Posts Tagged ‘ clinical depression ’

Hurrah for the slave of duty!

In Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Pirates of Penzance, the young tenor Frederic has a sense of duty which is so ludicrously over-developed that it drives half of the plot and causes him to change sides for various reasons several times over.  He is one of the most ridiculous characters in the G&S canon due to his over-dutifulness (and when you consider the rest of their ladies and gentlemen, that’s no mean feat).  The combined zenith and nadir of this character trait comes when the Pirate King finds a legal loophole that suggests poor old Frederic must remain his apprentice until the age of 84. 

I abhor your infamous calling; I shudder at the thought that I have ever been mixed up with it; but duty is before all — at any price I will do my duty.

Foolish boy!  But anyway.  This isn’t a post about G&S, or pirates, or even the lovely Cornish town of Penzance.  It’s about duty, and the way in which I am thankful for my own sense of duty. Continue reading

Not just a case of the blues

Recently, I have noticed some of the warning signs that I might be heading for a thrilling return trip to the land of clinical depression.  So this weekend, one of my fun jobs has been to speak to various people I am close to, a support network if you will, and warn them.  It’s never a fun journey, either for me or those who accompany me on the road, so I hope I’m mistaken.

Come to think of it, a return trip is a fairly inaccurate description to use, as it is an illness which doesn’t tend to leave me completely, but bubbles away in the background.  Most of the time, though, I can deal with any minor symptoms that rear their ugly heads and just get on with my life.  The drugs aren’t worth the side-effects and psychotherapy has never helped, so I’d rather not have to seek medical advice about it ever again.

Clinical depression is a widely misunderstood condition, and I have spent quite some time over the last couple of days trying to write a useful, interesting post which could help others understand it.  No joy,I’m afraid, so poetry will have to suffice.  One of my poems on the subject can be found on-line already: The Flame.  The poem that follows is a less polished reaction, written during the Christmas vacation in 1998:

Tears come unbidden
Hidden fears rise
Confusion rears its head
as darkness moves in

All sense departs
Control is lost
Of emotion
Of thought
Of action

Sanity fights a losing battle
Joy and peace lie submerged
with personality

But life stays afloat
Spirit survives
In the safest of hands, I can never be lost

It’s interesting that this is the most optimistic diary entry from that time.  The rest are in prose, and are far less positive.  I’m also intrigued by that lone comma.  I don’t know if the poems or the post are at all enlightening for anyone, and I hope this hasn’t scared any of the readers of this blog who know me in the outside world.  I’ll be fine, but if I look or act more ‘down’ than usual, please don’t tell me to cheer up, or I may have to kill you.

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