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Interview 14

Age at interview: 73
Brief Outline: Has responded well to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. He has the support of his wife and has built his confidence in a local sporting club. He recognises depression as a phase that passes.
Background: A retired, married man. He has 2 grown children and grandchildren. Diagnosed in his early 20's he has had numerous episodes of depression and has suffered from anxiety.

More about me...

 

Witnessed bombing and the shooting of people during WWII, and wondered if this had affected him.

Witnessed bombing and the shooting of people during WWII, and wondered if this had affected him.

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And we got very nearly bombed'. about two hundred yards from the bottom of the garden was an airfield, well the airfield that's still there, and the Germans came and dropped bombs that close. My brother and I witnessed an eighty-eight machine gunning the harvesters out in the field, the men were out, harvesting the crops with the horses and carts and a plane came along and machine gunned them.

A German one?

German Junkers yeah, then he had the cheek to fly down the runway about four feet off the ground, the full length of the runway. So those kind of things you don't know whether they affect you later on. I never ought to be alive according to the mischief we had, because we had a Lancaster bomber crashed, and we had whole belts of ammunition off it [laughs].

 

Describes getting excellent care at an NHS hospital outpatient clinic.

Describes getting excellent care at an NHS hospital outpatient clinic.

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We were being treated by the top, the top man at the mental hospital place at the [Hospital], the professor there, and that sort of gave a bit more cred. And he was able to change my medication onto what, onto what's called sertraline. Now this has many, many less side effects than dothiepin and all the rest, for me. Whether it is for everybody else I don't'. I don't know, but it got rid of my stomach aches, wind, indigestion and all that sort of thing, and diarrhoea which was kind of a nervous reaction. And of course, whilst you're depressed I was thinking all those things were possibly cancer or something like that. And it's easy to convince yourself that it might well be because you don't reason straight. So cognitive therapy was, for me, the answer.

 

Explains that it is very difficult to do relaxation classes when you are depressed.

Explains that it is very difficult to do relaxation classes when you are depressed.

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Well the [sigh] we were being taught relaxation therapy that was it was talking therapy, and relaxation therapy, which when you're depressed is mighty hard to get started. Once you've started and got the grasp of it, then it's quite good, but to actually get relaxed when you're really depressed is damn nigh impossible you know.

 

Says that having a hobby can distract from negative thoughts as well as provide meaningful...

Says that having a hobby can distract from negative thoughts as well as provide meaningful...

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But you see that kind of hobby, and I would recommend anyone having hobbies, and that' that gets depressed people through because the thing that you can't think of, you know two things at once whilst you're thinking about that, you aren't worrying about where am I, what's happening'

I'd become a bowler, gained an interest in bowling, got onto the committee, moved up to treasurer, and I am currently chairman of the bowls club. From that I got such a great reward, I sort of blossomed because in amongst new people, an interest and all the rest of it, and being one of a bunch. And that seemed to be important to me, to be one of the boys, or that sort of thing. 

I was pretty well able to hide it (depression) to a large extent, and I didn't have that many friends. And that was partly the reason I took up bowling and these other things to get friends you know.

 

Experience of many bouts of depression and recovery has led him to accept his depression, and...

Experience of many bouts of depression and recovery has led him to accept his depression, and...

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Well with some sort of experience of it, when you've had about six goes, depressed for two years, okay, depressed at least by then you know I did get better. Whilst I was depressed the thought of ever getting better was the last thing on earth, desperation of just living through a day was'. it was that desperate you know at times. And that's how I bumped along, with recurring bouts about two years depression, three years okay.

It's just my life has been bouts of depression and fairly good, and then another bout of depression. And I was warned that my particular sort of depression would follow that kind of path. So you can't be for, forearmed against it, if it's down to you, you'll get it. What you've got to be able to do is accept it, and accepting it seems to be able to make it manageable.

 

Even though he thought redundancy would affect his mental health, it did not, and he got another...

Even though he thought redundancy would affect his mental health, it did not, and he got another...

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Then suddenly there was a great big redundancy in the car industry, there were eighteen thousand of us made redundant all in one go. Now I thought that would scupper me but it didn't, it didn't affect me at all mentally because I was able then, within a very short time, to get a job in the electricity industry. And work-wise it was a good job, worked up and got good wages, did standby duty which brought in a retainer, money retainer. And during the faults and that we would work through the night, and that gave us the day off next day, but it also gave us a big boost in our earnings because after certain times we were on double pay.

 

Says that while medication helps you to function, people still need to work on themselves and...

Says that while medication helps you to function, people still need to work on themselves and...

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Now the early part of medication you feel you're getting nowhere. And then after a while you do sort of... be able to cope in a fashion, but that's because you're totally dependent on the, on the medication. And the medication keeps you stable, keeps.... you're able to go to work, you're able to do your job, able to enjoy quite a few things. But it doesn't get rid of the fears and whatnot because that's a sort of a different, different area, your thinking processes... They're yours and that's where it's got to come from you, you've got to get there yourself, I don't think there's a miracle cure. They'll give you the tools for you to do it, but you end up, you've got to do it, there's a... I'm convinced of that. No one is actually going to make you better but they're going to help you get better.

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