The Nature of Depression- My Uniquely Honest First-Hand Perspective

Based on the hodgepodge of public reactions to the recent passing of manic comedic-genius Robin Williams, it’s apparent at least to me that somewhere around the ball park of most of the population does not entirely understand the nature of depression.

This makes perfect sense, as it’s unlikely for a person to possess this bundle of wisdom if they’re not an expert in the field of psychology or haven’t been personally effected by it to some degree.

I make the above statement confidently, as I’ve wrestled the dark depressive demon my entire life — early childhood included.  And no, there were no precipitating factors or events that contributed to it’s onset. Sometimes people are just born hard-wired a certain way. Genetics are funny like that. So, yes it’s relatively easy for me to weed through the hoards of comments and cite misconceptions.

Which, by the way is not at all intended to sound boastful – that particular tidbit of innate knowledge comes at a very high price.

This post is predominantly for clarification.

The generous gift that Robin Williams death bestows upon us is an attentive audience with a desperate thirst for answers.

Gracious, sir.

Not only are we talking about depression, we’re opening up to new information and for many of us, it’s become personal… it now has a face.

One thing is evident – Not everyone can or will be sparred, as depression knows no barriers and cannot necessarily be controlled.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always the presence of external factors such as access to medication, therapy and/or a strong support system that inadvertently makes or breaks a person.

Meaning, for some people the sheer magnitude of this disabling disease is enough in itself to send it’s victims spiraling into the desolate dark caverns of despair to the point of no return.

If you’ve lost someone to depression it is absolutely not your fault.

Depression can be like a tornado that takes absolutely everything in it’s path, despite our most vigilant efforts to contain it, and can abruptly bubble to the surface without a moments warning.

I’m well aware that I’m thinking outside-the-box in relation to the mainstream train of thought when I speculate that traditional interventions like meds, family support and therapy are not always enough.

Unfortunately, for many people, even the most modern and innovative treatment available today is still not enough to dissolve or even lessen their suffering.

And no, I’m absolutely not discouraging people from reaching out or encouraging others to do the same, I’m simply stating the fact that it’s not always enough.

At this particular moment in time, the severe depressive disease state is far from curable.

Houston, we have a ginormous problem.

The intrinsic problem with depression is that it can pack a punch so crippling that it renders it’s victims completely dysfunctional and unable to perform necessary tasks in their daily lives.

It can shut you down.

Much like a deer caught in headlights.

Meaning, one can become so completely disabled that they are unable to initiate that vital conversation or merely pick up the phone and ask for help.

It’s a vicious unrelenting cycle of absolute dread.

An extremely heavy burden for any person to carry for an extended length of time.

People who suffer from depression are survivors. Every single day can feel like the equivalent of scaling Mt. Everest, because to them… it is.

Life can be an ongoing battle.

It’s also no surprise then to comprehend that many depressed and/or mentally ill people are noncompliant. They habitually skip medical appointments, therapy sessions and allow their medications run out, because they’ve reached their saturation point; the point of complete debilitation.

Oftentimes, they’re in turn released by their mental health providers – their only lifeline – for the same infractions.

It’s the ironic nature of the beast.

Again, a vicious unrelenting cycle repeats itself

My opinion-

We as a society need to do so much more in terms of funding, research and rallying public support to get this ball-of-discovery rolling.

In the big scheme of things, our society has yet to make mental health a priority.

We’ve only begun to examine the tip this colossal iceberg.

Together, people can make a difference.

Increased media attention and public awareness can be potential game changers.

Rewind a decade or two when we knew very little about conditions like AIDS, Breast Cancer, Autism and ADHD in relation to what we know today.

It is high time the public put depression in the spotlight.

Robin Williams was an extremely intelligent man. He knew the nature of the beast and undoubtedly carefully weighed his every option. To speculate that he could have been saved by simply reaching out is an absolute insult to his genius.

Depression is just not that simple.

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FAST FACTS and common MISCONCEPTIONS-

Depression is not a transient mood, reaction or a simple state of mind.

Sadness is the reaction to an event, depression is an entirely different animal.

**Depression has a chemical-neurological basis and is therefore a true medical illness or disease. **

A positive attitude will not necessarily cure depression. It’s an integral component to therapy, but certainly not a sure-fire fix for everyone.

**A person with diabetes does not have the mental resources to control or change their blood sugar levels any more than a depressed person can alter their gut-wrenching mindset through positive thinking. That particular mentality is ignorant.

Depression is a spectrum disorder, meaning it effects people to varying degrees. It is not necessarily the same or even similar for any two people. Some may only be slightly effected thus helped by simple treatment modalities, (therapy or meds alone) while others may require diligent daily medication management and inpatient therapy… and may still not be capable of lifting their head above water.

Depression is not mental weakness or a flaw in character.

Historically speaking, many or most of the worlds most well known creative geniuses – artists, authors, musicians etc suffered from depression or mental illness. These outstanding people did not march to the beat of societies common drummer simply because they were different.

The extra creative spark of genius may come at a very high price.

Depression is fifty-bazillion shade of grey… maybe more.

Please respect that.

***Disclaimer- the above was written in an honest attempt to promote inquisitive thinking and raise awareness — to foster understanding and bring light to a serious illness. To lift the weight of blame for those who’ve lost a loved one to this horrid disease. It’s my personal open, honest account… dotted with a few indisputable facts in my personal hue of cloudy grey. ***

Thank you for reading.

Leave your thoughts here-

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Chronicles of ThatGoddamnedCat – Bobbing for Bunnies in the River Styx

I’m posting this for those of you who are following and are-not-horrified by the Adventures of ThatGoddamnedCat. This particular episode was tucked away in Junes draft folder somewhere around Father’s Day.

However, this is not exactly a Father’s Day post, because I very wisely had ThatGoddamnedCats testicles decommissioned as a kitten.

God knows one of him is enough.

The world is most welcome!

Anyway,

The serial killing feline asshole… has strucketh again.

In my defense, several weeks ago I swear that I absolutely wrote, “Buy collar with bell for asshole cat” on my TO DO list.

I just hadn’t gotten around to crossing it off yet, and for that I’m very sorry Mr. Rabbit.

May you RIP.

I didn’t actually find him all festively decked out in a party hat waving a magic wand. I took the liberty of adding a few photoshop extras, so he’d appear less gruesome and… dead in a somewhat happier light.

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He probably would’ve wanted it that way.

Bunnies are promiscuous party animals from way back.

The quarter however, is the real deal though. The shiny disc, is in fact, 25 cents that I deliberately placed on his shoulder so you could better comprehend just how freaking ginormous bunnyzilla is.

Relatively speaking I mean – in relation to TGC’s body weight.

I’m not exactly sure how many ounces my Jack-the-ripper feline has on this guy, but I’m guessing not too many – making Mr. Rabbit by far his largest kill to date.

I do feel bad about Mr. Rabbit I really do, but nonetheless I’m pretty impressed.

When I carefully instructed my son to bury Mr. Rabbits remains with the 25 cent piece, he wittingly replied, “Good, he’ll need it to pay his toll to the river Styx.”

Me – you don’t say.

This apparently, is a toll paid upon ones demise – in order to travel to the underworld of the afterlife… or something like that.

I shit you not.

My bright offspring are full of obscure trivia.

Who knew?

That guy is damned lucky I found him and thought to provide him with underworld fare.

The moral of the story – never leave home without a quarter in your pocket or it’s possible you’ll be up Shits creek or possibly the river Styx… without a paddle.

Chapter Two – The Unexpected

I bet you weren’t expecting a sequel to “The Adventures of ThatGoddamnedCat- Bobbing for Bunnies in the River Styx, because… neither was I.

I had hoped it was the last we’d seen of Mr. Rabbit after I’d carefully instructed my son to bury him WITH his shiny quarter that-was-actually-toll-for-the-river-Styx.

But nope.

His saga lives on, although you won’t see him again, because he’s vanished.

By vanished I mean Mr. Rabbit has vacated the garden… did like a baby and headed out, blew that Popsicle stand, did like a tree and leaved(?)…

Since I KNOW-for-an-absolute-fact that my diligent children did not let our German Shepherd indulge in a bunny snack that was not a tidy approved canine snack shaped like a bone from a colorful box, I’m going to speculate what happened to him.

You call it denial. I call it creative writing therapy so-I-don’t-wig-the-fuck-out.

*He hitched a ride to Pet Semetary for a proper burial. (Can’t blame him)

*He was actually the Jesus Easter Bunny and he rose from the dead.

*He turned into Zombie Rabbit and will be coming for TGC soon. (In which case, this story is about to get good!)

*The Jehovah’s witnesses saw him as they headed down my walkway and decided he needed to be saved.

*The postal carrier decided to mail him back to Max and Ruby, so they could have closure.

*A bald eagle swooped down and carried him to Bunny Heaven, but kept his party hat to conceal his middle-age male pattern baldness.

*Elmer Fudd finally bagged him, in which case he’s on display over at Acme Caskets.

Anyway,

He’s gone and I’ve convinced myself beyond the shadow of a doubt that he. will. not. resurface. in. doggy. vomit.

No.

The end.

 

The Grass is Always Greener… When it’s Undead

Let’s pretend… you’ve lived at your current place of residence for like 7-ish years and someone you live with who-may-or-may-not-be-your-wife-or-me drives over the same pesky patch of grass at the end of the driveway consistently, like every. single. damned. time.

Would you bother planting more green stuff?

Let me answer that.

Hell no.

Anxiety over grass causes nothing but marital angst, bad juju and hot air wasted over dumb grass.

What’s meant to be… is meant to be.

The universe has spoken.

Let that particular patch of earth be grassless.

Not only does your bride of two decades have ADHD, she’s also got crappy middle-age vision and not a shred of give-a-shit left.

Just leave well enough alone, already.

It’s grass for fucks sake.

Correction- it WAS grass, and now it’s mud casserole decorated with Goodyear tracks.

Technically, the lawn is half mine… to do with what I please.

That said, fun lawn-use ideas came shooting out of my colorful brain for consideration.

What to do with my half?

*Plant a cocoa bean tree so I can gnaw on the bark when I get one of those really bad chocolate cravings or dry the leaves and smoke cocoa out of a bong.

*Construct a moped speedway for senior citizens.

*Host midget mud wrestling for people only 4 feet and under

*Open a pig washing business or a restaurant for goats and other hungry grass eating creatures.

*Install a bullseye sign on the naked earth where grass used to grow, and every time the car hits it confetti or grass seed pops out.

*Bury a bottle of emergency vodka for the zombie apocalypse.

*Use it as a burial ground for ThatGoddamnedCats unfortunate victims.

*Open an upscale spa specializing in mud baths for beautiful intelligent women and pigs.

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Admittedly, I’m pretty fond of grass mostly because it keeps mud off the dogs paws and hides their poop… so there’s that.

What to do?

Decisions…

I shall conclude this post with a nonfiction story called BestWifeEver.

Once upon a time… in an old country home in the woods of Pennsylvania, someone who lives with me who-I-may-or-may-not-be-married-to actually ** pay attention here ** disassembled my decorative split rail fence in the front yard and drove his big ass truck directly OVER and through my seasoned perennial garden to dump half a freaking ton of coal through the basement window.

And, he lives.

I shit you not.

Payback’s a bitch.

The lovely puddle of mud shall stay indefinitely.

The end.

Lessons in Flushing

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Let’s face it. Some bathroom jobs require more than one flush.

In fact, repeat flushing is probably twice as likely when male waste is involved.

Multiple flushes are often a way of life.

As you already know, and just like replacing the empty roll of toilet paper, “Ain’t nobody (but mom) got time for that!”

So, to make things run more efficiently in bathrooms everywhere and to prevent from grossing out everyone in your household with your shitty presents, I’ve come up with fun activities to engage in while waiting for the tank to refill… so you can flush AGAIN.

And again if necessary.

You know… that long drawn out 90 seconds or so that seems like an eternity.

Ready?

The list-

*Wipe down the faucet. There’s almost always spittle, dribble and/or ick on the faucet… which is most likely yours.

*Sing a verse from… “Another one bites the dust” as you intently watch the turd-subject make it’s final swirly lap.

*If there’s more than one turd, bet on which one will go down first.

*Use dental floss to weed the garden between your teeth.

*Count the brackets on your braces.

*Post a guess-how-long-this-is? photo on Instagram and wait for responses.

*Practice your duck face in the mirror and post it on Facebook to annoy the world.

*Play a game of solitaire. (Everyone brings their phone to the bathroom)

*Change the toilet paper roll. -just kidding.

*Play a game of Frootloop toss where you try to peg the unflushable offender with a fruity ring. This activity will fine tune your aim for when you try to win a goldfish at the fair.

*Take a moment to squeeze the trigger on the air freshener that’s sitting right next to the toilet for your spraying convenience. – this activity is highly recommended.

Just… pleeeeease.

Remember, much like the age-old camping rule… leave no trace.

This concludes today’s lesson in Civilized Bathroom Etiquette.

Have a great day.

Addendum – (a month later) because I have a GIANT mess in my upstairs toilet that’s definitely going to require a plunger and a shit-load of disinfectant. Hopefully, I won’t have to get Mr. Anaconda the snake-unplugger-tool out. Fingers crossed AND nose plugged.

The addendum- never attempt to flush more than six squares of TP at the same time. DUH. I don’t care how GINORMOUS your poop is, the toilet can only swallow so much. New rule- if it’s bigger than a hamster, divide it up.

That is all.

Extreme Driving Adventures- Testosterone Behind the Wheel

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Let’s face it… teenage boys behind the wheel of any vehicle that isn’t

a self propelled red and yellow plastic Fred Flintstone car is frightening shit.

 

Teaching my, now licensed 17 year old to drive last year was an experience that had my already-questionable-sanity hanging by the fiber of a frayed thread… which continues to weaken every. single. time. I hand him the keys.

 

No doubt, those smelly green Christmas tree air fresheners should be available in xanax scent- exclusively for parents and/or mental patients.

 

The air freshener people would make a killing.

 

It seems like a no brainer, yet to this day I’ve been unable to locate a single anti-anxiety scented air freshener for sale on ALL of the inter webs.

 

Go figure.

 

The following driving tales were scribbled in holy water written while I was up to my eyeballs in adventure last year, teaching Big Kahunas to drive.

 

Big Kahunas nickname is explained somewhere in the smoking wreckage.

 

Fasten your seatbelt and read on…

 

Dumb Shit my Son Says…

Big Kahunas

Cruising in the Jesus-mobile

Testosterone Powered Jackass

 

 

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Va- what??

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Just when you think you’re running out of things to blog about… your friend posts an informative link to the wonderful world of vajazzling.

Va-what?

You got it…. the art of bedazzling the vaginal area, which for the official record isn’t entirely anatomically accurate, as the glitz is actually stuck to the mons pubis and in some instances the labia.

I mention this because upon reading the title, this obstetrical nurse was expecting the bling to be down under, when in fact it’s completely localized to the anterior pubes.

This matters why?

I immediately had fun fleeting visions of newborns shooting out of the tunnel-of-bling covered in vernix and gemstones.

How cool would that be?

To Do List-

Convince nurse manager to order infant ID bracelets and security tags in coordinating rhinestones to match Mommy’s bedazzled box-of-bling.

They would replace the plain-Jane numbered security bracelets maternity units have been using for like… ever.

Coordinating baby’s bracelet with Mommy’s box-of-bling is likely to be welcomed by both new mommy’s and maternity nurses because nobody enjoys reading those pesky five digit numbers a zillion times to claim their babies.

Nobody.

Obviously, the glitzy stones would be dissolvable so that in the unfortunate event that the baby swallowed them, they wouldn’t choke.

Safety first.

The gems would simply surface at a later date in the babes jewelry box, otherwise known as the treasured Pamper.

Another Pamper perk would be the addition of edible glitter to baby formula.

Similac with Iron in new flamingo-pink!

This would absolutely improve the whole diaper changing experience.

What goes in, must come out.

Chose your babies poop color!

 

What about the baby-daddy’s identity bracelet, you ask?

Because, sometimes the baby-daddy gets a baby identifier bracelet as well.

Hmm…

No bling for him.

Just no way, Jose.

I think it’s safe to speak for my colleagues when I say, we’re not ready to go there.

His identifier shall remain a bracelet in bright festive orange, much like those prison jumpsuits worn by the badass guys in the chain gang.

Why?

Because most boys men love gonadal attention and it’s high time they started practicing the role of responsible paternal figure, meaning the fun and games are over, dude.

Keep the barn door zipped, daddy-o.

You are about to enter the portal to Hell with the one to which you most generously deposited your sparkly seed of life.

Game over.

And guys, if and when you decide to get a vasectomy, I’d be more than happy to personally bedazzle your empty testicle sacks.

I’m thinking sports logos.

The Arizona Diamondbacks immediately comes to mind.

As a matter of fact, I’ll handcraft you a sparkly ice pack to match your desolate pouches of blanks.

 

Lastly, I’d like to share some (somewhat) practical vajazzling ideas for women-

A blingy Birthday cake… for the man who has everything

A clover for… that lucky son-of-a-bitch.

Mistletoe… but only for boys who’ve been good.

 

Life is full of surprises.

Shit happens.

It may as well be dazzling.

816

 

 

How to-

http://hairremoval.about.com/od/bikiniwaxing/ht/Vajazzle.htm

 

Where to purchase a vajazzle kit-

http://www.bindis.biz/bejazzelling-vajazzle-kits-21-c.asp

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_nkw=vajazzle&rt=nc

 

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I looked all over the interwebs for a Superman vajazzle design and came up with nothing!

 

How can this be?

 

I’m pretty sure Supergirl would be my first choice.

 

Weird.

 

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Note- you guys probably knew about this vajazzling thing all along, but I totally did not.

 

I’m that married-forever middle aged lady with four kids who lives under a regular rock-that’s-not-a-gemstone, who’s almost always a day late and a crystal short on the latest and the greatest fads.

 

Now you know.

 

Chronicles of ThatGoddamnedCat- Meet LuckyBastard my Chipmunk Friend

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Let’s face it, a nurses job is never done. This morning I’m having coffee with my new furry chipmunk friend who’s convalescing from an unexpected play date with ThatGoddamnedCat.

I affectionately named her LuckyBastard for obvious reasons, and I’m pretty sure she’s going to make it, as there’s no evidence of broken skin or internal bleeding. Unfortunately, I can’t completely rule out internal injuries because my rodent CT machine is down.

Plus, I’m obviously bullshitting you, because I don’t actually have that much needed piece of equipment that every cat owner should totally own.

And yes, I praised ThatGoddamnedCat for bringing dinner home.

He knows I hate to cook on Fridays.

Brownie points to ThatGoddamnedCat.

The dogs are going absolutely berserk at the moment, because I have LuckyBastard on the kitchen table hanging out in nurse Gina’s ICU for-unfortunate-play-dates-of-ThatGoddamnedCat, which is actually just a warm towel in a tall Hollister bag.

Her yummy chipmunk smell is driving them both batshitcrazy.

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Actually, Sketch who’s three is the one who’s pacing and nosing around like a juvenile spider money on crack. I honestly don’t think Tucker (12y/o German Shepherd)  even cares, because he’s retired from hunting prey and all other unnecessary dog related nonsense. Also, the poor guy can’t see or hear very well. He lives to chill out and protect the house.

I’m pretty sure he’s only anxious because he’s picking up batshitcrazy little dogs vibes. In fact, his poop just fell out, so I’m like 100% convinced it’s pure anxiety.

*Poop falling out is distinctly different than pooping on the kitchen floor, because this particular dog would never ever do that. He’s simply a well-mannered geriatric fellow who got anxious and well… shit happens.

Truth be told, I think this brainy canine who’s uber awesome in every way, had like one (maybe two) accidents in his entire lifetime.

We brought him home at 6 weeks and POOF! he was potty trained. He’s smarter than most people and a helluva lot easier to train than a human child.

I’m pretty sure he’s still humiliated over that one or two accidents he had when he was a pup, because if I remember correctly, his expression was all like…. “Ohhhh… you want me to go out there?? Why didn’t you just say so, master… I understand over a hundred different languages. Where’s the paper towels and carpet spray? I shall clean it up.”

And that was that.

The little guy on the other hand, who’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was obviously bred exclusively for companionship and keeping humans warm because his only assets are a viable heart beat, cuteness and ability to snuggle.

End of story.

I’m not complaining though. Adorable, snuggly companions who don’t sass, talk back or ask for money are hard to come by.

Back to LuckyBastard. She’s resting comfortably nestled in her Hollister bag where this strapping young beach dude is protecting her. Her breathing is fast, but regular and reflexes seem to be intact.

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I think she’s going to be fine.

I’m glad she stopped by to visit.

Mornings are anything but boring around here.

The following has been yet another adventure from… The Chronicles of ThatGoddamned Cat.

The end.

 

For more adventures starring ThatGoddamnedCat click here Adventures of ThatGoddamnedCat and here Toasted Mouse and here Here, Birdie Birdie

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