Communion Of Dreams

March 20, 2007, 11:40 am
Filed under: Depression, General Musings, Health, Science Fiction, Writing stuff

One of the earlier incarnations of Communion had the main character, Jon, suffering from stress-triggered depression. I had seen it as an artifact of his early life, combined with a genetic disposition towards either depression or bipolar disorder.

I dropped that because it was just a little too autobiographical. The character isn’t ‘me’, not by a fair amount, but of course each of the different characters all contain some aspect of my personality and/or experience, drawn upon for a realistic portrayal. But when I had him suffering from depression, I thought that it would be too easy for anyone who read the book to conclude that I was indeed projecting the main character as myself.

I’m more ‘bipolar’ or ‘manic-depressive’ than suffering straight clinical depression. Been that way all my adult life. Learned to recognize the symptoms of any given phase in late adolescence, and to modify my behaviour to compensate accordingly. Still, the long dark periods of depression are grim, and tend to be exacerbated by stressful situations. Like the one I’m in now (explained in full in this post). Being an around-the-clock caregiver for someone with dementia is exhausting and isolating – two things that tend to feed my depression and curtail even the manic energy I feel when on the upswing (the ramp up into a manic state can be empowering, so long as you can maintain control – it is when things get out of hand that it becomes dangerous).

Anyway, it has been a particularly rough patch with my charge right now, as she has been having some other health problems which have thrown our routines into disarray and placed even more stress on my wife and I. Being the self-reflective sort that I am, I got to thinking about how such psychological strain effects people, which lead me back to thinking about the initial motivations and behaviour of my protagonist, which…well, lead to this.

Jim Downey

2 Comments so far
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In the UK at least, Depression is now the third biggest reason to visit a GP and yet, outside of the medical field, very few people understand what Depression is all about.

You might therefore be interested in a brand new DVD just released by my company called EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION and presented by UK Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Darryl Britto, who made the DVD especially for Depression patients and those training in the medical field. He discusses the myths about Depression, as well as its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, the various treatment including antidepressants, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and Social Intervention, and then goes on to discuss prognosis (outcomes of treatment.)


John Edmonds

Comment by John Edmonds

Yeah, Depression is very common here in the UK.I have suffered from depression, but do not really understand it.

Comment by James Hunaban

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