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(69 Posts)
Brandy Mon 01-Jul-13 20:21:33

Hi all,

I hope you can please help, I am doing some research on Depression and how people coped in years past.

For example, What happened to people who were depressed in the 1940s or during the Blitz? Were they given counselling or medication or cocoa and Vera Lynn songs? What worked for them? How did they manage to survive??

Any thoughts, opinions and help would be gratefully received.

Thank you

Greatnan Mon 01-Jul-13 20:28:28

How old do you think we would have to be to have been depressed during the blitz?
I am getting a bit tired of 'researchers' thinking we are a ready-made source of information.

annodomini Mon 01-Jul-13 20:31:31

I was born in the war and was only 4 and a half when it ended. And I'm older than a lot of most other gransnetters!

absent Mon 01-Jul-13 20:35:41

Along with many other gransnetters, I am a post-war baby boomer. In any case, shouldn't this be on the paid Media thread? This is a social forum not the rat house in a laboratory.

Greatnan Mon 01-Jul-13 20:37:36

I think the patronising reference to cocoa and Vera Lynn tells us all we need to know about this poster.

j08 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:39:16

That Wasn't patronising. confused

merlotgran Mon 01-Jul-13 20:39:20

Brandy There are quite a few books that cover the subject of depression during the Blitz. 'Domestic Soldiers' by Jennifer Purcell is a good one.

absent Mon 01-Jul-13 20:41:42

Wasn't the Blitz during the 1940s not an alternative? Wouldn't cocoa have been rationed in the same way as chocolate? Surely the common expression is tea and sympathy not cocoa and Vera Lynn.

j08 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:43:03

I don't think there would have been much real help. At worse severely depressed people would have been locked up in large institutions.

I don't know when tricyclics were invented. You could find out on the net.

Phenolbarbitone was the standard drug for insomnia.

j08 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:44:45

They may have had electric shock treatment. Of a very rough and ready kind.

mollie Mon 01-Jul-13 20:45:58

Ouch! Brandy won't make that mistake again will she/he?

Greatnan Mon 01-Jul-13 20:47:16

I hope not.

mollie Mon 01-Jul-13 20:49:08

But why be so rude about it? Why not ignore the thread?

merlotgran Mon 01-Jul-13 20:52:48

Nella Last wrote for the Mass Observation archives. She suffered from depression.

absent Mon 01-Jul-13 20:53:11

mollie I don't like being patronised and I don't think anyone was rude. Expecting members to provide information for your research, on the other hand, is a rude assumption.

Butty Mon 01-Jul-13 20:55:11

Quite, Mollie. A bit of kindness wouldn't have gone amiss, even if it was a poor attempt at advertising, which I don't think it is.
Maybe Brandy might like to clarify.

Agreed J - didn't find Brandy's post patronising at all.

merlotgran Mon 01-Jul-13 20:58:21

Beginning a post with, 'I hope you can please help' is a polite request surely? confused

mollie Mon 01-Jul-13 20:58:30

I didn't think so. Some have tried to answer so not everyone thought so. She asked politely. Probably unaware of the etiquette, probably young, but now told in no uncertain terms.

janeainsworth Mon 01-Jul-13 21:03:25

It may not have been patronising, but it would have been common courtesy to tell us under what auspices the 'research' was being carried out and whether the post was authorised by GNHQ.
As others have pointed out, the majority of GNers are too young to have experienced depression during the war years, but in any case I would not disclose information about my own medical history or hat of my relatives in a public forum.

Brandy Mon 01-Jul-13 21:06:25

Oh gosh I am so sorry to upset you all; I didn't realise that you were contacted on here for proper research, I perhaps should have said a bit more...

I have been suffering from bad depression for the past 2 years, I have been on anti-depressants since then, however I absolutely hate the way they affect me and I just can't cope with the memory loss that they cause.

I have been trying to find out if there is anything I can do, other than take anti-depressants and I was referred to a book called 'Challenging Depression & Despair' by Angela Patmore and in that book she suggests finding out what people did during the war and she quoted 'cocoa and Vera Lynn'!!

I apologise for offending anyone, really wasn't my intention, just trying to see what people would suggest.

Apologies once again.

mollie Mon 01-Jul-13 21:08:10

Your're probably right Janeainsworth but couldn't we have asked who she was and why she was asking and point her to GNHQ? Or ignored her?

mollie Mon 01-Jul-13 21:09:13

Brandy I think you are owed an apology. So glad you came back...

Elegran Mon 01-Jul-13 21:09:24

Their families and friends helped them, Brandy as families and friends still do when people are depressed. The difference is that there are more medications available now as well.

Clinical depression (which I think you are talking about) is misery which fails to lift even when circumstances improve. Most of the depression of the war years was unhappiness with a definite cause. Fathers, sons, husbands, lovers, brothers, friends were in danger. Houses were being destroyed and treasured possessions being lost. Sleep was broken by night bombers and worry about the very real possibility that there could be a telegram in a yellow envelope. Food supplies were scarce and erratic. Children were sent away from unsafe areas to places far from their families. There was plenty to be unhappy about.

One thing which kept people going was the knowledge that others understood because they were under the same strain, and there was always someone worse off. That was not a cure, but it was a support.

"Counselling" was talking things over with a sympathetic friend over a cup of tea. Some friends were better at this than others.

"Medication" was barbiturates which dulled down the feelings of misery and enabled people to sleep. Severe cases were hospitalised until/if they recovered.

Don't underestimate Vera Lynn's schmaltzy songs. They were a real comfort to many, articulating the feelings which were overwhelming both those fighting abroad and those they left behind at home.

merlotgran Mon 01-Jul-13 21:09:45

I didn't realise we were so important on Gransnet.

janeainsworth Mon 01-Jul-13 21:11:59

Sorry brandy, it was just the way you phrased your post that made people think you were doing clinical research.
Have you asked your doctor to change your medication? Or whether cognitive behavioural therapy might help you?