Looking back

Thursday April 18, 2019

Looking back can be rewarding.

During the last few years many people have stressed that however grim the present, dwelling in the past is no answer. Lolo's powerful blog on loss, coming on Mothering Sunday, caused me acute misery (not Lolo's fault; unfortunate juxtaposition of circumstances).

I took my best friend here out for her belated birthday lunch (milestone 60). On the way back, the elderly man opposite asked us in for coffee. A total stranger to her, but in we went, he diabetic, wife handicapped, they were delighted with our visit. I'd already had rather a moan on Moodscope about the estrangement of our first-born son. Nothing on TV, so I watched most of 'Portrait of a Marriage' (Vita-Sackville West and Harold Nicolson) good, not cheering. Then despair struck, I was desperate to talk to somebody, anybody, but not at 10 p.m on Sunday night. So I resorted to old blogs. I don't know if anybody else does this?

One was in July 2018, illustrated by glorious tulips, fearing I was heading for depression. I decided was not, because I was planning to plant hundreds of tulips for the next year – you can NOT be depressed if you are planning for next year. There were pages of replies, many long, sympathetic and forward looking. They came from Orange Blossom, Sally, 'Room', Oli, Nicco, Hopeful One, Mary Wednesday, Jul, Tutti Frutti, Ach UK, Dolphin, Valerie, 'Bear', Molly and Lacey. I even got a request from ratg on growing bulbs – I wrote a 'treatise' via Caroline which was printed. My tulips are now coming out in glorious profusion.

The next blog I read was in January 2018 on 'Comfort Blanket' illustrated by Indian children in the refuge we support wearing shawls I knitted for them. This, too, had loads of lovely replies. A post from 'Hopeful One' does, I think, speak for us all. 'Moodscope was instrumental in lifting me up when I was down in the dumps'.

The need for help in depression seems to have reached crisis point. Radio 4 has had 2 weeks (on PM) on the subject. It seems that coming off medication can have some of the same effects as 'cold turkey', but staying on Prosac for life is not an answer. One GP says she won't prescribe anti-depressants at all, too much risk. GP's say they need 45 minutes to diagnose depression, they get 10 minutes on average. ALL drugs should be regularly monitored, to see if they actually work and that the dosage is right.

Statistically, numbers of sufferers is rising – due as much to uncertainty, unhappy relationships, personalities in the work place, and allied social problems. It is mpossible to know how many depressive states are due to these things or to real, medical bi-polar or the centuries old 'melancholic state'. When I was 'manic depressive', decades ago my GP tried all sorts of drugs, some with horrific side effects, then we ran out of choices, I only had one kidney, and that would not have stood the strain. So, go it alone? Or hope your 'prop' works.

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

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