05 Mar

Without going into lots of personal detail, I can say this is a topic that has concerned me for some time. I am of an age and in a situation where the issue is not uncommon, after all.

So I went to Beyond Blue and to some other resources: Depression Screening Test; Take a Depression Test! In all, counting those on Beyond Blue, about half a dozen online self-rating tools, generally reputable but of course indicative only. The consensus in my results is, well, depressing. 😉 I range from severe to possible, but with the majority in the red zone – or should that be blue?

Yes, I propose to do something about it.

And yes, it explains a lot – perhaps even why I blog so much. I further suspect it is of long standing, though it can be hidden from oneself and others for a long time.

Tutoring I can do almost no matter what – but that is an act, you know, backed up of course by knowledge and experience, and in its own way uplifting. Within reason (privacy of course being a factor) I will keep you posted.

Anxiety is not new to me.


You may like to read this from Beyond Blue: Depression in Older People.


Posted by on March 5, 2009 in health, personal


9 responses to “Depression?

  1. Catatonic Kid

    March 5, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Thank goodness for the internet… it may be somewhat addictive but at least it helps us feel a little less alone.

    And hey, if you want some tips on how to navigate the medical/mental health system drop me a line either on blog or at my email address.

    You wouldn’t have to tell me anything about what’s going on for you, if you don’t want, of course. It’s just I’ve been dealing with Depression, my own and other people’s, for years and I’m fairly local so I might be able to point you in some useful directions.

    Sometimes it’s tough just rocking up at the GP and saying you’d like help with it w/o really knowing the lay of the land.

    Just a thought. You sound like you’re well on your way anyway.

  2. Bruce

    March 5, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I’m always cautious of depression tests. Not that I think that there is no such thing as depression or that it’s not serious, it just seems that the criteria used for diagnosis aren’t exactly values neutral. To an extent more problematic than say Kohlberg’s stages of moral development.

    Schizotypal personality disorder is a classic, values presupposing diagnosis. All you have to do is be emotionally independent and think sufficiently “odd thoughts” (oh noes! He’s thinking outside the square!)

    So while hoping you are getting out of this what you need to (i.e. happiness), I don’t think you need a diagnosis to define you, or to approve/disapprove of some of the things you aren’t happy with (i.e. politics.) You get to do that yourself and have a right to be happy about it (even if it doesn’t get measured on some tests.)

    At any rate, I hope things go well for you.

  3. Neil

    March 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    @ Bruce

    Yes, I am cautious about online tests of this kind, and do know enough about psychological testing to be at least test aware. I also know quite a lot about depression, one way or another, and would give credence to Beyond Blue. The third site also has some very reputable instruments with the appropriate disclaimers. So I will take it up with an expert. My own analysis of the situation does make the results more likely than not.

    There is a world of difference between depression and its effects and being pissed off about, say, the injustice of the world or stupid people. You of course are not in the latter category. 🙂

    @ Catatonic Kid

    Thanks. I know you speak from experience. I have deleted the email address you published — before the weirdos or spammers got it, I hope. Your email is already there — visible only to me — when you fill in the two compulsory bits above the comment box.

  4. Legal Eagle

    March 5, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Like Bruce, I’m wary of internet tests being conclusive, but if they can spur you into action when you’ve suspected there’s a problem, that’s a good thing. I think depression can be more likely arise when you are a sensitive, thoughtful person (both of which characteristics seem to fit you).

    I hope that everything sorts itself out.

  5. Jim Belshaw

    March 5, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Look after yourself and, if worried, get advice as you plan to, And keep blogging! That was my salvation.

  6. Bruce

    March 6, 2009 at 12:17 am

    There is a world of difference between depression and its effects and being pissed off about, say, the injustice of the world or stupid people.

    Very true. I wish some of the credentialed people who gave me advice (not that I listened) back in ’99 when I had a period of depression (after working myself sick) could have told the difference! Didn’t steer me off course, but the constant “those things don’t matter” refrain got annoying – at the time, I also had someone less qualified suggest that I give Ayn Rand a try! 😀

    But Beyond Blue wasn’t quite around back then of course.

  7. Lisa

    March 6, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Perhaps a little Mardi Gras action is in order to perk you up! 🙂

    And yes, that was a flip comment to a serious issue. You know I know better.

    I guess I just wanted to say that I do hope you’re ok. Look after yourself.

  8. Cameron

    March 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Hi mate, if I might put my two cents worth in.

    My experience of depression is personal and fairly extensive. Personal experience of it for the last 6 years, prior to that my partner of 12 yrs was chronically depressed from the age of 22 to 42, I have depression in my family and most of my friends (many of whom are patients of Dr C) suffer from chronic depression.

    I would state almost categorically that drugs by themselves are not effective in alleviating depression. What they appear to do is mask the symptoms in much the same way that flu medication makes you feel less sick but doesn’t actually cure your flu.

    I have found that various forms of counselling style therapy are much more useful long term in treating depression. As a patient of Dr C you may be able to access the free H2HM service at St V’s that has been set up for this purpose (if it is still running).

    Btw not saying don’t use the drugs, just don’t rely on them to “cure” you, no matter how much better they make you feel.


  9. Neil

    March 12, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks. Yes, Dr C would be well aware of anything like that in the area, being in Darlinghurst.

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