Sunday, July 27, 2008

Three Types of Depression

Originally uploaded by Caucas'

I feel the need today to post again what I shared last April 6:

Here is an excerpt from the March 20, 2008 post at, which I think provides a good explanation of the different types of depression:

"Take a look at the types of depression patients there are:

"First, there’s the regular; the person who will be on anti-depressants for life (or until some wonderful medical advances make depression obsolete!). These people need medicine because the chemicals in their body are consistently off-kilter. Usually a genetic issue, without medication, they are physically unable to produce what their body needs for “normal” functioning.

"Then there’s the drop-in. These are the people who become biologically off-kilter during a short period of time, maybe during an extended period of stress. Therefore, they take the medicine, get their brain chemicals back in balance, and never look at an anti-depressant again.

"Then there are the people who never really needed drug therapy at all. They are depressed because they have a negative belief system or unresolved issues or an inability to express their true emotions. While the depression is still real, still painful, their problems can be alleviated with psychotherapy or depression studies and groups. The cause of their illness is not physical.

"Now I know that this is a simplified and unscientific way to classify people with depression. I also realize that a genetically depressed person will probably have negative belief systems or other ways of thinking that only make their depression worse. But with genetic depression, the depression will exist, even with better beliefs and other lifestyle changes."

I have the first type: chemicals off-kilter, a physical inability to produce what my body needs for normal functioning. It is a depression which persists, even with changes in beliefs and lifestyle.

This is why I cannot tell you when I am going to feel better. This is why your pep-talks just make me feel worse. This is why I cannot will myself to be well.

I liken a mood disorder such as mine to a viral infection. Medications don't get rid of a virus, although they can certainly soften the symptoms of having it. When fighting a virus, you must do what you can to be healthier, but mostly you just take care of yourself the best you are able and wait for it to pass. So it is with a chemically-induced mental illness.

(Click on the picture for photo credits.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Originally uploaded by James Jordan

Sometimes the tragedies in the lives of friends make depression seem to be the only reasonable response to life. But then, lights shine through: babies, family gatherings, temple sealings. Hope.

Thank you, Emily, for your part in bringing light into my life this week.

Thank you, Kathy, for always being so warm and kind. I'm praying--and grieving--for you.

(And thank you to my favorite photographer, James Jordan, for another gorgeous photograph. Such beautiful images uplift me. Click on the picture for a better view.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Originally uploaded by Delphien Experiences

I do not know this gentleman, but I feel the way he seems to feel in this video, as he anticipates a big event coming up in his life.

I am in such a condition pretty much all of the time.

Dunes de Merzouga

Dunes de Merzouga
Originally uploaded by Alexbip

I have become hawkishly aware of shifts in my being. With each shade of alteration I eagerly wonder if I am headed toward healing, or if the shift is merely a shift.

It seems stupid to look for meaning in every little change, but I look for meaning in every little change.

One thing persists: Anxiety is the enduring landscape of my current life.

"It is not very easy to take pictures of dunes, especially under a very strong light."--
Alexbip, the photographer of this beautiful picture.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I posted here today. It's about ways I have found to study the scriptures daily, even while I am at my most ill. You might want to check it out, particularly if scripture study has become a challenge for you.

(Thank you to this photographer for the gorgeous picture.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

So Good, Not So Good

Originally uploaded by sarmax

So good for my mental health:
Time alone.
Adequate sleep.

Not so good for my mental health:

(Click on the picture for photo credits.)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Still Paddling Onward

(Click on the picture for photo credits.)

The Land of Ghosts
Originally uploaded by peter bowers

Listen for the Angels

"The scriptures recite numerous instances where an angel appeared personally . . . When I was young, I thought such personal appearances were the only meaning of the ministering of angels . . .

"But the ministering of angels can also be unseen. Angelic messages can be delivered by a voice or merely by thoughts or feelings communicated to the mind. . . .

"Most angelic communications are felt or heard rather than seen."

---Dallin H. Oaks, “The Aaronic Priesthood and the Sacrament,” Ensign, Nov 1998, 37

President Harold B Lee (1899-1973) once remarked: "Don't be afraid of the testing and trials of life. Sometimes when you are going through the most severe tests, you will be nearer to God than you have any idea, for like the experience of the master himself in the temptation on the mount, in the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross at Calvary, the scriptures record, 'And behold, angels came and ministered unto him.' (Matt. 4:11.) Sometimes that may happen to you in the midst of your trials" (in Conference Report, Munich Germany Area Conference, 1973, 114). Ray H. Wood, "Our Thorns in the Flesh," Ensign, Feb. 2003, 31.

Thank you to this photographer for the picture. (Click on the link for another great quotation.)