22094014Today  I started a Facebook page dedicated to Mood Pride.  Mood  Pride is an offshoot of the neurodiversity movement, suggesting that we focus on the ”differences” of people with mood disorders, rather than solely on the ”deficits.”  Mood disorders are terrible afflictions, don’t get me wrong.  My own mood disorder (five episodes of major depression and dysthymia throughout my 62 years) has been the single most horrific, no good, terrible thing I’ve had to deal with in my life.  But I believe that the neurological and genetic differences that make me vulnerable to depression also give me what I’d like to call the ruminative and contemplative capacities that help me as a writer.  As it turns out, many writers have had mood disorders.

Now, again I have to emphasize that a mood disorder is very serious stuff.  Between 2-12% of people with mood disorders commit suicide.  So, it’s basically a potentially terminal illness on a par with some forms of cancer.  People who think that those with mood disorders should just ”snap out of it” ”pull themselves up by their own bootstraps” or ”shake it off” ought to keep this sober statistic in mind.  But it’s also an integral part of being human for many individuals.

I believe that the focus should be on both the challenges (the best means of alleviating depression and preventing suicide, including the medically supervised use of antidepressant medications), and the strengths (which will be explored on the Mood Pride Facebook page).  If you have a mood disorder, or know someone who does, then suggest to them that they ”like” the page.  Here is the descriptive statement for the Mood Pride page on Facebook:

Mood Pride is a way for people with mood disorders (including major depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia, and related disorders) to affirm their wholeness as human beings first, and then to acknowledge both the positive side and the negative side of being ”differently mooded.”  It highlights 1) positive role models with mood disorders, 2) research on the strengths associated with mood disorders, 3) information about the best ways of coping with the difficult and painful aspects of mood disorders (strategies, assistive technologies, suitable careers, environmental modifications, medications), and 4) organizations, support groups, associations, and other groups that help people with mood disorders. Finally, it serves as a way for people with mood disorders to experience ”mood pride,” in the same way that others experience ”gay pride,” ”autism pride” ”’mad pride” and other forms of affirming one’s personhood and uniqueness in the world.
About the author

I am the author of 16 books including my latest: The Myth of the ADHD Child: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion (Tarcher-Perigee). http://amzn.to/2ewwfbp.
1 Response
  1. Proud sufferer

    I was diagnosed with mood disorder NOS back when that was a diagnosis. In the DSM-V I was labelled as having clinically relevant mood problems but not with any disorder. One time I descended into headbanging and severe crying out of nowhere listening to music I usually enjoy. Usually I suffer in silence but still. I take antidepressants and receive professional help.

    However, depression sufferers have a more realistic view of the world and are usually more creative. A lot of great people had one MD or another. So I guess it is nice to know that others have gone though what I go though.

    Shocking about the suicide rates.

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