I’m not sure why, but I feel a need to talk about mental health and happiness today. I’m not a medical professional and I have no particular expertise in this area, aside from my own experiences and that of my Mum who has suffered from depression for about 30 years.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, if you can’t relate to the things I go on to say, that’s okay, each person has their own experience of life and all its facets, but I’d like to hear what you think too.
When my Mum was diagnosed formally with depression, I was about 20. However, she’d almost certainly had it for about 10 years before that. Her behaviour could be erratic, she made some bad decisions (in retrospect) and she wasn’t easy to be around at times. Once she was diagnosed they tried her on an anti-depressant that didn’t suit her at all, it made her worse. Long, long nights of introspection and looking back over all the bad things that had happened ensued.
Finally, after about a year, they tried her on a small dose of Prozac and it was like magic. She was back! I felt so much joy – it was like she’d been away for a long time and finally returned.
On the flip side (and I mean flip) my best friend was diagnosed with depression years ago and they prescribed Prozac and, as a result, she went uber-crazy. I found her crying on her kitchen floor, surrounded by all the smashed packets and jars she’d pulled from her kitchen cupboards, flour in her hair.
So… this all leads to my small piece of input. My friend was going through a very, very hard time at that point and my belief now is that she never had clinical depression of the kind that needed treating with anti-depressants. I think that her sadness and lethargy were entirely relevant to the bad period in life she was going through and her experience wasn’t helped by medication at all.
My Mum, on the other hand, almost certainly has depression, and I’m convinced of this after her great improvement on a small dose anti-depressant.
From these experiences, and a few of my own, I’ve come to a few conclusions. The first is that feeling shite when things are going wrong in your life is natural, otherwise how would you know something was wrong? I think feeling bad can work in the same way as pain does. Pain tells you there’s something wrong with your body. Feeling bad tells you there’s something wrong with your emotions and environment.
Depression, on the other hand, bears little relation to what’s actually happening in your life at the time. You just feel that way pretty much all the time – from what I have seen, although it can stem from bad things that have happened in the past.
Although neither situation can be improved by simply thinking about kittens, I do urge you to notice that it is small things in life which make you happy on a day-to-day basis. Communicating with people, laughing, sharing and accomplishing things you set out to do can work really well, as can trying to live within a sensible and healthy routine.
So why have I written about this? Well, I think I have a little of the ‘black dog’, as my nephew calls it, myself at the moment. I know why… it’s cus my life is in a state of upheaval and I’ve hurt my back, but I do know that eventually, my back will be okay again and I can get on with working to put my life back together. I know that in a year, maybe less, I will be fine.
And if you feel bad? Well, yes go try talking to your GP, but do question diagnoses and prescriptions. Do question how much you’re prescribed and do compare your experiences to other people. Their word is not law and your quality of life is the most important thing. Most importantly, whether you think you have depression or a bout of hard times, do talk to someone you trust about it and try to find ways to motivate yourself to accomplish even tiny things you need to do, because it can really help.
Here’s a few sites that might help you in times of need:
What to wear in Second Life today?
Visit | Baja Sands
Pose | Le Poppycock *On Edge* High Art Railing and Pose (Ultra)
Hat/Hair | Truth GoGo Hair & Hat – Browns (Truth Mainstore)
Romper | [Cynful] Rendezvous Romper & Bracelets [Mait/2Sli/3Bell] (Collabor88, til 6 July)
Shoes | Reign. Bow Sandal Creepers [Mait/Sli/Bell/Toddle] (Collabor88, til 6 July)
Speaking of small things which can make you feel a bit better – the Cynful Rendezvous Romper and Bracelets which are on sale now at C88 are just gorgeous. The included HUD allows to you show or remove the frilled edges shown and the choice of colours and textures is wonderful. Ahh the fit – beautiful. It’s a lovely piece of work – go own it.
The Reign. Bow Sandal Creepers are also at C88 and if I like the style, I nearly always buy the pack there. Recently they began selling it as a fatpack at a really good price and so it’s always worth it. I love how these can be platform or not and have the toe enclosed or removed too.
Here’s a few more pics including a ‘well lit, no shit’ shot…
And finally, here is the jigging for the rigging video – Bananarama’s ‘Cruel Cruel Summer’ seemed to be appropriate in a strange jingly 80s way 😀