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September 20, 2006

Depressed, manic, what?

WARNING: may contain the word CUNT.

May also be self-indulgent bollocks, however. The author will not be liable for readers kicking the crap out of their pc due to boiling over with anger at the self-indugent arse-wipery contained hereafter. So there.

I may have referred in the past to being a depressive sort of person, so it was with great interest that I watched Stephen Fry last evening exploring his and others' relationship with bipolarity. (I fear that I am in danger of breaking my self-imposed ten minute rule here. It is a serious thing, though).

Bit disappointed, actually. Not with Stephen, whom I like enormously and he made a very good programme. No, more with myself, as usual.

I can relate to all of the more minor incidents of depression recounted: one Robbie Williams, of whom you may have heard, described standing up in front of forty thousand people and saying 'I'm great, me', finishing the concert, going alone back to his hotel, and pulling the duvet over his head. I so do that. On a much smaller scale, obviously. And Stephen recounted that during his depressive periods, he just thinks that everyone dislikes him because he's such a cunt*, a complete wanker**. I do that, too. I still think sometimes that my mates are just putting up with me and all give a collective sigh of relief when I leave.

However, they then recounted the manic episodes of creativity, unbounded energy, no sense of responsibility, no fear of failure - and both said that they wouldn't want not to be bipolar because of this; it made it all worth while. They even credited these manic periods with creating them as successful slebs in their own field.


No fair.

Typical me.

How come I only get the arse end of the deal, as usual? I heard myself asking.

I could look at this, if I was a paranoid person, as just another of life's kicks in the teeth that I seem to get more than my fair share of. And, yes, I know we all feel like that sometimes. But I found myself thinking: I actually want to be more mad ill than I am already. It's not fair. How come I don't get the fun bit, just the bad bit?

But then the other people on the documentary gave me a reality check, so to speak: a fat Tony Slattery chucking all his worldly goods into the Thames from a warehouse flat, holed up alone for three months; the ex-commander of the Royal Yacht who saw angels, and the devil, and then walked out of a psychiatric unit and stepped in front of a lorry, on purpose - did you see the damage still done to his legs? - and the poor woman, only a little older than me but who looked seventy, who just grinds to a halt in the supermarket, unable to motivate herself to move at all, and says she lives from minute to minute because she can't even consider further away than that. She once tried to kill herself by drilling into her head. Not funny.

So, I guess my bad bits aren't too bad, really. It is frustrating, don't get me wrong. I have the greatest difficulty motivating myself to do anything at all sometimes, and it was important for me to hear Stephen say that sometimes to get up from the sofa and go to the fridge is an effort almost too great to be attempted. I had sort of wondered if that was just me. So that's good to know. I find myself doing anything at all as escapism: this, tv, books, the paper, having a snooze, anything, to avoid thinking about what I should be doing, ie working; the trouble with that is I finish the paper, programme, whatever, and reality just comes crashing in again. Leaving me being down and feeling guilty that I haven't been working, earning money to feed the children, blah blah.

I went to the doctor about all this a while ago, and he said to get more exercise.

Ta for that.

Our Robbie said that he'd stopped drinking and drug-taking for 13 months and felt worse than ever. So he went and got some anti-depressants and suddenly felt fine for the first time in years: 'Soz about that, I'm ok now'.

Mmmmm. Now that really is interesting. I have always steered clear of this route. I am really worried about dependency and so on. I can't decide whether what I feel like is really a big enough problem: I muddle through. You wouldn't even know, to look at me. I seem normal enough, I guess. But I have felt like this - the mates thing, the motivation thing, low self esteem and all that - for pretty much all of my life that I can remember, sometimes more, sometimes less, but always there. I'm fairly sure that I'm not bipolar. I don't do the manic thing much (or maybe I do, what the fuck do I know? I'd need to be on the outside looking in to judge). I don't think I do. I'm also fairly sure that I am depressive. Not lock-self-in-garage-with-ignition-turned-on depressive. Ever. Honest: be reassured on that one. But I think that I really do have to do something about this one now. Crisis? What crisis? Ha. Maybe, this time.

So: pills, or no pills?

Assuming the doc agrees with me.

I'll let you know.

*His word, and I did warn you.
**Sorry, forgot to warn you about that one. I assume it's ok between mates.


  • do you know what, if you're well enough to get yourself to a doctor, you could be a lot "iller" (if you see what I mean)

    and that's a good thing (that you are as well as you are, not as ill as you might be)

    take the doc's advice on the pills (if the first lot don't work for you, go back after a few months and get your presciption changed), get some counselling (yeah I know, that means talking about how you're feeling), get the exercise regime in place, eat properly (I wasn't joking all those months ago about nuts and seeds and turkey at bedtime and whatever else it was), sleep properly (almonds and turkey, remember?), get a light box (and use it properly), don't exhaust yourself needlessly (that means priorotise - won't give you any lessons on this, you're a grown man after all) and talk to Mrs CWC about how you feel

    for what it's worth, I've been depression free for three years and off the medication for almost two years; don't underestimate the havoc it can wreak on your life - but it is important to understand that it is possible to be well again

    completely well

    (but not necessarily "sane", if you see what I mean)

    sorry - more than ten seconds' worth; no intention to teach you to suck eggs intended

    By Blogger I, like the view, at 4:09 pm  

  • (oh and maybe get the doc to do a blood test, my medication didn't kick in until they found out - four years down the line - that there was something wrong with my thyroid)

    I'll go away now

    By Blogger I, like the view, at 4:19 pm  

  • iltv talks good sense in my opiniion and I undestand your aversion to pills. It was really interesting reading your version of it. More assured that mine. I was desperately trying to get everything down for an overseas friend and my poor arthritic thumb nearly gave up. I was once in a yoga lesson; we had to divide into groups of four and all the four in my group had someone with a mental illness so get it out in the open say I. Many students, for example, have an episode at university which can blight their whoe life. Sorry to go on.

    By Blogger PI, at 5:06 pm  

  • Have you read fjl's version?

    By Blogger PI, at 11:13 pm  

  • thyroid meds plus antidepressants saved me from a very bleak life....I would seriously consider taking the meds.

    good luck CWC. :-)

    By Blogger Kyahgirl, at 11:01 pm  

  • you've gone ever so quiet. . .

    By Blogger I, like the view, at 10:47 am  

  • Only been quiet on here, not in real life, promise. I've been trying to look into this a bit more following fjl's thing, and I think honestly I'm out of my depth! I'm feeling much better now anyway - the LOML thinks that I've watched the programme and then decided I'm bipolar, rather than vice-versa. I'm not, however, as the post testified.

    By Blogger crisiswhatcrisis, at 9:11 am  

  • good


    hope you're enjoying the lovely weather

    and everything else that there is to enjoy


    By Blogger I, like the view, at 6:27 pm  

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