Saturday, 28 July 2012

Depression - Real or Fake?

I can't explain why so many people these days claim to suffer from depression. The  word depression seems to be batted to and fro more and more. It's as if it was like a common cold - if you sneeze, you catch it. Almost every time something goes wrong in life for some people, they automatically make sweeping statements of how they are suffering from depression. I don't pretend to have any medical background in this area, but can only comment on what I've heard from the experiences of friends. 

I personally believe that there are people who genuinely have suffered or are suffering from the illness depression and there are others who may feel depressed but do not have this illness.

To clarify the point I am trying to make, there are those who are affected by everyday stressful situations. Struggles in finding employment, finding childcare, a decent place to live, financial insecurities and many more. I'm not saying they are not exasperated by their current situations which they have no control over. I don't doubt they are stuck in a rut and can't see a light at the end of the tunnel but that doesn't mean they suffer from the illness depression. We all feel like that from time to time but that does not mean we have an illness. 

The proof of this is that as soon as the stressful situation is dealt with, the depression immediately lifts and is never to be seen again. Remove the cause and the depression goes away.  Although they were annoyed or upset by unfortunate circumstances it really didn't change their inner self, views on life etc. 

I personally feel that depression is much more than a feeling of sadness, it is more than finding yourself  in a difficult situation, it is much more than feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired. Sufferers lose all confidence in themselves and life, they feel worthless, they have absolutely no hope in anything, they can't see a brighter day. Sufferers contemplate suicide and even make attempts at it, they can have trouble eating, developing anorexia or bulimia , trouble sleeping night after night and their days are filled with pure unhappiness. 

You can have money, fame and fortune and be in the darkest of despair as a sufferer.The list is endless. 'Real' depression is no joke. It can come like a thief in the night then linger around for days, months or even years slowly robbing you of existence. Some people may not even realise that they have depression because living that way has become normal to them, and they don't realise that it's the illness that is making them see things that way.

There is a big difference in feeling depressed and suffering from depression as an illness. 

Do you agree that there is a difference between hard times/the blues etc. and clinical depression?

Why are the numbers of people being prescribed anti-depressants rising year on year? Is it because more people are really depressed or is it simply that more people are coming forward? If it is the case that more people are depressed, why is this?

Why is it that in this modern society with enough food, gadgets and entertainment for all, so many of us are still desperately unhappy?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Dangerous Liaisons

I've just been having an intense debate about 'affairs' and I just can't understand the mindset of some people and I'm not even trying to say this in a derogatory way. Nowadays I seem to be in a minority on this one.

What is it that makes a man or woman in a long term relationship or marriage embark on having an affair? What is it that causes a person to lose their integrity, throw all morals out the window and drop common sense whilst at the same time suffer amnesia and turn into a professional liar? They do all of this for a bit of sex! Wow, things must be bad, but according to some folk, things are looking up - no pun intended.

I've been told that an affair can actually help and enhance a relationship by allowing someone else to step in and supply the sexual needs of the partner when their 'other half' is no longer willing or able to do so. I've even heard that in some cases they turn a blind eye to their partners affair. Really! 

Am I then wrong in thinking that 'Affairs' cause mistrust between people and can be extremely damaging and painful to both parties - more so for the one left behind? Is there no guilt or shame in destroying someone's marriage and splitting a family anymore? 

Am I the only one who can't see the point in dabbling with someone's else's partner and emotions on a serious level? How do you turn a blind eye knowing that your beloved is sewing their wild oats with someone else? And not only that, but be happy about it? 
Or are we so dependant and reliant on keeping a 'relationship' that we will allow and tolerate anything? Who's that special?

If you are a cheater, then do you really believe that you will be able to have a trustworthy long-term relationship with no issues with the person you are/were cheating with? 

I'm no angel but this one is too crazy for me. I'm gonna need some help here. 

Has anyone experienced the devastation of being betrayed?

Have you ever had an affair? and if so, how did it enhance your relationship?

Don't forget - you have the option to post 'anonymous'... and your secret will be safe with me. I'd love to hear your comments. 

Friday, 13 July 2012

Women Behaving Badly

When we think of Domestic Violence, we usually visualize a man beating a poor defenceless woman BUT this is not always the case. 

Firstly, there is a high percentage of men who are the silent victims and not the perpetrators. 

These men are nothing more than punching bags to vicious women who are unable to deal with their own frustrations and anger issues.  I've seen grown men being called names belittling their manhood, grown men being viciously taunted, cursed, provoked, humiliated and vilified because of silly mistakes. I've seen women foam at the mouth, so to speak, as they enjoy subtly shaming the man in front of his friends in order to show who is in control, who is the boss, and most importantly, who wears the trousers. These women are angels by day and demons by night, if you know what I mean. 

Can you imagine the guilt of feeling you are not good enough as a man? The guilt of believing that you are the cause of every argument or beating then blaming yourself for the way the other person is behaving towards you? Can you imagine the sheer embarrassment of that macho rugby playing 6ft man who wants to tell someone that his 5ft petite wife is verbally abusing and/or threatening him, accompanied by physically violence? Or how about the man that is completely dominated by the woman, he has no voice so can't speak out and if he dares to freely speak, he knows there will be repercussions? Or the man who used to be social but is now being kept away from family and friends due to his excessively jealous over-possessive girlfriend. She gets into serious rages thinking he is constantly having affairs.  

Secondly, Domestic Violence is not confined just to a husband or wife, it can be committed by couples in same-sex relationships, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents or even the in-laws. There are no barriers so you can be rich, poor, black, white, old or young.

Thirdly, as you've just seen, Domestic Violence can also be verbal or mental abuse. 
We'd all agree that kicking, punching, scalding, hitting or spitting is physical abuse, but how about belittling language? If this is the case, then how many of us in an argument haven't called our 'loved one' a name or two? Raised our voice in a fit of anger trying to make a point and win our case? 

We know there is such a thing as a heated arguement. Fine. We also know there is such a thing as emotional/verbal abuse. So at what point does one become the other?

I'm not asking this out of idle curiosity. If we are unable to answer this question, how can we recognise Domestic Violence when it rears its ugly head? 

Don't turn a blind eye to this. Check the stats on the internet. Why? How can you be sure it is not happening to your son, brother or  grandfather tonight? This could be happening right now to someone you know. I did say 'silent victims' earlier. These men suffer anxiety, depression, they feel exhausted and deflated as if defeated. 

I don't give a monkeys what excuse the perpertrators have for their behaviour, it is WRONG. It should not be tolerated or excused. 

Don't be afraid to ask questions if you think something is wrong and show your concern. Offer your help and support. Help that person to find  private and confidential assistance from professionals and give that person the information in a private setting.

I would love to hear your views about this topic. I would be grateful for any experiences, guidance or suggestions. 

Friday, 6 July 2012

So You Think You Have Friends?

So You Think You Have Friends? Friends, I say with a big sigh.
Most of my life I have had a very limited number of friends. Apart from that I have a wider circle of people I call acquaintances . Acquaintances because I know them only too well. Acquaintances because I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them.

For years I have observed how they behave amongst themselves. They betray each others confidences without a second thought. They have relentless arguments and slander one another behind each others backs. I want no part or parcel in it. So I ask you today, are your friends really your friends?

Friends are supposed to support you through thick or thin. They  are the ones you should be leaning on in times of trouble. They are the ones you tell your innermost and darkest secrets to. They are the ones who you turn to for honest opinions, or to guide you back to the right track when you have strayed. They are the ones who are at your side even when you have made all the wrong choices and mistakes. Why? Because they are your friends.

Do you recognise any of these familiar faces?

There was Miss Repeat-Offender. She just couldn't keep that big mouth shut, 'Anything you say can be used in evidence against you'. Whatever you tell her, especially in confidence, will be broadcast to all tomorrow. You might as well ring talk radio.

Or how about Mr Schizophrenia? He had a split personality. When the crowd changed, his personality changed and his accent and loyalty went with it. Then there was Mr AllAboutMe. Never had 2 pennies to rub together, but every time we met up for a drink, he would be wearing the latest designer clothes and Rolex watch, he would never be caught wearing the same outfit twice. The exclusive topic of conversation would always be about him, of course. You was just his  prop for the time. He would lap up the compliments all night but unbeknown to many, always went home to an empty house full of credit cards. Not even the bailiffs could collect. 

Ah, can't forget Miss Chatterbox and Miss Verbal-diarrhea. They don't stop talking. You were merely invited out just to be their audience, nothing more and nothing less. You couldn't get a word in edge-ways, and if you did, your conversation would be ignored and they would pick up where they left off.

Oh, how could I forget Mr Dumper? Mr Dumper would shamelessly hunt you down, spy you out  then dump all the gross rubbish of his life into your lap, then leave. From the moment he got his hooks in you, you'd become an unpaid, unqualified therapist. Now when the tables are turned and you need a listening ear, Mr Dumper is like a fox in a hole. He's more scarce than Bin Laden.

How about the traitors? They always tell you that they 'have your back' but soon as you're in trouble they openly go against you, knife in the back is putting it lightly as they have no trouble stabbing you in the front. 

Last but not least, Mrs Aimless. Her mission is to stop you from achieving any or all of your goals in life. She is manipulative, conniving, and whatever your dreams, she will be happy to burst your bubble in an instant. She's the jealous one who can't stand to see you succeed, she'll do her utmost to keep you from getting to the finishing line. The classic dream-killer.

No-one's perfect but does friendship mean having to put up with this? and if so, how would you deal with the above characters?
Or should we hold out for true friendships?
What if that means being alone a lot of the time?

Can you relate to any of this? Or do you have experiences of your own you would like to share?
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