Venting Our Despair & Supporting Each Other

127 posts / 0 new
Last post
Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Feb 20 2013 22:57

I think it would be a good idea, and have it sort in a similar place on the site and in a similar format as the introductory guides to class/capitalism etc etc are.

Soapy's picture
Soapy
Offline
Joined: 30-05-10
Feb 21 2013 20:18

Well I know personally that nothing I ever read about depression ever helped me deal with it. What helped me cope most was reading books or listening to music by people who had suffered from depression and turned it into something beautiful.

Honestly I think what would be most helpful is if people just submitted stories of how they felt for one day of their life while they were suffering from depression.

If people think this is a good idea just message me some stories and I'll put em together.

Fleur
Offline
Joined: 21-02-12
Feb 21 2013 21:55

I also think something like this would be a good idea, although I don't know how to go about it. I have a hell of a difficult time separating how I think politically from how I think about my personal life, which I wonder if that's part of the problem. So many people I have ever known with radical politics have had issues with depression at some point or another but I don't know if it's more prevalent, perhaps we're just more open about it with each other than the wider population, given that we talk about alienation etc.
Personally with me, I've come to think of it as a lifelong thing that needs managing, rather than curing. It comes and goes. Right now I'm seeing a psychotherapist, if nothing else t gives me an hour a week to have a damned good moan.
I'd be happy to help, although I have no idea what form that could be. I'm not a healthcare professional and they only experience I have is massively subjective and I'd be reluctant to give anyone else any advice, given that whatever works for me, or not, might be useless for someone else.
Soapy - what did you have in mind? I could probably give you a six volume work, complete with illustrations and a dodgy soundtrack wink

Soapy's picture
Soapy
Offline
Joined: 30-05-10
Feb 22 2013 02:51

Haha not that I wouldn't love the six volume work accompanied by elliott smith playing on loop but I think that what would be cool would be like little vignettes. Like, the time during the day that most exemplifies your depression. Like imagine it's a creative writing exercise and you have to write a scene.

armillaria's picture
armillaria
Offline
Joined: 1-09-09
Feb 22 2013 03:54
Quote:
I have a hell of a difficult time separating how I think politically from how I think about my personal life, which I wonder if that's part of the problem.

\

I think it's part of the solution, myself. smile

Also, what Red Ed said:

Quote:
I think it is true that anarchism does attract a lot of unhappy people, including people with drink problems and/or mental health problems. In a way though, I'd be worried if we didn't. I should say I speak as someone with mental health problems. The reason that I think anarchism ought, at least at a low level of class struggle, to have a larger than average number of people with mental health, substance abuse, etc. problems is that capitalism fucks these people over much harder than it does the average person.

THANK YOU. I get so upset by the narrative that the Occupy movement was "ruined" by "homeless people with problems" coming in. Like, oh, we just want a movement of respectable suffering people, who can then later use it on their resume to get a nonprofit job or something. None of this mobilization of people who are really desperate, no, then we might have a Situation.

I am very glad to see the discussion that's come out of this, and I'm very glad that it includes Bukowski.

Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Feb 22 2013 17:26
Soapy wrote:

Honestly I think what would be most helpful is if people just submitted stories of how they felt for one day of their life while they were suffering from depression.

If people think this is a good idea just message me some stories and I'll put em together.

I was unsure how I could actually help or contribute but this looks like something I could do. Though still, I don't know if I really have been/am suffering it, but whatever the fuck it is its been fucking shite and made me do some stuff Im not proud of. I'm now getting counselling and I'm finding it has helped quite a bit, now that I have a space to talk about things constructively and some one that can offer a fresh perspective on things outside of my circle of friends and people that know about what has been going on for me. It also has made all the feelings seem a bit less raw, like some one turned the volume down a bit.

xslavearcx's picture
xslavearcx
Offline
Joined: 21-10-10
Feb 23 2013 01:36

TRIGGER WARNING - Discussion about suicide and attempted suicides..

Agree with fleurnoire-et-rouge that its a lifelong thing that needs to be managed. I've been wired that way since primary school and its maybe only in the last 6 months or so that i can say with a little bit of confidence that ive got a bit of a grip of it - which is mainly down to me just accepting it as part of my life and moving commitments around when it starts to kick in and not going too hard on myself.

I remember in one of my darker moments going down to the river clyde to jump in and on arrival found someone else who was already way ahead of me - i.e she was on the other side of the fence at the riverside. I ended up talking to her for about 2 hours, trying to talk her out of it, panicing like fuck inside (and not revealing my reason for being there) in case i said the wrong thing and splash...

Due to the panicing and my lack of confidence in my abilities to counil this person at this pivotal moment, i was kinda hoping that one of the many passer bys would maybe come along and put in some help, maybe offer usage of their mobile phone or something to call say one of her family, carers, friends or whatever but no, it was a nice sunny day and a nice place for an undisturbed walk.

This manifest lack of concern didnt make it easy to convince herself (or myself for that matter) that it was worth giving life another go. As it happens eventually managed to walk her to a bus so that she went home so it all for that moment at least ended well. But was a big fucking lesson to me about alienation. The anger that it prompted in me managed to get rid of the suicidal ideation for that time also....

soyonstout
Offline
Joined: 25-12-08
Feb 22 2013 19:11

I personally have struggled with diagnosed depression for half of my life and tend to politicize it off and on since discovering the situationists about 2/3 of the way through--I agree that it can be really difficult in times of low-level of class struggle (or low compared to what revolutionists would hope it to be based on the severity of the crisis) and our own desire to base our politics in reality and real possibilities to separate these two things or not always question the extent that one informs the other (is marxism/anarchism making my depression worse? does my depression overly personalize my understanding of exploitation/alientation/etc.?). Orwell's essay on toads is quite good in this regard)

The other thing that can be pretty difficult is the relative isolation many pro-revolutionaries feel if they don't live in an area with other sympathetic and engaged folks who are doing something (even if that something is theory). I personally got pretty blue when the single issue campaigns the local Occupy movement folded into (and half of my close friends and all but one of my coworkers) fell under the spell of last year's presidential election and the climate of austerity seemed to be creating an intellectual environment where all political critique was deemed unproductive whining. For myself, almost least half of the reason I stay in touch with marxists and anarchists and the like is to avoid that kind of isolation and be reminded that other people have similar critiques and are expectantly paying attention to or engaging with workers' self-activity and think that this is worthwhile, and inasmuch as people turn to libcom for theory I would bet that a good number have at least a kind of social or anti-isolation motive as well.

I think people sharing stories, or things that seem to work well would be a good start. Depending on how well that goes it might even be possible to put together some articles on comrades' experiences or advice on dealing with mental health professionals, critiques of different psychological methodologies' often uncritical acceptance of existing social norms / markers of success/happiness/etc. could maybe develop as well. Probably many people don't feel qualified to generalize from their experience (although it doesn't stop libcoms who've never been involved in an illegal strike from applying their study of the history of workers struggles and capitalism to discussing those things), but collectively, via discussion in the comments, possibly some kind of guide or introduction could be put together--possibly with a proviso about not being a substitute for professional mental health advice.

Anyway, it's good to see folks talking about it.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Feb 22 2013 19:50

All good posts.

Slavearc, without trying to sound patronizing, thanks for sharing that. I'm sure that's a really personal thing for you and, I don't know, I just don't want you to think it's going unnappreciated.

Fleur
Offline
Joined: 21-02-12
Feb 22 2013 22:46

Yes, xslavesrcx, thanks for posting that up. I know from my personal experience that depression can be a really isolating experience, so I think talking about it is really valuable, not just for myself but also to show other people that they're really not on their own for feeling this way. It sounds like you saved each others' lives that day. I'm really glad. smile

And now I will go away for a few days and get brooding and introspective and massively insecure about what I will write.

wojtek
Offline
Joined: 8-01-11
Feb 23 2013 00:39

.

xslavearcx's picture
xslavearcx
Offline
Joined: 21-10-10
Feb 23 2013 01:36
wojtek wrote:

^was so this without the fame.

Did you ever see the documentary about that dude from east 17? - that was hard viewing..

TRIGGER WARNING - Discussion about suicide and attempted suicides..

Chilli Sauce and fleurnoire-et-rouge- it wasnt really a problem to post that, as the old saying goes "if ye didnae laugh you would cry..." TBH i reckon i probably wouldnt have gone through with it as if i had been really that way inclined id've probably just been like yeah fuck it 1 2 3 or something nightmarish like that... But the main point i was trying to get across was more about the alienation aspect, like how hard is it to put it accross to someone that its worth carrying on, that people care etc, when people are just walking past something like that unfolding rather blaze. then again, im sure if i had not intervened then someone else would have.

Obviously i can t universalise from my own experiences of depression but i know for a fact that i wouldnt feel so shit if my life was less shit. Ill admit to knowing fuck all about psychology and that but when i look around, the fact that loads of people i know have had suicide ideation, or attempts whether it be of the cry for help sort or something more final, that a lot of it probably does stem from the fact that the way our lives are will probably doesn't really lend itself to a cheery outlook. I think one of the biggest signs of a shit way of doing things is the suicide stats. Im sure everyone will know of someone they know or someone related to someone they know that has actually done the deed. It really hit it home to me when i was working in a call centre overlooking the erskine bridge which is like scotlands number one suicide spot and how every second day there would be helicopters, police and what not at the bridge dealing with something nasty going down. It was also somewhat macabre but strangely understandable that such events where something intersting to break the monontony of the call centre we all worked at.

Dont get too introspective if its going to bring on the depression, but if you do post something ill post an account of my breakdown that had many nicholas cage esque comedy moments!

xslavearcx's picture
xslavearcx
Offline
Joined: 21-10-10
Feb 23 2013 01:06
Quote:
For myself, almost least half of the reason I stay in touch with marxists and anarchists and the like is to avoid that kind of isolation and be reminded that other people have similar critiques and are expectantly paying attention to or engaging with workers' self-activity and think that this is worthwhile, and inasmuch as people turn to libcom for theory I would bet that a good number have at least a kind of social or anti-isolation motive as well.

Actually for me its kinda having a deeper understanding on how things work thats made me be less hard on myself which has probably been good for the old depresion. Like one of my last episodes was when i had just finished doing a community education qualification and had worked in that scene as a volunteer for a couple of years. I kinda expected that with the experience and the qualification that id get a 20k plus job and id be able to be a 'better' father and all that through being able to take the kids on holidays, provide financial support and what not. But, as predicted that wasnt to be and it was immensely frustraiting as it did feel as if my life was going in a natural incline towards getting a result like that. So bitterness, hoplelessness and all that malarky kicked in. Now with a better understanding of how things are for most people i can be less hard on myself and realise that everybody is pretty much in the same boat.. Maybe they should have Capital Volume 1 on the self help sections of libraries haha wink

sawa
Offline
Joined: 18-02-09
Feb 23 2013 01:09

Can people please put trigger warnings before talking about suicide(or self harm) and stuff please :] Thanks

What do people think of NUS Activist Mental Health guides?

http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/news/article/studentmentalhealth/Activist-Mental-Health-Guides-download-now/

xslavearcx's picture
xslavearcx
Offline
Joined: 21-10-10
Feb 23 2013 01:12

done - is that ok sawa?, dont know the format

sawa
Offline
Joined: 18-02-09
Feb 23 2013 01:32

Thanks dunno bout format but
Trigger warning : Discussion about suicide and attempted suicides
would be better if possible cos like for obvious reasons its like a particular bad trigger where like depression isn't or I dunno or is vaguer hmmm I dunno gah.

xslavearcx's picture
xslavearcx
Offline
Joined: 21-10-10
Feb 23 2013 01:35

No worries ill just paste that on then - thanks smile

sawa
Offline
Joined: 18-02-09
Feb 23 2013 02:07
xslavearcx wrote:
No worries ill just paste that on then - thanks :)

Thanks a lot, its apreciated :]
was half expecting hostility to trigger warnings cos it is libcom eeek :[

Noah Fence's picture
Noah Fence
Offline
Joined: 18-12-12
Feb 23 2013 08:16

Supporting each other is so important. The act of supporting another human being is a beneficial for the supporter as it is for the supported.
I think a distinction needs to be drawn between being miserable, sad, angry, alienated etc and clinical depression or other mental health issues that have depression as a symptom.
The former would generally be instigated through circumstance, enviroment etc whilst the latter would seem to be innate and inevitable.
Put in to class/political terms it seems obvious that there would be a higher incidence of non clinical depression amongst the poor etc. I think the same could be said of those opposed to the state/capitalism due the the uphill nature of struggle and the frustration at the lack of progress alongside the awareness that they are being fucked over. Of course this doesn't mean that all revolutionaries are depressed!
As for clinical depression, addiction and other mental health issues I would say the class connection is very limited. These illnesses are no respecter of class. Whilst episodes can be triggered by outside events, no enviromental pressure is required for these illnesses to manifest.
As regards solutions, at the risk of repeating what I have posted on another thread, when it comes to non clinical depression the most effective action that can be taken is to get involved with helping others. Finding a way to benefit others, especially in a group setting is great for building self esteem and a sense of purpose. Being 'a part of' rather than 'apart from' is a great antidote to feelings of isolation. Corny, I know, but true nonetheless.
I think the above can also be of great benefit to those with actual mental health issues but may be a bit simplistic in many cases and I think we need to tread carefully in this area when offering online advice to those that we know little about.
I think as a guding principle though as depression manifests itself in self centredness and self obbsession the solution would seem to be to take focus away from ones self and place it on others that could benefit from our help. I know this sounds harsh but I don't mean it that way - it's an observation, not a criticism.
I personally have a great deal of experience in the area of addiction and would be glad to help in any way I can with anyone experiencing problems of this nature. It can seem a hopeless condition but as a drug addict of around 18 years who now has nearly 16 years of total abstinence under his belt I am living proof that there is a way out. Despite many problems life is good and I haven't missed drugs for a single day!
Please take all of the above as general observations and opinions - no doubt there will be many examples of experiences that don't fit what I have written. Whilst I have a fair bit of experience with mental health issues with friends and family I consider myself a long way from being an expert on these matters(apart from addiction!).

GoHabsGo
Offline
Joined: 21-02-13
Feb 23 2013 09:13

I have a form of anxiety. I know that anxiety and depression are two different things, there are people who will help if you let them in on your feelings. I was embarrassed for years of having anxiety. I would sometimes have to leave a public place because I would panic. I kept this inside for eight years and finally started talking to people. They have been supportive and have helped me in ways that are better than my self help method of getting laid or finding any drug I could get. It sucks having panic episodes in public, but many of the people I know help me through them or allow me to leave if it gets too bad. Talking about these issues can help anybody. Keeping it inside only makes it worse and you could do something stupid.

Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Feb 23 2013 13:10

I thought these might be of interest

http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/02/why-anti-authoritarians-are-diagnose...

http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/05/anti-authoritarians-and-schizophreni...

Im still thinking of posting my account up of the most recent incident I had, my problems are fairly normal and I might seem melodramatic. In actual fact people would be well within sensibility to suggest me just getting the fuck over it and focus on other things to be honest but this has affected me massively.

Fleur
Offline
Joined: 21-02-12
Feb 23 2013 14:59

I'm going to be on the run all weekend & won't have any time to myself to sit down & type up anything which involves some serious consideration, just wanted to ask how we are dong this? I know I'm a bit waffly to post something up directly into a forum, is Soapy still happy to collate these accounts? If so I would really appreciate.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Feb 23 2013 19:49
sawa wrote:
xslavearcx wrote:
No worries ill just paste that on then - thanks :)

Thanks a lot, its apreciated :]
was half expecting hostility to trigger warnings cos it is libcom eeek :[

http://libcom.org/blog/trigger-warnings-why-we-use-them-15012012

By a libcom admin no less, comrade wink

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Feb 23 2013 19:55
fleurnoire-et-rouge wrote:
I'm going to be on the run all weekend & won't have any time to myself to sit down & type up anything which involves some serious consideration, just wanted to ask how we are dong this? I know I'm a bit waffly to post something up directly into a forum, is Soapy still happy to collate these accounts? If so I would really appreciate.

Okay, so I've got a PM or two about this.

Here's my suggestion, we get a little email chain going where we (a) try to sort out some structure and (b) get sharing, editing, and feedbacking on others' accounts.

What do folks think of that idea?

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Feb 23 2013 21:39

Thanks for your post slavearc I wrote a short story about a scene like that when I was about 18. Surreal to think it actually happened to someone.
I think writing about things like this can be helpful because I don't think people can easily get these things off their chests. I can remember talking about suicide with friends and it isn't easy and I doubt any of them thanked me for it but it did help me at least.
Chilli I'd be interested in sharing a story, but not any of my god-awful teenage stuff in case you're worrying.

Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Feb 23 2013 22:16
jef costello wrote:
Chilli I'd be interested in sharing a story, but not any of my god-awful teenage stuff in case you're worrying.

And this is exactly why Im still thinking of contributing.

Soapy's picture
Soapy
Offline
Joined: 30-05-10
Feb 24 2013 00:48

I'm down for whatever, what's the plan?

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Feb 24 2013 08:50

Sending PMs right now...

Wiggleston's picture
Wiggleston
Offline
Joined: 8-10-12
Feb 24 2013 11:00

So, what should I do for this? Post on here or PM Chilli?

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Feb 24 2013 12:58

PM'd

Topic locked