Based on one of my patients descriptions of how it feels to be depressed.
My heart is full of shadows
and my mind has ceased to work.
I’m at the bottom of the well
of self-pity, and see no glimmer,
no suggestion, no way out.
So deep, no-one can hear me call.
So dark, I forget my fear of death.
So far away, horizon blurs into sky,
and silence so profound strangles
all my dreams before their birth.
Acid drops of bitterness erode
and scar my soul, etching false
memories, calcifying hope.
Touch me, I am brittle. Only
the crumbliest, flakiest, corner
of the imagination is free to choose.
Stay in the well - or build a ladder
(C) Nimuae 2008
The poem is accurate, Nimuae, except the last line. if you suffer from depression, you can't think clearly enough to build a ladder. I suffer from
depression owing to a head injury. When not on my anti-depressants, I think that I'm fine, but others see a different me. One day, early in my rehab,
I was trying (under supervision) different meds to sort me out and I woke one morning and said "I'm back". At that time, I realised that I'd been
in that dark well, and that the meds would be my life from then on.
Just out of curiosity, and you don't have to answer if you choose not to, what is your area of expertise? Are you an M.D., Psych, or other?
Thanks for that Nimuae. I had some contact with a complimentary medicine organisation when I was living in Darwin, but have lost contact since the owner (who was a good friend) died (old age). Where you are based, it would seem that your practice is more readily accepted and more closely integrated with mainstream medicine than over here. Am I right?
It is a bit hit and miss, LSemmens, some GPs/Hospitals are still very sceptical. Our General Hospital has recently introduced Acupuncture/Acupressure
in several of it's clinics, and permits patients to have visits from Aromatherapists if they request it - especially in the cancer care unit.
My own GP was amazed at the thoroughness of my studies - it took me four years to achieve my initial practitioners qualification, and a further year of study/practice to become a consultant. He admitted having a "passing interest" in complimentary medicine, but never the time to pursue it. He was extremely supportive and helpful during my studies, fascinated by the course materials, and even volunteered to be a 'body' for one of my exams.
Our Psychiatric Hospital has a programme of 'life skills', for patients who are ready for discharge. They frequently invite me along as a guest speaker with the objective of helping the patients to help themselves. That is where I met the young man who inspired the poem.
Your experience sounds similar to those in OZ. It's one area that I've indirectly been involved in, but never really interested, if that makes sense. Until my involvement, you could have called me a sceptic. I certainly now see the values of many alternative treatments that, once, I would have poo pooed! My feeling, though, and I'm only talking from and OZ perspective, is that the complimentary medicine "industry" needs to be better regulated to keep the charlatans out. I've also seen some pretty weird, co called, practitioners of wonderful arts that claim to cure everything from death to the common cold. Some of the diagnoses where easily checkable with a simple blood test. In most cases the diagnosis was discredited and the patient, had they continued with the so called treatment, may have been worse off, but, these are a minority of cases.