Stigmata to my mind was that which was associated with the Crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything has its opposite and its parallel on Earth it appears then I and others like me can associate Depression with the Wounds of the Devil, in the sense that when so afflicted the social alienation can be, or feel to be, so severe that some people choose Death as opposed to carrying on living in their own Social Oblivion.
I use the term “living” loosely as many of us would consider the word “existing” a more apt substitution. Where does it start when does it go wrong I guess each case is different as the individual involved and each persons depression and their handling of it is as individual and intelectually personal to them alone.
I don’t know and have no interest in knowing the studies that have been done in the field and I commend the learned psychologists and pioneers that have been paid to advance mans knowledge in the understanding of the “broken” or “damaged” mind.
But the conclusions of these studies are collated and summarised by people who don’t have depression and as any “survey”, (a collection of data on a given subject,) can be read or interpreted in many different ways.
This point I am making not to denounce the great works of our learned psychologists but just to comfort someone suffering the effects of depression that thinks there is no hope for them, that they really don’t understand them at all, because they don’t “small comfort you say”
Then maybe I am only comforting myself because “Truth” is my comfort and solace. Like millions of you I grew up being lied to for a million different reasons, most of them to protect me from what others think I shouldn’t know, the reasons are as many as there are stars, but the lies, for whatever reason, remain lies and the pattern stems from an ancestral habit, of doing the same thing.
But wrong is wrong and lies are wrong. How for example do you take back the wrong done to a patient that has a terminal disease and that person passes away without the knowledge of his/her imminent demise.
Not done today you say, but the point is it was considered the way to do things at some stage and to me was the ultimate insult that could be done to a fellow human being.
You may get the impression I don’t have much time for the medical profession but you would be wrong, totally. There is a doctor just up my street that has a hard working polite staff and a fabulous bunch of colleagues that make you feel like you are chatting to friends, this my friends is what being a doctor is all about. The administering of kind words and a “shot” of humanity every now and then is more food for the soul than anything you’ll get on prescription, and in a world of commercial gain these people should be “revered and saluted.”
In a short time since being treated for depression I have had the “pleasure” of being “seen” by over a half dozen psychologists. When times were good and I had the money to pay for it 250 euros an hour to a private psychologist who was happy to see me and was always upbeat wouldn’t you be. No offence to the man but he probably spends his holidays at seminars and conventions in Barbados, nice work if you can get it.
Another for 200 euros an hour who had the “empathy” of the “man in the moon” and handed me leaflets about spotting the errors in my thinking, Who’s attitude to my depression was that I had to do A,B and C to cure 1, 2 and 3. And was in apparent consternation that I didn’t see it this way. I would like to get a hold of his case file. ,Life doesn’t work like that my friend only if we choose to become robotic like yourself, personally, I would rather struggle in my empathy.
To be fair I visited the Paul street clinic where all that was needed was a donation, and felt more at home and looked after by a very giving Lady and another Lady equally as caring at Bridge St. in Cork. Both truly kind hearted human beings that left you with a feeling of self worth after an hour had passed.
And finally the system, well what can one say, to say it’s the only one we got, would probably be the best appraisal it could warrant.
I say this with no malice, just an understanding of the way things are and how impotent we are to be able to do anything about it. Basically it works like this, if you end up there then you are given tablets what determines the type or gets preference over another I don’t know but in my case we started with one and have changed a half a dozen times at least. Yet I am still unaware of the type of depression I have the honour of being associated with (excuse the sarcasm). Isn’t there a freedom of information act in Ireland, or the good manners to sit with someone and lay the case out in front of them.
I see more bewildered faces going to the clinic and coming out “happy” with the knowledge that “at least they upped me meds” “I think I’m just getting too used to the dosage” is it just me or is there something fundamentally wrong here. Half of their therapy is done, in the waiting time it takes to get seen, by convincing each other that this is the right track to be on. No disrespect meant but I have seen doctors / psychologists with more, apparent psychological, discomfort shall we say than I allow myself to portray. In fairness there is an overwhelming amount of patients to doctor ratio and a 24 hour service 7 days a week wouldn’t be enough to treat people with the respect and dignity they deserve.
So self analysis will have to suffice, that’s a toughie. Those hardest on ourselves are usually ourselves. I am in a rut to say the least
A failed marriage after 17 years. 3 years in university that entitled me to do a Safety Officer job that I detested for its falseness.
It was then that the shit really hit the fan how can you go to work to a job that you hate and come home to a failing relationship you can, but only for so long.
A mortgage that was once possible to maintain but only just is now an impossibility, as the likelihood of getting work again in construction work is severely limited and if a miracle did happen then the money earned with all the cuts taken out wouldn’t cover the costs.
Governments and economical assessors portray a brighter future as always. As this is the way things are done, but reality is only experienced by those at the cliff face and the “Tough decisions we have to make in Government” made by our political leaders, don’t effect them personally. What a Fucking cheek to make a statement like that, shades of Haughey all over again maybe they will cut themselves down to two glasses of the house white, with their fillet of Salmon, instead of the usual three, for the moment at least. Don’t you know things are on the up I read it in the Financial Times…Bite Me.
I digress my depression with the self appointed title, Justifiable Depression, I feel is shared by thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands as I read somewhere one in five will suffer from the condition.
It is no less real irrelevant of the cause and though I denied to myself rs that I do indeed suffer from it. I felt that if my problems were sorted then there would be no depression. I find if I now go off the meds then I will allow the insatiable anger, at the injustice of what is happening to people and the debt bestowed on our unborn and indeed living children, to engulf me in some way I cannot imagine.
So I’ll take me meds and write poetry and songs and put on a brave face when the kids come to visit ‘cos it cuts them up to see Dad not coping and hope against hope for the best a pessimist can hope for and die a little every day Cos the only true Love I ever knew has left now too and I wish her all the Beauty and Love she has in her Overflowing Heart returned to her tenfold as she deserves all that and more and I am the Better Person for Knowing Her….
That which inspired me to write this piece was the heading a Facebook friend had posted on their page saying that Depression isn’t a sign of Weakness it’s a sign of Trying to be Strong for Too Long. I believe many others can now relate to that which puts a little dignity back into the “Stigma” associated with depression. I hope it is a small comfort to someone somewhere whose particular type, brand of Depression is similar to mine.
A piece I wrote on depression awareness week, couple years back . . .