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Old 08-12-2014, 05:45 PM   #436
xoxoxoBruce
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Originally Posted by lumberjim View Post
Poor people are too busy surviving to worry about how depressed they are. they don't dwell on their sadness.
Also, it's easier for them to find a legitimate reason to be down, they don't have to contrive anything.

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Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
It's not being sad. It's a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Depressed people can't just "get on with it".
A shitload of medical research has concluded that's true. However that shouldn't ever be an excuse for giving up all personal responsibility and not trying a little bit every day, to improve your life.

Yeah yeah, chances of defeating depression without medical help are slim to none. But the everyday problems that pile up as a result of the imbalance, you can work on. Force yourself to empty the litter box, take a shower, walk twice around the yard. These will feel like you climbed the Matterhorn, probably in difficulty, and definitely warm and fuzzy.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:55 PM   #437
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Goddammit, he was Garp.

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Originally Posted by John Irving - The World According To Garp

Duncan began talking about Walt and the undertow – a famous family story. For as far back as Duncan could remember, the Garps had gone every summer to Dog’s Head Harbor, New Hampshire, where the miles of beach in front of Jenny Fields’ estate were ravaged by a fearful undertow. When Walt was old enough to venture near the water, Duncan said to him – as Helen and Garp had, for years, said to Duncan – ‘Watch out for the undertow.’ Walt retreated, respectfully. And for three summers Walt was warned about the undertow. Duncan recalled all the phrases.

‘The undertow is bad today.’

‘The undertow is strong today.’

‘The undertow is wicked today.’ Wicked was a big word in New Hampshire – not just for the undertow.

And for years Walt reached out for it. From the first, when he asked what it could do to you, he had only been told that it could pull you out to sea. It could suck you under and drown you and drag you away.

It was Walt’s fourth summer at Dog’s Head Harbor, Duncan remembered, when Garp and Helen and Duncan observed Walt watching the sea. He stood ankle-deep in the foam from the surf and peered into the waves, without taking a step, for the longest time. The family went down to the water’s edge to have a word with him.

‘What are you doing, Walt?’ Helen asked.

‘What are you looking for, dummy?’ Duncan asked him.

‘I’m trying to see the Under Toad,’ Walt said.

‘The what?’ said Garp.

‘The Under Toad,’ Walt said. ‘I’m trying to see it. How big is it?

And Garp and Helen and Duncan held their breath; they realized that all these years Walt had been dreading a giant toad, lurking offshore, waiting to suck him under and drag him out to sea. The terrible Under Toad.

Garp tried to imagine it with him. Would it ever surface? Did it ever float? Or was it always down under, slimy and bloated and ever-watchful for ankles its coated tongue could snare? The vile Under Toad.

Between Helen and Garp, the Under Toad became their code phrase for anxiety. Long after the monster was clarified for Walt (‘Undertow, dummy, not Under Toad!’ Duncan had howled), Garp and Helen evoked the beast as a way of referring to their own sense of danger. When the traffic was heavy, when the road was icy – when depression had moved in overnight – they said to each other, ‘The Under Toad is strong today.’
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:47 PM   #438
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Norm McDonald Remembers Robin Williams, The Funniest Man in the World
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:52 PM   #439
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Christopher Reeve broke his neck in 1995, but lived another nine years with tons of medical attention and around the clock care. I couldn't even begin to figure what that cost.




Robin Williams paid it.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:56 PM   #440
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Goddammit, he was Garp.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:10 PM   #441
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No, Jim, I think you're very wrong there. Poor people with depression expect to be depressed/are expected to be depressed/self-medicate with drink or drugs until they die of excess/get treatment of they're lucky but don't hit the headlines because they have to just get on with the struggle. I can think of several examples among my RL and online acquaintance.
Poor people are depressed as often as the rich; they just don't make the news. Bipolar disorder doesn't respect socioeconomic class. It runs in families and it's tightly connected with substance abuse ... the two run together. But it's no different than inherited type 2 diabetes or any other genetic predisposition.

People with major depression CANNOT just take a cold shower, walk around the block, do a good deed, and get over it. They can and will do all of the above - and Robin Williams is the quintessential example of a person who went far beyond that in carrying on, and in giving to others - but it doesn't touch the darkness that makes it impossible to go on. Read William Styron's Darkness Visible. His description of suicidal depression captures its essence. The online blog Hyperbole and a Half: Adventures in Depression and Depression Part Two are also instructive.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:26 PM   #442
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Hyperbole and a Half: Adventures in Depression and Depression Part Two are also instructive
Good call.

pt 1

pt 2
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:41 PM   #443
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Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
Good call.

pt 1

pt 2
Yeah, that's pretty good. Thanks, Ortho. And thanks for the links UT.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:43 PM   #444
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That's quite good!
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:47 PM   #445
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Well, Lauren Bacall also passed away today. It just fits into this thread. She was like 89. She had a good life.

Not a huge shock like Robin, but she deserves to be noticed.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:48 PM   #446
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I agree; just saw that.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:56 PM   #447
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How many disorders fit under the label of 'depression'?

Bipolar disorder and actual chemical imbalances....

They go beyond what I think of as depression. I guess that's wrong.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:08 PM   #448
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Well ... what do you think of as depression? I can understand someone thinking that depression is a reaction to harsh life circumstances - that's reactive or situational depression, also known as exogenous depression.

Endogenous depression is the killer. It's the one that comes on with no identifiable cause, and it devastates lives. You're not wrong, it just that it's a complex beast.
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:08 AM   #449
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Who said it was the reaction of a harsh life? What I said is it's easier for people living a harsh life to find excuses for their feeling depressed, so it's easier for them to overlook an underlying medical condition... plus not affording a doctor. I thought that's what Jim was talking about also.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:48 AM   #450
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When I was poor for a few years (I'm currently on the breadline - but by choice and with options) I used to think that, and my rocky relationship was why I was depressed.

But over the years I have noticed that it comes and it goes with very little connection to what is going on in my life. Sure, there are triggers like money stress but - it can drop in from a clear blue sky. I can be in the middle of a really happy time, with everything going right - feeling loved and cared for, secure and content and then bang - it's back. Or I can be in the middle of crisis and be fine.

The black dog comes when it wants to come. And leaves when it wants to leave.

Looking back on my life - I am fairly sure (always difficult to assess emotional state in the past) that I have had bouts of depression on and off since I was around 8 years old.
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