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Rowan
11-15-2010, 12:59 AM
I've got a character who suffers from depression, but I don't know much about the symptoms or the behavioural traits a person would exhibit. I realize this is a sensitive topic, but if anyone would be willing to share their experiences, I'd sincerely appreciate it. If you're more comfortable talking in 'private', please feel free to PM me.

Knowing how the illness impacts other family members--specifically children--is of particular interest,so if anyone had a parent or sibling with the disease, that's a perpsective I really need.

Thank you in advance.

alleycat
11-15-2010, 01:05 AM
Just offering a secondary idea. It could be that the character is becoming an alcoholic (or is just drinking way too much), which is making a mild case of depression much worse. That could complicate the character's relationship with family and friends.

Again, just an idea; I know that's not what you're asking.

san_remo_ave
11-15-2010, 01:10 AM
Externally, a depressed person might appear withdrawn, indifferent, lethargic, uncaring. They disengage from others around them. Some might gain weight, others lose it.

Internally, a depressed person is often aware that they are being withdrawn, indifferent, etc but they are unable to do anything to change it. Some (but not all) may also have suicidal thoughts.

It can be a sort of surreal experience at times. And differs based on the individual. Do you know why your character is depressed?

san_remo_ave
11-15-2010, 01:12 AM
Just offering a secondary idea. It could be that the character is becoming an alcoholic (or is just drinking way too much), which is making a mild case of depression much worse. That could complicate the character's relationship with family and friends.

This one is especially tricky, because some people suffering from depression will 'self-medicate' with alcohol because they think they feel better while inebriated. However, alcohol is a depressant, so it exacerbates the situation, a sort of depressive downward spiral.

alleycat
11-15-2010, 01:13 AM
Do you know why your character is depressed?
Maybe they just got their 87th rejection for their vampire novel, Kiss of Blood.


Just kidding!

jeseymour
11-15-2010, 01:18 AM
Didn't you beta read my book where my MC attempts suicide? :tongue He was pretty depressed. It can manifest in a lot of different ways. What fits your story? Some people get angry when they start to get depressed. Some people withdraw. Some sleep all day. Some will burst into tears over what seems like nothing, because it's just the last straw. I'm pretty sure I had severe post-partum depression after my third child, but I didn't get diagnosed. I would just sit and rock him and cry. I was so tired and so deeply unhappy. It was horrible.:cry:

LBlankenship
11-15-2010, 01:22 AM
My husband suffers from serious depression and I've had my own run-ins with it. If you have specific questions, feel free to PM.

I'd say the most prominent symptom is pervasive, paralyzing despair. He's described it as like living at the bottom of the well and looking up at the sky ("normal life"). Some of the less well known symptoms include major disruptions of the sleep cycle -- DH was constantly tired and could sleep 14 hours, get up for a few hours, and then be so tired he went back to bed. It wasn't apnea and it wasn't narcolepsy. He also suffered from gruesomely violent nightmares on most nights.

Fortunately, we found medications that help a great deal. I can't imagine what people went through before SSRIs.

Alitriona
11-15-2010, 01:23 AM
I've lived with episodes for the last almost twenty years, it's gotten worse and sometimes better over the years, especially as I am coping with a disabled child. When I go through a bad episode it can strike one of two ways. Either I simple can't bring myself to do anything and want to sleep or I don't sleep at all, for days on end. During that time I can become manic and get a million and one things done.
I am very open about it. I have never felt depression is something to be hidden or ashamed of. It's part of who I am.
My siblings and father are aware of it to some point. I'm not sure they understand the extent of it. Likewise my partner does his best when I'm having bad days. He has admitted he doesn't really know how to deal with me at times. I can get slightly hysterical if I'm upset. My son sees me on days I can't go to work, he's seen me upset. He'll ask if I'm okay which makes it worse.
The thing about me is I can hide it well. I recently struggled for a long period and when I came out the other end I told my friends what had been going on. None of them realized, because I can act like nothing is wrong very well.
At the moment I've been unmedicated for a couple of months, I'm using other methods to cope. I will probably be medicated again at some point in the future but I'll think about that then. For the most part I function normally.

Lhun
11-15-2010, 01:25 AM
I'd say the first relevant question is whether the depression is mostly psychological, i.e. caused by circumstance or past experiences, or whether it's mostly physical, caused by a specific brain chemistry. Well, if recovery from depression is going to matter at least. The condition itself isn't really different.

Rowan
11-15-2010, 01:26 AM
Just offering a secondary idea. It could be that the character is becoming an alcoholic (or is just drinking way too much), which is making a mild case of depression much worse. That could complicate the character's relationship with family and friends.

Again, just an idea; I know that's not what you're asking.

That's actually a good idea--and would be interesting from the perspective of a young teenager.


Posted by jeseymour:
Didn't you beta read my book where my MC attempts suicide? :tongue He was pretty depressed. It can manifest in a lot of different ways. What fits your story? Some people get angry when they start to get depressed. Some people withdraw. Some sleep all day. Some will burst into tears over what seems like nothing, because it's just the last straw. I'm pretty sure I had severe post-partum depression after my third child, but I didn't get diagnosed. I would just sit and rock him and cry. I was so tired and so deeply unhappy. It was horrible.:cry:

I remember that but he's a totally different character (in more ways than one). ;)
My MC is the mother of two teens (one 14, one 18). Husband is a workaholic--and they're well off. She used to work, but quit because of the depression. I need for her to be detached--if that works. Because I know so little about depression, want to make sure her emotional state and actions are realistic.

Rowan
11-15-2010, 01:33 AM
My husband suffers from serious depression and I've had my own run-ins with it. If you have specific questions, feel free to PM.

I'd say the most prominent symptom is pervasive, paralyzing despair. He's described it as like living at the bottom of the well and looking up at the sky ("normal life"). Some of the less well known symptoms include major disruptions of the sleep cycle -- DH was constantly tired and could sleep 14 hours, get up for a few hours, and then be so tired he went back to bed. It wasn't apnea and it wasn't narcolepsy. He also suffered from gruesomely violent nightmares on most nights.

Fortunately, we found medications that help a great deal. I can't imagine what people went through before SSRIs.

This is precisely what I'm looking for--thank you! I might take you up on that offer and PM with questions. :)

Rowan
11-15-2010, 01:37 AM
I've lived with episodes for the last almost twenty years, it's gotten worse and sometimes better over the years, especially as I am coping with a disabled child. When I go through a bad episode it can strike one of two ways. Either I simple can't bring myself to do anything and want to sleep or I don't sleep at all, for days on end. During that time I can become manic and get a million and one things done.
I am very open about it. I have never felt depression is something to be hidden or ashamed of. It's part of who I am.
My siblings and father are aware of it to some point. I'm not sure they understand the extent of it. Likewise my partner does his best when I'm having bad days. He has admitted he doesn't really know how to deal with me at times. I can get slightly hysterical if I'm upset. My son sees me on days I can't go to work, he's seen me upset. He'll ask if I'm okay which makes it worse.
The thing about me is I can hide it well. I recently struggled for a long period and when I came out the other end I told my friends what had been going on. None of them realized, because I can act like nothing is wrong very well.
At the moment I've been unmedicated for a couple of months, I'm using other methods to cope. I will probably be medicated again at some point in the future but I'll think about that then. For the most part I function normally.


Is there a difference between 'depression' and 'manic depression'? If one suffers from depression, do they also have (or could they develop) manic depression, ie., are they related disorders?

I'm going to Google this but thought I'd throw it out here too. :)

Lhun
11-15-2010, 01:48 AM
Is there a difference between 'depression' and 'manic depression'?Yes. What used to be manic depression is now referred to a bi-polar disorder. (Well, manic depression is an old term also used for lots of other mood disorder that are now more clearly defined)
If one suffers from depression, do they also have (or could they develop) manic depression, ie., are they related disorders?People with bi-polar disorder suffer from depressive episodes that can be somewhat similar to depression, but it'd be very unlikely to mistake one for another. It might be possible to mistake someone with a very light case of bi-polar disorder for someone with a light and irregular case of depression.
Simply put, bi-polar disorder is characterized by regular (as in reoccurring, not on a schedule) and pretty drastic mood swings, depression isn't.

Rowan
11-15-2010, 01:57 AM
Yes. What used to be manic depression is now referred to a bi-polar disorder. (Well, manic depression is an old term also used for lots of other mood disorder that are now more clearly defined)
People with bi-polar disorder suffer from depressive episodes that can be somewhat similar to depression, but it'd be very unlikely to mistake one for another. It might be possible to mistake someone with a very light case of bi-polar disorder for someone with a light and irregular case of depression.
Simply put, bi-polar disorder is characterized by regular (as in reoccurring, not on a schedule) and pretty drastic mood swings, depression isn't.

Ah, that makes sense. My character suffers from depression and not bi-polar then. (Thank you) :)

This reminds me of that show "E.R.". Didn't Sally Field's character suffer from bi-polar disorder or do I have the wrong show? I remember her having drastic mood swings---up for days and then rock bottom.

fredXgeorge
11-15-2010, 03:51 AM
Well, I had no eyebrows or eyelashes because I pulled them out. Also I'd stay in my bed for hours with the door shut. I don't know whether that helps much.

Rowan
11-15-2010, 03:54 AM
Well, I had no eyebrows or eyelashes because I pulled them out. Also I'd stay in my bed for hours with the door shut. I don't know whether that helps much.

But what compelled you to do this--anxiety? Staying in bed for hours seems to be a common symptom based on the responses here--overall fatigue, etc. Thanks!

(Vampire Diaries === great show, btw!!! :D)

scarletpeaches
11-15-2010, 04:02 AM
I heard a talk about this once, where the speaker said he'd like to relate something a female friend had told him.

She'd said, "Take the worst physical pain you've ever felt. Multiply it by ten. Now take away the cause."

I approached him afterwards and said, "Yes. That's me."

I go into hibernation, too. I stock up on the bare minimum to keep me alive - milk, teabags, bread. Maybe dry biscuits. Or boiled sweets (hard candy, I think you'd call it) to keep up my blood sugar without having to eat a proper meal. It's not that I suddenly turn anorexic; it's that I lose my appetite. The thought of food makes me sick.

I lock the door, get changed into my pyjamas and stay in bed for as long as it takes to stop thinking I'm the world's ugliest, most useless, talentless, hopeless, good-for-nothing cunt. (And no, I don't use that word in all seriousness very often, but I do here).

Too, being raised a Catholic and being taught the greatest sin is despair, that's another thing to beat myself up about.

Weird thing is I'm so tired, but at the same time unable to sleep. I just kinda...doze on and off.

The worst of it lasts for three, four days, but I can have that 'walking through treacle' feeling for weeks afterwards.

Whoa. I make myself sound like a total sad sack there. But anyway. The fact I'm online and speaking shows I'm not. ;) It's when I go quiet than I'm likely having one of my episodes.

But you asked about parent/child relationships. I wonder if my mother wasn't a fruit loop too, although her behaviour was...shall we say...mercurial. I never knew whether I'd get nice Mummy or nasty Mummy. She could, I kid you not, turn on a dime. One minute she'd shower you with affection and you'd be Mummy's Little Princess, the next her fists would start flying. Depression? Unlikely. Mental illness? Sounds like it.

A huge problem is getting other people to understand the difference between personality disorders, character weaknesses and mental illness. No one chooses to be depressed, so often depressed folk will, as I do, hibernate - not to seek attention or make others worry, but it's honest-to-goodness "They won't understand so I'd rather deal with it in my own way."

scarletpeaches
11-15-2010, 04:05 AM
If you're interested in finding out more about bipolar disorder, google Stephen Fry's The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive. I think the documentary is up on YouTube, in around ten parts.

Rowan
11-15-2010, 04:21 AM
I heard a talk about this once, where the speaker said he'd like to relate something a female friend had told him.

She'd said, "Take the worst physical pain you've ever felt. Multiply it by ten. Now take away the cause."

I approached him afterwards and said, "Yes. That's me."

I go into hibernation, too. I stock up on the bare minimum to keep me alive - milk, teabags, bread. Maybe dry biscuits. Or boiled sweets (hard candy, I think you'd call it) to keep up my blood sugar without having to eat a proper meal. It's not that I suddenly turn anorexic; it's that I lose my appetite. The thought of food makes me sick.

I lock the door, get changed into my pyjamas and stay in bed for as long as it takes to stop thinking I'm the world's ugliest, most useless, talentless, hopeless, good-for-nothing cunt. (And no, I don't use that word in all seriousness very often, but I do here).

Too, being raised a Catholic and being taught the greatest sin is despair, that's another thing to beat myself up about.

Weird thing is I'm so tired, but at the same time unable to sleep. I just kinda...doze on and off.

The worst of it lasts for three, four days, but I can have that 'walking through treacle' feeling for weeks afterwards.

Whoa. I make myself sound like a total sad sack there. But anyway. The fact I'm online and speaking shows I'm not. ;) It's when I go quiet than I'm likely having one of my episodes.

But you asked about parent/child relationships. I wonder if my mother wasn't a fruit loop too, although her behaviour was...shall we say...mercurial. I never knew whether I'd get nice Mummy or nasty Mummy. She could, I kid you not, turn on a dime. One minute she'd shower you with affection and you'd be Mummy's Little Princess, the next her fists would start flying. Depression? Unlikely. Mental illness? Sounds like it.

A huge problem is getting other people to understand the difference between personality disorders, character weaknesses and mental illness. No one chooses to be depressed, so often depressed folk will, as I do, hibernate - not to seek attention or make others worry, but it's honest-to-goodness "They won't understand so I'd rather deal with it in my own way."

Great info, SP. Thank you! Like someone else said upstream, I don't think depression should be a taboo topic either. It's a shame that some people still view it--illness in general--in such a negative light.

If someone approached you during your hibernation--how would you respond? Especially if it was a kid (your kid)? I guess what I'm getting at--are you beyond the ability to communicate, etc.? (That's not worded very well but hopefully you know what I mean). I'm hoping that if my character more or less "tunes out" the MC (her daughter), it's realistic.


If you're interested in finding out more about bipolar disorder, google Stephen Fry's The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive. I think the documentary is up on YouTube, in around ten parts.


Excellent--will check it out!

scarletpeaches
11-15-2010, 04:30 AM
If someone tried to speak to me while I was hibernating...hmm. Interesting question, given that I have no children and live alone.

When I feel myself starting to slide down into that mood, I shut down. You could say, "How are you?" and it'd be the hardest question for me to answer. Inside I'm thinking, "You don't really care. Why bother asking? You want me to say 'fine' just so you can pootle along with your perfect life and think you've done your duty as a friend, well you fucking haven't so just piss off and leave me alone. You don't have a clue. Your patronising little throwaway remarks make me want to kill you. God, if I had the energy I'd punch you in the smug little face of yours but you know what? I just want to sleep. Now you're looking at me like I'm an idiot. Well fine, piss off. Go on, leave me alone. And die, while you're at it."

Tuning someone out would ring true for me. It's not a deliberate snub, it's honestly closer to "God, I can't handle this. I don't understand myself. You're expecting me to undertand another person?" For a writer, this inability to translate another person's words into thoughts and feelings is...crippling. Actually, not inability. More like, it's too exhausting and "I don't have the energy to deal with you. I can't do it."

There's a lot of anger inside as well (no! Really?) directed at people who are a) 'normal' or b) trying to help and failing.

Even, as I said, a simple question like 'how are you' isn't simple, because if I tell you the truth, you'll regret asking...and if I say 'fine', I'm lying.

And by the time the other person gets sick of waiting for an answer, the conversation's moved on, something's happened, another person approaches, whatever...or, I piss them off, which means they won't bother me again.

People think I'm being rude, but my thought processes just aren't normal. Getting out of bed in the morning is an ordeal. Speaking to other human beings? Dear God!:e2thud:

One advantage: you find out who your friends are. Really. And for this I would like to credit certain other AWers who know who they are. They think, "Hmm. SP's profile's disappeared and she hasn't posted in a while. I wonder...?" Finding a bunch of emails in my inbox when I crawl back to life all saying, "Hey. Miss you," or "Here's a photo of James Purefoy with his shirt off," make me smile.

Churchill called depression his black dog, which is probably the best description I've ever heard. I know there's a word for when you make something abstract more human or embody it in an animal, and I forget. Gah.

scarletpeaches
11-15-2010, 04:40 AM
Anthropomorphism! That's it.

ETA: Applying human characteristics to animals or inanimate objects. Hmm. I'm sure there must be a word for applying human or animalistic traits to abstract concepts.

Clearly, I am too tired and need to be in bed.

shadowwalker
11-15-2010, 04:51 AM
I've suffered from clinical depression for most of my adult life. Spent three months in a psych facility back in '93. My son was 12 when that particular cycle started and it lasted for several years, so I can give you some insight on his reactions (we talked about it in later years) if you want to pm me...

Rowan
11-15-2010, 04:53 AM
If someone tried to speak to me while I was hibernating...hmm. Interesting question, given that I have no children and live alone.

When I feel myself starting to slide down into that mood, I shut down. You could say, "How are you?" and it'd be the hardest question for me to answer. Inside I'm thinking, "You don't really care. Why bother asking? You want me to say 'fine' just so you can pootle along with your perfect life and think you've done your duty as a friend, well you fucking haven't so just piss off and leave me alone. You don't have a clue. Your patronising little throwaway remarks make me want to kill you. God, if I had the energy I'd punch you in the smug little face of yours but you know what? I just want to sleep. Now you're looking at me like I'm an idiot. Well fine, piss off. Go on, leave me alone. And die, while you're at it."

Tuning someone out would ring true for me. It's not a deliberate snub, it's honestly closer to "God, I can't handle this. I don't understand myself. You're expecting me to undertand another person?" For a writer, this inability to translate another person's words into thoughts and feelings is...crippling. Actually, not inability. More like, it's too exhausting and "I don't have the energy to deal with you. I can't do it."

There's a lot of anger inside as well (no! Really?) directed at people who are a) 'normal' or b) trying to help and failing.

Even, as I said, a simple question like 'how are you' isn't simple, because if I tell you the truth, you'll regret asking...and if I say 'fine', I'm lying.

And by the time the other person gets sick of waiting for an answer, the conversation's moved on, something's happened, another person approaches, whatever...or, I piss them off, which means they won't bother me again.

People think I'm being rude, but my thought processes just aren't normal. Getting out of bed in the morning is an ordeal. Speaking to other human beings? Dear God!:e2thud:

One advantage: you find out who your friends are. Really. And for this I would like to credit certain other AWers who know who they are. They think, "Hmm. SP's profile's disappeared and she hasn't posted in a while. I wonder...?" Finding a bunch of emails in my inbox when I crawl back to life all saying, "Hey. Miss you," or "Here's a photo of James Purefoy with his shirt off," make me smile.

Churchill called depression his black dog, which is probably the best description I've ever heard. I know there's a word for when you make something abstract more human or embody it in an animal, and I forget. Gah.

This is perfect, SP, more than you know. The WIP is from the 14 year old's perspective, so now I have some ideas as to what the mother might be thinking when her daughter is trying to engage her. You've also given me some insight as to what the MC herself might be thinking, based on her mother's reaction (or non-reaction).

THANK YOU!! :Hug2:

fredXgeorge
11-15-2010, 05:03 AM
But what compelled you to do this--anxiety? Staying in bed for hours seems to be a common symptom based on the responses here--overall fatigue, etc. Thanks!

(Vampire Diaries === great show, btw!!! :D)
Yes I think anxiety was a big part of it. I also think it is related to cutting, though on a smaller scale (though it possibly could have escalated had I not been taken out of the school). I liked the feeling of pulling out the hair, it felt good. The more I pulled out a time, the more satisfaction I got. It sounds so strange and I can't really explain it any better than that.

I also had no interest in anything. I didn't like music or movies or anything. There are two exceptions to that. I have a Harry Potter tattoo and plan on getting another and so many people who aren't that close to me have said that I'll regret it etc. But Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings were what got me through that time. I'd lie in bed just listening to the soundtracks over and over. My family were so supportive and finally got me out but everything just seemed so hopeless. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings took me away from my world into another. I don't know how I would have been if I didn't have that escape.

Have you read Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta? It's a great book about a teenager whose mother is dealing with depression.

And yes, The Vampire Diaries rocks :D

Sarah Madara
11-15-2010, 07:32 AM
If you read up on depression, you'll often find insomnia (especially waking early in the morning) and loss of appetite high on the list of symptoms. This is not my experience at all - I'm a sleeper and an eater. My kind is labeled "atypical depression," but it's not really any less common than the first kind.

My doctor told me once that the "typical" symptoms are more likely to occur in someone who has an isolated depressive episode later in life. The man who reaches his forties and has a breakdown, having had no obvious depression up to that point is an example. He said people who suffer a more chronic depression, usually starting in teens or twenties, often have more of the oversleeping and overeating.

Depression and sadness are very different, although they can coexist. Depression is more of an emptiness - I think depressives often make themselves sad because it is one of the few emotions they can still access. Fundamentally emotions are shutting down, and there is a loss of pleasure in everything. Connection to other people is almost impossible. It is a self-centered disorder. I say that without judgment; the depressed patient can't really help it. Depressed people are often caught in a vicious cycle of rumination.

Self-destructive behaviors range from binge eating to cutting or even suicide, of course. Often a depressed person will think obsessively about death (not necessarily suicide) without actually having any plans to hurt himself.

Two excellent books are "The Beast" (can't remember the author's name) and Styron's "Darkness Visible."

Rowan
11-15-2010, 02:34 PM
Yes I think anxiety was a big part of it. I also think it is related to cutting, though on a smaller scale (though it possibly could have escalated had I not been taken out of the school). I liked the feeling of pulling out the hair, it felt good. The more I pulled out a time, the more satisfaction I got. It sounds so strange and I can't really explain it any better than that.

I also had no interest in anything. I didn't like music or movies or anything. There are two exceptions to that. I have a Harry Potter tattoo and plan on getting another and so many people who aren't that close to me have said that I'll regret it etc. But Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings were what got me through that time. I'd lie in bed just listening to the soundtracks over and over. My family were so supportive and finally got me out but everything just seemed so hopeless. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings took me away from my world into another. I don't know how I would have been if I didn't have that escape.

Have you read Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta? It's a great book about a teenager whose mother is dealing with depression.

And yes, The Vampire Diaries rocks :D

Thank you--I'm looking up this book ASAP. :)


Posted by shadowwalker:
I've suffered from clinical depression for most of my adult life. Spent three months in a psych facility back in '93. My son was 12 when that particular cycle started and it lasted for several years, so I can give you some insight on his reactions (we talked about it in later years) if you want to pm me...

Thank you, shadowwalker--will send you a PM!


Posted by whoshoo:
If you read up on depression, you'll often find insomnia (especially waking early in the morning) and loss of appetite high on the list of symptoms. This is not my experience at all - I'm a sleeper and an eater. My kind is labeled "atypical depression," but it's not really any less common than the first kind.

My doctor told me once that the "typical" symptoms are more likely to occur in someone who has an isolated depressive episode later in life. The man who reaches his forties and has a breakdown, having had no obvious depression up to that point is an example. He said people who suffer a more chronic depression, usually starting in teens or twenties, often have more of the oversleeping and overeating.

Depression and sadness are very different, although they can coexist. Depression is more of an emptiness - I think depressives often make themselves sad because it is one of the few emotions they can still access. Fundamentally emotions are shutting down, and there is a loss of pleasure in everything. Connection to other people is almost impossible. It is a self-centered disorder. I say that without judgment; the depressed patient can't really help it. Depressed people are often caught in a vicious cycle of rumination.

Self-destructive behaviors range from binge eating to cutting or even suicide, of course. Often a depressed person will think obsessively about death (not necessarily suicide) without actually having any plans to hurt himself.

Two excellent books are "The Beast" (can't remember the author's name) and Styron's "Darkness Visible."


Thank you, whoshoo. Will check out these books as well!

Kenra Daniels
11-15-2010, 05:12 PM
My first severe depressive episode was when my daughter was fourteen. I went from being a very involved mother, interested in every aspect of her life, to absolute apathy.

She was totally lost. I think she would have coped better if I had died. At least then she would have been able to understand my absence. As it was, she felt like I had stopped loving her. Also, she had to take on more of a parenting role with me. She would come home from school, fix me something to eat, and insist that I eat it - I would just so she would go away. She could no longer share her problems or her triumphs with me, for fear of making me worse. She lost her anchor. I had ALWAYS been there for her, and suddenly, I was gone. I WANTED to be okay for her, but I simply didn't have the strength to make the effort.

Rowan
11-15-2010, 08:08 PM
My first severe depressive episode was when my daughter was fourteen. I went from being a very involved mother, interested in every aspect of her life, to absolute apathy.

She was totally lost. I think she would have coped better if I had died. At least then she would have been able to understand my absence. As it was, she felt like I had stopped loving her. Also, she had to take on more of a parenting role with me. She would come home from school, fix me something to eat, and insist that I eat it - I would just so she would go away. She could no longer share her problems or her triumphs with me, for fear of making me worse. She lost her anchor. I had ALWAYS been there for her, and suddenly, I was gone. I WANTED to be okay for her, but I simply didn't have the strength to make the effort.

Thank you--this sounds a lot like the situation my MC (also fourteen) is facing.

Kenn
11-15-2010, 09:49 PM
Depression is usually identified in the first instance by a questionnaire (or your GP asking questions that would otherwise be on a questionnaire). It is worth having a look at one of those (there are plenty online). There are other questionnaires to identify various psychological disorders also. I believe that final diagnosis should be by a specialist who asks more detailed questions, although that hasn't stopped doctors from doling out antidepressants like there is no tomorrow. Unfortunately, I fear there are many illnesses (e.g. chronic fatigue) that are misdiagnosed as depression.

Alitriona
11-16-2010, 12:09 AM
Sorry, I'm late back to the discussion. My diagnosis is depression, not bi-polar. I can relate my periods of being manic directly to the guilt of being depressed as overcompensation. I sadly do not get the elation that often goes with bi-polar. Guilt is a side effect of being an Irish Mammie, depression is not meant to happen and if it does we are just feeling sorry for ourselves.

Wiskel
11-16-2010, 10:29 PM
I'm a psychiatrist. I'm happy to help on thread or via pm if you have any more factual questions, but throwing random info into a thread where a lot of good folk have described what it's like to actually be there feels redundant.

Craig

Rowan
11-17-2010, 02:37 AM
Thank you, Craig. I just might take you up on that offer. :)

I'm a psychiatrist. I'm happy to help on thread or via pm if you have any more factual questions, but throwing random info into a thread where a lot of good folk have described what it's like to actually be there feels redundant.

Craig