There is a theory that's been around for some years in psychology and it's called Depressive Realism. It's a theory which suggests that depressed people have a better grip on reality than non-depressed people. There has been much research on it. Example.
So let's say I assume Theresa Duncan was depressed before committing suicide. This would be a fairly safe assumption I would say, though no-one has talked about this in anything I've read. Then I could also assume, for instance, that she may well have been one of those depressed people who experience Depressive Realism.
And that means, if my assumptions are correct, that there would be quite a few people who at the very least are shifting nervously in their seats, since she quite lucidly describes harrassment on her blog.
So then. Paranoia or realism?
Just thought I'd through an intriguing bit of psychological research into the ring. Something to think of anyway eh?
Pictured is Lauren Alloy, one of the two researchers who discovered the "sadder but wiser" (depressive realism) effect in the late 70's. Her colleague, Lyn Abramson was the other researcher.
The people we are aware of who "love" this unfunny film are usually creepy bottom feeding art world female masochists of the girl-photographer ilk.
Tee hee aren't women crazy?
Aww come on. It's funny. Christ I miss her.
The articles I've read so far on Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake have fallen into a little neat heap of similar analyses. Don't we just love to put things in teensy boxes and cover them with plastic labels? Ah...That feels better.
And the conclusion is: They were paranoid freaks that lost their grip on any sort of reality. (Oh. But they were really interesting). There we have it. Good as Done.
One more thing: Theresa Duncan could be really difficult. Like I mean totally really difficult.
Look I don't know and I never will whether Theresa and Jeremy were being harrassed by the Church of freaking Scientology. But I do know something of the ugliness of human nature. I know something about how easy it is to call them paranoid. NOW. They're both dead so they can't defend themselves.
I have no doubt whatsoever that my beloved Theresa could be difficult. She was an artist and an intellectual, damn you! She's meant to be provocative and challenging. Did we all expect her to be "nice" and polite and sweet to everyone did we? Oh shucks.
Get a life. She had things to say.
One of the 14 million reasons I loved that woman and her blog was because she had edge and a sharp one. I just adored her for that. I always knew that I were ever to be so honoured and lucky to meet her, that she had the potential to scare the shit out of me. THAT'S A GOOD THING. Her intellectual edge invited me to stand up and meet that challenge. That's called divine opportunity in my language.
The lilly-livered, packaged conclusions that have been drawn about this woman, attempting to do the impossible (explain human complexity in about 9 nine sentences), are falling short of doing anything but making me want to hit someone.
TD pictured in New York. The Present in New York Is So Powerful The Past Is Lost on Wit, 21 November 2006.
Grief is grief. How many grieved for John Lennon and who still misses him? Scores of people who never met the man.
I'll lay bets that your favourite artist is someone who is saying and doing something that almost exactly speaks something from your own self.
And if they die before us, we have lost something vital. Our spokesperson is no longer here to represent us. What remains for us privately and individually is what was inspired within us and what we will do with it now. This is the key to moving forward.
The beautiful and eternally brilliant Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake are pictured.
After a splintered week of everyday obligations and dealing with the complicated grief of losing my favourite blog person, indeed a mentor, Theresa Duncan, I had become exhausted. A significant depression loomed close. I spoke to my boyfriend, Teddy about this. He had one sentence, It was a magic sentence.
That one sentence beckoned a familiar argument, but in the magic of a moment I thought to myself: He's right.
In the second moment, something lifted. A few minutes later, I was laughing.
"It's almost like the man who goes to the bottom of the ocean and takes with him some oxygen to equalize the pressure. I'm talking about equalizing the pressure between outer actions and events which are shattering and devastating to us and then the place where we recompose and reconstruct ourselves, where we finally achieve what Jung called the second birth. The second birth we are entirely responsible for; it's a self-creation. This second birth is the one that you can make, and the discovery of that to me was always a great relief..."
From A Woman Speaks (Chapter 2: Refusal to Despair) 1982
Thanks to Kim Richardson for once again painting my mind and further, what it needs to see. Contrary Shaman pictured.
It is part of a joint research project run out of Macquarie University in Sydney and the University of Queensland.
Researchers' have developed internet-based and clinic-based programs. Families are randomly allocated to one of the two.
The program is open across the country and includes teenagers in rural and isolated spots. One-off fee is $100. Sounds like just the thing for some families.
For more details, go to the website.
Different kinds of anxiety:
"Social Anxiety: Feeling really scared of interacting with other people or being the focus of attention. This can really interfere with school when it's time to do oral reports and reading aloud in class!
Generalised Anxiety: Always worrying about something! It may be grades at school, family, friends, if they're good enough in sport or art, their own health or family member's health and so on.
Separation Anxiety: Being worried when they are separated from people they're close to, such as their parents, siblings, or other relatives. Young people might avoid sleep overs', school camps and get upset when their parents go out for the night.
Specific phobias: Being fearful of certain objects or places such as heights, spiders, the dark etc."
(From The BRAVE PROGRAM: Information for Guidance Officers, Teachers, Parents and Young People).
Pictured is Marla Campbell's Depp, who played Edward Scissorhands, the perpertually worried teenager in Tim Burton's brilliant 80's film of the same name.
Oh yes. AND it's the week before school goes back... hmmm.
Bear with those kidlets, the anxiety levels run high. When you think back to starting a new year when you were little or at least smaller than you are now, you can remember how overwhelming it all can seem.
What to do?
* Everyone wants to fight with each other at the moment - and who wouldn't in this heat? KEEP CALM. REMEMBER: MUMMY NEEDS TO STAY CALM.
Whilst wanting to throttle my two, I have instead spoken more quietly, been more flexible. I've been looking after myself in terms of sleep, food and relax-time. It's working.
* Greet each fear with understanding ("Yep, I used to feel that too ." If you did, otherwise be quiet and listen) and a positive. Any positive.
* Reassure. For example, "If your teacher is inherently evil, I will fight for you" Just joking... You know what I mean.
* Get organized now. School bags, uniforms, lunch stuff - make sure it's ready to go. You don't want a panic attack over a school hat on Tuesday morning at 7.45.
* Listen. Listen and then listen again. They have real fears, they are small humans. When you sit down and talk with them, listen and talk some more. Ask questions: "Are you ok with...?" Haven't got time to listen? Make time. It will pay off. Guaranteed.
* Reassure of future reassurance - "If you ever need to talk to me about school, just do it. We'll make a quiet time to sit down and nut out ANY problem you come up against".
* Give them boosts. "I just know you are going to be ok. Hey. You are a GREAT kid".
* Be patient and remember they are only kids. Kids get more scared of the unknown than we do.
Good Luck and Happy, Smooth Back to School for you all.
Let's all just hold our breaths' and jump?
I've admired Tim Finn for most of my adult life. He's the former lead singer of Split Enz, and continues to produce amazing music. About 10 or so years ago, I was reading an article on Depression in the Sydney Morning Herald's weekend mag. It featured celebrities (Australian/New Zealand) who had "come out" to talk about their experiences. Tim Finn was one of them. That's an act of bravery.
Rewind say 10 - 15 years beforehand to when the Enz were big here and in NZ - I mean really big. One of the best songs they released, in my opinion, was Dirty Creature. It's got such great bass, superb melody but.... It's a fabulous and creative yarn about depression.
I can only recognize that now, many years later.
Sung by Timmy himself, I am humbled to view the youth and brilliant poetry, not to mention the healthy humour (piss-taking) about being so... so depressed.
Now this is what a person can do with a "condition". Take heed!
Link to the clip.
I need a Dragon Slayer/Who can save me from myself... Dirty Creature's got me and he gets his knowledge from the inside...
"One of the most medicinal tasks we can undertake is a simple walk. It is difficult to remain mired in negativity and depression when we are "shaking it out" a little. Walking with an eye to the positive can take a gentle vigilance. As a form of medicine for ourselves, we can consciously turn our thoughts to the ancient practice of practicing gratitude - a footfall at a time. Take yourself out-of-doors and set a goal of a simple twenty-minute walk. Aiming toward the outer world, allow your inner world to fall into a brighter perspective by consciously - and concretely- enumerating your life's blessings. People, events, situations - any of these may be cause for gratitude. As you warm to your task of focusing on the good in your life, both your heart and your step will lighten."
Julia Cameron in Walking In This World: Practical Strategies for Creativity.