[hackerspaces] [Noisebridge-discuss] Please reach out

Carlyn maw carlynorama at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 01:19:53 CET 2011

I have to say advice from people who have never been really depressed feels
terrible. I'm lucky enough to have passed through some stuff with the help
of SAMe (after the conventionals failed) and exercise and Cognitive
Behavioral skills, but it always felt so terrible when someone - with all
the best intentions in the world - would advise instead of listen.

I responded well to be asked what it felt like in my body -
what muscles clenched at particular thoughts, what ached when,  did things
taste differently, did I find my reaction to music or stories stronger or
blunted... (was I crying more or less than usual, did I think that was good
or bad?) they reminded me to think of my biology as being in play, my
physical self. Well anyway, I thought those questions
were particularly thoughtful and I remember the conversation clearly but
that won't work for everyone.

I don't really ever talk about my experience much. I guess that actually
makes me a bit selfish, in some ways, but it feels so private. Depression
for me was an inverse spotlight, sucking the light away from where I was to
the point where it was be hard to remember that happy could ever happen,
that any success could ever matter enough. The night tries trick you into
thinking it has no morning and that is when the worst can happen.  I feel
freakishly fortunate that my mind found cracks to escape through and that I
wasn't, in the end, washed out to sea by my own neuro chemistry.  That
doesn't make me better or stronger or even more knowledgable about the
disease than the people who don't escape, it just means I was luckier.

The roulette games I played to fix things turned out to be the right ones
for me. I'm so stoked that things like fMRI's and genetic testing might
make treating depression more of a precision science in the future. Nerds
unite! Science to the rescue! Yay!

On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 4:40 PM, Mitch Altman <maltman23 at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  Thanks, daravinne.
> Depression is a normal part of human life.  Everyone gets depressed from
> time to time.  It is the totally natural response to stressful or very sad
> events.
> But depression is the only mental health condition that is also a basic
> human emotion (at least in the English language, and at least some
> others).  It's not unheard of to hear people say something like, "I feel a
> bit depressed today".  But you will rarely hear someone say in all
> seriousness, "I feel a bit paranoid schizophrenic today."
> Different people have different ways of dealing with various forms of
> depression.  Some work well for a given person.  That's great!  And it is
> important for each of us to find ways that work for us.  But it's important
> to know, as daravinne said, that someone with the living hell of chronic
> depression may not respond well to things that work for someone who has
> never suffered from serious depression and has ways of dealing with "the
> blues".
> One thing I'd like to stress:
> If someone asks for (or needs, or wants) emotional support, and you are in
> a place to sincerely give it:  please listen to them -- really listen.  You
> really don't need to say much at all -- other than to, perhaps, paraphrase
> back what you heard them say, so that they know that you are listening.  It
> is important to not merely give advice.  It is natural for us to want to
> share what works well for us.  But when someone needs emotional support, a
> short list of things to do (or long explanations) is not what they need
> from you now -- it is actually distracting from what they need.  When
> someone needs emotional support, they need to feel that someone hears them,
> that someone empathizes with their pain, that someone cares enough to
> listen.  After listening, it is much more empowering for the person if you
> ask them if there is anything they would like to do next (usually short
> term is better -- something to get through the night), rather than give
> your advice to them directly.  If you're wondering if a person would like
> some advice, please ask them.
> By writing what I wrote, above, I don't mean to imply that it's bad to let
> others know in emails what has worked for you.  I'm really glad that people
> are talking and writing about all this.  I think that if we talk more about
> depression and suicide that others will feel less alone in their feelings
> of being alone and depressed, or suicidal.  A very large number of us in
> our geek communities have suffered, and are suffering.  And it is totally
> OK and helpful to talk about our experiences.  Maybe we can help each other
> this way.  In my view, this is part of what community is for (and why it
> feels so good to be part of community).
> Thanks,
> Mitch.
> -------------------------
> > From: daravinne at gmail.com
> > Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 13:59:34 -0800
> > To: will.sargent at gmail.com
> > CC: discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org;
> noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> > Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] [hackerspaces] Please reach out
> >
> > I just want to make a point, about depression-
> >
> > Not all depressed people are equal in their depression. There are a
> > range of emotional issues, including but not limited to depression,
> > that people can display, often at the same time. The person whose
> > depression can be mitigated by a nice walk, some exercise and cleaning
> > their room, is NOT the same as the person whose depression requires
> > medication or serious therapy to overcome. The person whose depression
> > is a result of being in a rut, being broken up with, losing their job
> > or the like, is NOT the same as the person whose depression is an
> > expression of their inability to cope with some past abuse or trauma.
> > The plan of action that makes one person buck up and sort their shit
> > may have the effect on another of further pushing them towards self
> > harm or sucidal ideation. There is no one size fits all "cure" for
> > depression.
> >
> > Please don't take this as me disagreeing that exercise etc are good
> > things to do; they are. There is a range of root causes for
> > depression, and often the people who are not exhibiting outward signs
> > or hiding the depth of their internal states are the most in need of
> > help from others.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 1:27 PM, Will Sargent <will.sargent at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > > On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 6:40 AM, Frantisek Apfelbeck <
> algoldor at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > >> Hi to All!
> > >> I've to say that I do not have depressions very often and if I do
> they are
> > >> not very bad ones - I'm comparing my experience/feeling to what you
> are
> > >> writing about. However if I get it, there is one thing which works
> 95% cases
> > >> for me ==>> going to the nature and "being there" for several hours.
> I sit
> > >
> > > Here's a condensed list:
> > >
> > > http://tersesystems.com/2009/12/28/what-makes-people-happy
> > >
> > > 1) Direct sunlight.
> > > 2) 8 hours of sleep.
> > > 3) Movement outside.
> > > 4) Social interaction.
> > > 5) Regular meals.
> > > 6) Satisfying work.
> > >
> > > The extremely condensed version is "Human beings need walkies."  I
> > > think sometimes we think we're far more complicated than we actually
> > > are.
> > >
> > > Will.
> > > _______________________________________________
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> > > Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> > > https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> > >
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