Chasing the black dog



  • Hear, hear.

    (BTW, 'black fog' is not an inaccurate description....)
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    {{{{{{{All of us, and everyone else}}}}}}

    I haven't figured out what creature my depression is (if it is one), but it's snuffling around.
  • Prayers for Bene and everyone managing depression and anxiety.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Prayers ascending, Bene Gesserit. For all on this thread.
  • I had my appraisal at work, before which I fell into a deep pit of anxiety. Still blundering around finding my way out. This reminds me once again that the ground is never entirely stable, and internal currents of which I am ignorant, willfully or otherwise, can wash away the ground beneath me and cause me to descend again in a moment. It was like being mugged, the moment I started to prepare: suddenly the air around me became thick and dark.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Bene echoing Climacus, I hope your fog goes and you get some rest. Anxiety is so draining.
  • Dog/fog/slug....whatever.

    Begone, all of ye!

    {{@ThunderBunk}} - I think I see what you mean. To me, it's like trying to wade through treacle about three feet deep...
  • What a terrible feeling, ThunderBunk. 🕯️

    I get horribly nervous before any sort of work meeting. Or any meeting, truth be told.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Sorry Thunderbunk - I think I cross posted - didn't mean to ignore you.

    I recognise that feeling. Not having work appraisals is definitely one of the joys of retirement.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    {{{Thunderbunk}}} - I think I cross-posted too - hope your appraisal went well.
  • Not an incursion of the Black Whatever-You-Call-It, exactly, but the current bleak weather, and my aching legs, led to a bout of Leaky Eye Syndrome this afternoon.

    O, how subject we are to outside influences!

    I thought I'd cheer myself up by listening (courtesy of YouTube) to some music, and came across this recording of The Fields Of Athenry by The Dubliners:

    For one who abhors the thought of Brexit, and is a (hopefully-soon-to-be) citizen of the Irish Republic, this is NOT the most cheerful song I could have hit upon......

    When will you bl**dy English stop feck*ng about with Ireland?
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Many years ago friend of Mr F’s mother was travelling on the Dublin to Galway line. In those days a guard would shout the station - ‘Athenry! Athenry! Anyone here for Athenry?’

    Some little time later, another lady in carriage leaned over and asked her ‘Can you tell me, what time do we get to At Henry?’
  • For the edification of those who don't know, the name is pronounced 'Athen - Rye'!
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited January 2019
    Hugs and prayers for those finding the darkness closing in.
    I get terrible anxiety before meetings and before routine stuff too, if it feels too overwhelming an undertaking.
  • And yet, TBTG, the reality is ofttimes less awful than the anticipation, no?

    Hold that thought, as They say....
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited January 2019
    Oh yes, in fact I was going to write in my work blog tomorrow discussing the issue of anxiety before a project, paralleling my attitude towards a huge pile of marking to my students’ attitudes towards writing the assignments. The prevarication, the fear of getting it wrong, the displacement activity...yet in reality once you start it is not that hard. Small goals is the key, just a little at a time, and good planning.
  • Small goals is the key, just a little at a time, and good planning.

    Goal-setting, planning and recording my work are the things which trigger my anxiety worst. Thus, I feel completely defeated and on edge before I even start.


    Nonetheless, the appraisal was OK, because the scrutiny is not as forensic now as it has been in previous years. Still got to improve the planning, admin and recording though

  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    {{{{{{{{all of us, and anyone else in emotional/mental discomfort or trouble}}}}}}}}

    Having a rough time lately.
  • Hugs back at you GK.

    I’ve had a great weekend and shouldn’t be feeling this crap but I do and unsettling dreams last night didn’t help. It’s like my mind is conspiring against itself.
  • {{ Golden Key }}

    {{ not entirely me }}

    And all suffering the dreaded beast.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I’ve had a great weekend and shouldn’t be feeling this crap but I do and unsettling dreams last night didn’t help. It’s like my mind is conspiring against itself.

    I hate that feeling. I think I have sometimes been more vulnerable to bad dreams after having a good time. I hope you can do something nice for yourself - and enjoy it.

    GK I am very grateful for you posting the UFYH link on the decluttering thread. It works :smiley:
  • Dreams really are the devil, aren't they? After a night of insomnia last night, I'm too scared to go to bed in case I have one of those rewrite-the-past dreams, where I dream I ruined those things which I didn't in real life - like Finals, a stage performance... you get the picture.
    Hope other BD victims are coping..
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    Huia, you're welcome! :)
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    Re insomnia:

    For me, it's helpful to have some special sounds going. Nature sounds, music, NPR (like BBC). Usually at a fairly low volume. Gives my mind something to focus on when I can't sleep, and often eases me into sleep for a while. I've used this all night most of my adult life.

    These days, I mostly use NPR, and sometimes a classical music station. Once in a while, I use nature sounds from You Tube. Many people have provided audio/video specifically for relaxation. E.g., look up at YT "ocean sounds no music". There are some recordings that are 11 hours long! I like to set the playback to a slower speed--gets me a more relaxing sound. I mostly use those recordings when I really, really need to relax, rather than just sleep. Having the computer on (by my bed) can interfere with my sleep--both the energy from it and the light.

  • I usually have Radio 4 extra on to go to sleep. The problem is that the stuff does repeat eventually so I may partially wake up to something I already heard. It also drifts worryingly into dreams - I've found myself having to check the schedules to see what has caused a particular nightmare. Can't do relaxing sounds, or indeed music any longer.
  • BBC World Service for me. But sometimes I find I'm so intrigued I keep awake. :lol:
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I have re-discovered music and it really lifted my spirits yesterday after a meltdown. A Mozart clarinet Concerto, followed by a Bassoon Concerto. Now I need the "Music for the Flute and Harp", which I also gave Dad, but my older brother swiped - and has probably lost.

    I think it helped that it was purely instrumental - it helped me declutter a room in preparation for a possible new cat.
  • Oh, a new cat! Glad the music helped lift your spirits. I hope the weekend is a happy one for you.

    There is a Huia sculpture in town...kept meaning to tell you about it (in case you did not know). Makes me think of you and all Shipmates.

    Weekend is here. Looking forward to some more exploring. First stop, a café recommend to me by colleagues.
  • Oo new cat.
    Music is such a gift.
    I’m a big fan of radio 4 comedy too.
    I like sleep stories on the calm app for insomnia. I think I’ve only ever made it to the end of two and one of them was just a decent short story that introduced me to a new author.
  • @Huia, I realize that you would like your own copy but in the meantime, there are some lovely versions on YouTube.
  • I thought I might drop in to recommend a book. (I have had a couple of SSRI prescriptions in the past, a small bunch of counselling, and in part lost my career to this kind of sh*te). It is about dealing with trauma, and moves from military veterans, road accident survivors and survivors of really heavy child abuse at one end, to the more everyday shit which many of us grew up with at the other. The author (Dutch-American MD - clinician and researcher) starts out (perhaps to disarm a sceptical reader) with quite a bit on neuro-imaging, and then gets into all sorts of different therapeutic approaches, how they have been scientifically tested, and what the results were. If you were ever suspicious of how freely SSRIs are prescribed, and suspicious of how many novel three-letter-neologisms
    exist to describe our symptoms of mental ill-health, this is a good book to read. 'The body keeps the score', B.van der Kolk, Penguin (2014) ISBN 978-0-141-97861-1. TRIGGER WARNINGS: if you are dealing with heavy stuff from the past which you suspect you ought not to deal with alone, find help before delving into this book. It's very carefully written, but still, be gentle with yourself.
  • Thanks Mark.

    And sorry for the off-topic musings above...I thought I was on the Southern Hemisphere thread! 🙄
  • Hey Mark, my friend is an OT who specialises in psych & sensory integration and she has mentioned that book.
    I’m not against meds at all but I do think a more holistic approach makes sense.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    Sometimes, it's possible to do all the head work, and still need meds because of an underlying problem. I resisted anti-depressants for a long time, while I was working hard on head stuff. Then I hit yet another very, very bad patch. If I hadn't finally started meds, there's a good chance I wouldn't be here. They've kept me alive *and* given me enough balance to actually *live*.

    I don't know what's right for anyone else. But please, whoever reads this, think before resisting going on meds, or deciding to go off them.

    There's a book called "You Mean I Don't Have To Feel This Way?", from the '90s or so. Helped me back then. Turned out that the author's family had biochemical problems, and didn't realize it. She lost her ex-husband to suicide, and almost lost her daughter. IIRC, I think maybe the author herself found she had some problems, too. Anyway, it gave me a different way to think about depression. and meds.

    And, FWIW, needed antidepressants are the equivalent of insulin for diabetics.

  • I think it's just my hormonetherapy meds, but yesterday I had a bit of a meltdown and actually started screaming, because I couldn't get my head to organise what it needed to organise. After a couple of shrieks, I then started crying. And told myself not to be stupid, and I took some deep breaths. But it's a bit of a pisser.

    I find that I get myself in a panic because I can't meet self imposed deadlines - so, for example, I decide I need to leave the house at 9.00, in order to fit in a walk before my first lesson. The walk is not strictly necessary, and can be curtailed if need be, but I start worrying at 8.30 that I'm not going to meet my "deadline" and start getting more panic ridden.

    I believe that this is a side effect of the drugs, but it's still irritating...
  • That sounds horrible Doormouse. I know that kind of can't-think-for-needing-to-think thing.

    As usual when I attempt written communication on the internet I left out quite a lot of important information with that book recommendation. He's particularly writing about PTSD and trauma, which interests me, and his concerns about SSRIs surround their blanket prescription across into folks in these areas, where clinical tests suggest they don't seem to do much good. Thanks, especially GK, for your important correction.
  • {{ Dormouse }}

    I too read a book recently (usual cautions apply...), Lost Connections by Johann Hari. It looked at how modern society may be contributing to many of our mental health maladies. He, to me, seemed more against the ad-hoc prescription of medication, as opposed to being against it all forms (but others saw it differently, and I can see why) -- but I found it an interesting read.

    My psych has always be honest about the profession not knowing exactly why, for example, lithium helps with bipolar -- but it seems to. And as he says to me, if it stops working or does not help no point taking it. Perhaps that coloured how I read Hari.
  • (((Dormouse)))
  • Nocturnal panic attacks can do one!
  • <votive> for all with nocturnal wossnames....

    Why is it that the hours between (say) 1am and 5am are twice as looooooong as all other hours? I often seem to endure them these days (or nights, rather).
  • Indeed. They are very long hours.

    Thoughts and best wishes to all thus afflicted.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Hours when you know you need to be asleep but you're not do indeed seem to stretch to infinity.

    Unlike the half-hour that might elapse between you waking up and you having to get up, which lasts for about a nanosecond.
  • Ha ha. True.
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Hours when you know you need to be asleep but you're not do indeed seem to stretch to infinity.

    Unlike the half-hour that might elapse between you waking up and you having to get up, which lasts for about a nanosecond.
    Climacus wrote: »
    Ha ha. True.

    Abso-bloody-lutely! Managed to sleep from ~3:30am to ~6:30am but getting going after naturally waking up at that time was a slog and the time just goes by and then I’m trying to work out what level of washing my body I can get away with - it’s grim. One day someone will say something about me “sleeping in” and I will actually punch them.

    Any tips of changing the speed at which time passes and the pace of a mind in relation to it are indeed welcome!
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    I don’t have a black dog, but I did spend around 30 years waking up around 2 and going back to sleep some time after I’d heard 4 chime (it’s got a lot better as I’ve got older). I was not awake enough to do anything, including read, but very conscious of time passing.

    To avoid nasty night thoughts, I used to (in my mind, of course!) write a play, prepare a dinner party, organise a new wardrobe, move house, anything positive.

    The downside was that Macarius learned to dread just coming round from sleep to hear me say, ‘I’ve been thinking....’

  • When I have insomnia I tend to get up and have a cup of tea in the kitchen, sometimes browse my iPad or read. This interrupts the racing manic thoughts which are a feature of my bipolar insomnia, changes my body temp, etc. Then half hour later I go back to bed.
    Of course, if I am manic I might not get to bed in the first place.
  • MMM - that’s a good idea. I used to love bedtime as a kid because I made up stories. Now I end up mulling instead but I’ll get some story ideas together or look at my vision board before bed and try and use them as inspiration should I wake up.

    Annie - I use my iPad but sometimes get too sucked into watching something which doesn’t always help but reading is a good idea. I’ve got a fantasy book I’ve just started so hopefully that will help.

  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    Ay up. I'm in the shallows. Bin there for a while. May I wave out from here?
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    {{{{{{{All of us, and all other sufferers}}}}}}}
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