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Ruby Wax and battling depression

(31 Posts)
ElenMumsnetBloggers (MNHQ) Thu 22-Mar-12 10:06:02

Hi bloggers,

Ruby Wax has written a guest blog to share her experience of depression and explain why she set up the Black Dog Tribe, a new site which acts as an online support network for those with depression. Do you think online communities are an effective way to support people dealing with mental health issues? And what other strategies helped you combat depression?

We're keen to hear your thoughts. And if you have a question for Ruby, you can ask it here too smile

swallowedAfly Sat 24-Mar-12 07:31:57

so a public personality talks about her own mental health and tries to promote awareness and destigmatise and you choose to take that person and criticise them based on your view of their character and mental health? proving the point really that speaking up and talking about your mental health problems still puts you in the line of fire for being discredited and having your personality picked apart for your troubles, even by a so called professional?

yep there's still plenty to be done isn't there?

if we all wanted to speculate you sound pretty grandiouse and like your nose is out of joint because someone else is getting recognition for something.

YoungDebbie Sat 24-Mar-12 08:37:01


I have been clinically depressed several times in my life for clear reasons rather than because of an intrinsic tendency to depression (I'm by nature an optimist) - e.g. the death of my first husband, so I'm speaking from personal experience. I was given Prozac. This got me out of it, but I was uncomfortable about taking it and would have preferred a non-medical cure.

When depressed, (at worst, in foetal position on sofa for hours, not wanting to budge), the last thing I would have wanted to do was to go online and chat with strangers about it. I could barely have a discussion with myself - I was just numb.

BUT what would have helped me enormously was Moodscope. This is a very simple online aid to understanding and managing your own moods (whether high or low or anywhere in between), using a really simple test every day that is manageable even in the utter grip of Black Dog. It helps you detect the triggers of depression and take avoidance action - and since I've been using it I have felt very much more in control of my life as a whole.

I cannot recommend it highly enough for those with depression (or indeed bipolar) or any other mood-affecting issues. It's free of charge, universally available and just wonderful. It enables you to share your ups and downs with a "buddy" of your choice if that helps you. I prefer to keep mine to myself and still find it enormously powerful. Please try it, you've nothing to lose. And I hope Ruby Wax will too!

mrsshortiesmind Sat 24-Mar-12 16:51:56

I have suffered with depression (pnd) for almost 2 years now, but am starting to realise there were other times that were never diagnosed. I have found some forums really helpful, especially at the start when I wasn't really sure if I was ill and what was happening, it was all a little scary and to find people who could empathise was really helpful.

I have posted a couple of times on The Black Dog Tribe and at the moment I don't find it that helpful, I did get some nice encouraging comments, but it is hard to navigate and I'm not sure how you can manage to build up a 'tribe'.

However I think anyone who promotes Mental Health issues, whether that is to help themselves or not is doing a great job.

For some people talking in an anonymous way is really helpful (I certainly needed it). I am now more open about my illness but it wasn't easy to begin with. I don't use the forums as much now as I blog about it and get some support that way.

strawberry17 Sun 25-Mar-12 18:28:30

I have had post natal depression twice in the past and the odd bout since, I think anything that creates awareness and discussion is a good thing,the first time I had PND in 1994 I had no internet, and I felt so so isolated, and felt the stigma so badly, I felt so lonely and couldn't bring myself to talk or tell anyone. I am so grateful now for the internet and think it's fantastic that there are so many places and forums to discuss depression and mental health issues.

Guaparesaca Sun 25-Mar-12 22:25:48

YoungDebbie thank you so much for the tip-off about Moodscope, I checked out your link and was so taken with what I read there, have registered and look forward to doing the 'cards' every day. I haven't been feeling all that great over the last few weeks (I recognise some stuff creeping in from the past) but am determined to take positive steps to help myself. This really appeals to me as it's every day and I can also get my best friend to help out by being my 'buddy' - she said she'd like to help in any way she can as I've really helped her through personal difficulties, is great to have a tangible practical yet simple suggestion of support.

As for Ruby Wax, well I know she doesn't appeal to everyone but in my opinion she does destigmatise' depression and mental health issues, that has to be a good thing- part of my difficulty is the sense that everyone else is 'normal' and happy and coping with everyday life, I feel weak and inadequate and strange because I am not coping, am far from feeling productive or positive in any kind of sustained way. Golly, seeing someone who is smart and strong like her admitting she has battled with depression helps enormously.

swallowedAfly Mon 26-Mar-12 04:00:11

yes thanks for the moodscope link - i've started using it too. quite important for me to mood chart and this is quite a good way of doing it - hard to just give yourself a number.

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