Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Moodiness

Some people are vibrant, cheery folk, come what may, most all the time.

Some are not.

Dr Brown acknowledged that he's not been full of smiles a lot of the time of late and says that, "It's true that my attitude to things tends to be serious and gloomy."

This got me thinking because it's the second time in the recent past that I've heard a medic say this. The last time was from someone (a physician, not a psychiatrist) who had embraced this in a very healthy fashion.

Imagine medics sitting around a table having dinner. They're all Consultants or senior GPs so are old enough not to be larking about throwing buns at each other or getting pissed on tequila slammers. Such is for the younger students to aspire to.

Through the chatter, folk who knew this particular Consultant well were talking about her persistent low mood and depression. She took it all in her stride (she's a formidable woman) and explained that she didn't think she was clinically depressed. She just was a glass half empty kind of person.

When it was suggested that maybe things could be different, maybe she could be happier, her take was interesting. Different? Maybe yes. But no, that wouldn't be better. "Why, then I wouldn't be me!"

She embraced and accepted how she was, was an essential bit of who she was. That makes for being a pretty grounded and content kind of soul. Thus, chasing permanent bliss or happiness isn't desirable for everyone, there's sense in having other dispositions also.

9 comments:

Silvawingz said...

A lot of old medics round a dinner table? Hmmmm......
Recently I bumped into my Psychiatrist purely by chance - a few days later at my appointment he said "I hope I didn't upset you by appearing like that" I said "Oh No - You just looked like you were with a load of other Psychiatrists" "Yes" he answered "That's exactly what we were" Poor love he looked so depressed........

Dr Andrew Brown said...

You come across as a pretty positive sort of person, I must say. I imagine that you must be quite a "tonic" for your patients.

Top marks to the consultant for robustly defending herself.

I don't know whether I've been "clinically depressed" or not. I find my job hard and demanding at a personal level. At times it gets me down and slows me up, but apart from being down and slow I get no other symptoms of depression.

Regular holidays, outside interests, loving family, good friends: all these help. But I'd rather be a glass half full person really.

The Shrink said...

"You come across as a pretty positive sort of person . . ."

It was commented upon, in my appraisal, that I am "relentlessly optimistic" which I quite like :)

Quacktitioner said...

On a similar note have just started reading a book (Keedwell - How sadness survived), he argues an evolutionary/genetic basis to depression and that depression was an adaptation to help humans cope.

Just for the yin and yang effect I think for my appraisal I will be "relentlessly pessimistic" :-)

Socrates said...

Thank God for a little common sense at the coal-face of psychiatry. "Life is suffering" - Buddah; "Life is difficult" M. Scott Peck; "Life's a piece of s***, when you think of it" Monty Python. :-(

Anna O. said...

Thanks for your comment shrink, reading your site makes me want to change from general adult psychiatry, used to be a staff grade with the older folk but lack of jobs pushed me into my current field.... glad you love it!

DeeDee said...

Then you have people like me who suffer from depression, but when not ill are your basic bouncy chatty happy extrovert type :).

Illness acts as a dimmer switch on the above, rather than on/off....

Calavera said...

I like the fact that you were considered 'relentlessly optimistic!' I'd take that as a huge compliment!

I'd like to think that I'm generally a happy-go-lucky type, although I can be alarmingly cynical at times...

Xavier Emmanuelle said...

I would honestly love to be the "relentlessly optimistic" type! I have a terrible time maintaining any semblance of optimism most of the time, and I'm continually trying to make myself cheerier. It sucks being down in the dumps all the time, let me tell ya!