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  • mistermuse 12:03 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , creativity, depression, , , life, , mental health, original sin, , ,   

    A QUESTION OF DEPRESSION 

    Countless studies have shown that people who suffer from depression have more accurate world views than nondepressed people. Depressed people do not nurture the cheering illusion that they can control the course of their lives. And they understand, all too acutely, the basic conditions of existence: that their lifespan is just a brief blip in the cold sweep of history, that suffering is real and ongoing, that they and all the people they love are going to die. That outlook is known as depressive realism. Depressed people might be unhappy, but–when it comes to these big-picture, existential matters–they are generally more right than the rest of us. –Kathryn Schulz, author of BEING WRONG

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The National Institute of Mental Health lists six forms of depressive disorder/depression: major depression, persistent depressive disorder, psychotic depression, postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, and bipolar disorder (aka manic-depressive illness). NOT listed is Depressive realism.

    I have never given much thought to depression (in the listed sense), probably because no one I’ve known (that I’m aware of) suffered from depression. However, the Schulz quotation strikes a chord because I’ve “suffered” from realism for years (since I’ve been free of inherited Catholicism), but without becoming depressed as a result….though heaven knows I have good reason to be (and perhaps should be), given that I “understand, all too acutely,” the reality Schulz cites. Why am I not (by N.I.M.H. standards) depressed? Why isn’t everyone depressed?

    There are palliatives available before depression might come into play — for some, there is no shortage of such catholicons as drugs, alcoholism, power addiction, and yes, religion, to hold the wolf of reality at bay or serve as “the cheering illusion” that all’s well that ends well. Who knows, maybe all does end well, after all….but, given the mean time in the meantime, you could’ve fooled me. Life seems to imitate a product designed and built (sooner or later) to fail, but am I depressed? No….and, I take it, neither are you. Why not?

    Well, it’s not as if life were an unmitigated disaster, that’s why — at least, not for most of us. The half-full part of the glass, I wouldn’t miss for the world. Even if our futures get short shrift, if our talents go under-appreciated, if we see ignorance, arrogance and greed thrive — even if love goes south — was it not “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?” No matter what is terribly wrong with the world (thanks to both the Creator, if any, and the created), we see in small children not original sin, but original innocence (perhaps our original innocence), the sheer joy of being alive, the promise of hope….and we hope to God or Fate that their promise doesn’t go up in smoke.

    After due consideration, my take-away from all of this is that if we really want to get it right, do not go gentle into that good night*; there is a more challenging way: depressive realism. Think about it. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.*

    *from the poem by Dylan Thomas

     

     

     
    • Mél@nie 5:22 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depression is a real illness(disease), unfortunately… completely different from sad(down) “seasons” like blues or spleen that we all experience now and then… what we call in French “le mal de vivre” = the difficulty of living…

      • * *

      I love Dylan Thomas poems… 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 6:33 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the translation of that four-word expression – somehow it sounds much better in French than in English. 🙂 Sometimes I wish I hadn’t let my high school French fall by the wayside – such a beautiful language!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Mél@nie 4:25 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink

          avec plaisir! 🙂 btw, we’re proud of our American son-in-law who is fluent in French after almost 18 months over here… he’s considered kinda “an intellectual”(LOL!) by his American folks… 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 5:50 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Dr. Don says Kathryn Schulz suffered from Depression. Most Depression goes untreated as most people who suffer from it have no awareness of it. The only time people seek treatment is when they can’t function. If you’re able to get up, do your ADLs and got to work well most people figure they’re okay. But they’re not. Dr. Don is convinced that all Alcoholism and Drug use is caused by people self medicating their mental illness. Just remember that Dr. Don is unlicensed in all 50 States and anywhere else for that matter. And, he only takes cash so most people don’t listen to him. What can we say other than quel dommage.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:08 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        After having read Kathryn Schulz’s book, I have to say that I’m on the same page in almost every respect….so much so that if she suffered from depression, I highly recommend it (or at least what grew out of it) for the rest of us. As for the rest of what Dr. Don says, I defer to his greater knowledge of the subject (of actual depression); his analysis seems on the money (cash only).

        Quel dommage, indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Midwestern Plant Girl 6:00 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not only a member of the depressive reality group, I’m the president! 😉
      Great post! I am trying to cancel my membership to this club, I’ve deleted my TV, stopped listening to radio, but reality keeps creeping in. On the outside, no one knows about my secret club status. I guess I popped the cork on that now. 😃

      Liked by 2 people

      • Joseph Nebus 10:23 pm on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I suppose they just keep losing your cancellation notice at the depressive reality club. Figures that would keep going wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:11 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll drink to that! But your secret is safe with me – I won’t tell a soul. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jane 5:36 am on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I can certainly relate to the quote and your own thoughts on this. I am prone to depressive realism. I also tend to be someone who soaks up the feelings of those around me. It is difficult for me not to see the pain of others and want to relieve it. My therapy for depressive realism is spending time in nature and also being proactive when I can. So if I can see a way I can help to improve something or give relief to someone, I give it my best shot. Nature is a soothing drug for me though. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:12 pm on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        And I, in turn, can relate to your comment, Jane (in fact, I’m starting to think we might be related). Seriously, though, spending time in nature has done wonders for me as well, and giving relief to someone can be encapsulated in one word: empathy (politicians, take note!).

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 10:36 am on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Whenever I feel the drab side of life pressing in, I take comfort in the thought that anything that ever happened to anyone else could happen to me, but most of it won’t. Then I have a beer.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:26 pm on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        An admirable philosophy, indeed. Some people might say it would be better to pray, but beer does just as much good and contributes more to the economy. Besides, you can’t drink prayer while watching football.

        Like

    • Don Frankel 10:51 am on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depression can definitely give people great insights. I’m thinking Hemingway here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arkenaten 3:33 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Except that he shot himself … one ‘insight’ he may have gotten wrong?

        Like

      • Mél@nie 4:28 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Don, I love Hemingway’s works and he loved… France! 🙂 btw, Ernest’s medical record was publicly released in 1991 and it did confirm his diagnosis: hemochromatosis – an incurable genetic disease that causes physical damage, severe psychiatric and neurological disorders, which might explain suicides in the Hemingway family: his father, his brother, his sister…

        https://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/ernesto-mi-amor/

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 7:23 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink

          I can highly recommend taking time to click on & read Mel@nie’s post (above) to anyone with even a moderate interest in Hemingway. I read it when first posted, and found it fascinating!

          Like

    • mistermuse 7:15 pm on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, your mention of Hemingway led me to check for other notables who are “presumed to have had depression” (according to Wikipedia). Among those on the list are Woody Allen, Hans Christian Andersen, Julian Assange (of WikiLeaks fame), Barbara Bush, Truman Capote, Ray Charles, Winston Churchill, Joseph Conrad, Rodney Dangerfield, Larry David, Charles Dickens, Bob Dylan, Wm. Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Audrey Hepburn, Franz Kafka, Stephen King, David Letterman, Meriwether Lewis, Abraham Lincoln, Herman Melville, Michelangelo, Marilyn Monroe, Bill Murray….and that’s just the first half of the alphabet, which for some reason doesn’t include Don Frankel and mistermuse. Maybe if we tell Wikipedia how depressed we are that we’re not on the list, they’ll include us.

      Liked by 1 person

    • literaryeyes 1:03 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depressive realism isn’t a mental illness. It may be a sign of health, and so is Positive realism, which you write about. They’ve got to be balanced. Depression is a serious, sometimes fatal disease, and very painful to experience. As someone who’s been through Major Depression, I say, count me out of the fan club!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:42 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      In hindsight, the last sentence of the first paragraph (after the opening quote) of my post probably should have included the words (“, and properly so,”) after “NOT listed” to make it clear that Depressive realism not only isn’t on the list, but doesn’t belong on the list. However, since you agree that Depressive realism is a sign of health, I don’t quite get why you (or Midwestern Plant Girl, for that matter) would want out of the club! 🙂 In any case, as someone who’s been through Major Depression, perhaps if would be helpful to others to relate here (or on your own blog) HOW you got through it, unless it’s too painful to re-visit. Be that as it may, may I extend sincere congratulations (if that’s the right word) for having done so.

      Like

    • linnetmoss 6:30 am on November 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m reminded of the Oxford don who when asked whether his atheism wasn’t terribly depressing, observed that he was looking forward to a good lunch 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:29 am on November 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      ….not unlike arekhill1 (eleven comments ago) having a beer.

      Like

    • RMW 12:10 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t wish to make light of anybody else’s debilitating illness but I’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression (whatever that is) on at least three occasions… I refuse to take medication as artificial happiness doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve learned that dragging myself out the door and walking as far as my legs will take me is a great antidote. But other times I sit with it and let it do its thing… you can learn a lot about yourself. A glass of wine doesn’t hurt either, but over-indulging can definitely make it worse. For me it’s a matter of balancing the good with the bad… I know that wheel will be turning and the sun will come out at some point… and you can’t have the day without the night!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:52 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your comment. I feel as if I have a better understanding of depression since writing this post, thanks to yours and previous responses. I sometimes wonder why I don’t fall into depression (knock wood), given that I have a pretty fatalistic attitude toward life, but maybe that itself is the reason. When you don’t look at the world through rose-colored glasses, what you see is the reality you’re not surprised to see, as opposed to being overwhelmed by it. I suppose that makes me a cynic, but at least I’m a cynic with a sense of humor. 😦 🙂

      Like

  • mistermuse 9:53 pm on December 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , life, , qoutations,   

    MARK TWAIN FROM SEA TO SHINING SEE 

    No article about Mark Twain would be complete without quotes by Mark Twain. –mistermuse.

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    Thank you, mistermuse, for calling attention to the lack of Mark Twain quotes (outside of two questions to Dorothy on an ocean liner) in the previous post, THE UNIVERSAL MARK TWAIN. But, for all we know, such absence may have been on purpose: merely the first leg of a two-port voyage, with Port II awaiting ship with its cargo of such quotes. In fact, unless our eyes believe us, we seem to be putting into port forthwith:

    Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

    God created war so that Americans would learn geography.

    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

    Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.

    I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.

    What would men be without women? Scarce, sir…mighty scarce.

    One frequently finds out how really beautiful a beautiful woman is after considerable acquaintance with her.

    I am silent on the subject [the afterlife] out of necessity. I have friends in both places.

    I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.

    Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
    • scifihammy 11:42 pm on December 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Great quotes 🙂

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:54 am on December 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      We — Mark and me — thank you.

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 8:26 am on December 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Wise and witty quotes from a gentleman who must have lived “billions and billions” of years before he was born.” We can read the wisdom in his wonderful words.

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:49 am on December 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know much about how reincarnation is supposed to work, but Twain may have been a fictional character in The Land Before Time in a previous life.

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 9:04 am on December 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I know how it works and have been one of those souls that has been reincarnated many times. I believe in this theory since it is the basis for commen sense regarding the “after life.” I am not crazy or full of doubt about it. I once was a skeptic but my studies and research have shown me what to believe and not to believe.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:09 am on December 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Michaeline, far be it from me to have a problem with what you believe, but I AM curious: you’d previously said you’d converted to Judaism — seriously, is it kosher for a Jew to believe in reincarnation?

      Like

    • Don Frankel 11:18 am on December 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Obviously Muse, Twain is one of my heroes.

      Like

    • arekhill1 11:43 am on December 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Even the wisdom of Twain can be overtaken by events. Remember, it was years before Kim Kardashian was born that he said “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”

      Like

    • mistermuse 3:00 pm on December 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll have to admit that not everything was better in the good old days — ladies choices in fashion being one such thing.

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    • Michaeline Montezinos 9:11 pm on December 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse, I just saw your comment about Jews and reincarnation. Here is the answer. I am a Reform Jew which means I belong to the 3rd branch of major Judaism. First is the Orthodox branch. Those followers strictly follow the Torah and its commandments. You can see them with their curly ear locks and beards; the men wear black suits and hats and skull caps on their heads.They are mainly scholars; they do marry, including their rabbis ( spiritual leaders. )
      The Conservatives keep Kosher in their food and kitchens. Their outfits are not all black which allows them to look more modern. The women do most of the household chores and care for the children. They are a more relaxed version of the Orthodox. The Reform branch are more liberal in allowing their members to use their minds to not only folow the basic rules but to think. A Reform Jew can believe in the “Old Testament God.” Or they can form their own image of “God.” Surprisely, usually adult Reform Jews can become atheists and still be part of a congregation. I can believe in reincarntion because I have investigated it and I will not be ostracized for my personal belief. Being born a liberal intellectual, this suits my character and I feel comfortable in my thoughts and what I may or may not believe. I don’t broadcaswt them, however, in public. Especially when I go to sevices in the Temple. I respect the beliefs of others in my congrgation. this allows for a greater freedom in my thinking.

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    • mistermuse 10:47 pm on December 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting, as our old friend Charlie Chan might say – but I don’t say it off-handedly. I find your comment interesting not only in itself, but also because as an ex-Catholic, I can’t resist observing that Jews should be thankful they don’t have a Pope, who, no matter how liberal or conservative a Catholic is, wouldn’t condone deviation from Church doctrine (at least, not “officially”). It amazes me that a Reform Jew can believe in anything or nothing and still be a Jew – I’m tempted to ask what’s the point of being a Jew, but then it’s no skin off my nose…or any other part of my anatomy. Mark Twain would probably find it all very amusing!

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 2:04 pm on December 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “Being a Jew” as you so candidly put it, is your observation. A concept I could not fully grasp when I was a member of the Catholic Church. Now that I am a Jewess (a female Jew,) I do believe in the Ten commendments and all the accompaning rituals and prayers. As a Jewess who believes in the spiritual life I have accepted, I find my life richer because I am a person who has infused her life with the concepts of family, education and spirituality.
      The fact that as I mature and can change my beliefs is wonderful for me since I am not hindered by rigid rules on how to think. Unlike Catholism and many onther organized religions, Reform Judaism allows me to nourish my intellect. This may have been the problem for you, mistermuse, since you have an high intelligence that seeks the truth and the reality of life. Catholism does not allow basic thinking and questioning of its doctrines. I hope this answers your question.

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    • mistermuse 3:27 pm on December 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Your second-last sentence pretty much explains why I left the Catholic Church, though I have since come to realize that I would’ve eventually left anyway, even if questioning of doctrines were allowed. If one no longer believes the whole basis for the Catholic Church, there is no point in being Catholic. Though it’s not my place to apply this to adherents of other religions, those who are disquieted by such adherence might do well to reexamine “where they’re at.” You seem to have found your happy place, Michaeline, so end of story!

      Like

  • mistermuse 9:58 am on November 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: life, , ,   

    I OF THE BE OLDER 

    Life…is a tale/Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,/Signifying nothing.
    –William Shakespeare, Macbeth

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    If you think
    I take life way
    Too seriously then

    You are

    Either a
    Night and a day
    Younger than I am or

    I do.

     

     
    • arekhill1 11:25 am on November 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It’s every man’s privilege to take life seriously. But to take Black Friday seriously–that’s a woman’s job.

      Like

    • mistermuse 11:53 am on November 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Ricardo, I don’t know if ladysighs is saying “hmmm” to my post or your comment, but either way, I thank you both.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 7:40 pm on November 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Muse I never thought of Macbeth as a Manic Depressive before. But maybe instead of thinking of Lady Macbeth Night and Day and things under the hide of me, he should have sung ‘What I did for Love’.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:16 pm on November 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      ….or maybe IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (from the film of the same name).

      Like

    • lexborgia 11:12 pm on November 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      This ‘Be Older’ wishes for a night and a year refunded. Nice one, Jazz.

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:22 am on November 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Flattery will get you nowhere, lexborgia –sorry, no refunds.
      Just kidding — flattery is greatly appreciated, even when not deserved (provided I get to be the judge of that). Give that gal a refund immediately!

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 5:02 pm on November 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hamlet is not manic depressive in medical terms of today. He would be Bi- Polar. very. very moody or very, very hyper active, his mind and actions = racing up and down. Like a roller coaster. “Gypsies” are called the Rom, members of a community. Night and Day is my way of living. Nap 3 hours; active 3 hours. Or or 12 hours of rest/ sleep. Then 12 hours of activity It is very effcient compared to our 24 hours of stress on body and mind. Muse, I am either younger or older than you. I consider myself a student of your classic life. I think that makes me younger.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:56 pm on November 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Yesterday, I suggested a song to Don, so here’s an appropriate one for you, Michaeline, that could be your theme song:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O5xpR1hVkM

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 1:42 am on November 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hooray ! mistermuse and Don, thank you both so very much. I love listening to Frank Sinatra. I have been listening to him since I was a girl. Watching him and all his cronies on my Dad’s black and white television was fascinating. I saw most of the shows and then his past performances at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. I went thru’ all of his songs listed. Felt like I was in Vegas again. That did make me feel so young. ;- )

      Like

  • mistermuse 6:45 pm on January 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , life,   

    RETURN OF THE POET 

    ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD

    Man is learning all his life and yet he dies in ignorance.
    –Yugoslav proverb

    Most of us never get it.
    It’s not as if we run out of time.
    Methuselah could’ve lived a million years
    and not aged more than a babe in the woods.
    You know what they say about not knowing what
    you don’t know? The problem for the rest of is
    that we know all too well what we don’t know….
    and, what we will never know. Without knowledge,
    what do you substitute for certainty?
    To believe or not to believe, that is the quest.
    Your truth or my truth?
    Testimony or evidence?
    God or no God?
    Creative lust or transcendent purpose?
    Death after life or life after death?
    The answer, my friend, is growin’ in the womb
    as if due to emerge, but remains forever pregnant.

     
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