Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Monday, May 23, 2005

about my depressive rants...

And there have been a few.

Should I have posted them? Is there any point to such posts other than self-pity and attention seeking?

And upon reading them how are people supposed to respond?
- ignore them and only respond to other posts instead?
- tell me to cheer up?
- tell me to pull myself together?
- share your own stories of woe?
- share your own stories of recovery?
- play counsellor and reflect back what I'm saying?
- tell me a joke?
- recommend alcoholic drinks?
- distract me with arguments about other things?
- say hello in passing and hope I'm feeling better soon?
- make soothing noises?
- make clucking noises?
- make no noise whatsoever and just read without comment?
- send money?

All flippancy aside, I don't know whether it is in the spirit of blogging to post such pathetic outpourings. Perhaps I should not upset or sicken the reader. I know that it makes people uncomfortable and concerned. I know that they feel at a loss as to how to respond. So perhaps it's best to keep these kinds of rants to myself. I don't know. I'm in two minds.

I'll throw it open for discussion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do whatever you need to do - rant, kick the cat, etc.


May 24, 2005 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

I think blogging can be about whatever you want it to be, so by all means depressive rant away.

Does getting it all out help you in some way, I guess is the question...

May 24, 2005 11:49 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

It seems to me that you're asking three questions here, Gerry:
1. should you post about being depressed?
2. why do you post about being depressed?
3. how should other people respond?

Here's my answer to the first: yes. Only you can answer the last two. (Get to work, Sunshine.)

But maybe what you're after is a more general discussion about depression?

May 24, 2005 12:31 PM  
Blogger Brownie said...

people in general are frightened of hearing the s word. maybe that is why it occurs so often.

like parents and their s word - sex - 'go ask your father/mother'.

at the end of Sorrow At SillsBend blog, there is a password protected blog for Jewish Bloggers.
I want to get the same arrangement for Companions of The Black Dog to be able to speak freely among themselves ( depressioNet is crap and something better is needed).

May 24, 2005 12:57 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

So basically, guys, you're saying I've got to figure it out for myself. I was afraid of that. :-(

I do thank you for your input though.

Brownie, I don't know about chatting behind "closed doors". Sounds a bit closeted...

May 24, 2005 11:10 PM  
Blogger Ron said...


Have you visited this Aussie site - beyond blue ?

May 25, 2005 7:25 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Ron, I've heard of it, will visit it and read what's there. I'm skeptical though. I'd be very surprised if Big Pharma and psychiatry have not effectively taken control of this area and I wouldn't give you tuppence for either. But we'll see. There's also the Black Dog Institute and, as Brownie pointed out, there's also depressioNet.

I've been meaning to check their websites out, so I guess now's the time. We'll see if they've got anything to say that gets past my skeptic's radar. But I can tell you now, Ron, I reject out of hand, psychotropic drugs and ECT. No way. never. End of story.

May 25, 2005 9:34 AM  
Blogger Ron said...


I have experienced depression most of my life. It was this and a history of suicide attempts in my late teens that cause me to fail my medical when I was called up in the infamous Vietnam birthday ballots of the 60s (depression did at least have one benefit in my life).

Although chronic anxiety and depression are with me all the time (the cycling is probably noticable in the ups and downs of life at Mountain Murmurs), I manage it these days without drugs (withdrawal from 6 years of Ativan in 2001 is not something I ever want to experience again) or other treatment (not always as successfully as I like and I am grateful for a family that pulls me back from the brink).

However during the blackest period of my life (1994 to 2001), I have to say it was a combination of several hospitalisations, psychiatric care, drugs and finally ECT that saved my life. I have at one time taken just about every depression med around including Lithium which is used for bipolar disorder.

The point of all this is that I believe there are times when medication, treatment etc might be called for despite side affects such at that mentioned above for Ativan. They did the job at the time and are probably the reason I can just get by most of the time now (Coles and Woolies staff must hate unpacking those trollies I leave behind when I have panic attacks and have to get out of the stores immediately). I have been able to handle a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2002.

Is any of this story helping? I at least hope it gives you something to think about.

May 25, 2005 11:27 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Ron, I respect your opinion but I will beg to differ. For instance, you say that it was the medications or the ECT that "saved your life", but I wonder if you might not have had an equally good or even better recovery if you had just been given a safe, caring, nurturing environment in which to take refuge (an asylum) where you could just rant yourself to a standstill. I don't know, that's all I'm saying.

May 25, 2005 12:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

No, I'll never know the answer to that question.

I must say of of the 25 weeks in St John of God Hospital over the 5 years, it was a ' safe, caring, nurturing environment'. It's also a hospital that specialises in PTSD and Vietnam vets (or was when I was there).

What's happened to Deirdre? Who site,' Plodding along to glory' is coming up 'page not found'?

May 25, 2005 12:07 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

I think I becoming dsylexic (as well as dysfunctional) - that who in the last post should be her.

May 25, 2005 12:08 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

And I have to say, Ron, that you've done it a lot tougher than I have, so I have no right to have an opinion about your situation.

Yes, I'm aware of St John of God Hospital and its PTSD treatment for veterans. I haven't talked to them and perhaps I should, but I'm led to believe that it's a condition of one's admission that one agrees to go with whatever "treatment" they propose.

The other thing that I find off-putting is that, as I understand it, the veterans program is a group therapy program. I have no intention of being in the same room as a bunch of Vietnam vets. I don't know any who are not racist xenophobic wankers who, when under pressure, try to solve their disagreements by using physical violence. They even bring out similar traits in me. I only need to be in the same room as one of those warmongering arseholes and I'll try to rip their head off and shove it up their arse. (That's not entirely true, but I do have the unstoppable need to get out of the room till I cool down.)

No, Ron, until I can find a true asylum where, when I really can't cope, I can go to just chill out, maybe with some one-on-one interaction with someone who just listens and perhaps gives some advice without wanting to drug me or zap my brain with electricity, where I don't have to be in the same room as people whom I totally detest, where I retain complete control over what is or isn't done to me, not until I find such a place will I ever go near a mental health institution voluntarily. And I venture to say that putting me into one forcibly will be totally counter-productive for them as well myself.

May 25, 2005 12:49 PM  
Anonymous brownie said...

Tmo Crsuie and the lovely Susan Hampshire are both dyslexic so our Ron is in attractive company.

re nurturing environment vs medications: pre WW2, quite often for many illnesses, a sanitarium was the only remedy. wrapped in blankets and wheeled into the sunshine of the lawns and served lemon barley water or beef tea. 6 weeks of fresh air and care and quiet.

May 25, 2005 9:11 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Ron! It's me, Who! Sorry about the Blogger thing. Back in business now, though.

Gerry, when you said "a safe, caring, nurturing environment in which to take refuge (an asylum) where you could just rant yourself to a standstill", is that basically what you find, or want to find, in this blog? If so, it answers the other question about how we readers should respond to depressive posts: do the caring and nurturing thing until your ranting runs out of steam. Is that what you mean?

Ron (please ignore this if you want): how are you getting on after the prostate cancer thing?

And Brownie, I can't see the word "sanitarium" without thinking "Weetbix". (No, it's not relevant, I just think it's funny.)

May 25, 2005 9:58 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Ok, let's see if I can make any sense. I can't sleep, so I may as well try.

Brownie, the sanitarium idea is the sort of thing I'm talking about. Trouble is with me, most of the time when I'm not coping, it's myself I need to get away from. I've alread gotten away from everyone else by being reclusive. I really just don't want to be on this planet of psychopathic killers dressed up as patriots or politicians telling us lies about how it's all for the greater good , or "freedom" "democracy", or "to stop terrorism", or whatever lie they give us next week. I'm sick of knowing that the petrol I buy is obtained through lies, deception, coercion, and mass murder. I'm sick of being made an accessory after the fact. I'm sick of it.

Deirdre, I wish this blog was some sort of asylum, but it isn't. It's not a place where I go to rest and get away from my troubles. It's a place I come when I can't get away from what's in my head. But there's no way I can bring myself to say it all here. This is way too public and acccessible.

It's like there are emotional layers. At the bottom you've got apathy, then above that you've got sadness/grief/self-pity, then above that there is frusration/anger/rage.
And above that there's a terrible boredom. I think in future I'll vent frustration/anger/rage, but not the but not the depressed stuff. It only makes people concerned, uncomfortable or frustrated.

May 26, 2005 12:07 AM  
Blogger Ron said...


I had radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of prostate gland) a couple of years ago. Post-operative pathology showed that I had about 6 months before it would have been inoperable or curable, only treatable to slow it down. I was VERY lucky and owe my life to my very alert and thorough GP. I appear to be in complete remission although they won't give an all clear until ten years after the op.

As many men die of prostate cancer (PCa) each year as women do of breast cancer. I can't stress enough the importance of men 45 and over having an annual PSA test and digital examination of the prostate. If a man's mother had breast cancer, he has a greater chance of getting PCa. And if he has PCa his children's risk of breast cancer and PCa is increased by around 50% so my children will have to be careful.

As an addendum to what I said the other day in my potted medical history, perhaps getting cancer also helped change my way of thinking. When you are faced with the reality of death from a medical problem, lots of things change for ever - some good, some bad.

May 26, 2005 1:34 PM  
Blogger Brownie said...

First, The News is all bad. So why do I have to begin my day reading it? Priority is not the reports but the letters - I do the SMH letters, and Age and Australian. then I need 2 cups of tea because it is all outrageous.
I used to go to a pain support group and another member said her doctor ordered her to stop paying aNY ATTENTION TO NEWS.


nice surprise is that Liberal MP with the GUTS to stand up with her own personal opinion about injustice. should be more of that.

I have an Ed McBain book and am going to make tea, get a rug, and pretend that I am in the beautiful mountains at a Weetbix place on a lawn in the peaceful sun. peace and love H

May 26, 2005 1:41 PM  
Blogger Ron said...


What's a WeetBix place? Oh ... B & B?

Only thing necessary to go with the book, tea and rug - a cigarette! I stopped smoking 13 years ago and I still miss it although I now hate the smell of them on clothes etc (interestingly I had a nervous breakdown almost a year to the day later - I sometimes think smoking helped maintained a certain equilibrium). Anyway, I couldn't afford it these days: I'd be looking at around $25 a day and I ain't got that kinda bread anymore.

(Gerry - we're a 'bit' off-topic here but, geez, lots of long comments.)

May 26, 2005 3:56 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

For the meaning of "a Weetbix place" you need to factor-in Deirdre's comment about hwo she cant seem to think of a sanatorium without thinking of Weetbix. so Brownie was cryptically alluding to wanting to be at a sanitorium in the Blue Mountains. I don't think she'd really want to be there though, because such a place is likely to have you and I as "guests"...

May 26, 2005 11:28 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Ron, (re: the prostrate)I hope they give you the "all clear" in ten years time. Sounds like a good thing. Reminds me I'm overdue for a visit to the proctologist.

May 26, 2005 11:35 PM  
Anonymous Brownie said...

Thank you Gerry for the Weetbix explanation.
'asylum' has come to convey a negative thing when in fact an asylum is a refuge a haven a safe kind place.
people SEEK asylum, not run from it.
asylums and sanitariums were good places and very useful until the explosion of Big Pharma Bucks took over the world. what would you rather do - go home alone with a prescription, or go where kindness will envelop you for a break from the stress of your life.
Everyone who has had a 'Positive' test outcome knows that: All cancer is TRIGGERED by stress.
maybe a blog can be a 'virtual' haven?
MsFits has been running a 'virtual' Blog Brother that is pretty funny.

high regard to all of you, hb

May 30, 2005 6:29 PM  
Anonymous brownie said...

PS don't go near DepressioNet - it exacerbates the mood. trust me.

May 30, 2005 6:30 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hi Brownie. Yes, there's bugger all asylum around these days. We'll soon all be mere corporate slaves serving an uncaring, soul-less corporate aristocracy which will facilitate a sick and twisted version of surivial of the "fittest".

I'll check out Ms Fits's site.

May 30, 2005 11:23 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Oh, I forgot to reply to your DepressioNet comment, Brownie. I was going to say that reading this blog can exacerbate one's depression as well. And of course, now that you've said "keep away", I'm drawn there like a moth to a flame. :-/

Does anyone know what's happened to Moutain Murmurs?

May 30, 2005 11:28 PM  
Blogger Brownie said...

the chief executive of Merck said it had long been his dream to make drugs for healthy people, and 'sell to everyone'. That dream now drives the marketing machinery of one of the most profitable industries on the planet. Using their dominating influence in medical science, drug companies are marketing fear in order to re-define human illness. In alliance with company-friendly doctors and sponsored patient groups, the all-powerful pharmaceutical industry is helping to widen the very definitions of disease, in order to expand markets for its drugs. With compelling clarity, Selling Sickness reveals how the ups and downs of daily life are becoming mental disorders, and common complaints are being transformed into frightening conditions. Shyness is Social Anxiety Disorder, PMS is a psychiatric illness called PMDD, and active children now have ADHD. As more and more ordinary people are turned into patients, drug companies move ever closer to that dream of selling to everyone. Tuesday 21st June 6.30 for 7pm COST: $9/$6 conc, gleeclub welcome VENUE: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe TO BOOK: please phone 9660 2333 or email:

May 30, 2005 11:52 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

"It's all just a chemical imbalance in the brain and we have a pill that will fix that.."

Of course, the other side of the coin is that they turn around at say to you
"Pull yourself together, there's nothing wrong with you. You're just a wooss."

I don't know which one's worse.

May 31, 2005 2:10 AM  
Blogger Brownie said...

a pox on em then.
make a list of 10 gorgeous rich powerful people.
think about each individual.
convince yourself that none of them have ever been deeply depressed.
I rest my case.
I bet bloody Derryn is depressed right now, despite having owned RollsRoyces and islands. Paris Hilto . . . . no maybe not her.
anyway, you know what I mean.
what would a couple both named Paris, name any child they might have? cheers, hb

May 31, 2005 7:34 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

They might call their offsplring Footscray, or Maribyrnong, or Ross River...

June 01, 2005 1:09 AM  
Blogger Brownie said...

Hi Gerry - re Mountain Murmurs, Ron was here recently, he wanted a ciggy with his rug and steamer chair, and fretting that we were off-topic.

we weren't. the Topic is whatever the discussion is about. all good discussions evolve, so, . . .

re the Blogger Big Brother - my error, it was Jellyfish and MrLefty, not MsX.

June 01, 2005 12:39 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

I'm worried about Ron because he's not only pulled his blog, he's shut his email address down as well. Seems like he's slammed the door on the blogosphere. Hope he's OK.

June 02, 2005 2:00 AM  
Blogger Brownie said...

oh dear.
reading and commenting at blogs is such a great distraction, (now I only read one book per day, where I used to do 2+) I wish it worked for everyone.
I hope he has not been subsumed by depressioNet

June 02, 2005 7:40 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Oh dear indeed, Brownie. I wish I could read as prolifically as you do. I used to be able to read heaps but these days my attention span for any one activity is very short. I start reading a book and twenty minutes later I've had enough of that for the day.

Re Ron, I think he'll pop up again. I certainly hope so.

June 02, 2005 8:34 PM  
Blogger Brownie said...

Different books for different needs. Foucault is OK, but if you want 'a good read' there are 20 in the Reginald Hill Dalziel & Pascoe series, all highly intelligent with no concessions for dumbclucks, much better than the TV series and intensely unputdownable. then move on to Ed McBain, Donald Westlake very word witty, and for the best vocab oldy but goody Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe. then all the Elmore Leonards and Carl Hiaasens. get up for previews of all of them. block out lying governments.

June 04, 2005 12:35 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

I can't do fiction anymore, Brownie. There's far too much non-fiction I want to read that I'm grappling with.

To get back to the topic of this post, I've decided never again to go public in this blog when I'm having "a bout". It's just too pathetic to do so.

June 05, 2005 9:21 PM  

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