RE: Whining [not]

Joe Barrera (
Mon, 1 Sep 1997 22:52:24 -0700


Wow, there are a lot of parallels between us. That might explain a lot
of why I'm on your list.

> I have never had a peer group.

I don't even have the emotional energy right now to recap my life and
lack of peer groups.

> FoRK is a damned good coping mechanism -- perhaps too good.

Use what works.

> PS. Of course, this may merely be my semiannual mood swing
> talking. I'm beginning to perceive that I have a sunny and not-sunny
> cycle. The same kind of news I'm taking in relative stride and
> discussing (relatively) dispassionately tonight would have destroyed
> me totally last winter, or the winter before that. One more reason to
> move back to California: I was only depressed post-birthday to
> Feb/March instead of Oct-April :-)

You do know about Seasonal Affective Disorder, don't you???

Depression is DAMN serious stuff. PLEASE get a copy of Listening to
Prozac (if you don't have one already). At least read chapter 5. In that
chapter, Kramer (the author) presents several animal studies of stress
and learned helplessness, and writes:

"This welter of animal observations has colored the way I see certain
patients who respond to Prozac. The animal models imply that a number of
environmental factors, including stress, and perhaps especially the
stress of social separation, can give rise to changes in the brain that
then predispose the animal to ever more poorly modulated responses to
subsequent stress. These changes can take place in animals, and
presumably people, whose mood and behavior seem normal under ordinary
circumstances. Such near-normal conditions may constitute the early
stage of a progress deteriorating condition; and the subtle collection
of abnormalities may persist in a stable way over substantial period of
time, even in the absence of renewed gross trauma. Further deterioration
may be lessened by certain forms of social contact. The animal models do
not tell us whether medication can reverse injury, but they imply it can
confer a protective effect against the consequences of further trauma.
The animal models give "functional autonomy" a good name and make
medication for 'neurosis,' and even for quote normal forms of chronic
unhappiness, seem a reasonable option, perhaps a highly compassionate

My mood swings have certainly gotten worse over the years. There's a
really good chance I wouldn't be alive right now if it weren't for the
meds I'm taking.

Another quote from the same chapter:

"... we may find that SSRIs [prozac-like antidepressants - joebar] can
help prevent the progression of early mood disorder into florid illness.
It is at least possible that we will some day advocate early detection
of depression the way we now advocate early detection of cancer or

- Joe

Joseph S. Barrera III (
Phone, Office: (415) 778-8227; Cellular: (415) 601-3719; Home: (650)
The opinions expressed in this message are my own personal views and do
not reflect the official views of Microsoft Corporation.