[ fcuk ]

Feb. 11th, 2012 04:04 pm
[personal profile] winterlive
guys, i just wanna say this: we as a society gotta get off our asses and do something about clinical depression.

so many people have the idea that you can hit it with talk therapy, and that is bullcrap. talk therapy is great and a super important tool in helping people deal with a disease that makes it impossible for you to trust your own emotions, but it is, at best, half the battle.

most sufferers of clinical depression (in my own experience, and those of the many many people i've known who have it or got it, ymmv) are perfectly normal people who would just go on and do their normal people thing, if only they could get out of fucking bed. i recognize some people are going to be insane no matter if their brain chemistry is jacked or not, but most of those who suffer this disease are just like you and me. you know, if you and me were asked to endure constant misery.

i don't know why there aren't clinics for it, like with physio and chiropractic services. you'd go there and they'd run you through the incredibly simple checklist to see if your brain was borked, and if it was they would say, "okay, so, your brain is borked. that is our medical diagnosis. but we are going to give you meds and fix this goddamn problem, so it's okay. take this beeper, we're going to program it to remind you to do really basic things so you don't die. then we'll book you in with the doc and the therapy and the person who's going to come by daily and make sure you listened to the beeper. don't be scared, tons of people go through this and i mean tons. you're gonna be okay. it's a real fucking thing."

because it IS. once you know more than, say, three people who have this problem, you start getting mad. like, hey, my friend is always depressed and sleeping weird hours and tired all the time and never eats except when they order six cartons of chinese they can't afford and keeps insisting they're fine. wait, i know this song. why don't the people who deal with fucking illness know this song too? where are the incredibly basic supports this guy needs? why does the fucking ER insist that my friend has to be almost literally in the process of killing himself before they'll admit him? why is my friend waiting for weeks to see his doctor when he is already on the fucking pills, obviously needs an adjustment and the disease is fucking life threatening?

one time i broke my leg, right, and i mean BUSTED that fucker. it was bad. now, i live in canada, so everybody knew just what to do. they took me through the ER, set it, brought in a specialist surgeon to pin it, and then gave me a cool removable cast. they sent me to a rehab hospital while they weaned me off the pain meds, and the nice physio and occupational rehab guys taught me how to get around without putting weight on it, how to get in and out of chairs and bed and stuff so that even if i fell i wouldn't knock it, that kind of thing. they made sure i had crutches and stuff from the central organization that lends out equipment to people that break themselves, and then set me up with a nurse to come to my house every day to make sure i was doing okay. they scheduled follow-up with my surgeon and my GP, they sent me to a rehab clinic set up with everything i could possibly need, and this entire massive organization was just business as usual, taking care of folks who needed taking care of because it needed doing - and people had recognized that, and demanded that their government put everything in place.

part of the stigma of mental illness in our culture is denial. people are either outright told there's nothing wrong with them (just snap out of it, cheer up) or it's implied by a health system that won't fucking help them without being strongarmed into it, and even then the help they're offering is a pitiful shadow of what it should be. i'm grateful for the help i got when it was worst for me, but i'm also keenly aware that, without a lot of support from my friends and family, i'd be proper fucked right now - and there are people who don't have ready access to those supports. and there is no earthly reason they shouldn't.


long story short: it should be easier to survive this thing. people should be safe and i hope we get better at getting them there. rrr.

Date: 2012-02-11 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yeats.livejournal.com
i think i've found a purchase with the ability to cure my depression:

penguin hats.
Edited Date: 2012-02-11 11:20 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-02-11 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
see, if i ran an equipment lender for the depression clinics, we would stock those.

Date: 2012-02-11 11:39 pm (UTC)
ext_9649: (readings in modern postmodernism)
From: [identity profile] traveller.livejournal.com
i would rather have the bookshelves, you don't even know.

Date: 2012-02-11 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cathalin.livejournal.com
Wow basically this made me tear up, because of something we've been going through with a family member.

So much word, I can't even. As an amazing psychiatrist said to me with passion and yearning, if we could only have a tiny FRACTION of the money spent on other, more 'popular' conditions... He's fucking embarrassed about the state of mental health services. In our whole area there's basically... nothing to follow a person. As my husband said, either you're locked up or you're on your own.


Date: 2012-02-11 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com

the people who are out there now, like, the front line staff who see patients - this is not about them. every therapist or psych MD i've ever met has been nothing but dedicated to their patients and their craft, just like you said.

your husband was spot on, man. just. it needs more attention. the attention it has, people resent. it's just crazy.


Date: 2012-02-11 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cathalin.livejournal.com
Thank you. It's really hard right now.

*holds back*

Date: 2012-02-12 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veronamay.livejournal.com
"okay, so, your brain is borked. that is our medical diagnosis. but we are going to give you meds and fix this goddamn problem, so it's okay. take this beeper, we're going to program it to remind you to do really basic things so you don't die. then we'll book you in with the doc and the therapy and the person who's going to come by daily and make sure you listened to the beeper. don't be scared, tons of people go through this and i mean tons. you're gonna be okay. it's a real fucking thing."

This is fucking brilliant. WHY doesn't it exist? I am basically the opposite of a sympathetic hand-holding people person, but if this sort of support system existed I would drop my current job/career path to be the person who goes around to people's houses every day to check that they listened to the beeper. In a heartbeat. I would be excellent at that.

Date: 2012-02-12 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
i just think it's smart. you don't have to be great at reading people, or especially sympathetic and sweethearted, to just go to someone's house and say, hey, did you listen to the beeper? no? well, that's probably because your brain chemistry closely resembles a pitcher of cherry kool-aid, so let me just help you to do a few very simple things so you don't die, and then you can go on back to bed while we wait for your med adjust to kick in. you're doing great. thousands of people in your shoes have just fucked off and given up and you are still breathing, so already you're ahead of the game. let's just make sure that continues for at least one more day.

Date: 2012-02-12 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veronamay.livejournal.com
No, exactly. You'd have to be good at herding cats organisation and time management. Spend a few minutes making sure the person is clean/fed/watered/comfortable/not going to break themselves for the next 24 hours, and let them go back to bed. So simple. You've sort of blown my mind, here.

Date: 2012-02-12 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
it's not a guarantee, of course. when it's a mental problem, there are lots of things that could come up, shit can go south.

that's why, when you're sending in this Basics Person, their only job should be to make sure this person has the rock bottom foundations of living. like, is your heat/power/water going to get shut off because you haven't paid your bills or rent? (this may require opening their mail; you'd need a waiver for that.) if so, you hook them up with a social worker (who might pass it to a family member or whatever but that is their job). the Basics Person doesn't do that stuff, they just check that it's being handled by SOMEONE. the job is literally to open mail and deal with the shit inside the envelope. it's not difficult or time consuming.

because people with depression CAN'T DEAL. so why in fuck would anyone just send them home? they can't deal! they're going to wind up in the ER with a stomach pump, okay, just send them a social worker! it's cheaper!

Date: 2012-02-13 02:16 am (UTC)
ext_6545: (pretty little thing waiting for the king)
From: [identity profile] bunnymcfoo.livejournal.com
Danny, you make comments like this and I am overwhelmed by how amazingsauce you are and how much I love your FACE. Because yes. That's me. That's most of my family. We would all do SO MUCH BETTER if every so often when we go off our rails someone would just come open the mail that I cannot bring myself to open and tell us in a calm tone of voice - okay, so you haven't paid the cable bill in two - months. No judgement. Let's get that sorted. - and, like, defused the situation.

Urgh. This post. It's awesome.

Date: 2012-02-13 02:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
i love u mcfoo.

there should just be a number to call. you call the number, you type in a number from 1 - 4 depending on the severity of your freakout, and they send people to deal with it.

1: minor - patch through to the mental health phone support line where a support worker will talk you down, tell you it's okay to eat supper or open the envelope or whatever, check if you need to be scheduled with your doc or if it's just a one-off. copy of the incident report forwarded to your GP, psychiatrist, therapist and clinic (if you're in one).

2: average - as above, but it will bump your call up higher in the queue, because you're probably a couple of seconds away from a panic attack.

3: serious - patch through to a triage psych nurse who will determine which supports to implement. this nurse will assess the situation and react appropriately (911, send out a support worker for a house call, etc). copy of the incident report and nurse's recommendations forwarded as above, with an automatic booking made to see your psychiatrist for a med check, and therapist to discuss the incident.

4: major episode - as above, but with a priority/severity flag for the triage nurse.

and people diagnosed with depression should be assigned a case worker to follow them until they've "graduated" whatever programs they're on.

how. hard. could that possibly be.

Date: 2012-02-12 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bookishwench.livejournal.com
Yeah. I hear this. I really hear this. I've seen it with too many people too, and once women are "of a certain age" so many doctors automatically write it off as hormone fluctuations. It really is a huge problem, and there is this weird shame thing attached to it, and it shouldn't be any more shameful than that broken leg you mention. And it's certainly not contagious or imaginary, which is what a lot of people treat it as being.

My mom's former boss from years ago, who was a wonderful guy, had depression, and while they put him on meds, the doctors didn't bother to check with him to see if they were working. He did not survive it, and it gets me mad.

Date: 2012-02-12 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
it gets me mad too, man. the main symptom of this disease is that you find it hard to give a fuck about anything. the secondary symptoms of this disease make you too tired to give a fuck about anything, because you're not sleeping or you're malnourished or fatigued or whatever. so. where is the sense? argh!

Date: 2012-02-12 05:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] i-amthecosmos.livejournal.com
Thanks for writing this. And yes, mental illness could be treated in such a more humane, logical manner. Reading that was almost heartbreaking, because instead the societal shame makes things a dozen times worse than it should be.

Date: 2012-02-12 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
for real, man. for real.

Date: 2012-02-12 07:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] altyronsmaker.livejournal.com
"okay, so, your brain is borked. that is our medical diagnosis. but we are going to give you meds and fix this goddamn problem, so it's okay. take this beeper, we're going to program it to remind you to do really basic things so you don't die. then we'll book you in with the doc and the therapy and the person who's going to come by daily and make sure you listened to the beeper. don't be scared, tons of people go through this and i mean tons. you're gonna be okay. it's a real fucking thing."

This is so goddamned sensible. Like, epiphany of all mental health profession epiphanies.

Date: 2012-02-12 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
i just don't see why it's all that hard. i work in the health profession, there's plenty of training available for people to work with people with mental health issues and you don't have to be a nurse. it wouldn't be that expensive.

when your brain chemistry goes bonkers you forget things and can't focus, which since you're already having trouble sleeping tends to compound itself. i have had friends come to me a dozen times and go jesus i have such a headache and i'm so tired, and i say, when was the last time you ate, and they're like, uh um. and then they eat something, their blood sugar goes back up to a reasonable level and, surprise surprise, they don't feel quite so much like death warmed over and things aren't so bad.

now, a reminder system is hardly foolproof - sometimes people just can't face it, reminded or not. but if they really weigh the options and just can't make themselves take a bath and eat some food once a day, WHY AREN'T THEY IN THE FUCKING HOSPITAL.

Date: 2012-02-12 01:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] robanybody.livejournal.com
This is exactly what my family thought when my brother was first diagnosed as depressed when he was 16. And even then, it literally took his suicide attempt before they could do anything to help. It should never have to go that far to get people the help they need.

Date: 2012-02-12 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
exactly. exactly.


Date: 2012-02-12 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tabaqui.livejournal.com
What you said.

Date: 2012-02-12 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
*many many hugs*

Date: 2012-02-12 09:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] linden-jay.livejournal.com
I am so tired of the stigma and the lack of help. SO TIRED. And I'm Canadian too, so it's supposed to be better, but it isn't. When I lived in Ontario, it was impossible to get a GP. I was there for three years, and I never had one. So when my depression came back and kicked me way down the well, I was screwed, because there was no way that I could do the meds dance through a walk in clinic. I needed consistency of care to get healthy again, and I couldn't get it, because I wasn't bad enough to be admitted. I couldn't get out of bed, I was sleeping 20 hours of the day even though I was subsiding on nothing but Pepsi and grilled cheese sandwiches, but because I wasn't suicidal, there was no help for me.

On one notable occasion, I asked one of the umpteen walk in docs what I could do to get myself a GP so that I could help. I was desperate (as desperate as one can be when they can barely lift their head up), and she looked thoughtful and told me 'well, you could get pregnant. Then someone would have to take you on.'


I think I blinked at her for a solid minute because WTF. The solution to me not having a doctor who can treat me for my depression... was to get knocked up. I do not even. I didn't end up being able to get help until we moved back to BC again.

Date: 2012-02-12 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
un fucking believable. and WE'RE supposed to be the crazy ones.

Date: 2012-02-12 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] linden-jay.livejournal.com
I Do. Not. Even. Because that's exactly what I'd want to add into the mix to someone who is unable to function or eat anything that represents proper food--something else for them to be responsible for, when they're not even able to be responsible for themselves because oh, wait, they're SICK.

Bless my doctor back in BC. But even still, I had to deal with my parents and their concerns that No one Must Know that I'm depressed because what will they THINK? Fuck that. If I had diabetes, I wouldn't have to hide it. So I talk about it, if it's topical, because I have an illness and I don't think I should have to pretend I don't so that people don't mind me so much.

Date: 2012-02-12 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
when i had that broken leg, it really put things into perspective for me. because when it was bad for me, people would say, why don't you just open your mail, why don't you just call the collections guy, why don't you just do the laundry. and when i had a broken leg, nobody ever said hey, why don't you just get up and walk.

Date: 2012-02-13 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] linden-jay.livejournal.com
Yep. No one would ever, EVER say that to someone with an obvious physical something that's right there in their face and can't be ignored. They don't understand that when you're deep in it with depression and you say that you can't do something, you don't mean don't want to, you mean that you CAN'T. As surely as if there were a literal giant bag of rocks holding you in bed, you cannot do it. And that's why now I don't shut up. Because unless we keep talking, people are never going to listen, it seems.

My parallel was being pregnant with twins. I had some pretty major physical restrictions placed on me by my doctor, and people could see y'know, giant huge baby tummy, so they rolled with it, and no one said 'bitch, get up out of that chair and get your own water'. Because it took a team of five and some heavy lifting equipment to get me out of said chair, and my doctor had written out directions saying that I was to STAY there. When I was depressed and couldn't go to family functions because I could not deal? Hell, no. Just get over it and make the macaroni salad. FROM SCRATCH, bitch!

*sympathizes like whoa*

Date: 2012-02-13 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamesinboots.livejournal.com
amen, dannerface. I want the way modern medicine handled depression to be better, too. So, so much. Too often, help is too little too late because nobody in the medical field thinks of preventative depression treatment or effective early treatment or whatnot. Gah.

Date: 2012-02-13 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
*hug hold hug press*

Date: 2012-03-05 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you, thank you for this. Way back just knowing that I`m not alone, that it`s not laziness, or I`m not just sad, it`s not just hysterics (you really should get a grip) would have helped so much. I started my life from scratch so many times, and I slip back again and again, and one of the reasons is that I don`t have a safety net. My friends and family don`t understand why I can`t snap out of it when it`s needed, why I`m wasting my and their time. (And I don`t think it`s their fault, they just haven`t been told the Earth is not quite the shape they believe it is yet.) The doctor had 15 minutes for me to write up some pills (still have the recipes, they expired) , I just wanted a conversation with someone who would believe me, and more importantly have some instructions, a DIY to sunshine and getting out of bed so you can pee: draw stick figures of at least one thing that made you happy that day at 20.00, write a list for xxxx every day, eat reward cookies when yyy. I don`t even know.
Tl;dr I would have given half a liver and a kidney for someone who would come around every second day to check my mail and the status of carrots in the fridge, I think the social worker is a good idea.

Date: 2012-03-06 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
man, i am so sorry that people don't know how to handle your illness. that's fucking awful and i have nothing but empathy for you. you're doing so great, you're reading about it and talking about it, you aren't giving up, and i know that will seem real easy to do. way to be excellent. take the time you need, okay, don't feel bad or guilty about it. there's no need. this is a real fucking thing. i am a big advocate of medication, but the choice is all yours. <3

Date: 2012-06-16 07:11 am (UTC)
ext_3762: girl reading outside in sunshine (Default)
From: [identity profile] harborshore.livejournal.com
This was basically my therapist. She's the most sensible, step 1-3 person ever. And she excels in giving me small goals--and she also didn't assume that because I was doing my job/not dropping out of school, that it wasn't bad. She just listened to me outline what had happened and said "I'd be more concerned if you weren't reacting; that's a lot of shit to have dropped on you." And then we went through areas of my life and she gave me tiny goals between every session. For a while one of them was eating three meals a day at reasonable intervals (because in addition to the anxiety, I have a medical thing no one can diagnose that causes my digestive system to go out of whack if I don't eat healthy food three times per day). That sort of thing. And I wrote a little list with check boxes and got to check it off when I was done. Etc.

But everyone doesn't have her. The system should so look like this, I can't even. The fact that it's so incredibly difficult and time-consuming to get help for a disease that makes even the tiniest thing exhaust you--ugh.

Date: 2012-06-16 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlive.livejournal.com
amen. amen. it would just be such an easy, inexpensive thing to add.



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