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BS: Birthdays and Depression

GUEST,a member 05 Sep 02 - 02:45 PM
Amos 05 Sep 02 - 02:52 PM
Big Mick 05 Sep 02 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,Mudjack 05 Sep 02 - 03:13 PM
Wyrd Sister 05 Sep 02 - 03:14 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Sep 02 - 03:18 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Sep 02 - 03:23 PM
dick greenhaus 05 Sep 02 - 03:34 PM
Amos 05 Sep 02 - 04:01 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Sep 02 - 04:20 PM
Don Firth 05 Sep 02 - 04:38 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Sep 02 - 05:44 PM
artbrooks 05 Sep 02 - 06:16 PM
mack/misophist 05 Sep 02 - 06:54 PM
maire-aine 05 Sep 02 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,a member 05 Sep 02 - 08:18 PM
smallpiper 05 Sep 02 - 08:32 PM
MAG 05 Sep 02 - 09:15 PM
Little Hawk 05 Sep 02 - 10:16 PM
Amos 06 Sep 02 - 12:07 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Sep 02 - 12:17 AM
katlaughing 06 Sep 02 - 12:44 AM
Liz the Squeak 06 Sep 02 - 03:12 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 06 Sep 02 - 05:10 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Sep 02 - 05:44 AM
Little Hawk 06 Sep 02 - 10:55 AM
katlaughing 06 Sep 02 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 06 Sep 02 - 11:39 AM
MMario 06 Sep 02 - 12:12 PM
smallpiper 06 Sep 02 - 12:22 PM
Little Hawk 06 Sep 02 - 01:48 PM
Jeanie 06 Sep 02 - 02:57 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Sep 02 - 03:25 PM
Amos 06 Sep 02 - 04:49 PM
Little Hawk 06 Sep 02 - 05:57 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Sep 02 - 06:03 PM
Amos 06 Sep 02 - 06:36 PM
Celtic Soul 06 Sep 02 - 10:02 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Sep 02 - 12:55 AM
Liz the Squeak 07 Sep 02 - 04:52 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Sep 02 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,a member 08 Sep 02 - 06:26 PM
Amos 08 Sep 02 - 06:55 PM
Mudlark 08 Sep 02 - 07:23 PM
Little Hawk 09 Sep 02 - 01:43 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Sep 02 - 01:49 PM
Amos 09 Sep 02 - 02:06 PM

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Subject: Birthdays and Depression
From: GUEST,a member
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 02:45 PM

Well, that day is coming near again, in fact it is next week. Once again, my depression which is always with me is getting heavier as the day draws near. Nothing new. It happens every year. Part of me is depressed over my childhood, lost at a young age. Part of me is depressed as I feel the years slip away, and I am alone. There is more, but too long to go in depth.

My question is, am I the only one who feels this way?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Amos
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 02:52 PM

Of course not. Many people feel that way. Some succumb to it, some hide from it, and some decide to handle it in one or another way.

The question is, how do you propose to handle it? Depression is a bitch no matter when it hits, but you're big enough to pull your own bootstraps as hard as they need to be pulled, get your attention back out into the world of the living, and stop measuring yourself by the stupid calendar!!! The number of times a planet turns, or does not, is about the last variable you need to define yourself by!!

IF you'll take a little time to really find yourself, you'll probably notice it is nothing to be depressed over!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 03:02 PM

I guess it all depends on how you approach it, my friend. I revel in birthdays. That is because I know that there is no way back, no way to change what is done, and the march is inevitable, and therefore positive. It is just the way. I realized a long time ago, shortly after having stared down the icy maw, that death is inevitable and what is important is how you live up until that moment. Sometimes I just have a giggling fit when I think of the people that lost money betting whether I would live to see age 30. The only time I ponder what is lost in the past, is when I am trying to chart the future. Often this is in the context of trying to help young ones not make some of the errors that I did. The other thing I do is use the mistakes of the past to correct the future. Example? Taking up the Uilleann Pipes at the age of 50 when others tried to tell me it was too late. Bollocks!! I have every intention of playing these baby's on stage as I approach my second carreer.

In short, my friend, live. And wait. All that was will be again. Never forget the great circle.........you will have the chance to change the things that happened to you. Maybe for a kid somewhere, maybe even for yourself.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: GUEST,Mudjack
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 03:13 PM

Yep, I can feel it to but I have to believe its partialy another birthday coming, but more to do with how stinking old I'm getting and how I have the best employment I could ever want and still hate getting up every morning to go to work.
My music enjoyment is down to an all time low and I think music and singing is what allows me to avert those depression blues.
So what do say we kick ass and sing our depressions away?
Happy Birthday to you, Hap......
cheer up my friend,
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 03:14 PM

"If things improve with age, I'm approaching awesome!"

Yeah, OK, it's a big if, but what the hell, I can pretend. Measure yourself by the sort of things people here think are important, not what the mass media would have you believe. Age is not one of those things. A trawl through a few threads will give you an idea what is. (I won't list them 'cos I don't do treacle. That doesn't stop me enjoying it.) Whatever robbed you of your childhood is gone. Don't let it rob you of the rest of your life too!


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Subject: Lyr Add: BIRTHDAY SONG (from the Arrogant Worms)
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 03:18 PM

This is sorta a talking blues kinda thing, from The Arrogant Worms

BIRTHDAY SONG

Once a year we celebrate with stupid hats and plastic plates
The fact that you were able to make another trip around the sun
The whole clan gathers round, gifts and laughter do abound
And we let out a joyful sound and sing that stupid song

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Now you're one year older
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Your life still isn't over
HAPPY BIRTHDAY You did not accomplish much
But you didn't die this year so I guess that's good enough

Lets drink to your failing health, hope you don't remind yourself
Your chance of finding fame and wealth decrease with every year
Does it feel like you are doing laps, eating food and taking naps
And hoping that someday perhaps your life will hold some cheer

HAPPY BIRTHDAY What have you done that matters
HAPPY BIRTHDAY You're starting to get fatter
HAPPY BIRTHDAY It's downhill from now on
Try not to remind yourself your best years are all gone

If cryogenics were all free then you could live like Tim Leary
Your head, for all eternity inside a block of ice
But instead your time is set this is the only life you get
And though it hasn't ended yet sometimes you wish it might

HAPPY BIRTHDAY You wish you had more money
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Your life's so sad it's funny
HAPPY BIRTHDAY How much more can you take
But your friends are hungry so just cut the stupid cake

,-)


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Subject: Lyr Add: PEOPLE MY AGE (from John Gorka)
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 03:23 PM

This one started out as a song about aging gracefully, but kinda went sideways from there...

A moderat tempo, bluesy kinda rift... from John Gorka.. with a slight modification that I made so I can sing it...

PEOPLE MY AGE

People my age have started looking gross
I cannot say all, and I shouldn't say most
I've seen 'em in the grocery I've seen 'em up close
People my age have started looking gross

People my age are showing some wear
There's holes where their teeth was
And their heads have gone bare
Their brains are shrinking
Faces shrinking into fat
And as for the mirror
We won't be looking into that

People my age have started looking gross
Maybe not in Colorado or up the Silicon Coast
Back in North Ontario
I'd eat my poutine on toast
Those were my first steps
On the road to looking gross

People my age are looking overripe
Some are getting operations
To tighten up what ain't tight
What gravity's ruined
They try to fix with a knife
What's pleasant in the darkness
Is plain scary in the light

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 03:34 PM

Having another birthday sucks. Not having another birthday is far worse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Amos
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 04:01 PM

Hey, time isn't optional, apparently, at leat as far as bodies go. But letting it define how you decide to feel sure is!! I like Mick's approach. Let that timeline roll!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 04:20 PM

If your birthday gets you down, just remembver that you have 364 unbirthdays before your next one! Maybe it's how old you are. Somewhere around my mid 50's, I started to accept that I was about as good as I was going to get. And heaved a great sigh of relief! I stopped setting goals, and just tried to enjoy each day as much as I could, and do what I could to make life a little better for those around me. Maybe that's when I finally stopped looking inward (so critically) and started looking outward. For the last few years, my birthday (in my mind) has become a non-event.) I laugh with my oldest son who considers birthdays a responsibility... it is important that he have as good a birthday as everyone wants him to have. He doesn't say that negatively... he's just wise enough to recognize that there is no one day that we have to be REAL Happy. And he has a good life... a loving wife and two great kids, and enjoys his days. No sense having to kick it up a notch.

Depression is a hard thing to handle. I know from experience. The hardest thing about it is that your worst critic is yourself. It doesn't seem to make any difference if you're pleasing others. You never seem to please yourself. Maybe on your birthday you should play Ricky Nelson's Garden Party and sing along on the chorus:

"You can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself." :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 04:38 PM

I went through a siege of depression about seven years ago, got counseling, and dug my way out of it. I wouldn't wish that feeling on my worst enemy. I still get a touch now and then, but it only lasts for a few minutes at a time because when it comes, I jerk myself up by the scruff of my neck and get on with it. It's largely a matter of accepting things as they are and moving on. I've had a lot of birthdays. My most recent was my 71st. Now, I could spend the rest of my time on this earth sitting staring at the wall and contemplating the fact that most of my life is behind me. But what a helluva waste of the rest of my life! Instead, I write a lot (which I've always wanted to do but never had the time) and I'm re-upping my song repertoire, learning new songs, and sprucing up my guitar skills, which I let kinda flag a few years back.

Big Mick says he took up "the Uilleann Pipes at the age of 50 when others tried to tell me it was too late." Heck, Big Mick, you were just a kid! I've played a classic guitar all my life and I'm a pretty good guitarist if I do say so myself—both classic and folk. But I just got myself a steel string guitar and my current ambition is to learn to play like Justa Picker. And as I say, I'm 71.

I don't know quite what to tell you, GUEST,a member, but kat posted a quote on another thread some time ago that I like:—

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 05:44 PM

..And I picked up electric guitar and formed a black gospel quartet in my 60's. Thank God it didn't occur to me that I couldn't do it... :-)

Good for you, Don! And Mick!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: artbrooks
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 06:16 PM

Well, I heard today that a former collegue died last week, aged 48. I spent my 25th birthday in a trench in Vietnam watching rockets go overhead and drinking a warm beer. After that, ANYTHING is an improvement! I'll be 56 on the 7th, retired for a year yesterday, and looking forward to many new experiences and adventures.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: mack/misophist
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 06:54 PM

I suggest you all take a lesson from Jack Benny, and from me, of course. I no longer have birthdays. Most of the time, I'm not sure how old I am any more. On a good day, I can forget when my birthday is. To round it out, I GIVE presents on my birthday and refuse to accept any. That makes it a whole nother thing. When you refuse to age, sometimes it works.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: maire-aine
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 07:55 PM

Thank you Clinton. Those are great. Me, I try not to think about it. I don't lie about my age, but I don't announce it either. I figure, regardless of what the calendar says, I'm not really that old. My theory: parenthood ages you. I've never had children, so I never needed to grow up and be the adult.

Patricia Pan, who'll never grow up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: GUEST,a member
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 08:18 PM

Thank you. I am sorry if I made myself seem older than I physically am. Physically, I am not even 30 years old. Emotionally, that is a completely different story. Like a mate is fond of saying, "The 20s are suppose to be some of the best times of our lives, we are suppose to be feel young and joyful, not feel three times our ages." or older.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: smallpiper
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 08:32 PM

Ok so your friend say you should feel..... bollox to that its what you do feel that matters. I'm curious as to what it is that is making you feel so much older and depressed about your age. Actually I don't think it is your age that is depressing you and I wonder what it would be like if you told some one what it is that is really the cause of your problem.

I do not expect that you will go into detail in a public forum but if you PM me I will give you my email address and we can talk about it.

I am a psychotherapist and am happy to carry out work with you via email (it can be very succesful) if you won't go to see someone local to you (no charge, your a mudcatter)


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: MAG
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 09:15 PM

Yeah, my 54th is coming up week after next (and I still say 9 months after Thanksgiving - New Year's has the most birthdays) and I have learned to plan for it. On my 50th I threw myself a crone party and celebrated all the silver in my hair which I have earned. I generally take my day off work. This year I took the whole weekend, thinking it was my opportunity to drive over and see the big medicine wheel (which it was not to the Natives, of course: it was a navigation device). Well, we have a dance on Saturday and I had to decide whether to do the trip or play the dance. Since playing is a great joy and driving, much as I love it kinks up many parts of my body, I'm enjoying my house, putting the garden to bed, and playing the dance.

By the way, my birthdays as a kid were crummy. I made a conscious decision to turn it around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 10:16 PM

I think birthdays are a stupid custom. Animals do not celebrate them or take any notice of them, and we would be better off if we behaved likewise.

But I'm afraid it's too late for that now...old culture done got us by de short hairs and we cain't stop fixatin' on how old we is!

Funny how people spend the first 20 years wishing they were older...and how rapidly it switches around not long after that. I wish nobody, and I mean NOBODY had any idea how old they or anyone else was, following the attainment of young adulthood.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Amos
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 12:07 AM

LH is right. We should just knock off the whole custom after 25. Or is young adulthood around 48? I forget.

Anyway, LH is right!

:>)

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 12:17 AM

Amos: I don't think about getting old. I define "old" as twenty years older than me, and I have no intention of changing that definition. So far, that makes "old" anyone over 87. Next year, it will be anyone over 88. My Mother is 95 and younger than a lot of people that I know in their thirties. :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 12:44 AM

Birthdays have always been special days in our family. We don't do much in the way of celebrations now, except for the grandchildren, but I think it is still good to honour each person by giving thanks for their natal day and the fact that they are in our lives. Age has nothing to do with it, either, unless in a positive way, like MAG celebrating her earned silver hairs (I love my white ones, MAG!)

We did always make it a big day for our mom and I'd hate to think what it would have done to her if we hadn't. She deserved it and always enjoyed it so much. By big, I don't mean consumer-like, I mean being together, having a good meal, telling stories, singing songs and giving meaningful gifts. We took her out to dinner on one of her last b-days where she drank a magarita and flirted with the waiters...if I remember rightly she was 82 or 83!

My dad's cousin is in her 80's and grew up with jsut her dad and brothers, on a ranch. My mom was the first person to ever bake her a b-day cake and that was when she was in her 20's. She still talks about what a surprise it was and how much it meant to her to be remembered in that way.

Create your own celebration or not. Check with a doctor to make sure the depression is not from a chemical imbalance and check out smallpiper's generous offer. Come back and talk with us, if you need to or want to...there's always a willing ear/shoulder at the Mudcat.

All the best,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 03:12 AM

Gee thanks, I was just starting to feel good about my impending natal day, guess that's gone!!!

Still, no matter how bad it gets next week, it can't be as bad as it was last year..... or last March for that matter....

Birthdays are just one more way of keeping score over your relatives.

Hope it's a good one.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 05:10 AM

I too always start getting depressed around my birthday. However I have seasonal affective disorder and my birthday is in october, so it's only to be expected. Does yours peak around your birthday time? or is your birthday when it starts to get worse - and continues way into the winter? If so, maybe you should look into SAD and whether that contributes to your problems. Sometimes what seems to be upsetting you and playing on your mind is not always the root cause.

All the best

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 05:44 AM

I'm with you, Kat:


My wife and I went out to visit my Mother in Wisconsin in mid May, and because I/we have always gone out to celebrate her birthday, everyone assumed we were out for that reason (we came out to go to a wedding.) At dinner hour where she lives, the minister for the retirement home announced that we were out for her birthday, and the whole time that we were out there, people were congratulating her. She took it all, and thanked people, and felt pretty darned good about it. When her actual birthday rolled around, she went out to celebrate with my sisters, then had a retirement home birthday party with over 100 people (and got over 100 cards). She got two dozen roses from my wife's brother and sister-in-law, which she sat up at the center-wide birthday party and then finally, to top it all off, ON HER ACTUAL BIRTHDAY, she had her family birthday party with all my sisters, their families, their families families and their kids. At last count, she has five Great, Great Grandchildren. And after her third(at least) celebration(not counting the two weeks leading up to them when everyone was congratulating her, she rested.

Hey, you're only 95 once... :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 10:55 AM

It's my impression that depression CAUSES chemical disorder, rather than the other way around. Most people who get depressed have good reasons for it, like...

They're in a rut, without apparent possibility of change.

They're in relationships that aren't working too well.

They're unemployed or else in a job that means little or nothing to them.

They're short of money.

They don't have enough love in their life.

They're lonely.

They're getting older (birthday blues).

They feel powerless and/or purposeless (this is a BIG one, and very common).

Man! I feel depressed just scanning that list... I think I feel a bad chemical imbalance coming on right now. Gotta go take some pills! Lotsa pills! That'll fix me right up, eh?

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 11:25 AM

Always assuming instead of asking for clarification and taking it to the extreme, eh, LH? You should know by now that I am as opposed to taking drugs as anyone, however, through experience and what I've found listening to friends with experience is that sometimes it takes a drug intervention to counteract the chemical imbalance caused by the depression. In other words, yes, the imbalance is a result of depressing circumstance, imo, BUT some people are unable to get out of that without the help of drugs, or preferably herbs, as a kind of jump start. Actually MY first choice, always, is Traditional Chinese Medicine, but most phoaks are not into that or don't have access.

My own brother is loathe to put anything chemical in his body, but has reached such an incredible low point, his brain chemicals are so screwed up, he does not think in any kind of clear terms and I believe he is in need of drug intervention to just to get back some balance, so that he can think clearly enough to use the metaphysics, etc. which he knows so well and which will eventually be his only salvation IF he can get his mind to clicking.

Guest, Member, sorry for the thread drifting.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 11:39 AM

Yes, depression and the chemical changes associated with it often are mainly a result of life circumstances, but it is often impossible to change the circumstances while you are within the cyle of depression. Drugs are one way to break the cycle so that you can change your circumstances and make the depression less likely to occur again. Another way to break the cycle is some forms of therapy - particularly cognitive therapies.

My depression is almost entirely biologically caused, so I use biological methods to fix it (lightbox and anti depressants - either st johns wort, or a dreaded manufactured drug when that isn't enough. When I get better, I find that my life is fine - even though my depressions has created a whole load of new problems, am able to cope with them just fine.

If my depression were more created by circumstances, would probably still use drugs when necessary, and put myself in a better position to change the factors in my life that precipitated it.

I get tired of hearing about how it is so dreadful to use drugs to combat an illness with mainly psychological symptoms, but its the only thing that works and thats just fine with me. Too many people I know have delayed getting treatment because people they know have told them that anti depressants only mask the symptoms and they shouldn't take them. And when you are depressed, black and white attitudes like that become more entrenched. This led to one of my friends attempting suicide before she would seek help. Luckily she is ok now - thanks to the anti depressants she was persuaded to take.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: MMario
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 12:12 PM

LH - sounds like you described the average life in that last post!


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: smallpiper
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 12:22 PM

Anti depressants = useful tool, but I believe that they should be used in conjunctionwith some form of talking therapy - not necessarily cognitive behavioural therapy (which seems to be in-vogue at the moment mainly due to the short time it takes to get results even if they are only short term results - never the less useful). Drugs definately have their place in the overall treatment of depressive illness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 01:48 PM

Yeah, Mario, that IS the average life! :-) Depressing, isn't it?

Kat, you should know well by now that I am a real sorehead when it comes to drug therapy, and I never miss a chance to ridicule it in a biased and extremely intemperate fashion. Yep. Never seen a case of depression yet which didn't react well to a radical change of outward circumstance, if it was a change in the right direction, that is.

It is very difficult, if not impossible, for conventional medicine to deal with the real causes behind most human psychological problems...so they stick bandaids on people instead. I can understand why they do it. They are not necessarily in a position to do much more than that, if people are not themselves willing to CHANGE.

I've read the writings of doctors who tried to talk their patients into basic lifestyle changes in order to rescue their failing health. The vast majority did not want to step outside their usual "comfort zone" one iota. They wanted to keep doing all the things they were used to doing, and take a pill or something that would make them "feel better" while they did it.

I've experienced a lot of depression too...usually for various of the reasons I listed above, and it's true that when you get way down there it's hard to get up enough energy to break out of it...unless the world unexpectedly provides you with something that shocks you into taking action. I never found drugs helpful in resolving depression, not in the least, and I tried 'em a couple of times. But that's just my experience. It seems to work for some people.

I shake my head every day at the ludicrous society we have collectively created, and how trapped we all are in the middle of it. I regard the present day medical profession rather like they might regard the leeches and snake oil salesmen of yore...though I do not doubt either their intelligence or their sincere desire to heal people. They are inside the bubble of illusion along with the rest of us.

I really detest prescription drugs in a general sense, and just can't resist lampooning them...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Jeanie
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 02:57 PM

In the darkest time of my life, I would have put a tick against each category on Little Hawk's list. I wonder if there is a person alive who doesn't reach that point at some time - though, of course, when you are down there in the pit you feel as if you are the only one. You just can't see the others who are also living lives of "quiet desperation".

A Chinese proverb says that the recipe for happiness is "Someone to love, something to do and something to hope for." In fact, I found that you only need one of those things, and the other two automatically pop up alongside. This doesn't mean "the man/woman of your dreams", "the prestigious well-paid job" etc. What started to drag me out of the pit, and kept me going for many years in a sad and difficult home life, was starting to teach an adult education class (The "something to do" part of the equation). Suddenly there were twenty people to love and laugh with, and for the first time in ages something to look forward to and hope for. It was great to watch them progressing, and to see the friendships developing amongst this group, who had all started out as strangers to each other.

It didn't change my home situation, but it sure as anything changed me, made me feel of worth and value again after a long time of feeling quite the opposite. Eventually, I found the courage to make all kinds of changes. That was a long time ago and life is very different, and so much better now.

So, to the Guest who started this very interesting thread, I would say, please don't think that your 20s are your only chance to "feel young and joyful" and that if you don't feel like that, you've blown it. My 20s were dismal, and boy did I feel old.

Take care, and do try the Chinese recipe,

With Love, - jeanie (Fast approaching 50 and feeling younger and more joyful than I ever did twenty, thirty years ago)


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 03:25 PM

And Jeanie:

If you think that the 40's are good, wait until you hit the 50's! The only thing better than the 50's are the 60's. I'll let you know about the 70's in a few years, when I get there...

As for depressions, many of us who have ended up hating ourselves didn't get their by ourselves. We were lent a generous helping hand (usually by someone who claimed to love us.) As soon as your life starts to open up, as yours did, Jeanie, you see that you aren't the person you've been so disgusted with for so many years. And then you start to see the people who have encouraged you to hate yourself more clearly. Once you start to perceive that you can do something that brings pleasure to other people, and that you can do it well, no one can hold you down. Not even yourself. If you can start doing that in your twenties, you're ahead of me, Guest member. I don't know you, but I can tell you right now that you're a far greater person with almost unlimited potential than you could ever imagine.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Amos
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 04:49 PM

There's a lot of power to what LH says; the difficulty arises when the series of mind<=>body interactions stack up. You build up a mess o' undelivered unspoken communications, worries, upsets or whatever, and ignore them while they have the usual deleterious effect on the mind<==>brain boundary, with depressing side effects. Being thus depressed, you eel less and less like facing squarely what continues to be unhandled in LH's checklist above, which inturn solidifies the locked in stacks of unhandled despair. Eventually, the walls come down and you are swamped by the grim washes of deep depression.

There are ways out of these mazes using non-chemical means but they require a bootstrap operation calling for more energythan the individual usually has by that time. Hence the lassitude and inertia. Change requires free attention.

In the most extreme cases, it really sometimes seems that chemical intervention is needed to settle or subdue the chaos of a mind too long neglected long enough to start change happen. But I would never resort to it if anything less would serve, because it is itself an invasive and disruptive remedy. It subdues symptoms, buries them under a numbing layer of chemistry whoch dampens and quiets the nerves. The nerves aren't the source of the situiation at all!

This is kind of like turning down the volume on the phone handset because you don't like the noise and static on the lines which is caused by water in the junction boxes three miles away.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 05:57 PM

GREAT posts, Jeanie, Jerry, and Amos! I believe we're getting somewhere here.

Too many people get slowly into a situation where they feel weak, helpless, and valueless...or they feel like "victims". How often do their parents put them there? Well, the universe has a way of fulfilling your inner vision of yourself with devastating accuracy.

If you can change that vision of yourself, then the Universe begins mysteriously to change around you. It can literally happen in 24 hours, given the inner decision to change.

I remember having a really hard time deciding whether or not to go to Cuba for a week (with a group of friends and some young students)...being fairly depressed at the time. In the end I went, because I had reached this point where I didn't care whether I lived or died...so it seemed.

I figured "What the hell, maybe the airplane will crash and my troubles will be over...on the other hand, maybe not and I'll finally get to see a place I've wondered about all my life. So I'll go. What have I got to lose at this point?"

Well, within less than 1 hour of being there I felt UTTERLY TRANSFORMED! I was meeting these extraordinary bright-eyed, lively new people who were tremendously interested in me and my friends, just as we were in them. I was meeting people who had such an amazing appreciation of the little ordinary things in life that it made me feel like I'd been walking around asleep or something. It was breathtaking. I saw idealism, vibrancy, and open-heartedness like I had not seen in years.

The feelings I got from that week in Cuba radically changed things for quite awhile.

Now I'm looking around restlessly again, having settled back somewhat in that shallow rut.

You know, close family members can have a whole lot to do with encouraging you to see yourself as weak, a "victim", powerless, and so on.

You don't always realize it till you GET AWAY from them for awhile... As Jerry said: "you start to see the people who have encouraged you to hate yourself more clearly"

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 06:03 PM

Someone wiser than me told me once, "We all get the lives we perceive."

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Amos
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 06:36 PM

Well, I perceive I am going to live a long time watching Jerry have a lot of fun....


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 10:02 PM

I can relate to the depression thing, but not as it relates to birthdays. I was a pretty depressed person for a loooooong time, and I too went through it when I was supposed to be in that season of life where everyone is having a good time.

All I can say is, for *some*, life begins later. Don't sweat what you haven't yet done, your lack of a mate or the like. Sometimes we haven't figured out who we are yet, so how can we really choose what we want to do, or with whom we should be?

I am having more fun now at nearly 41 than I ever did at 20 or 30. Your time will come too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Sep 02 - 12:55 AM

Guest:Member:

As I read this thread, I see a second, shorter check list:

1. A lot of us have gone through a depression. Some more than once. 2. All of us came out the other side. 3. All of us are living a much happier, productive, positive life than we probably would be living if we hadn't gone through the depression. 4. Each of us went into a depression and came out of it in different ways.

a. Some "pulled themselves up by the bootstraps,"
b. Some found psychotherapy helpful,
c. Some needed medication in combination with psychotherapy,
d. Some finally rejected a way of life that was destroying their self-love.
e. Some drew on their faith in God for healing grace.

5. All of us realize that what we "missed" in life because of depression is very small in comparison to how good life has been since we came through it.

"For the good old days are still to come
Though the hard times are not over
For we must wear that thorny crown
To walk the fields of clover

Greetings from the Fields Of Clover.

And you got it exactly right, Amos! Enjoy!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 07 Sep 02 - 04:52 AM

I was very depressed when I hit 35, after all, if the days of our lives are three score and ten, I'd hit half way. Then I looked at some family history statistics and discovered that the average lifespan of the women in my families was 24 on one side and 80 on the other. Given that I'd already made it past 24 (just, there were a few narrow squeaks along the way...), I reckoned it gave me odds of lasting till about 52, so having hit 35, I had about 17 years left and determined to make the best of them. 3 years on and I'm not doing so badly.... although sometimes the plan has failed miserably, on the whole, it seems to be getting better.

It raises a much deliberated question - if you knew the hour of your death, would you live your life differently in the meantime?

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Sep 02 - 07:27 AM

Hi, Liz:

Questionable math, even more questionable logic. One of my closest friends figured that he wouldn't make fifty, because both of his parents died in their forties. Let's see, add the two ages, divivde by two, and that's when you're going to die. So far, my friend is in his 60's and shows no sign of getting near the end. My Mother's Mother died when she was in her 40's. My Mother is 95. My brother-in-law has outlived his two younger sisters by several years. If you're trying to figure out your life span, don't forget to factor in the wind direction and the number of letters in your middle name. :-)

What I'm trying to say, Liz, is that you're just as likely to be delightfully wrong in your calculations. How many parents do you know who have outlived their children? I've known quite a few.

The question you pose is a good one. Being 67, now, "The rest of your life" has a different meaning. When you're in your twenties, a "Lifetime Guarantee" is a good bargain. When you hit your 80's, you might as well go for a "K-Mart guarantee." The thing that I've noticed is that many, if not most people in their 70's and 80's are far more comfortable with the reality of death than most people in their thirties. There are probably a lot of reasons for that. For those who have a strong faith, Heaven sounds like a better place to be, if you've had poor health for years. Or, some people just feel left behind. Others, like my Mother, still see that they can do something of value with their lives. She can't drive anymore... had to stop that at 94. She can't walk long distances and needs to use a walker. But, if one of her friends is feeling depressed or sick, she can still get around enough in her apartment building to go visit them and cheer them up.

Whether you know how long you're going to live or not, it's not how long you live, it's how well you live. I think that I've had more joyful days in the last four years of my life than I did in the first 63. Enjoy your days, Liz and enjoy your friends. And don't ever let anyone tell you that every day is 24 hours long. They're as long as you make them.

There's a difference between being alive and living.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: GUEST,a member
Date: 08 Sep 02 - 06:26 PM

Thank you again, everyone, I really appreciate the words of encouragement, and smallpiper, I think you are correct. It is just one thing my mind was focusing on. I might take you up on your offer, but I just need to think on it for a bit. Wednesday I will be officially 28 years old. With this constant day to day battle with the ghosts, I am amazed I have made it this far.

Once again, thank you all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Amos
Date: 08 Sep 02 - 06:55 PM

The important question is not what your next 28 years will have in them, but what you will start or complete in your next 28 days, my friend.

Get _that_ list rolling along well, and the years wil just do fine on their own, I reckon. You DO have everything you need to start.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Mudlark
Date: 08 Sep 02 - 07:23 PM

Thanks, Guest-member, for starting this thread, and thanks to all who have responded...great threads. I loved your story, Jeanie, of making just one change in your life that made all the differnce.

Having had a very traumatic childhood, I was in victim mode for a long time. But with just a few sessions with a good councellor I began to really experience the stupidity of letting toxic people continue to contaminate my life, even after they were dead (haha...it took me quite a while to come to this revalation!)

It became very important to me to prove all that negative input wrong, to start evaluating myself from my own viewpoint, instead of from others. Guest, if you are approaching 28 and are beginning to deal with this sort of stuff, congratulations! I was in my 50's before I worked up the unconscious courage to start fighting back. You're way ahead of the game, with a whole lifetime ahead of you to find your way and exult in who you are, what you are.

Come Wednesday, I wish you a very HAPPY 28th birthday! Thursday is the first day of the rest of your life...and guess what...you dont get what you want, you get what you believe...so believe in yourself, and the rewards will multiply!


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 01:43 PM

28! My God...28 is so young...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 01:49 PM

I almost remember parts of being 28...

But like Indiana Jones says... "It's not the years, honey... It's the mileage..."

,-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Birthdays and Depression
From: Amos
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 02:06 PM

Well, the road you're on makes a difference too...

A


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