Tag Archives: depression

the angels and demons in my bedroom

it’s every single morning before i even open up my eyes.  the angel i always imagine to be sitting on the window sill.  the demon lounging in bed next to me smoking a brimstone cigarette.

my personal angel doesn’t actually look like this. maybe yours does.  angels exist in the muslim, christian and jewish traditions but are ordinarily depicted as males.  is this picture a blow for feminism?

 

the angel was particularly adamant this morning:  i have finished revising the book about my facebook adventures of 2011 and had sent it to my editor at tate publishing.  but i need to sort through thirty to fifty photographic images to include in the book.  i had sold yet another book to tate yesterday.  oh, and facebook — yes, but not actually mark zuckerberg himself — had contacted me to find out if they could do a story about me.  it was a good day yesterday and included other blessings:  a friend had been nice to me, it was sunny and warm outside, the coffee was good.  and so the angel asks of me the same thing as every morning:  get out of bed.

the demon, meanwhile, has other things on his mind.

you’re fat, you’re old, you drink too much, you have a social life that is largely conducted on facebook, you’re irrelevant, you could die today and nobody would notice so why don’t you stay in bed and watch korean soap operas on hulu.com? says the demon

for a number of mornings, the demon has been very persuasive.  and i’ve watched eight episodes of season one and four of season two of faith about a korean protector of the king who travels through time to find a twenty first century doctor to save the life of the queen and then the surgeon . . . . oh, forget it.

today the angel won.  but only after an hour’s battle while i tried to go back to sleep.  the battle occurs every morning and it’s sort of the same for other people i’ve been finding.   my friends describe the enormous effort it takes to get it together every morning.

yesterday was a good day for angels watching over the facebook enterprise.  after opening at a stock price of $38 months ago, the company has lost half its value, closing at less than twenty dollars per share at one point.  the demons definitely were feeling pretty sure of themselves.  but this past wednesday, prices shot up an astonishing 19% to close at $23.  i betcha this morning when mark zuckerberg’s angels and demons were discussing whether mark should get up or declare a sick day, his angel had something wonderful on his side to motivate him.

do you have a conversation between demons and angels in your head?  is it mostly in the morning, like me?


even without the red shoes, there’s nothing like it!

i made a new years resolution for 2011 to meet in person all 325 of my facebook friends.  325 friends, 365 days, 13 countries, close to 60,000 miles on planes, trains and automobiles.

i had 325 friends–from college, from around town, from playing online scrabble, people who like my grandfather’s science fiction writing, parents of my kids’ friends, and some people i just had no idea why. i wanted to meet them all and figure out if we were “just” facebook friends or something else.

 

at the end of the year, my house sold.  my sons live in new york and ohio and neither of them really wanted me to move in with them.  i had no place i had to be and i had spent a year being everywhere so i could choose.

this past month, i took an apartment.

for most of my adventures, i carried with me a plush doll of the nineteenth century adventurer and explorer william clark. he has his own facebook page and we are facebook friends. now he resides in the bat girl cave which is very close to where i used to live.

i could have gotten one of those prefab homes in nome that i saw, or moved into the mumbai holiday inn which is the swankest place i stayed.  i could have opened a fruit stall in mexico city in the neighborhood i visited or i could rent one of those sweet apartments i saw in dortmund, germany.  but no, i ended up back in winnetka and i didn’t have to click my heels three times to know there’s no place like it.

but of course i have facebook friends to see in other parts of the world.  new friends on facebook.  i just got back from kentucky and i think the next trip is ontario and from there new york.

thursday night i went to a party in winnetka. everybody said “welcome back!” and i think they meant it. i was not actually wearing these shoes, but i felt like i was!

 

 


a guest blog about facebook depression

Facebook Depression: Much Ado About Something?

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 04:23 PM PDT

Facebook Depression

“Facebook Depression? Well, of course it’s real, Bill. Duh! We’re talking one billion users. Somebody’s bound to get bummed-out.”

Clunk! Well, I guess you got me there. Ah, but if Facebook – any social networking site, for that matter – and depression are pals, is it a strong enough relationship to assign a brand?

Hey, no doubt about it, the potential impact of using social networking sites upon one’s psyche can’t be ignored. Take a gander at these estimated monthly visitors numbers for the top five…

§ Facebook: 750 million

§ Twitter: 250 million

§ LinkedIn: 110 million

§ MySpace: 70 million

§ Google+: 65 million

Staggering, don’t you think?

Sure seems as though people are looking (needing?) to interact with others – even if it’s out here in cyberspace. And it makes perfect sense that potential liabilities such as Facebook Depression may drop-in at the party.

But let’s keep in mind these questions: Does using Facebook generate Facebook Depression? Or is it grounded in the maybe-fact that many who lean toward the depressive hop-onto Facebook more frequently? Hmmm…

Well, what say we dive-in and see what we can learn. Oh, given the depth of the subject matter, and volume of information, we’re going to have to handle our biz in likely three parts over the next handful of days. Okay?

Facebook Depression: Addiction Too?

As a clinician, if a client comes to me with an addiction issue you can be sure I’m going to focus upon depression (anxiety, mania, and stressors, as well) during the assessment process. Now, that isn’t to say all addicted individuals are depressed. However, in so many cases “where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

So, as we consider Facebook Depression, let’s first address Facebook addiction.

Researchers at the University of Bergen (Norway), led by psychologist Dr. Cecilie Schou Andreassen, have come up with some first-time, and very valuable, information regarding Facebook addiction.

Check-out what Dr. Andreassen has to say…

The use of Facebook has increased rapidly. We are dealing with a subdivision of Internet addiction connected to social media.

It (Facebook addiction) occurs more regularly among younger than older users. We have also found that people who are anxious and socially insecure use Facebook more than those with lower scores on those traits, probably because those who are anxious find it easier to communicate via social media than face-to-face.

Our research also indicates that women are more at risk of developing Facebook addiction, probably due to the social nature of Facebook.

Interesting, don’t you think?

As part of their research, the team came up with a Facebook Addiction Scale. And the scoring is based upon the following criteria…

§ You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or plan use of Facebook.

§ You feel an urge to use Facebook more and more.

§ You use Facebook in order to forget about personal problems.

§ You have tried to cut down on the use of Facebook without success.

§ You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using Facebook.

§ You use Facebook so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies.

Respondents are asked to rate each item as “Very rarely,” “Rarely,” “Sometimes,” “Often,” or “Very often.” Is Facebook addiction alive and kicking? Well, the research team says it is if one rates at least four of the items as “Often” or “Very often.”

Again, the presence of an addiction doesn’t always equate to accompanying depression. However, I’m not scratching my head if they’re co-occurring. And that certainly applies to Facebook Depression and addiction.


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