Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A check-in

Hi lovelies!

It's a bit of a miscellany today.

Poor Robin Williams. So sad to hear of his suicide. There are a few people saying "he was so successful and had so much, why could he not be happy". One even slammed him as a coward for committing suicide.

Depression is poorly understood and mistaken for unhappiness or even weakness. It is not even that. Even when we have sad times in our life, there are moments of joy.

When it comes right down to it, joyful happy feelings are bought about by neurotransmitters like serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine. Happy chemicals.

The nervous systems of people who are depressed are deplete in these chemicals, and raising the amount of these in the space between one nerve cell and another (a synapse) leads to improvement in symptoms. It was not a secret that Robin Williams snorted his share of cocaine and drank his share of Bourbon while he was alive. This probably depleted his happy hormones and lead to quite a treatment-resistant depression - just to break it down, mechanistically.

In preparation for trying for a baby, I saw a mother-baby psychiatrist. She asked me what my depression was like.

For me, I felt like a record player switched from 66 rpm to 42 rpm. Everything shifted, slowed down. My usually nimble mind could not even string a sentence together, or plan what I was going to do next. I started something and forgot what I was about to do. I usually laugh easily, but I forgot how, and things that would usually tickle my fancy could not raise even a chortle. I usually lead a busy life with reasonable energy, but I felt extremely fatigued and would wake early from sleep.

This is not even going into the psychological symptoms of guilt and hopelessness. I've had sad times in my life, but they were quite different to my depressed times.

Suicide is to depression what dying of heart failure is to a heart attack. The former is the final stage of the severe latter.

Depression is a debilitating and potentially lethal illness. An illness. Even I find that hard to believe, as it is so easy to blame oneself, but there it is.

On a much much happier note, my fella is back. The dog and I are very happy to have him back. We are off to Singapore in three weeks, for a wedding. I am so very much looking forward to it. I will get to wear the dress I won!

I am still doing the fasting, but I have shifted it to one day per week as I am trying to fit in extra training for a 10km fun run I am doing in October. I would really like to improve on my time. My best time for 10km is 1 hour 6 minutes and 55 seconds, and that was 3 and a bit years ago. I wonder if determination and consistency will make up for dwindling youth...

I am starting to get used to the fasting. It has taught me a lot about how to manage hunger, that hunger is not a disaster and often comes in waves rather than increasing. It makes my mind sharp, especially when I am at work and distracted away from hunger. I don't have the mid-arvo slump.


Did anyone watch the documentary on Manny Waks on the ABC last night? It was about the cover up of sexual abuse in a Melbourne Orthodox Jewish School community, similar to in Catholic Church communities. So incomprehensible to think that obeying a religious doctrine would stop you from bringing your child's abuser to justice. Hundreds of years ago Orthodox Jews who turned any of their community in to Gentile authorities for commiting a crime were ostracised from the community, or worse. Manny and his family were ostracised from their community for going public with the crime, and the cover up of those in charge. Manny's ultra-Orthodox parents were so badly ostracised from their close knit and insular community that they returned to Israel, though they are very proud of their son. Manny has set up the agency Tzedek (Justice in Hebrew) to provide culturally sensitive support and advocacy to members of the Jewish community who have been subject to this abuse. May God bless him.

Some values transcend religion. Some things are not on, no matter what the religion.

Anyway, that is my brain-dump for the afternoon.

What about you?
What was your favourite Robin Williams Movie? Mine is Mrs. Doubtfire. Mum took us to see it on a family holiday in Torquay when I was young, and I have fond memories of this.
Any news re: fitness goals?
Any documentary that has got you thinking recently?


  1. A very thought provoking post. In awe of your raw honesty.

    I am following your baby journey with hope.

    SSG xxx

  2. You speak so wonderfully about so many important things.

    My favourite Robin Williams movie is Good Will Hunting. It's an incredible film.

    I agree re the misunderstood comments - a friend said something like 'just goes to show that a life that looks so great on the outside doesn't mean it's good on the inside' - his heart was in the right place, but I wanted to add 'how on earth did his life look great? He battled alcoholism, has had numerous visits to rehab etc. Just because someone is in the public eye and they have financial security and get to see the world etc NEVER means their life is 'great''.

    But I didn't because I'm not very good with facebook drama and I'm so busy right now that I can barely string a sentence together, let alone an argument.

    As evidenced by the waffling text in this comment. Enjoy!

  3. I was so saddened to hear of Robin Williams - but it kind of fit for me, often Comedians suffer depression, being funny is a way of masking pain, and can also stem from being Bi-polar with the manic 'fun' ups and then the crashing down low. Regardless, it's very sad that he got to a point where he actually followed through.
    It's a funny thing, now that fasting is shown scientifically to be good for you, people seem to be more accepting of the fact that feeling hungry is not such a bad thing. For so long all the diets advocated eating constantly to avoid feeling hungry and overeating. It shows how much we still have to learn about the human body… x

    1. Much of the conventional wisdom about a lot of things but particularly weight loss is wrong.

  4. You have written very well describing this condition which is still confusing for many.

    I hate being hungry and I rarely am although I love feeling light...I heard it raises human growth hormone when you starvd which is a good thing!

    1. It actually reduces insulin like growth factor, which is a good thing. It gives the pancreas a rest.
      thanks for your compliment x

  5. I like how you described depression and suicide. Thank you.
    My favourite Robin Williams film is a toss up between Good Will Hunting and Dead Poet's Society.
    I think I will give this fasting gig a go, its got solid medical basis. What's wrong with feeling hungry? I like the idea of hunger as I've muted it.
    Finally, thanks for synopsis of that show, am going to watch it on ivies.

    1. Welcome, Anon.
      can I get a name, or an alias? Nice to know (kind of ) who I'm talking to :D x

    2. Ok, I didn't know how to put in Cheekiechops ,my alias. I also meant *iview*