Month: January 2019

Depression blog post number four


Depression blog number four

I need to make this disclaimer. When writing on the topic of depression, I am not a doctor and do not have any medical training. My blogs on this topic are solely based upon my own experience of suffering from depression. Any conclusions I draw from my own experience is only my opinion. If you think you may also suffer from clinical depression or some other kind of mood disorder have an honest talk with your primary medical practitioneror family doctor.

The only upside of depression is that it feels so good when you begin to come out of the pit. I found that this is usually a gradual process in moving from the depths of despair to feeling somewhat emotionally healthy.

I’ve often tried to analyse how and why my depressions eventually set me free. I don’t take a position one way or another on the use of psychiatric medications such as antidepressants. I have used a cocktail of different mood boosting psychotropic medications for decades. Over the years I’ve tried out a great variety of antidepressants. I also use nutritional and herbal supplements.

The choice of whether or not to use psychiatric medications as part of one’s recovery from depression is usually a decision best made between and a doctor and a patient. The bad news is that one medication may be very effective for some people and not so much for others. The unfortunate fact is that feeling less depressive symptoms is often a trial and error process when it comes to taking medications.

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School Daze Episode Two


Episode Two of School Daze
When I was about eight years old, I joined a hockey team at my local community club. In the early 1960s there was no such thing as an indoor arena, unless you included the old Winnipeg Arena. The parents in my generation didn’t believe in giving their kids rides to their hockey games and practices. We had to walk to the community club even if it was 30° below zero. It was a good six block walk to the clubhouse from my house. By the time I arrived there my face, and hands were usually frozen.

I remember one Saturday morning when a man in a car saw the white blotches on my face that were the first signs of frostbite. Even though my parents would not have approved, I gladly accepted the offer of a ride to the clubhouse.

The smell inside the Norwood Community Club was something I will never forget. The air inside reeked of sweat, body order, old leather and musk. I came to love this smell as it signalled that I was out of the freezing cold weather. The downside was that my chilled to the bone body was about to thaw out.

The thawing out process started to take place as soon as I closed the old wooden front door of the clubhouse. As my body began to warm up the pain started. The white splotches on my face started to turn red. The same thing happened to the white spots on my fingers and toes. The splotchy colouring on my frozen body parts all gradually changed from white to red in colour. This was the start of the painful burning process. How I didn’t lose any fingers or toes to amputation during these years of playing outdoor minor-league hockey was an absolute miracle.

Depression Blog Number Three


Depression Blog Number Three

Depression is too often taken far too lightly. It can have devastating negative effects on one’s physical as well as mental and emotional health. Depression can often manifest as torment. The worst torment for me is when I start feeling like just don’t measure up to somebody’s arbitrary standards. During these times I feel like a total loser. I think that I’ve been a failure in several of my previous employment careers, marriages, family life and other close relationships.

I’ve simply missed the mark in my life. In the past there were many people who had high expectations for me and I feel that I have let them down. This causes me enormous emotional pain as I don’t want to disappoint people. I totally blame myself for my failures in life.

The disease of depression gives me a very distorted view of myself and my life. When I am in a depressive episode and I’m really feeling down, I don’t consider the fact that, unfortunately, life is not fair. I have had to live my life with many emotional and physical disabilities. I don’t take these disabilities into account when I consider the successes and failures in my life. I’ve also had some surprising successes in my life.

Depression Blog Post Two


After one has suffered through several episodes of depression, they can easily identify the signs and symptoms of a relapse . I am presently working through my most recent attack of depression and I’m finally starting to feel a bit better. If I wasn’t, I would not be capable of writing this blog post.

During a serious bout of clinical depression, I rather quickly lose most of my ability to function mentally, emotionally and physically. Don’t ask me about spiritual effects. I’ll just say that one’s relationship with God or their higher power comes to an abrupt halt. I will write more about the negative spiritual destruction of depression in future installments.

When I am seriously depressed my future life appears very bleak to me. My worst depressions occur during the months of December and January. As I’m now 66 years old, I look at my future with dread during a depressive episode. I hate the Christmas season with a passion. This time of the year is the most debilitating for my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

I have noticed a strange characteristic of depression. Being episodic in nature, the person with this disease will sometimes experience periods of remission. During times of remission, I feel like a different person. My wife also notices a significant improvement in my general demeanour. During these periods of relief from the symptoms of depression, I appear to enjoy life. Unfortunately, even when I’m not suffering from a major depressive episode, under the surface a mild or moderate form of depression continues to exist. This condition is known as double depression.

Around the last week of November I experienced a rather sudden change in my mood. I am presently retired, but still do substitute teaching from two to three times a week when I feel up to it. On the whole, I enjoy my part-time job. Ironically, when my most recent episode of depression first manifested, I was coming off three or four very successful substitute teaching assignments.

Normally I would feel quite encouraged by this. However, near the beginning of December 2018, I contracted an upper respiratory infection. As I’ve been diagnosed with a moderate case of COPD, my colds and flus are severe in nature and can hang on for one to four months. When I get one of these bronchial infections my regular daily activities come to a sudden halt. I become so physically debilitated that I am left to spend most of my day on the couch due to the almost complete depletion of my energy resources. Even a task as simple as brushing my teeth becomes a monumental activity.

Depression an Introduction


Depression Introduction

Having suffered from severe bouts of clinical depression for much of my adult life, I’d like to share some of my observations from personal experience. If the reader has never suffered from one or more episodes of severe clinical depression they should consider themselves to be very blessed. Make no mistake about it. Depression is a serious condition that can both devastate and impair one’s ability to function in life. I know that many of my Christian brothers and sisters will take exception to what I’m about to say. I can only write from my own personal experience and to tell the truth from the way I see things.

In my opinion, clinical depression is not the result of some kind of spiritual deficit. In our society it takes an enormous amount of courage to admit that you suffer from this illness. Believe me. There is still an unfortunately large degree of stigma attached to the illness of depression. It is first and foremost a medical condition. A person with depression is no more to blame for their disease as would be the case if they had diabetes or heart disease. Yet most depressed people blame themselves for the periods of time when they cannot seem to manage to function.

Episode three of Alligators in the Sewer by Ken David Stewart


Episode Three:

Joshua Jacobson could best be summed up as being a nerd. He was seventeen years old and attended Manhattan Central High School. Joshua’s level of intelligence would be close to the genius level. He excelled in all his grade twelve subjects, but he liked his math and science classes the most. Joshua was an intellectual in every sense of the word. Although his great desire was to be a famous scientist one day, he was also a voracious reader with interests in a wide variety of subjects.

Joshua read nearly everything he could get his hands on. Although his parents were on the lower strata of the annual income spectrum, and neither one had earned a high school diploma, they were very aware and were very proud of Josh’s intellectual accomplishments. From an early age they had a sense that God had given their son and amazing brain for a reason. Although Josh’s parents were poor, they used what little extra money they had to further Josh’s ambitions. As Josh enjoyed reading and conducting research so much, his parents paid for his monthly subscriptions to Audible Audiobooks, so that their son could choose a new  audiobook to listen to each month. They also invested in a subscription to Scribd, a website service that allows its subscribers to read an unlimited number of books on a wide variety of topics. Science fiction books had always been Josh’s favorites.

Attending high school was at times pure hell for Josh. Senior years schools have long been known for bullying students that did not fit the predetermined criteria of what was considered normal. The social aspect of high school was based on cliques. Every high school student ended up in a clique that was defined by possessing certain, identifiable physical and mental attributes.

There was some overlap, but generally all high school students receive a mandatory designation that they were in some group or clique. There was sometimes some overlap, but rarely war a student integrated into more than one or two defining groups.

The first category was known as the brains. This entity consisted of all kinds of all the students that were known for getting the highest marks in all subjects on the secondary education curriculum. The brains were usually not very popular with the rest of the student body. These academic high achievers were either disdained, ignored or were used by their peers. The brains could be helpful to their less academically gifted counterparts in certain situations. Brains came in handy when one needed to cheat on a test or exam or copy yesterday’s homework assignments. The trade-off or you can say. the upside for the brains was that some of their fellow students who required their services offered the brains protection from other students who would bully them, steal from them or threaten to beat them up.

The second clique was known as the jocks. This group consisted of all the star athletes in the school. A third group was labelled as the stoners. This group of students were known for regularly ingesting a wide variety of both prescription and illegal drugs. The brains and the jocks rarely had anything to do with the stoners. Stoners were not known for doing well in their academic studies because they were, as their name implied, usually flying high on some psychoactive substance that would interfere with their cerebral ability to concentrate on their school work.

There was a subgroup of students within the stoners who were talented musicians. The ones that played in a band were generally held in high regard by almost all the student body. The jocks envied the artistic talents of the musically gifted stoners and were very pissed off by the fact that student musicians who played in local bands often had more groupies than the jocks. The jocks could never conceive how these scrawny, dope smoking rockers didn’t need to have any respectable physique to attract females. The jocks never grasped the concept that these musically gifted stoners needed to practice their guitar licks just as long and hard as the football team had to practice their passing, blocking and running skills.

The last high school clique were the most unfortunate ones. This group was cruelly referred to as the nerds. The nerds presented in all shapes and sizes, but their most prominent distinction was that they all presented as being weird in some way or another. Some were morbidly obese, some were tall and lanky and had faces that were crated like the surface of the moon with acne. Many of them offended their peers and teachers because of their strong repulsive body odor.

The nerds were mostly shun by the vast majority of the student body and faculty. On rare occasions, a student that was considered normal would attempt to befriend them or at the very least try to strike up a conversation with them. Those few nerds that received these acts of kindness were often forever grateful for even the slightest sign of attention and acceptance. The few students who displayed this kind of compassion often found that the result would be that the few grateful nerds would cling to them and wouldn’t leave them alone for at least a semester.