Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

Knowledge is About Consequences by Mary Lou Meyers

Monday, August 10th, 2020
Here is another poem by my classmate Mary Lou which gives us much food for thought! I added a photo to lighten up the seriousness of this topic.
Knowledge is About Consequences
At first It seemed a glitch
in the predictable ups and downs of Life soon to be fixed;
until there was no switch to turn on the lights
in the darkest nights where we groped for reasons,
nor could it be read loud and clear, the cause of our fears.
The Truth every 100 years or more we have a Pandemic,
but no one kept score, and nameless it remained
until Covid-19 was blamed.
It’s invisible power manifested itself in such devious ways,
people were dropping here and there, first in China
we heard about, then everywhere,
but walls didn’t suffice anymore, we were one world.
With all our resources, we thought we could catch IT off guard,
when it didn’t, people were advised to wear masks,
some laughed about as though childish and phobic.
Fear lurks everywhere now,
settles in where  the old and infirm are cared-for,
they have little or no defenses to spare.
How can we break through the vise that grips us,
this rude awakening which robs us of breath?
We wait for validation instead of remaining safe,
not chanting USA with preconceived notions,
some marching without masks with placards of Gray,
nothing standing in the way of Freedom’s Way.
The switch from an all powerful Nation to one at risk.
Self-flattery leads us astray, does instinct betray us?
Only scientific endeavor can lead the way,
ultimately safeguard until the treatment appears
to banish our mounting fears, but we question validity
when defeat doesn’t come naturally to a Nation such as We.
The sing/song way we sang about the Depression,
how we reaffirmed our Soul in the turmoil.
The War Years brought tears and bravado both,
when the century goes by, they will remember
how it opened up with more than a sigh
for the thousands of lives lost in nine eleven.
They will remember our willpower when we defeated the Foe
instead of laying low.
But will they remember how the virus was?
Soft and insidious as a velvet glove taking on all,
even those who installed social distancing warnings;
making its way without regard to border crossings,
until a trail of dead bodies made them barred.
What we could not conceive of in all our nightmares
recall limited to reason at some point
fail in any explanation of negligence.
Our memories limited to expressions of Faith
or does it take over to generate Hope?
Do we take a cursory glance at Chance?
It’s the Nature of our submission
to an innocuous but deadly strain of commission.
These are the darkest days we’ve known as a Nation
for a long time,
which can’t be attributed to War Times,
where we were behind our GI’s no matter
the clime they found themselves in,
no matter the sacrifice we had to make.
We debate the opening of schools.
We went during the War Years, bombs dropping down
who knows where, submarines sited on the coasts;
went to a basement room or hid under our desk
during the atomic era blasts.
But the comfort of arms to disarm works against us,
and the sneeze dancing across the room infects us.
what is not known cannot easily be resisted like a kiss.

Women & Depression: Special Report

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Note: Since depression is a difficult illness with darkness lurking everywhere, I thought I would post flowers to bring a bring light to the article.

Depression is no stranger to my family.  My father’s youngest sister committed suicide when she was 29 and unmarried. (Sixty years ago that made her an old maid and I believe that state of mind triggered her depression!) My mother’s aunt drowned herself because of her fear of her daughter’s fragile health. (P.S. This daughter outlived her siblings.) Three of my four siblings have experienced serious depression. I went through a deep depression after my older daughter was born and again while going through divorce and menopause simultaneously. Fortunately, I received the help I needed, but not until some trial and error.

When I suffered from postpartum depression in 1965, the climate at that time was that depression was a lack of will.  The advice was to snap out of it!  or say, It’s all in your head. Now research has shown that for some of us, depression is part of our genetic makeup, that some kind of chemical imbalance is inherited. (Environmental factors and physical ailments that trigger depression are also factors.)  With depression on both sides of my family, the genetic predisposition makes sense.

There are many options in modern medical and non-medical circles, since depression is not a small problem. According to an article I saved in Rosie, the magazine that Rosie O’Donnell published several years ago, depression haunts as many as 12 million American women.(In this back issue, Rosie writes about her own years of depression.)  I Googled for statistics and found these additional cited statistics from Facts Sheets and Depression on the website

1.  Approximately 12 million women in the United States experience clinical depression each year. (Same stat as Rosie cited in 2001.)

2. About one in every eight women can expect to develop clinical depression during their lifetime.

3. Depression occurs most frequently in women aged 25 to 44.

4. Contributing Factors – Many factors in women may contribute to depression, such as developmental, reproductive, hormonal, genetic and other biological differences (e.g. premenstrual syndrome, childbirth, infertility and menopause).

5. Social factors may also lead to higher rates of clinical depression among women, including stress from work, family responsibilities, the roles and expectations of women and increased rates of sexual abuse and poverty.

6. Gender Differences -Women experience depression at roughly twice the rate of men. (Girls 14-18 years of age have consistently higher rates of depression than boys in this age group.)

In my case, postpartum depression was, I believe, triggered by a hormonal balance when I stopped nursing my daughter at six months, because my son, who is 18 months older, was such an active child, I felt I could not continue to nurse. Many years later I learned that when you stop nursing, there is a hormonal shift. My second big “meltdown,” as Susan Sarandon once called depression, came while I was going through divorce and menopause, both of which are stressful, with menopause listed under hormonal issues. The doctor never even asked about my physical condition. If I had been going to a holistic practitioner at the time, I think the link between the physical and mental would have been acknowledged and treated with alternative and traditional health measures.

Because women seem to be more prone to depression than men, which is also true in my family, I have collected several books on the topic.  In my next posting later this week, I plan to post the list. (I still have one more book to read.) In the meantime, if you have any books on the topic you’d like to suggest, please email the information for me to share with other readers.

Depression is a devastating illness. Family members suffer as well as a result of a loved one’s illness. In that sense, it is “contagious,” that is, the one who is always depressed can bring others down along with him or her. So please get help, so that life once again becomes hopeful and enjoyable.

In the 1970s, after I had experienced severe postpartum depression, I penned this rhyme based on Sylvia Plath’s autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar. (I Googled the title and came up with this piece of information.)

“Sylvia Plath was an excellent poet but is known to many for this largely autobiographical novel which was first published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The Bell Jar has become a classic of American literature.  I will add this to the bibliography in the next posting.

To Sylvia’s Bell Jar

Written in the mid-late 1970s by ellensue

When the bell jar descends, I feel my life’s ending.
For without Hope, there’s no way I can cope.

Everyone has a bell jar, which can smother her life’s breath.
Be it her job, mother, spouse or herself; no one is without one.

The trick is to break it—so it can never cause you pain.
For if it closes around you tightly,
You’ll spend your days fighting for air, and slowly losing….
For the pain is in the dying.

I’m always ready for my bell jar to descend, so I keep a constant vigil.
It closed about me once, and dying once is enough—isn’t it?

Note: Because May is National Mental Health Month and my blog, Divorce Dayz is also for women, I decided to post this both on menupause and divorce-dayz. If you are reading this on menupause and are also divorced, I added this excerpt from that you may want to read and also go to the site for more information.

Experiencing grief and depression from divorce is common when a person’s marriage ends.  The sense of loss can be comparable to the pain of losing a loved one. In essence, it is the death of your marriage.  It can be a very sad time in your life as you lay to rest all the dashed hopes and dreams.

Your pain is real, and as you begin your divorce recovery you may experience some or all of the following symptoms of depression from divorce to some extent:

1. inability to sleep or sleeping more than usual

2. over eating or a total lack of appetite

3. fatigue

4. unusual aches and pains

5. excessive alcohol or drug use

6. difficulty concentrating

7. persistent negative thoughts

8. irritability or anger anxiousness or restlessness

9. sense of guilt or worthlessness

10. pessimism or indifference

11. loss of interest in formerly pleasurable activities

12. recurrent thoughts of death

13. thoughts of suicide – *Get Help Immediately*

While it is normal to feel these things off and on, consult your doctor if you are experiencing at least four of these symptoms on a daily basis for a prolonged period.  Your symptoms may be caused by lingering depression.  When you are facing these on a continual basis, there is no shame in asking for help. When there is a death in the family, people offer their support. When a divorce occurs, this help is often lacking, so you may need to seek out your own support.  Just remember that you probably won’t feel this way forever.

For the time being, though, depression from divorce can seem to color everything in your life. Start to forgive yourself for mistakes you may have made.  Maybe you weren’t perfect, but you are basically a good person. You can’t go back and change the past, so let it go, and allow yourself to find contentment in the here and now.”

Again, for more information, go to this site.