Dealing with Depression

A man diagnosed as suffering from melancholia with strong suicidal tendency.

If you can deal with depression at all you need to determine whether your life is causing your anxiety or whether it is your anxiety which is ruining your life. There is a difference although the boundary is far from clear.

And Elohim Created Adam by William Blake, c.1795
And Elohim Created Adam by William Blake, c.1795

In days gone by I was convinced my way of life was causing my depression. I was in the wrong country, the wrong job, the wrong relationship.  While those factors and more may have had a bearing on the matter, the roots went far deeper.

Aged 34 having changed jobs and moved all round the world I began to look for those roots and am still doing so (although my moods these days are mild by comparison).

Melancholia and Raving Madness
Melancholia and Raving Madness (mania) carved by Caius Gabriel Cibber (1680), and which adorned the entrance portal of the new Bethlem Hospital at Moorfields

Weirdly enough I must have had some vestige of fear from a conventional anglican upbringing back in those days:  were my black moods payback by a wrathful deity for some mis-dead?  Having failed to “get Jesus on the line” I dismissed the impostor in the sky as an emperor with no clothes.  If there was a creator then I decided he had done a rotten job and was unable to put things right.

Ball-and-stick models of (R)-fluoxetine (top) and (S)-fluoxetine (bottom). By Vaccinationist – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Science and psychology have no answers as such and all treatment is experimental at best and brutal at worst. We are not so far removed from the lobotomies of the 1950s or 15th Century Bedlam.

Neuroscience or genetic engineering may one day provide foolproof solutions but until such time you are on your own chum. Treatment is imprecise and experimental.

So experiment is all you can do. Change your lifestyle in any way which seems to help and try every medically approved drug on offer in the hope of finding one which ameliorates your pain.  Perhaps the superstitious beliefs of a middle eastern desert tribe might help you – by all means get god if it does you any good. Any port in a storm and hang on tight. It will pass. All things will pass; eventually!




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