Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Sun is shining but the Day is Grey!

There is no other way to say this so, I am severely depressed!
This is not a 'spratt to catch a mackerel' approach to any unfortunate reader, simply, a statement of fact.

Once upon a time, I'd have been ashamed and embarrassed to admit to any such 'self-indulgent' state of affairs, not so now.  If I have learned nothing else (and it sometimes seems that way), in my long life it is certain that confessing to the awful crime of being wretched and miserable is not so very heinous after all.

No-one I believer, gets all the way through life without at least a fleeting brush with the 'black-dog' syndrome.  Sometimes it is such a short acquaintance as to be mostly beneficial, since it makes people stop, take stock  and try to establish where they have gone wrong.  On other occasions, it is rather more serious and can be extremely destructive and debilitating.

A lot depends on the cause.  This can be a temporary misfortune, a particularly unhappy experience or more seriously can be the result of days, weeks, sometimes months of negative thinking and can lead to many
potentially harmful behaviours.

There is of course, help to be had, which can take many forms:  a trip to your GP, a short course of medication, psychiatric treatment, cognitive therapy, counselling, or even something as simple as a few weeks of taking some herbal remedy such as St John's Wort, without recourse to any of the former.

But, and it is a big but.  One of the typical attitudes of the sufferer of depression is to try to hide how they feel.  The condition then grows - like Topsy - to giant proportions and eventually can become all-consuming.

If you know the cause of your depression theoretically you should be able to counteract negativity, but if the reason is one you recognise and about which you can do nothing, neither change how you feel, nor effectively do anything to change the basic problem - often one you cannot, will not admit to anyone -, then all you can do, which is what I am doing, is to wait and hope you will outgrow the particular obsession.

Try as you may, there is no way you can intellectualise depression away.  The reverse is true.  The more you think about the problem, the worse the obsession becomes.

When I started blogging, I had no idea what form my posts would take, they occur to me and end up in print. Not perhaps the wisest approach, but one which I find quite therapeutic. (with a small t).
This one however, is I am aware, a very different kettle of fish, not published with any other thought in mind than to offload some of the cloud, and, amazingly it has  had at least a temporary lightening of mood affect.

If anyone reads this and thinks I ought not to have published it please feel free to say so.  I believe in honesty whereever possible but am also aware that some things (at least for the reader), are better kept under wraps!


  1. The trouble with the blackdog is that there is usually the feeling that no one can understand or help. The danger is that in accepting, indeed writing such a script for oneself is to predetermine outcomes. The further down the well the harder it is to hear helpers calling. An identifiable cause can be helped in terms of acceptance or reolution. This may well need the help of an independant skilled other. As always choose your confidents carefully as a problem shared can be a problem doubled. Hope this helps, the black dog is not unknown to RX

  2. I am sorry to hear this but agree that speaking this truth is healthy. The black dog follows many of us, especially when we are in situations that we feel we cannot change. I admit to the occasional bookfest in which I pull out all my Jane Austens or a mystery series or whatever and immerse myself in someone else's life and story for a while. And long walks outside to remember the mystery of how beautiful the world is. But each to her own therapy. Peace.

  3. Roger, as you are well aware, I know myself well and also know the cause(s) of this current 'low', so need no help in identifying the reason. This is of no use whatever, when nothing can be done to rectify the situation, so is in my opinion something to be worked through. That's the hard bit1

    Penelope. I am frankly too depressed to read at present and even this morning's eucharist was of no help whatever, so as I said to Roger, it just has to be endured. Your prayers would be appreciated though. Thanks.

  4. Treat it like 'flu. It's part of life and there's no known cure - but there are a few things that, like LemSip, can slightly mitigate the overall awfulness.

    The one thing I do find helps a bit is deliberately watching a good comedy - episodes of Frazier do it for me. Despite myself, I laugh at something and the tiniest of silver linings appears. Friends is always on somewhere.

  5. I was told by a wise old missionary that when the black dog hits,go out to play!

    It works for me ,whatever your toy is,camera,paintbrush,walking shoes etc. Indulge yourself until you feel in control.

    My prayers are with you....X

  6. John, thankyou. I know you're right at least about the laughter thing. Unfortunately, I have a somewhat cynical sense of humour and the healthy 'belly laugh' doesn't often happen to me. As for the 'flu' simile, too close to home I'm afraid.
    Tootallburd, Your prayers are gratefully received.

  7. Spring is round the corner. Hopefully, it will be magnificent. Speaking of which, I noticed you live in Aylesbury. I am in Garsington, about 18 miles away. Fancy dropping in for a cuppa and cake? Sometime in the week of Feb 28th perhaps?

  8. Sorry, tried but email not valid.

  9. Oh, wonder why it didn't work. Try
    Please could you delete the email addresses after they work. Or leave me your email, and I can use it.

  10. Thankyou to everyone who took the trouble to comment on my dismal blog. Every tiny bit of comfort helps when things are really bad.
    Despite quite awful weather (rain and yet more rain) life does not look quite as bleak as it did.
    If you hear the sound of tendons tearing it's just me "pulling myself together"!