Over the years on the Moodscope blog we have read not only of the prime motivator, depression, but bi-polar, PTSD, Autism, Aspergers, ME etc. The picture is not a joke.

These baboons were in Singapore Zoo, thus immune to predators. In the wilds they would have been a bonded pack – dominant male, the old sent off to die in the forest or be killed, mothers would have the babies attached to them; at signs of danger they would have headed for the high branches. They groomed each other, reducing illness. They ate well. Being extremely canny, when natural food ran short they came into town – I have seen them virtually hi-jack a banana lorry, denude a mobile canteen from the back, and attack room service trays in hotels. Being our forebears, did their genes carry the foundation of our mental sufferings today?

I have a neighbour, a young man of 24, who exhibits all the symptoms of Aspergers. I know his history, without spying, our houses had been divided, with thin dividing walls, and from our bedrooms we could see into each other's gardens. His parents had both divorced previous spouses, and married each other. She had custody of her 4 year-old son, he had grown up children. They then had a son and a daughter between them. The tension between stepfather and stepson was appalling, hysterics from mother and son, shouting from stepfather.

After 7 years, by which time the eldest boy was having psychiatric treatment, the decision was taken to send him back to his natural father. The younger brother was bereft, only word, they were buddies. Sixteen years later he walks with his head looking at the ground, talks to nobody, has never had a friend, never goes into the garden, does not listen to music (his bedroom is next to ours), has failed two lots of university courses, now out of work.

I've been lucky with truthful doctors. Treatment for manic depression was hopeless, would have wrecked the remaining kidney. Lithium drove me frantic. Doctor said WE would have to cope, the WE was vital. I could use Vallium, and Mogadon. We got a new doctor – first visit, what did I want? Repeat prescription for Vallium, please. Why? Well, I always have Vallium. Well, you are not having any more, you are totally dependent.

I have two crumbled vertebrae; orthopaedic surgeon said no surgery possible. He made me do all sorts of exercises, said I was very supple, and gave me 20 sessions with a physio. After 15 Jean-Luc said he could do no more, I was on my own, every sort of activity possible, and build up the muscles. So, for me, doors are shut. But now, if a Doctor refused the modern Vallium, would I have been able to get it on the Web? I know so many of you are really suffering, but if we are looking at a dearth of doctors and money, are we going to start having to take risks? Like self-help?

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

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