GeologicalScienceBlog - subjects include Geology, Climatology, Environmental Science, NASCAR, Beer, Property Rights, Random Thoughts, & Politics from a Christian Conservative/Libertarian/pragmatist viewpoint. As a Dad & Grandad, I am concerned about the overgrowth of government at the expense of freedom. Background - two degrees in Geology (BS '77, MS '90), started studying Geology beginning Senior Year of high school (1971 - 1972) <68>

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oh Gawd, My Therapist is a Liberal

It shouldn't surprise me - as that profession is infested with libs.  I have been seeing him for several months and he had seemed apolitical. Until yesterday, when he voiced his approval of Obamacare. We have developed a good rapport and he has helped me, so I really don't want to know any more of his political opinions.

A couple of steps back clarify. And to "come out of the closet". No, not THAT CLOSET! To come out and admit to my having battled "the beast" of Depression for more than 30 years. I have written about it at least a couple of times, here and here, in reference to writer William Styron and here in reference to Mother Teresa.

My words, from the first linked post:

..."William Styron is best known for "The Confessions of Nat Turner", "Lie Down in Darkness", "Sophie's Choice" and other works of literature. "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness", 1992, Vintage Books div. of Random House, ISBN 0-679-73639-5, details Styron's rapid descent into severe clinical depression, after reaching the age of 60, and his subsequent treatment and recovery."...

More from the first linked post:

..."Styron describes the descent of most people (including himself) with depression in this way (p. 47, hardback edition):

"But with their minds turned agonizingly inward, people with depression are usually dangerous only to themselves. The madness of depression is, generally speaking, the antithesis of violence. It is a storm indeed, but a storm of murk. Soon evident are the slowed-down responses, near paralysis, psychic energy throttled back close to zero. Ultimately the body is affected and feels sapped, drained."

My simpler way of saying it:

"People with depression generally blame themselves, thus they are probably not planning on "going postal". Those people that do "go postal" are people that blame others for their problems."

A bit more about Styron:

..."The unipolar depression suffered by Styron is different from the up-and-down of manic (bipolar) depression. Unipolar depression - attributed to imbalances of norepinephrine, serotonin, and cortisol - is not always constant. Styron's seemed to "hit" him more in the afternoon and evening."...

More about William Styron is presented in Alexandra Styron's "Reading My Father".  Aside from her description of her father's first bout with Depression, she describes his second (and final) bout, which occurred in the final years of his life.

Aside from William Styron, some other famous people that have suffered (or are suffering in the present) include Abraham Lincoln, Sir Winston Churchill, Jim Carrey, Terry Bradshaw, Ernest Hemingway, Rosie O'Donnell, Mike Wallace, Owen Wilson, Harrison Ford, Hugh Laurie, Drew Carey, Delta Burke, Billy Joel, Ashley Judd, Alec Baldwin, Jon Bon Jovi, J.K. Rowling, Rodney Dangerfield, John Denver, David Letterman, Marie Osmond, Brooke Shields, Britney Spears, James Taylor, Uma Thurman, Mark Twain, Oprah Winfreey, Reese Witherspoon, Brian Wilson,...there are many others.  In this list, some names are surprises, some are not.

Churchill called his Depression "his Black Dog", that accompanied him everywhere.

In the case of my "non-alcoholic, unipolar depression", it manifests itself in different ways.  Self-hatred, self-doubt, the inability to start or complete seemingly simple tasks or requests, procrastination, excessive introspection, hopelessness, indecision,...  Some people see the disrepair/disorganization and think I don't care.  T'ain't true.  It is a manifestation of the aforementioned results of 30+ years of Depression.  People on the "outside" just don't understand.

In contrast to the behavior of many people, the more depressed I am, the less I drink.  As a beer connoisseur, I don't want to waste good beer as I know drinking will not help me.

When I am fully-employed, or otherwise busy, I can keep the beast at bay.  When employment ends, it is a time that leads to self-blame.  The job-hunting process seems to highlight my flaws and the fear that "what if" the info on applications doesn't exactly "match" the resume?  Every delay in expected responses to job inquiries/applications becomes fertile ground for more self-doubt. 

I had not sought treatment before as I (like many) feared being "labeled" and "exposed" to potential employers.  It is also difficult to admit to being "mentally ill".  I didn't want to be "wedded" to a medication..  I reached the point of "no choice" late last year.  It is what it is.

The Zoloft is helping.  It doesn't make me happy, the depression is still there, but less deep.

This confession is not about seeking excuses for my failings.  It is a way of explaining myself and why I am the way I am.  For anyone reading this, please don't think about me in a different way.   I am still the same person.

Not making excuses, just explaining.

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Thank you for posting this. I'm finding that I've finally got to fess up and admit that I've been suffering from some form a mild to medium depression for a few years now. Some of your examples really hit home. Kind of gave me some clarity about what I should probably be doing about it. Thanks for having the courage to share.
You are welcome. It is hard to know how to bring it up with longtime friends, if you have kept your depression covered up for years.

Hang in there, I plan to do so.
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