Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Day 1: Your Stories

Group BB rose.jpg
I have been thinking lately about what it means to be a leader (manager, moderator, fill in the blank), and, like I described in my post yesterday, I think it requires getting out of the way as often as you can, so to let all the stories, skills, talents, experiences of other people shine through.
At Group Beyond Blue, member Melzoom started a thread called “Your Story,” which you can get to by clicking here. I was very inspired by so many of them, and wanted to publish them here so that you all have a chance to hear different voices speak. In fact, I’m going to use this whole week to reproduce wisdom and words from my readers. Because I believe that your stories are what makes Beyond Blue a supportive place for folks with depression to land.
To read more Beyond Blue, go to, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.

  • valerie

    Okay, forgive my confusion. I thought the last two posts were your story, Therese. Are they someone elses? Regardless, thanks for the stories, whose ever they are. Valerie

  • Auburn

    Are there more people now a days who are depressed/mentally ill in some way, than years ago?
    Or is it something that has always been there and people have just ignored?
    If it is the former, how have we let this happen? Why hasn’t there been a medical uprising against it? If something in the genetics of humans were causing more and more offsprings to have a limp in their left leg (for example) all the doctors in the world would be looking to rectify the genetic imbalance, they wouldn’t JUST keep handing out crutches and new forms of shoes to balance the body (although that helps the actual people who would be suffering). So why does it seem that we are just being medicated and ‘patched up’ with the therapies? Are people who are being treated for ANY level of mental illness being taught how to help their offsprings to avoid any acquired problems which can be triggered by their genetic make up?
    A parent with IBS watches what they feed their child in case they have a similar genetic predisposition.
    A diabetic parent wouldn’t jump into feeding sugar to their child.
    Therese always mentions that she goes to a separate therapist to help her protect and/or prepare her children. But is this a course of action that every people is recommended to follow when they are being treated for their own illness?
    A posey of questions wrapped in a ribbon shaped rant! :)

  • clarie

    depressiion and bi-polar have always been around. in fact, I’ve have mine for 35 years and only started treatment less than 2 years ago. a very misunderstood disorder, and really screwed up one too, since you can’t see it, only feel how lousy it makes your life. I can no longer work, but I was just given a clean bill of mental health by my p-doc that it’s in “remission”. what does that mean? well, we got the right blend of meds, and the therapy I work on otherwise is keeping it under control, meaning it’s not so bad, just “managed”.
    this disorder, left untreated, can lead to suicide. it can kill all your motives, and leave you open for abuse from other people who view you as a sitting duck. drug abuse is extremely common.
    I use spiritual workings to manage it, but only now the meds work, or I’m on meds that work, is the spirit working too. very complicated on paper.
    I’d like to say that one has a degree of control over your mood swings, but one little problem in your life can make it kick back into out of control. I try to get things done anyhow, but do not pile on the pressure. I’m married, no children, do not drive a car. but live where I can get anywhere I need to by bus and el.
    I have always worked hard at being an artist and writer. because of the depression, you feel terrible about yourself. also another bizarre symtom is body aches all the time, headaches for no reason.
    the management trick is to seperate your disorder out from “you”. or you are not your disorder. this isn’t a cliche, but way of working around the problem, and not blaming yourself, or your God or Goddess!

  • Anonymous

    Even the ancient Greek Hippocrates, often called “The Father of Medicine”, who lived before Christ, wrote about mental illnesses, especially depression and bipolar disorder (He refered to it as “melancholia and opined that it seemed to strike “the best and the brightest, especially in the creative fields. IMHO they SEEM more prevalent today because although the stigma is certainly still present, it’s not as bad as it once was back when families kept the “crazy old aunt(or uncle, or whomever)locked in the attic ala the book Jane Eyre.While we obviously don’t brag about it as one might an especially talented or successful relative, I do think it’s become more mainstream to seek treatmentand/or to admit to a family member being “in treatment” Like sexual abuse, which used to go unreported, so,I think, did many mental illnesses because of the even GREATER “shame” attached to it. Also, since many celebrities have opened up and admitted their own illnesses, some peoplw feel more free to own up to their own as if the fact that a celebrity is mentally ill makes it all right for society in general. In ancient times, the belief was that mental illnesses were caused by demon possession. The only”treatment” therefore, was to exorcise the demons either through a religious rite or or by lterally”shaking” them out by causing convulsions of one sort or another, which was the original intent of electric shock therapy. Medieval apothecary books are also full of herbal remedies to bring on convulsions for exactly that purpose. Even Bedlam, the infamous mental hospital established in London in the late eighteen hundreds employed those types of “treatments along with prlonged submersion in water which was akin to “baptizing” the demons out of a patient. They also have an art museum there that displays the artistic works of various inmates through the years, giving credence to “the best and brightest theory. Many Biblical scholars be;ieve that the passages in the New Testament that tell of Christ “calling the demons” out of an individual refer to people who were suffering from mental illnesses of one kind or another as well.
    In short, they’ve historically nearly always been around but today’s globalization and mass communications put them out in the limelight more than thy once were. I, for one, am grateful to be living in a more enlightened age where there are medications and cognitive therapies to help I can’t imagine
    the horrorbeing locked in a dark vat of water for hours on end or being plugged into an electrical outlet in order to “heal” me.

  • Anonymous

    Auburn: Yet one more thought: In the days of colonialism in North America, mental ilnesses were often linked to “witchcraft, another indication that they arten’t new. Transcripts from the Salem Witch Trials talk about colonists “hearing voices” after being given the “evil eye’ by a suspected witch. Of course, more common afflictions, like miscarriage or financial ruin were also associated with witches casting spells. How awful would THAT hav been, not only to have an illness but being accused of congress with witchcraft on top of it? All in all, in spite of the stigma which still exists today, I’ll take the twentieth and twenty first century, thank you very much. Talk about the “cure being worse than the disease”!

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