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The Depressive State. Sunday May 31, 2015

In the 1960's and 70's I was treated as manic-depressive, (in the 1980's it was discovered I wasn't). My access to medication was limited as I only had one good kidney – my excellent GP said 'We're on our own'. Recently, a news item said that there are 6 million people suffering from depression in the UK. The majority of treatment is by CBT – and the wait for any treatment at all is months. During my own time spent in that maelstrom I wrote a book on Manic Depression, some of which was published in the then Psychologist Magazine, the following was a chapter heading, 'The Depressive State'.

Greyness surrounds, the outlook bleak,
No hope, no joy.
Unreasoning, unreasoned hopelessness.
No future, no past,
The present a world without form,
Nor colour, nor light nor laughter
Can penetrate your unreceptive mind.
Amorphous, no will to live or die.
The pain in other people's eyes;
They cannot understand.
Yesterday, just yesterday
You cared, for you, for them, nothing has changed
But you.
To you even the trees have changed;
Twigs, branches, wind-blown leaves
Are one, are blurred,
Joined in the grey unending gloom
Of life,
Where light is now denied,
The light of life, the spirit, the desire
To live.
Living no longer, you exist, meaning has flown,
Oh God! Come back,
Desert me not, you cannot leave me here
Enmeshed in darkling thoughts, a lonely fear.
No one can enter in that sullen mind
Closed to all help, no giving out, no taking in,
Weighed down,
With nothing, for from nothing did this evil thing arise,
There's nothing to fight, nothing to see, nothing to feel.
Then, today the sun shone.

The Gardener.
A Moodscope member.

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Di Murphey Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 1:39am

Dearest Gardener ~
Your poetry cuts to the core of my experiences with the darkness of depression. "To you even the trees have changed ..." reminds me that my world is vastly different & I cannot expect others to see or to understand. It seems to me, we all just sort of fumble around each other.
Then you bring me full circle with your delightful ending phrases, "There's nothing to fight, nothing to see, nothing to feel. Then, today the sun shone."
It is a balm to read that the sun indeed is shining. Thank you, Gardener.

Julia Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 7:19am

Hi gardener. If your diagnosis was not manic depression or as it is now called, bi polar, may I ask what was the diagnosis? You seemed to describe well (I imagine because I am not bi polar) the sudden switch from gloom to brightness of mood that someone with bi polar disorder would experience. Are you recovered now and well again? I hope so.

Hopeful One Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 8:19am

Hi The Gardner- so pleased to hear from a fellow traveller. . So we'll put too . It is a national shame that so many individuals are unable to access the help they need to deal with their depression. The individuals I feel the most sorry for are those 10 to 15 % who are overwhelmed by the condition and take the ultimate step in their profound loneliness , isolation and hopelessness . Every time I read such a story my heart grieves at the failure of humanity to stretch a loving helping hand to them to turn them away from carrying out what they perceive permanent solution to a what is a temporary problem if only we could make them see it that way.

The Entertrainer Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 9:37am

Dearest Gardener, words come to mind (adapted). "My life was without form and void (of hope), then God said, 'let the Sun shine on the Gardener!'" Loved your poem. Touched me. Thank you!

Charlie Bransden Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 9:41am

Stunning. I normally have no time for poetry, being an uncultured serf, but that's good. Well done

Anonymous Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 9:41am

Hi Julia - problem was a minerals imbalance due to lifelong allergy to dairy products - could not access magnesium, causing all sorts of problems - acute moodswings, depression and suspected heart attacks. Not solved until I was 50! Now I suffer defeat and hopelessness, but that is 'outside' watching the decline of the person who was my husband with Alzheimer's. The Gardener

Julia Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 10:17am

Hi Hopeful. Please see the Gardener's reply to me below. I thought it might strike a chord. (I hope you don't mind)

Anonymous Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 10:23am

Thank you for this poignant post. Your description of despair is powerful. I believe the sensations and emotions you evoke may, however, also help us ultimately. If we can only bide our time, we can rediscover and cling to reasons for living. Go well.

Julia Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 10:32am

Thank you for explaining. I cannot imagine what you are going through now with your husband so ill and declining in his health as you watch. It sounds rather unfair that you are suffering twice so to speak.From what I know about Alzheimers the person who has it becomes quite selfish (through no fault of his or her own) and lives in a world of their own with little connection to those who love him.Very sad. But continue to write for us if it helps you. It helps us!

Anonymous Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 11:32am

Yours is a deeply touching story, dear lady gardener. As is your writing and the way you connect with people through your words. Thank you for this. susan xx

Di Murphey Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 12:18pm

I am smitten by the authenticity of your post. It is, by the way, poetry. Di

Anonymous Sun, May 31st 2015 @ 4:48pm

Hello The Gardener, what an accurate description, "even the trees have changed". There is always beauty in devastation, so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it with us, love from the room above the garage x.

Anonymous Mon, Jun 1st 2015 @ 1:50pm

Quid pro quo, dear friend.
It's hard enough I know
To feel your own pain
( John Lennon )

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