Comments & Discussion…

I’ve opened comments up to the non-registered if anyone would like to add anything. If you have anything to add to the conversation then feel free – I’m only just beginning to understand my condition myself.

If you’re here to tell me to pull myself together then you can fuck off.

bdm x

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2 thoughts on “Comments & Discussion…

  1. I don’t know your identity or whether we know each other (we probably do), but that’s fine. I don’t need to know.
    What I do need to know is whether you are seeking professional help. As you’ve said yourself, depression is a genuine illness and can therefore be treated. Unfortunately there are some GPs who still don’t understand depression or take it that seriously, but the majority of them do. If you don’t feel your GP can help then ask to see another one. If you don’t feel able to go to the surgery then ask for an initial telephone consultation. If you ever reach a seriously desperate point, tell them, and believe me, they will act quickly.
    For some people medication helps but it’s not for everyone and can take trial and error to find the right drugs and dosage. If you feel it isn’t working, or is making you feel worse, then tell them. For others therapy is the answer, which you should be able to receive on the NHS, if refered by a GP, or if you can afford it, you can go privately. Most psychotherapists are willing to adjust their fees if your income is limited.
    There is, of course, no miracle cure and there will still be many bad days, but the important thing is that it is monitored.
    I’m sure this is all stuff you already know, but I would not be comfortable with just reading your blog and not saying anything. My mother suffered from severe depression, including numerous suicide attempts. As a child I really couldn’t understand why she didn’t just pull herself together and cheer up, but of course I now know it is nowhere near as simple as that.
    As you know, depression is about a chemical imbalance in the brain, it is not your real emotions, however real it may seem at the time. Sometimes the depression will be circumstantial, and sometimes it will come from nowhere. Obviously it is those times that other people really don’t understand. So often we see on the news or read in the papers about people who seem to have everything going for them but then “out of the blue” they commit suicide. Some people who have lived with depression for a long time become very good at hiding it. They don’t want to worry people. They don’t want to be a burden. They don’t want to seem weak.
    I think writing this blog is probably a very good thing, both for you and for people reading it, but be careful not to let your depression define you. (I don’t mean publicly, I mean in your own head). Try not to let it take over completely.
    Whenever you’re going through a really black spell it is so difficult to remember what it feels to be happy, to be doubled up with laughter, to be head over heels in love. But you have of course had experiences like that, and when you get through a bad patch, you will again. Try and find a way to document or record those feelings too. It may help to remind you of what you’ve got to look forward to once you get through a period of what feels like absolute hell and hopelessness. Without trying to be too flippant, think of it like a really bad cold or the worst hangover. At the time you think you’re going to die, or want to die, but because it is chemical it will pass. You will have more days of depression just like you will have more colds and more hangovers, but you just need to get through each one individually.
    The comedy industry is obviously not always the warmest and most sympathetic environment, but I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that it is full of people suffering from exactly the same condition. For some reason the comedy industry is like a moth to a flame for people suffering from depression. I have a theory about this; when you have a good gig it feels like the self-medicating that many people do with drink and drugs – that quick fix high that takes you away from everything (often followed by a similar comedown). When the gigs go badly it becomes like self-harming, the pain at least makes you feel alive, and if you are going through a depressive state anyway, the heckling, the booing and the mocking will merely reinforce what you feel you deserve because you feel so worthless. But it’s not real, it’s just a job.
    Sorry to have gone on so long, but it is a subject I am passionate about and I admire what you’re doing.
    Here’s to the next good day. It will come eventually.
    All the best
    Hannah Oldman

    • Hi Hannah,

      We have met professionally, yes.

      I’m struggling to find the words to thank you for your comment and for caring enough to take the time so write in such detail. I am incredibly grateful. I can’t begin to understand what you must have gone through with your mother’s illness. It makes me realise how lucky I am. You have my sympathy.

      Firstly, yes, I am currently being treated by my GP (who I’m seeing again this week). I’m on antidepressants and have also seen a counsellor who has referred me on for further assessment/treatment. I’ve also tried psychotherapy in the past which didn’t really work for me.

      I’m hoping that writing this blog will be cathartic and I’m also keeping a daily journal and a diary to show the counsellor when next we meet. I’m trying to work out ways to talk about it in my act, too, but finding comedy in this situation is tricky. I’m sure it’s there – I’m just too close to it to see it right now.

      I take your point about the hangover trick. I usually try to see it as weather: some days are gloomy, some days are sunny. That seems to work for me sometimes.

      I agree with you about comedy as self-medication, too. Sometimes I’ve noticed myself driving to a gig and really wanting it to go well to get that feeling, that high. It makes the fallout of a bad gig that much worse and the drive home that much longer but when I have a good one, when it really works, then there’s no feeling like it on earth. Of course, I still have to come back down when I get home, when the house is silent and sleep is nowhere to be found.

      I’ll be ok. I’ll get through this.

      Hannah, I genuinely appreciate your taking the time to write what you did.

      Thank you.

      bdm x

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