On August 9, 2018

Despite my depression being pretty much under control for the last twenty years or so, the black dog (reduced through talking therapy from a slavering Doberman to something a little more manageable) has recently come back with a vengeance. My bouts of depression have usually been sudden, but short lived, so much so that I have been able to refer to them, after they have passed, as SOD, Sudden Onset Depression. They would normally last a couple of hours, seldom more than a day. This latest manifestation, however, lasted weeks until, having become almost impossible to live with, I took myself off to my GP and asked for help. As usual very understanding, he determined that the SSRIs I had been taking for the last many years, were not up to the job any more, at least in the short term. He thus prescribed a month’s course of Mirtazapine 15mg, an anti-depressant. It has been mine and many others’ experience that the first week or so on such medication can produce a negative effect, in that you feel worse rather than better. Even knowing this to be the case, I was ill prepared for the massive and overwhelming depression that engulfed me during that first week. It was then that I wrote this poem.

I am now ten days into the course and, although perpetually sleepy, I am just beginning to feel a lightening of the darkness. I suppose the fact that I am actually writing this piece must be proof that my mood is improving. I just wanted to make two points here, the first being that if you feel that you need help, for goodness sake ask for it before you make your own or anyone else’s life an absolute misery. Asking for help is not a weakness, it is a strength. Know your limitations, be aware of how your mood is affecting others. Secondly, if you are prescribed a course of anti-depressants, no matter what it might say on the list of contra-indications, you are very likely to feel worse before you feel better, but stick with them. It might take anything up to six weeks before you feel a benefit, just hang in there, it will be worth it in the long run.



I am trying to stop myself screaming

I may not succeed


I am trying to stop myself exploding

Like a hand grenade, sending shards

Of red hot metal scything all around

Tearing into flesh and bone

Dismembering the innocent and

The loved


I am trying to stop myself giving voice

To the shit storm in my head

A rage of words that should never

Ever be spoken

Never ever be shouted because

They are not true

Never have been

Never could be

Because who could live with so much

Hatred, so much rage


I am trying to stop myself destroying

All that I hold dear, all that I love

It is hard, so very hard


I am trying to stop myself crying

I may not succeed.



© David Hermelin 2018

Leave a reply

  • More news