andrew solomon

andrew solomon

What is it like to raise a child who’s different from you in some fundamental way (like a prodigy, or a differently abled kid, or a criminal)? In this quietly moving talk, writer Andrew Solomon shares what he learned from talking to dozens of parents — asking them: What’s the line between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance?

love, no matter what

14:30 what do we validate in them and what do we seek to cure in them

17:50 it’s our differences and our negotiations of difference that unite us

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depressions, the secret we share

“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.” In a talk equal parts eloquent and devastating, writer Andrew Solomon takes you to the darkest corners of his mind during the years he battled depression. That led him to an eye-opening journey across the world to interview others with depression — only to discover that, to his surprise, the more he talked, the more people wanted to tell their own stories. (Filmed at TEDxMet.)

oct 2013

i felt a funeral in my brain..

a sensation of being afraid all the time, but not even knowing what you’re afraid of…

people tend to confuse depression, grief and sadness:

grief – is explicitly reactive.. a loss, incredibly unhappy, then 6 mos later, deeply sad but functioning better – probably grief and probably will resolve itself in some measure

depression – catastrophic loss, feel terrible, 6 mos later can barely function at all, probably depression triggered by catastrophic circumstances, the trajectory tells us a great deal

people think of depression as being just sadness.. it’s much too much sadness, much too much grief at far too slight a cause..

distinguishing sad.. about having to chew/swallow .. or about sad things..

one person described depression as a slower way of being dead,.. reminded me that slow way of being dead could lead to actual deadness.. this is a serious business.. leading disability worldwide – people die of it every day.

the burdensome nature of such mutual secrecy

depression is an illness of how you feel

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ted 2014:

How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are

substituting and for but

forging meaning – changing yourself

building identity – changing the world

forging meaning and building identity doesn’t make what’s wrong right, it’s makes what’s wrong precious

oppression breeds the power to oppose it – the cornerstone of identity

if seeking meaning matters more than finding meaning… the question is not whether i’d be happier, but whether assigning meaning to those experiences.. makes me better..

i was finally unconditionally greatful for a life i once would have done anything to change.

there is always someone who wants to confiscate our humanity.

if we live out loud – we can trounce the hatred..

forge meaning. building identity. invite the world to share your joy.

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andrew solomon on adam lanz

 

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dis order

 

 

 

 

 

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why i send

 

diagnoses can be useful tools, capable of delivering hope and relief. But they can also limit our ability to perceive all the complexities and variations within the individual who exists beyond the label.  – Andrew

 

 

 

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2011:

“We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave.

They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. There was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again.

Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave.”

~A Rwandan talking to a western writer, Andrew Solomon, about his experience with western mental health and depression.

whoa. thank you Carol.

post Andrew wrote on it:

http://andrewsolomon.com/articles/naked-covered-in-rams-blood/

“We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave.They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. There was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again.

Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave.”

~A Rwandan talking to a western writer, Andrew Solomon, about his experience with western mental health and depression.

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depression
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If you can take a quiet moment, maybe this weekend, read this profound piece on mental illness.
https://t.co/eil8dIBtPN

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nilofer/status/791388815029972992

As both a psychiatric patient and a professor of clinical psychology, I was saddened to see painful lived experiences transmogrified into spooky entertainment. I was also unnerved to consider that I was someone else’s idea of a ghoul, a figure more or less interchangeable with a zombie.

[..]

Sanity and mental illness lie on a spectrum, and most people occasionally cross over from one side to the other. It’s the proximity of mental illness rather than its obscurity that makes it so scary. But it should be scary in a “fix the broken care system” way or in a “figure out the brain’s biology” way, and not in a “scream for laughs” kind of way.

[..]

The company wrote by way of explanation, “Our evening attractions are designed to be edgy, and are aimed at an adult-only audience.” But “edgy” is not in general a euphemism for “stigmatizing of a disenfranchised population,” and the defense that the attraction was for adults only seemed a very token mitigation — as though adults were not the progenitors of most chauvinism and hatred.

[..]

Other people’s fear of us can have terrible consequences. There are regular reports of police who respond aggressively or violently to the erratic behavior of mentally ill people, whether they are armed or not — the latest being the killing of Deborah Danner, a woman with schizophrenia, by a New York City Police Officer. There are more mentally ill people in our prison system than in our health care system.

[..]

The injury is not only disrespect from the outside, but also a terrible doubting from within.

[..]

That rejection of empathy is an authentic poison, pressing some people to understand themselves as less human than others, a danger associated with a proliferation of suicides. It’s hard to think well of yourself in a world that sees you as a threat.