Archives for October, 2010

Coping with Depression

Me, Dog and My Depression

My dog's name is Dog.

He came with the name and it seems to be working for him. He is a mutt, about 40 pounds, orange with a little white on his chest and different color toenails. One ear sticks straight out, like Yoda, and the other flops over.

Dog is my best friend. I have human friends but I am not as comfortable with them as I am with Dog. I am not a hermit or wallflower. I am a good listener and friend. I am great at parties - telling stories and listening. People say I am a nice person and funny. For the most part, with the exception of a couple of people, I would rather be alone with Dog than with you. I know that sounds horrible, but it's true.
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Dsythymia: Depression Lite

I walked by the desk of one of my editors on Wednesday and she asked, "It's Wednesday, right?"

I stopped, thought about it a second and said, "Yeah. All day." I told her. "I know when it's Monday or Friday but Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are a blur."

It's true. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I just suit up, show up and work. The only reason I care whether it is Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday is for appointments, meetings and assignments. I need to know where I must go and when. After that - it doesn't matter whether it is Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. I feel like one of those linebackers at football practice pushing, pushing, pushing against of one of those stationary tackle contraptions across the field. Put your head down, your shoulder into it and push and push and push...

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The Math Behind My Depression and Alcoholism

As of this minute, the U.S. Census estimates the population at 310,477,719.
Researchers believe that in any given year, ten percent of the population will suffer from a major depression. That's 31,047,771 million suffering Americans.
Researchers also estimate that about 12 percent of the population has alcoholism. That's 37,257,326 Americans with alcoholism.
Combined, that is 68,305,097 American with alcoholism or in a major depression.
For every person with a mental illness there will be at least three others profoundly affected by the illness. A parent or guardian (another 68,305,097); A spouse/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend (another 68,305,097); A sibling/child/co-worker/friend (another 68,305,097).
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See the Addict Run. Run Addict, Run.

This morning I read about a prominent researcher who has received a $15.7 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study whether rigorous exercise can reduce an addict's craving for drugs.

As an addict/alcoholic who once ran the last six miles of a marathon in my socks because my shoes were killing me, the answer is NO. Let me say it again: NO.

Maybe some addicts will benefit from the weight loss and sense of accomplishment but we walk a very, very thin line between healthy and unhealthy behaviors and many of us can't see that line.
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