What you do to soothe your disturbed mind?

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:52 pm

Malia wrote:Yeah, when you're talking about clinical depression, that tack usually doesn't work very well, as clinical depression is a physical illness (a chemical imbalance) that can require medication to help it.

Not only that, but people who are really clinically depressed often feel like they should be able to "pull themselves together" but can't. . . which, of course, makes things worse.

Malia wrote:I often wonder how hard it was for Keats. Given what is stated in biographies about him and in his letters, themselves, he suffered off and on from what he called "blue devils" but what appear to be bouts of real, clinical depression. I don't remember seeing anywhere in his letters (or even in bios) just how he lifts himself out of these moods (or if he even could do it, by force of will alone)--but that they just seem to come upon him and then lift on their own on and off throughout his life.

It's really interesting to look back on things like this with the kind of knowledge of psychology that we have now and try and assign "clinical diagnoses" to the abstract ideas like this that Keats describes. From my basic knowledge (and, unfortunately, experience), clinical depression that goes untreated will typically subside on its own. However, the likelihood of it returning (and with increasingly severity) is much greater. My guess is that something like this is probably what Keats experienced.
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Postby Simon » Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:57 pm

The mother of my child was (is) clinically depressed. Its hell, not just for the person who suffers from it, but also for the poeple around them, trying to help on one hand, yet being driven insane on the other.
She eventually couldnt cope and left so i bring our daughter up alone.
I think depression is like a monster that stalks happiness, and stamps out joy wherever it is found.
i think that music is no help at all- from what i have seen it offers an escape, but that escape is fleeting and mindless. Its like reading a good book, you escape into another world that rules your consciousness, but when the book slams shut the real world becomes all too clear.
I find that poetry is different, because while it can be the same as reading a story/book, poetry is different in that it stays with you- keats is with me when i am walking through the local wood, when i am daydreaming, and yes answering my daughters incessant questions!
it really can help.

oh and Stephen- i was starting to like you, but Coldplay? :D
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Postby Credo Buffa » Tue Dec 20, 2005 10:03 pm

Simon wrote:i think that music is no help at all- from what i have seen it offers an escape, but that escape is fleeting and mindless. Its like reading a good book, you escape into another world that rules your consciousness, but when the book slams shut the real world becomes all too clear.
I find that poetry is different, because while it can be the same as reading a story/book, poetry is different in that it stays with you- keats is with me when i am walking through the local wood, when i am daydreaming, and yes answering my daughters incessant questions!
it really can help.

Well, it all depends on the person. As a musician, I personally feel much the same way about music as I do about poetry. They are inextricably linked; literally, they share a lot of the same roots. At the same time, though, I turned to music when I got to the point where I felt that I had things in my life that I needed to express where words could not. I think that music speaks to us on a different level. Language has its limits. . . there are only so many people in the world that speak any particular language, and beyond that, the original artistry of the words and their interplay are lost in translation. Music surpasses those boundaries. A diminished chord is a diminished chord whether you're German or Mexican or Japanese. When I'm playing a piece of music, or writing a piece of music, or listening to a piece of music, I feel like I'm part of communicating that emotion on a much grander scale. . . like I'm speaking to the world, or even the universe.

I think it all depends on what is in your soul. If you have a musical soul, then the music is never going to escape you just because you leave the concert hall or turn off the CD player. If you have a poetic soul, the poetry isn't going to stop just because you close the book. When you are depressed, it's those constancies--the things you know are there no matter what--that get you through. The key is just figuring out what those things are for you.
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On Some of the things that have been brought up

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:56 am

1)
The most horrid concept of a human being is to view the human as solely a biological creature. To try and fix problems with drugs really destroy the human being. The worse part of these drugs is that they actually create biological problems for the human being! The so called idea of a solution then becomes the problem with these drugs.
2)
Music and poetry can function to soothe the soul but keep in mind that only a specific type of music has the ability to help the soul. I recommend investigating the work being done here: www.wlym.com
Peace
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Postby Despondence » Wed Dec 28, 2005 4:51 am

"Most people are neither so miserable nor so happy as they believe."
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Postby Credo Buffa » Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:18 pm

Despondence wrote:"Most people are neither so miserable nor so happy as they believe."

An unfortunately true statement.
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Postby Despondence » Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:50 am

Yes, and also a sobering one, if you think about it. I find that it helps to keep things in perspective. Whenever the melancholy fit shall fall, I remember this line, and I think about child laborers and starving families in third world countries; about the homeless, impoverished and destitute; about the exploited, enslaved and oppressed. What are my woes to theirs? It's silly really, that I should fool myself into thinking I have some cause for being depressed, but that's what comes from measuring yourself against your peers. Along that particular yardstick, it may appear that I come up somewhat short, but on the grander scheme of things I am planted firmly somewhere in the middle, neither so miserable nor so happy.

If all else fails there's always Buddhism :)
You know the Buddhist equation for happiness, right?
Code: Select all
              Consumption
Happiness =  -------------
                Desire

So if you can manage to desire nothing, you'll be infinitely happy. I can't seem to manage that, so I'm working on the numerator instead :D
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Postby Saturn » Sat Dec 31, 2005 11:48 am

Life is all about desire - if you desire nothing then your life will be meaningless - you need some goal in life to spur you on, be it career goals, artistic goals or personal relationship ones.

As for the clinical depression part of this discussion; as someone who struggles with this myself I can tell you that from all that I've read oif Keats and his problems he did not suffer from depression, or at least not in any kind of serious way as I would understand.

I think only in his last few months when his illness began to take its toll did he finally begin to give in to despair when his body had failed him the mind began to wander.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Keats and black dogs

Postby Richard » Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:53 pm

I have just noticed the time of the last post, Keats and depression.

Glut thy sorrow on a morning rose.- A tad naive.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. -You're 'aving a laugh mate.
The shoulder seams fade in sunny weather.

I tried to put in an emoticon then and failed

He obviously has not read 'Touched with Fire'

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I'm posting after quite a long time!

Postby Starlight » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:32 am

Depression is the state that is hard to remove rather i would say it is hard to diagnose too cause' the person suffering from depression does not know abt the real nature of this severe psychological disorder.

Learning from my past experience i can only say to soothe one's disturbed mind, one should sit back & relax throwing out every singly disturbing memory for a while. And start planning abt future that is yet to come, having faith in our creator.

Reading helps alot in this process with a calm & peaceful backdrop.
Smile away your tensions by looking on others/ miseries that are most of the times quite huge than yours.

Starlight.
Passion is the ultimate way to your destination!
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Postby Saturn » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:41 am

And if you have no religious faith?

:?

Nice sentiments Stralight but not everyone puts their lives and future in the hands of an abstract deity.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby adonais » Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:32 pm

Saturn wrote:And if you have no religious faith?

Then it's up to you to come up with something better, don'tcha think?

Nice sentiments Stralight but not everyone puts their lives and future in the hands of an abstract deity.

Very true, indeed. I'll complete your sentence: because we are the engineers of our own lives, it is up to us to make of it what we see fit, which hopefully involves savoring this life, and providing for the happiness of coming generations by improving the world they must live in. That's what you were going to say, right? ;)
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Postby Saturn » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:28 pm

Well yes that's what I believe we're here for anyway.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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......

Postby Starlight » Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:16 pm

watever...!
Passion is the ultimate way to your destination!
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Postby adonais » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:29 am

Starlight - I'm sorry if something I said offended you, I certainly didn't mean to. Maybe our philosophies differ on some things, but I thought what you wrote was great. And I'm quite certain that there are more things between heaven and earth than can be dreamt of in my philosophy... ;)
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