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missed yesterday–day 23/dad/depression group

June 22nd, 2013 (07:17 pm)

well i bought a pair of scales which amazingly go up to my weight. And it was a very very scary weight too. 3 stone more than I imagined the worst weight. Anyway, I shall weigh myself next saturday so fingers crossed.

delicious dinner today – rump steak (really cheap from Lidl) with fresh local asparagus cooked in butter all topped with melted cheese. SO delicious. Breakfast was the normal hash (never going to get bored of that) and lunch was a dressed crab and a couple of bockwurst. total today only 17! so i’m going to treat myself to some yogurt and fruit because I’m not getting enough calcium. Not getting enough anything except protein and fat, to be honest! LOL.

Went to see Dad today, didn’t stay long because he’s not responsive and he fell asleep but he’s better than he was. He’s on a normal ward and he was out of bed today- because it’s better for him to be sitting up. Because he’s not on the drugs to keep him calm he was really alert, wide open eyes which is the first time I’ve seen that for months. I’m going to speak to his doctor when he goes back to the home about keeping him off the drugs. We discussed that a while back, and as long as he doens’t get aggressive again, I think it will be better for him. Anyway, it will probably be a while before he’s well enough to get assessed for return. I don’t know whether I have to pay for his place while he’s in hospital.

as for the anti-depressant course, it was ghastly, as I thought it would be. One of the presenters was a trainee and the other one was an ex-social worker, complete with wrist beats and kalaedoscope socks. the first week concerned “what is depression” together with “what are your symptoms” shortly followed by a list of symptoms. And people who present power point presentations AND SIMPLY READ THE WORDS ON THE SCREEN OUT LOUD deserve shooting as far as I’m concerned. The whole thing is about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy which basically means that to break out of the cycle of depression you need to recognise the things you can change, change them and that should break the cycle. I appreciate this BUT if you can’t be ARSED to do anything about the problems, how the hell do you start? “do something you like” – well that’s the problem, I don’t want to do anything I like. I can’t read. I can’t write. I can hardly get dressed and I don’t even wash unless I’m going out. thank go for animals or I’d never get out of bed.

It all smacks of “buck up!” which is really the last thing I need.


Posted by: Lunalelle (lunalelle)
Posted at: June 22nd, 2013 07:07 pm (UTC)

In general, CBT is practically effective, but the way it's been set up is tremendously insulting. When other people try to apply it to me, I immediately resist because of that "buck up, just work harder" mentality.

I think if it were reworked to acknowledge that depressed and anxious people aren't idiots, it might actually work. CBT has only ever worked when I do it myself and work within my own individual issues rather than a blanket solution for every mood disorder for everyone ever.

TLDR; I agree CBT is stupid.

Posted by: Jess Faraday (jess_faraday)
Posted at: June 22nd, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC)

I wish LJ had a "like" button. This is spot on.

Posted by: eglantine_br (eglantine_br)
Posted at: June 22nd, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)

The old 'Bootstraps' argument. Perhaps that works for some things, but not for depression so much, when you are really in it.

Meds, on the other hand, seem to work somewhat for me. But I know they don't work for everyone.

Of course you can't 'do something you like' when you no longer like anything, and everything just feels grey.

I have to say your food sounds so good. I am a cheese lover, so anything that includes cheese sounds good to me.

I am glad your dad had a good day.

Posted by: Sat-Isis/Suten Net (cassiopaya)
Posted at: June 22nd, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC)

I'm glad to hear your dad is better. I hope he continues to improve. ::huggles::

"The whole thing is about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy which basically means that to break out of the cycle of depression you need to recognise the things you can change, change them and that should break the cycle. I appreciate this BUT if you can’t be ARSED to do anything about the problems, how the hell do you start? “do something you like” – well that’s the problem, I don’t want to do anything I like. I can’t read. I can’t write. I can hardly get dressed and I don’t even wash unless I’m going out. thank go for animals or I’d never get out of bed."

Yes. This is where I'm at right now too. It sucks. The only thing that is starting to help is breaking back into my beauty/hygiene rituals.

Posted by: Jess Faraday (jess_faraday)
Posted at: June 22nd, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC)

I'm glad your dad had a good day. Hope the good days continue for a long time to come.

Wishing you all the best, health-wise. "Buck up" has to be the worst, most patronizing advice to give to someone who is dealing with all of the familial/medical/bureaucratic bullshit that you're dealing with. Instead of hoping you "cheer up" soon, I hope for a lessening of bullshit from the system and from other people.

And even if you're less involved in writing/reading than in years past, there are plenty of us who read, re-read, and love your books, and who appreciate everything you've done and continue to do for the community of readers and writers. In fact, I think I'm going to reread Frost Fair right now (it's one of my absolute, all-time favorites.)

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2013 07:08 am (UTC)

Thank you my dear you don't know how much this encouragement helps.

What news abut Porcelain dog 2? is it out yet? I'm so out of the loop.

What annoys me about this self help business is that the people running this course aren't acting as any sort of counselling service (probably just as well as they aren't qualified as such) and they don't talk TO us, they are just laying out tools for us to use, and anything we write on our forms aren't seen by anyone else even them! no attempt has been made to discern WHY I'm depressed which baffled me entirely.

Posted by: Jess Faraday (jess_faraday)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2013 06:34 pm (UTC)

*Why* you're depressed? I'd be surprised if anyone *wasn't* depressed who was dealing with the mental and physical decline of a parent while fighting the government both for his care and for one's own. Of course there's nothing the people running the course can do about *that*. So "buck up" it is. UGH.

Turnbull House, the first sequel to Porcelain Dog is out Feb. 2014, and the final chapter, Fool's Gold is contracted and scheduled for 2015. I'm also noodling with some short stories and novellas. I had a completely unrelated steampunk release in March (The Left Hand of Justice) as well. Thanks for your assistance with the first volume, btw. =)

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: June 24th, 2013 08:50 am (UTC)

oh WONDERFUL news - can't wait!

Posted by: Gehayi (gehayi)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2013 12:04 am (UTC)
sayaka's despair (gehayi)

I have to quote Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half here.

And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something — it's nothing. And you can't combat nothing. You can't fill it up. You can't cover it. It's just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. That being the case, all the hopeful, proactive solutions start to sound completely insane in contrast to the scope of the problem.

It would be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they disappeared.

Edited at 2013-06-23 12:04 am (UTC)

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2013 07:13 am (UTC)

That sums it up entirely. the other two in the workgroup are a woman who regularly gets depressed, but by the sound of it still goes out to bingo and bookclubs and many other places and the other woman has done counselling and therapy herself. I'm just sitting there in a black hole wanting to scream "i don't KNOW what's wrong so how can i--analytically--look at my "cycle" and point out something I can improve?" the cycle form they gave us to fill in went: "I am feeling: ....... It is worse at ......" which i wrote as "depressed" and "all the time" but as no one will be seeing that form, I just filled the rest in with "what's the point??"

Posted by: ejab62 (ejab62)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2013 10:52 am (UTC)

gehayi referred to it perfectly - it's nothing. Having had my share of depressions, I couldn't have said it any better.
The group you're going to won't help a damn bit, imho. It probably could if you were way further ahead on the road to recovery but at this point you need individual counceling. Serious help. Not this ridiculous crap. It fucking infuriates me as this approach is so typically thought up behind desks by people who have read books but not lived through it themselves. And worst of all - it feels like depressive people are not taken seriously. Not really.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: June 26th, 2013 07:45 am (UTC)

You are very right, and it depresses me further that they couldn't see the difference between the other two ladies who seemed incredibly up beat to me - and me, who was like eeyore, stuck in the gloomy corner. But then neither of the presenters were actually medical staff.

Posted by: Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll)
Posted at: June 25th, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC)
Grenades by sallymn

Ack at your 'course'. Powerpoint is evil and never fixes anything, so that can't have made things any better even without the other issues.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: June 26th, 2013 07:42 am (UTC)

when it's presented simply as a summary of the points the lecturer is discussing, so perhaps you an jot down the notes (we weren't given a powerpoint print out which was stupid for a start) then it's ok but this guy had No Clue and simply read out the words which is insulting and dismissive because he's staring at the screen and not even addressing his audience! having done this kind of conference a hundred times I get very annoyed when people are given no training--specially when it's IMPORTANT to people's lives and perhaps even their sanity. Jeez, I did a better job and all it was about was hamburgers.

Posted by: julian_griffith (julian_griffith)
Posted at: June 26th, 2013 03:05 am (UTC)

Powerpoint, how I loathe thee.

So if you go through the "course" & report back and say "I still feel like shit," THEN do they consider giving you meds?

I recognize the state you describe and I was in it for three solid months at the beginning of the year. It was horrible and when I was in it I just couldn't do ANYTHING.

The biggest part of the answer? Meds. Once THOSE pulled my brain out of the ditch, THEN I could start doing things.

The CBT stuff is like someone saying you're just lost and need a road map when the bloody car's in a DITCH.

*hugs* I'm glad your dad is improving. And your food still sounds wonderful.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: June 26th, 2013 07:37 am (UTC)

oh I could have Meds now, but I just wanted to explore the non-med option first - I'm a real anti-med person, not to the alternative science extreme, I'm quite happy to take my warfarin and blood pressure medications because they are hopefully stopping me dying - but things like aspirin, anti-biotics for things that will get better by themselve s in time, i tend to think twice about. The body can manage in many cases and people just want a quicker fix - which is perfectly understandable - but for things like anti-biotics, staying off them when they aren't vital can mean the difference between them working or not working when they ARE really vital.

I think the weight loss will help a great deal, I didn't have one Sad (as I call them) yesterday which is encouraging!

Posted by: julian_griffith (julian_griffith)
Posted at: June 26th, 2013 05:09 pm (UTC)

That's reasonable for antibiotics, because you're fighting separate organisms that'll mutate in self-defense against the drugs... but psych meds are honestly a little closer to warfarin and blood pressure meds, because you're correcting something internal to your own body.

Some people can control blood pressure with diet and exercise, same with diabetes - but some people need the meds to stay alive.

I'm bipolar II. I need the meds to stay alive. And when I had the three month downswing, it became clear that they needed to adjust the meds I was already taking, because my body was still trying to kill me (no, I couldn't be arsed to actively kill myself, but if I'd kept not eating at the level I was going at, I could have gotten to the point where I was inviting heart arrhythmias).

When you have an extended period like that... they call that a major depressive episode, and, as you spotted at the CBT workshop, it's gone beyond the level where CBT-type things alone can work for you. Usually, meds are necessary to fix it. Not always meds-for-life -- just like some type II diabetics can get their blood sugar under control to the point where they can drop the oral medications and go back to diet and exercise alone. But meds.

I don't doubt the diet is making you feel better though! Not so much because of the weight loss itself, but because one of the key things the brain needs to produce an adequate supply of neurotransmitters? Is DIETARY FAT. So if the diet brings you out of it, that's excellent! Plus the weight loss is great in itself (and if it lets you exercise a bit more, that also helps alleviate depression -- I'm absolutely no good at that myself, exercise feels like punishment so I don't do it).

Anyway I hope you feel better however you get to it. *hugs*

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