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  • mistermuse 12:03 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , creativity, depression, , , , love, 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 12:09 am on February 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , love, , ,   

    LOVE IN BLOOM – WHO WAS THAT GUY? 

    A WEDDING DAY LOOK-ALIKE

    My love is like a red, red rose —
    Don’t ask why; a poet just knows.
    She’s the fairest flower aborning….
    Even first thing in the morning.

    She’s been the blessing of my life —
    I bet you think that she’s my wife.
    You say someone put that wedding band on her finger.
    On the other hand, there’s such a thing as a dead ringer.

     
    • arekhill1 10:13 am on February 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Does Senora Muse pay attention to what you write? I find it’s best to conceal some of my output from my S.O.

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    • mistermuse 11:14 am on February 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Usually not, Ricardo…but then she doesn’t pay attention to what I say, either – so, no big deal. Besides, just because bachelor (WHO WAS THAT GUY) muse bit the dust on our wedding day doesn’t mean married muse thinks Senora Muse hasn’t been “the blessing of my life” (just in case she’s reading this – ha ha).

      Like

      • Michaeline Montezinos 10:12 pm on February 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I enjoyed the beginning of your poem, LOVE IN BLOOM which was so sweet and romantic. Then I was dismayed to read the ending. Ricardo is right…do not let your wife see this because if I were she, I would be furious. Hell hath no fury, etc.

        Like

    • mistermuse 11:52 pm on February 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Be not furious, fair Michaeline, for appearances oft not reflect truly what thine eyes see when yon poet writeth with tongue in cheek. I assureth thee that Lady Muse doth hath a bounteous sense of humor and wouldst fain laughest heartily at my bit of drollery whilest she chaseth after me all overeth the castle with broadsword and battleaxe.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 10:30 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I was pretty sure that was your wife you were referring to and she’s more than used to you by now.

      Like

    • mistermuse 11:02 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      She’d better be. The big 50th (wedding anniversary) is coming up in a few years, and it would be a big waste to blow it with any last minute cold feet.

      Like

  • mistermuse 7:30 pm on February 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Latin lovers, love, pickup lines, , Rudolph Valentino,   

    FOR DON, THE LATIN LOVER 

    My good buddy, New Yorker Don Frankel, stated today that he’s into Latin mottos lately (see comments to yesterday’s It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time post under Speak Without Interruption, which you can access and click via the Blogroll in the right column).

    Don doesn’t say exactly why the sudden interest in Lingua Latina. Perhaps this beautiful weather we’ve been having lately has him thinking thoughts of spring, when a young man’s fancy turns to amare, and an old man wishes he were young again (not that Don is old, but why wait until the last minute). The time to start practicing those Latin pickup lines is now, because you never know when you might run into a fellow lover of Latin in Manhattan who’s not a fellow.

    So, here we go, Don. Start memorizing these now, and before you know it, the feminas will be flocking around you like a reincarnated Rudolpho Valentino:

    Nonne alicubi prius convenimus?
    Haven’t we met somewhere before?

    Apparet te habere ingenium profundum.
    You strike me as a very deep person.

    Credo fatum nos coegisse.
    I think fate brought us together.

    Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt.
    You know, the Romans invented the art of love.

    Apudne te vel me?
    Your place or mine?

    O Deus! Plus! Perge! Aio! Hui!
    Oh God! More! Go on! Yes! Ooh!

    Non sum paratus me committere.
    I’m not ready to make a committment.

    Spero nos familiares mansuros.
    I hope we’ll still be friends.

    Likewise.

     
    • arekhill1 7:34 pm on February 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Google Translate–Making everybody sound erudite. It’s a good thing.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:34 pm on February 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Apropos good things, here’s an appropriate theme song to help get Don in the spirit:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jtyty4HRrHI

      Like

    • Don Frankel 9:11 am on February 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you Muse. It is great to be the subject of a mistermuse article and better still now I know what to say. Now it has been awhile and people not just you but others I know, seem to have forgotten. Just last week someone asked me. “Do you want to meet someone?” :”Of course.” I replied. “Riahnna. Do you know her?”

      I will use Credo fatum no coegisee, at the appropriate time. The motto I was looking for was ‘Write and find your audience’. The computer told me it was ‘Et scriba, et aures vestrae’. Someone else told me that that wasn’t grammatically correct but gave a big long sentence. Mottos have to be short like Semper Fidelis and Sic sempter tyrannis. They also gave me Pro buono publico which I might start putting at the end of my articles. I mean i was a Civil Servant for 25 years why abandon the dream.

      I loved the song too.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:30 am on February 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Coincidentally, the lyricist (Al Dubin) of that song died on a February 11th, the same day I wrote this post. Although little remembered today, Dubin was one of the greatest and most prolific lyricists in the history of American popular music. His songs include Shuffle Off To Buffalo, You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me, I Only Have Eyes For You, Lullaby Of Broadway, September In The Rain and hundreds more.

      Like

  • mistermuse 5:26 pm on June 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: love,   

    LOVE LOOKS 

    IRRESISTIBLE FORCES

    There ought to be a law
    against beautiful women….
    but let no man charge that

    • in time – there is.

    DREAM LOVER

    I came.
    I saw.
    We concurred.

    FLIRTING WITH DANGER

    Would ya marry
    Mata Hari?

    OGDEN NASH SINGS COLE PORTER

    What is this thing
    Called love of light verse?
    This thing that rhymes
    For better or worse.

    Just who can solve
    Its hold on select minds?
    Why must poets slave
    O’er sound/effect binds?

    They rack their brains
    To make clever rhymes
    Though it no long-
    er goes with the times.

    And so I ask the Lord
    Ere I sight the hearse
    What is this thing
    Called love of light verse?

    ASSUMED NAMES

    Desire, but call it love.
    Guess, but call it faith.
    Pray, push cometh to shove,
    Who knows flesh from wraith?

     
    • Artswebshow 6:16 pm on June 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      wonderful poem.
      Nicely done

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:48 pm on June 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your kind comment, although I’m not sure which of the poems you’re referring to. If poetic license be granted, I’ll presume to assume that you meant all of them!
      Thank you again.

      Like

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