Sunday, October 01, 2006

Yippee ki yay.

Well, what's going on?

Not a lot. Sarah is over on the coast, at a cat show spectacular, my niece is out mushing or moshing or something, and I am at home, alone, not visiting my friends.

Why is this?

Well, it's because I feel ever so slightly low. To be honest, more than a tad low. A sizeable tad. Sleeping stupid hours, thinking stupid thoughts, eating rubbish, that kind of thing.

Now, there are protocols which I have developed for these circumstances, ways I have for dealing with the moods. There are a variety of things I can do, and if I do them I can head things off at the pass, neurochemically speaking.

- remarkable mental image, isn't it. The serotonin rustlers riding hell for leather towards the amygdala, driving the lowing neurochemicals before them, while the sheriff's men gallop madly along the prefrontal gyrus of the brain -

Mmm. Anyway. Every time I get a bit low, especially if it coincides with Sarah's "as if she has her own life to live" absences, I go off and visit my friends. If you ever move down here, know now that these are occasions to be avoided at all costs. Not that you'll be able to - I usually phone to invite myself as I pull into the victim's driveway. I emerge with a bottle of cheap wine in hand (which I will drink myself, along with whatever anyone else has got). I hunch in a chair, emitting misery like black body radiation, and gorge myself on whatever food my victims had prepared for themselves. People around me try to lighten the atmosphere with chatter and cheering conversation, I quash it. Then after what must seem like hours I mutter a few gnomic pleasantries and I depart, leaving screaming children, sobbing wives and all manner of domestic discord in my wake, then on to the next house.

So much for my "whine and dine" therapy. It does work, possibly if only via that whole "trouble shared" thing. But to be honest, I'm not feeling up to that at the moment.

Instead I have been practicing the social withdrawal method. Withdrawal is as effective a treatment for depression as it is a method of contraception. One day, if I ever find "the answer" for depression, I'm going to write it on the bedroom ceiling. That way, when I lie in bed staring at the ceiling, I will see it.

That's not a bad idea. If I got a sizeable font, I could fit "How about you get off your arse" and "think about someone else and grow a backbone" on each side of the light fitting. A mantra for troubled times.

Anyhow. Rather than that I am going to do the whole thing - the gym on Tuesday, writing as soon as possible, maybe some study. All that cognitive stuff I rave about to everyone else. Working, seeing people, that kind of thing.

Anyway - they say it helps in these cases to have a definite goal, a deadline. Therefore I aim, with the help of modern psychopharmacology and a pair of boxing gloves to get happy, by this time next week. In fact, since I have a science background, I'm going to be more precise and aim to be at least three point eight percent happier each day until next Sunday. I'll just attach myself to the gloomatron....

Anyhow, thanks for listening. This is not, by the by, a plea for condolences. Without wishing to sound ungrateful, wjhat I'd rather get if anyone wants to comment is people saying five things - the movie, the book, the piece of music, the friend and the food that they find has the most potent anti-depressant effect.

Hopefully without the weight gain and sexual side effects of many of the SSRIs.

Thanks for listening. Normal neurotransmission will resume shortly.


PS - a friend of mine has started a blog. He is the best writer I know, he's one of the better writers I've read. When We were in a writer's group together I took home some "bit of crap" he wrote and framed it and put it one my desk as an example of what writing could be. He will be mortified when he reads this, he demonstrates an almost anaphylactic reaction to traces of praise, but fortunately I am able to hide behind the anonymity of the internet, so he won't suspect a thing.

Anyway - go thou and read it.

Thanks again,


Blogger Niamh Sage said...

I've bookmarked your friend's blog already. I'm looking forward to reading it! The snippet I just read looks very promising :D

My five things:

Movie: Lord of the Rings.

Book: Anything by Terry Pratchett, and the Anne of Green Gables series, both of which got me through one of the worst times of my life. The bookish version of sitting in a warmly lit room with the curtains drawn and the dark banished from sight and mind.

Music: Lord of the Rings soundtrack, anything by Rammstein, and anything by Secret Garden. I don't know why, but they always make me feel better!

Friend: Arni. Any of my close friends. Also, coming online to find you've written in your blog.

Food: This is a bit of a double-edged sword, since I often feel guilty after eating anything. Chocolate, pasta, cheese, soup, toast with butter and creamed honey. Those all help. And tea, of course.


Oops. Pardon me.

(how can a word verification sound so much like a burp??)

3:48 AM  
Blogger lauritajuanitasanchez said...

This is my latest cure for depression:

Movie: King Pin
Book: Not technically a book, but brain candy...People (poople) magazine
Music: See above
Friend: Patti
Food: Panera (a chain restaurant) salads

Good luck. I'd go on drugs if I could find one that didn't make me fucking HUGE. I loved how I felt on Zoloft, but it made me OBESE. Damn it. Is Topomax supposed to work for depression? I heard it caused anorexia. I could use a little anorexia.

4:08 AM  
Blogger Juanita J. Sanchez said...

Oh hell, John, I'm right down the dumps along with you. I've got it so BAD!

Let's see if I can think of anything for you while high/low on Xanax.


Movie: The Sound of Music
Book: "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris, especially the chapter entitled "Big Boy."
Music: I tend to go for the depressing stuff when I'm depressed, so that's no good.
Friend: Laurita Juanita Sanchez, my 100% non-hispanic, red-headed sister.
Food: Beer. Does that count? If not, then screw it.

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Danny said...

If you get bored you're always welcome here, as you know. I've a pile of movies that you've not seen and we can discuss/argue about almost anything.

The door is always open, even when we're not at home.

Damn good to see Tobias is writing - his stuff always blows me away.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, hello, hello - it would be nice to say this in person one day, so consider whine and dining us sometime, if you would like...

My favourite 'pick me ups' are rather mainstream, I'm afraid, but here goes:

Music: 1000 miles away (Hoodoo Gurus) captures that disconnected "I've done it and it wasn't what it seems, but stuff it all" feeling, Under Pressure (Queen) when all is feeling too much; Eye of the Tiger or most Madonna, loud, when needing an energy / motivation boost to actually do something.

Book: Mostly short stories at that depressed point because if I pick up a longer book it becomes an avoidance mechanism not to do anything I should do, and I spiral down.... I like the short humerous self-deprecating variety, such as "bad mother's revenge", where parenting / housewifery is shown as over-rated. I also love to read your blog and usually feel lots better after that too...

Movies: never much time, but old favourites are "Four weddings and a funeral" and "A fish called Wanda"

Friends: Sue from our year, Zoe from 2 yrs behind us; both these people listen so wonderfully and reflect my feelings to make me feel I am right, the world DOES suck at times and that I am doing an OK job nevertheless... and I ALWAYS feel better after talking to them

FOOD: when down I am attracted to chocolate and chips etc; they make me feel worse... if I manage to eat lots of fresh fruit, big salads, stirfry etc; I feel heaps better.


8:51 AM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Music: The country-and-western-sad-song-cure is always useful. Johnny Cash or Patsy Cline. Talking Heads, English Beat (Pato and Roger Ago Talk, End of the Party), Elvis Costello (Watching the Detectives, Green Shirt, Oliver's Army), Ramones (I Wanna Be Sedated works for me), Bruce Springsteen (Jersey Girl, Born to Run, The River, Tunnel of Love), Dire Straits (Romeo & Juliet, Making Movies), Bonnie Raitt (Runaway, Angel from Montgomery)

Book: Persuasion, History of the World in 10 and one half chapters, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, The Robber Bride, Lady Oracle, your blog, If On a Winter's Night a Traveller, Winnie the Pooh (read to a child).

Movie: Tampopo, Passion Fish, The Night of the Shooting Stars, Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, DVDs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show).

Friends: Innana, SNV, The Professor, Ex-Marine Fred, Mr. Studmuffin, Francesca, my LOS, although being around TigerGrrl and DestructoGirl (my lovely delicate *cough* daughters) does cheer me up more than anything.

Food: Steak, fries, and salad with a nice Australian shiraz (one of those cute labels with the kangaroo, koala, or whatever on the label, although they probably label them more sophisticatedly for you in the land of the Wiggles). Ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce. The Evening Star Cafe's steak salad. Cafe Italia's cannelloni with cream sauce. Artichokes with holandaise. Broccoli, steamed with butter and salt. Double chocolate milano cookies. A baguette, Saint Andre cheese, some manchego, maybe some cheddar or stilton, and a few other nice cheeses and some nice wine. A good hamburger. I'll stop now. I'm getting hungry.

Activity: Knitting, reading, biking, cooking, playing the guitar, playing the piano, writing in my blog.

Oh, and I've already added a link to Mr.-I'm-Too-Discreet-to-Write-Anything-In-My-Profile Toby, thanks for the recommendation.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Danny said...

Hey, Foil...allow me to break your heart. Back in the late '80s ('89 if memory serves me) I had the chance to interview Johnny Ramone while they toured here. Interview finished and up we went to the soundhceck where I got the band to sign my tour poster (since stolen and probably sold by a certain ex). During the soundcheck Joey left and they had to check his microphone levels. Guess who was allowed to get up there and sing Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue?

Yep, Danny Ramone! Highlight of my life.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Benedict 16th said...

Some of the things to try...
at the more noradrenergic end of the antidepressant spectrum..

Fluoxetine (aka Prozac) the least likely SSRI antidepressant to cause weight gain,
indeed there has been some recent work looking as Fluoxetine and metformin (and antidiabetic) medication, in combo for promoting increased energy and weight loss.

Reboxetine (aka Edronax) an NRI antidepressant- minimal sexual side effects and about 1 in 5 people get significant weight loss. (and raised blood pressure)
Amoxetine (aka Strattera) also an NRI - indication is for ADHD but costs a fortune, (not likely covered by insurance for depression)
Modafinil (Modavigil, Provigil) - used for Narcolepsy, a highly specific noradrenegic receptor agonst, without some of the worse side effects of amphetamines, from my limited research it is probably a damn potent antidepressant, increased energy and weight neutral to loss... (not likely covered by insurance for depression). BJ would know about it, cos they use it where he works for amphetamine detoxing. Also costs at least $3 a tablet

Topirimate - Topamax is an anticonvusant, antiepileptic, the only commonly used one that does not seem to cause weight gain, and the increased nausea can cause moderate weight loss. It does cause some sedation. It may also be useful in mood stabilisation in bipolar, but also costs a fortune.

As you can see, as an overweight depressive this area is of interest to me.

if you want to talk to me directly, feel free to send a message to b_xvi at yahoo dot com dot au


3:40 PM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Danny: You're really lucky you live in the antipodes. I don't ever think I really knew what envy was until I read that reply of yours. Danny Ramone. I felt the urge to, well, lucky you not only live in a completely different hemisphere in a continent surrounded by different stars and seas, but you are lucky that I am a woman of self-control. The urge to maim was a little frightening for a bit. Then I just got depressed (I'll never stand in for a Ramone . . . but that's because I'm actually attractive, intelligent, and female, that's what I tell myself). So then I had to listen to the Ramones to cheers myself up.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Chade said...

Alrighty Doc, here's the five cures for the slumps:

1. Friday 6th OCtober 2006, 5Pm (it's a great time of day) Griffin's Head

2. Danny, Lyndal, Tobias, Little Stevie, Steph, and myself.

3. Booze. Bars like to sell it to you, and being a doctor you can scare the crap out of them like you did at the Fringe show with Tobias and Myself.

4. Ultimates 2, Daredevil, Eternals, and a pile of stuff you probably haven't read in a while.

5. Trashy 80's blared out of speakers on a balcony as the sun sets, and the group tries to stop me talking shit whilst drinking.

There you have it. A perfect 5 step cure to whatever ails you. If you like, Tobias and myself could even drop you off in North Adelaide with your lovely wife for an impromptu barbecue.
What do you say?
What a bloody wonderful life we have available to us.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

The most anti-depressant thing i know is to go Salsa dancing.Exercise, a social circle & alcohol readily available

5 other things:
Kids movies like the incredibles (Maddy makes me watch it nearly every time i see her) work coz the good guys always win

Musicwise i've been listening to the local christian station in the car and i've been surprised by some of the uplifting stuff on there-it's not all whinging god-botherers! otherwise anything you can sing as loud as you can - the Commitments soundtrack is great.

No particular friend at the moment since i have let mere Geography get between us.Kathy gave me a photo of the two of us at your wedding in a funny pose that always brings a smile.

Dont get much time to read lately but Terry Pratchett is the funniest pop author i know of

With all the restrictions on my diet (i finally gave up chocolate 2 weeks ago) just finding a food i can eat without side effects is cheering.Alcohol however is always welcome!

Perhaps the thing you need most to remember is that people around the globe love you no matter what your inner voice is saying and, should you need it at your darkest, you have proof right here as well as at home.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Niamh Sage said...

Hey Sean! *waves*
Camilla here! :D

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Danny said...

Well Foil, join the club of people wanting to maim me. Everyday I see them and every day they offer to remove my spleen and other parts of my body.

Now everytime you hear Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue, and let's face it, that's the whole song ("Now I wanna sniff some glue, now I wanna have something to do, all the kids wanna sniff some glue, all the kids want something to do...1 2 3 4!") you'll think of me and grow a little greyer.


Doc - Grosse Pointe Blank lifts me out of my depression each and everytime. 'Dumb fuckin' luck!' just moves me. With depression trashy movies does it for me: Streets Of Fire, The Warriors, GPB - the list is endless and I own 'em all.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Gothqueen said...

Is there such a thing as an anti-depressant that doesn't cause weight gain. And i mean one that actually doesn't, rather than one that claims not to. When i started on Cipramil, i was a small size 12 (after not eating for three months). I'm now a 14-16 & am huge! But I'm happy, and that's important too.

Feel free to drop in any time. We're allways up for company & alcohol. I can throw together my famous Lasagne, or just open a bag of chips. Outside in the courtyard is alovely place this time of year.

7:35 PM  

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