bearthinking

About recovering from depression and suicide.

Day Seven, soon

I seem to have a couple or so people who check back at this site. I’m assuming you want the rest of “remembering to create: Day (x)”. I am working on days Seven and Zero even as we squeak. Really I am in spite (ha) of my ex’s recent “piss on you and all your works” attempt to blow my healing out of the water. I’m thinking of moving those to a separate page that would be more appropriately titled. Why? because there are more things to say then I had originally thought. it may beneficial for people to read some of the things that happen to a person who is not under treatment for depression. To read some of the things that they do. I did some things that were not so good, that I am not proud of. I am going to tell about them with both the outward, visible events/actions and the internal, subjective views; I will tell why I did what I did.

Some people would advise against this. And for understandable reasons. This culture has a messed up, an insane, attitude towards mental illness. You may want to skip the next paragraph or so, because here comes the socio-political “liberal” (if you really need a silly label) rant.

As a species, we need to grow up. Seriously, we need to get mature and get over ourselves. I have yet to know, meet, interact with a number of humans over the amount of zero who do not box people away to some degree; who do not label away individuality, who do not marginalize someone. This includes me, I know I am as guilty of this as most people. Most of us know it is wrong. And we hate it when it is done to us.

At various times and places around the world, human cultures have decided that various people were the acme and others the nadir of all that is human. In the United States of America, for the longest time there was an overt prejudice in favor of the melanistically deprived, Y-chromosome carrying, Protestant who spoke a particular language. Anyone who did not conform to this socio-physical template, or defer properly to those who did, was persecuted, and even prosecuted. It was so pervasive, so insidiously embedded in the culture that it is still attempting to undo the effects of it.

Part of virtually every culture’s acceptable social template ostracizes the mentally ill. Before the discovery of the neuro-chemical basis of mental illness and the attempts by pioneers in psychiatry and psychology to unravel the causes, this ostracism was to some extent understandable. Severe and untreated mental illness does present a risk to the sufferer, their immediate associates, and, in some cases, society at large.

But this particular ostracism is no longer needed, nor has it ever been desirable, in the majority. Comprehension of the neuro-chemical processes that form the basis of mood regulation has led to the development of a range of medications effective at treating depression, schizophrenia, paranoia, bi-polar disorders, and their kith and kin.

Medication is not a cure; I will repeat this, and beat it into the ground as it has to remembered.  It modifies the neuro-chemical cycles, but only for as long as the medication is in the body; when the dosage is discontinued or drops below a threshold, it is no longer effective.  Some medications are effecitve in some people but not others.  Also, medications can for some reasons loose effectiveness and the cycles return to the undesired state.

For seasonal or episodic depressions, this is not so much an issue.  The neuro-chemistry fluctuates away from a beneficial cycle, needs bolstering during the episode, then returns to it.  Please note, the medication does not cure the imbalance, any more than Nyquil cures a sinus infection.  The medication treats the symptoms while the body re-sets to its prior state.  Once the episode is over, the medication can be safely withdrawn.

But clinical depression is not a temporary imbalance, it is permanent.  The cycle is not functioning properly, and never will.  Proper and effective medication then becomes essential to the mental well-being of the sufferer.  Medication, however, is not enough.  It is conceivable that if caught early enough and with a proper medication regimen applied immediately, that would be all that was needed.

But life, as we all know, is not perfect.  Because it is not, because the education and compassion are lacking, depression etal., may go unrecognized or unacknowedged for years, and hence untreated. By the time it may be diagnosed and medically treated, the habits of depressive thinking are already formed.  The cause is moderated, but the symptoms remain.

This is where therapy comes in.  I know from personal experience, research, and interaction with other depressives, that therapy is essential to recovering and maintaining healthy personal and social functioning.  In some cases it is the only way we can find our way to it for the first time in our lives.

This two-fold approach to treating depression is highly effective, but only when applied diligently and as an on-going effort.  It loses its efficacy when either side is allowed to lapse.  A downspiral back into The Pit becomes virtually inevitable.  For those of us who have experienced joy again, or for the first time, this return is devastating; many of us cannot, will not, bear it again, we suicide.

This is where the most important third factor in recovery and continued mental well-being comes in.  The other people in our lives, loved ones, friends, co-workers.  The people who see us everyday, or most days.  The ones who can help us distinguish between everyday unordinary sadness, anger, excitement and the insidious creeping in of Depression and Depressive thinking.

We need these people.  We need to have those who are not looking at us for their own agenda, who want us depressed – and they do exist.  They may not realize that is what they want from us; then again, some consciously want us that way, their own compliant and dependant emotional, and sometimes physical, punching bag.  I have frequently noted that these people seem to be closet depressives themselves.  As psycho-pathologists can confirm, the most abusive people have been victims of abuse as well.

We need to make sure we have loving, personal support.  We need each other and we need those who do not suffer from clincal depression.  And society needs us.  We are artists, factory workers, lawyers, inventors, police officers, caregivers, friends, lovers, relatives, siblings, and parents.  We have valuable insights and shoulders to cry on, we have laughter, we have passion, we have righteous anger and merciful compassion, we are you and you are us, we need each other.  I don’t want you to take care of me, I want you to help me take care of myself, as I will help you.  If your hand has arthritis, you don’t cut it off, you treat the arthritis and continue with your life.

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December 18, 2009 - Posted by | autobio, depression, recovery, suicide | , , ,

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