO......and then I wait until it does go and I can start to live again.....Hurrah!!
Pants eh??!! But there are many others out there that are much worse than me and I have friends who's stories I could tell to prove what I write but I have no plans for that;it's personal and confidential.
None of us are perfect,thank God.
Please blog again, like you I read the comments on a daily basis however it can be time happy!! ;-))

Rachel Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 9:21pm

Thank you

Maria Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 2:07pm

Hi Rachel - I love your blog! You are a warm and giving person who has touched many today. Isn't it wonderful to belong to such a supportive community?! We all belong here. Thank you!

The Gardener Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 4:11pm

Such an interesting blog - I am in a totally ambivalent state - everything has been done for Mr G this week-end, friends, nurses, mass, out to lunch - he's still sunk in abject self-pity - exhausted, I went up to bed, leaving notice in kitchen window. Too upset to sleep I came down - he'd fetched the neighbour - she is charming - not 50 - husband only one lung, cannot work, cannot go out in cold or damp - yet she 'gives', lovely voice in church. But the 'on the periphery' got me. Very different to Rachel - I tried to write a novel around my Pa - a brilliant man who never realised his full potential - I called it 'Always on the outside'. He had a dreadful childhood and a marriage which was an awful mistake - for the rest of his life he looked for the 'perfect' woman. As he was good-looking, well-dressed and drove a beautiful car there was no shortage of candidates - but he could never maintain a relationship - would introduce me to the newest (an Austrian Baroness at one point) I'd GOT to like them, THE woman of his life. Three months or so later, he'd never been so deceived in his life, I then had to un-like them. Moodscope is marvellous - but you've got to be ready to use it - Mr G would never have accepted the need for such a 'service' would have been classed in the disdained 'guru' category.

Rachel Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 9:22pm

I guess it takes all sorts to make the world take care

Michael Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 4:13pm

Hi Rachel, the problem with depression "the invisible" disease, is that it is difficult to get a proper handle on it, especially from a subjective point of view.

As a fully paid up member of the medical profession, who had(s) a special interest in psychiatry, it became evident to me, early on in my career that one of the first things to go, when people become mentally unwell, is "insight". So paradoxically as we become, increasingly unwell, we might become increasingly less likely to be aware that we are in fact ( possibly seriously) unwell. This is born out by research that it can often take up ten years for someone to present their problem to a GP. This was certainly true for me. At my first psychiatric appointment I was totally shocked when I heard the diagnosis of "severe" major depressive disorder. I had thought I might just be clipping moderate at most. Now I can look back and join the dots and it seems barn door obvious. But at the time when you are living through it, it was nowhere near as clear cut!

Michael Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 4:23pm

Anyway Rachel, you have a very useful tool, Moodscope. So you can keep track of your mood, objectively, over time and thus become aware sooner rather than later if things are deteriorating

Lexi Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 4:23pm

Hello Rachel! So nice to read your blog this am. I used to feel that way, about whether I "qualified" to be part of the Moodscope community. But I quickly realized a few things. A - this is not a competition to see who has the most severe depression or anxiety. B. All are welcome. And C. - suffering is personal and qualitative, not quantitative (if that makes sense). What constitutes suffering for me may not be the same for someone else. It's a matter of perspective and personal. I am sad, I struggle, I sometimes feel okay, other times really bad, and this community welcomes me with open arms, regardless. So for me I say welcome - it is so nice to have you here and read your kind words and hopefully we can help you in your times of need. xo Lexi

Michael Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 4:27pm

There has been a huge problem with child psychiatry in the UK, in that resources have been so limited that you can only get into the system once you are in the "severe" category. This is totally illogical as it has become increasingly apparent that the sooner things are caught and dealt with, the better the long term outcome. So you are quite right Lexi, ALL should be welcome

The Gardener Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 6:04pm

Vivien, I've often said here that I feel a fraud - letting out my anger and frustration. But you don't have to be a fully paid-up depressive to use Moodscope - the help and exchange of ideas which emanate from each daily blog have something for everybody I reckon.

Rachel Sun, Jan 29th 2017 @ 9:24pm

Thank you for lovely comments and the thought provoking discussion- it is a real community so open and accepting. Take care

LP Mon, Jan 30th 2017 @ 7:54am

Rachel, I'm so glad you spoke up. You will have spoken for many. Sometimes I feel guilty being here as I'm not severely depressed or have bipolar. But something has made me continue regardless. My head knows that it's not about comparisons and that moodscope is open to anyone who feels they need it's support. We are valid and deserving, all of us.
You have done the most amazing thing for you by stepping out of the shadows. You werent hiding though or being a voyer. Simply reading but not commenting like so so many people must also do.
So hi! It's good to "see" you and I hope you now feel free to be yourself here and not comment unless you feel like it! :) Big hugs. LPxx

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