Wednesday, August 23, 2006

worst case scenario

At the dinner table tonight:

Benjamin - "Do you know what the worst thing in the world is?" (pauses briefly) " Being dead."

Laura - "No! Mummy said that sometimes people are really, really sad. That could be worser."

I guess that could well be 'worser'. Severe depression must feel like the deepest crevasse, the blackest night, the loneliest place on earth. How strange that my five-year-old daughter was able to remind me of that fact this evening. Children sometimes have the keenest sense of the truth.

Major depression affects approximately 6% of the Australian population. Too often it goes undiagnosed and untreated - especially when sufferers hide their distress, or complain more of the physical symptoms, such as fatigue, insomnia or problems with memory or concentration. I suppose we all need to be vigilant in watching our nearest and dearest for warning signs. And that includes ourselves.

Of course, for those transitory blues or momentary stress-outs, there's always chocolate. It has proven mood-elevating benefits (I'm sure I read that in the New England Journal of Medicine, or was it Who Weekly?). With the amount of Old Jamaican Rum dark chocolate I ate tonight, I should be cruising through the rest of the week, happy as a clam!

I'll let you know how it goes.


Motherkitty said...

My goodness, Jelly, you aren't depressed, are you? If so, be sure to take lots and lots of that dark Jamacian Rum chocolate. The doctor orders at least 4 oz BID x 7 days STAT.

It's amazing what kids know today. I was watching a program on HBO last night about 13 y/o's and all the issues they contend with. One of the areas was depression and suicide. Needless to say, it was very distressing to watch these kids in such agony. I needed chocolate just to continue watching. Your dear children are so IN on some really tough issues. Who would think a boy as young as Ben would ideate about death and dying? And, why would little Laura know about depression? Do they talk about these issues at school?

jellyhead said...

Never fear, Motherkitty, I am not depressed! I have just been a little stressed over silly things.

Kids really DO talk about death and dying...I don't THINK it's from school, in the case of my kids, anyway. They both seem to have gone through phases where they ask a lot of questions such as 'what happens when you get really really old?'.... and 'when will you die Mummy?' etc. So it seems it's not just adults who are fascinated by that topic!

TUFFENUF said...

Hi Jelly, My son talked alot about death and dying when he was about five years old. I wonder if they are just thinking and becomming aware of things at that young age. I take meds for my heart disease that have a depression side affect. One of the worst things about depression is that I always feel guilty - because I have a wonderful life and I have nothing to be depressed about!! I have to get some chocolate - good idea!

Val said...

Jelly, careful of that chocolate. It can give you a buzz, and then a huge letdown. Although I think that happens more as we grow older (I've done a lot of that!). Chocolate never used to bother me when I was younger, sigh.

Remiman said...

You may have already visited this site, but if not---when and if you get a free moment, check it out re: your writing contest subject: Time.

Childrens frank and open remarks can be a joy to hear most of the time, and embarassing on a few occasions ;-)

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I think children at a young age think and ask questions about dieing...after all, everyone they see is old to them. *LOL*

The questions from my children usually started after seeing a dead bird in the yard and asking many questions thereafter about it.

Your Laura is a deep thinker...and she's right...The living people that are left behind are the saddest after such a loss. The dead are gone.

Sharon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heather said...

The only thing better than eating chocolate is eating chocolate with a friend while having a nice chat. :-)

Kerri said...

Oh boy, what could be more delicious than Old jamaican Rum dark choclate....with raisins thrown in for good measure!
Fascinating dinner table conversation for such young minds. They're both thinkers, like their mum by the sound of things. I'm pretty sure dad is a thinker too.

Franny said...

Depression is the deepest, darkest cave...feels like you are soulless, 6-ft underground, and no one notices....
Those who escape it always kinda feel they're still at the mouth of that hole, and just a step away from it happening all over again. They still feel it, gaping behind them, for the rest of their lives.
And yet, we laugh, because life must go on, and where there is still life, still breath, there is still hope.
Very insightful children you have there...