About

Welcome! Whether you’re a return reader or someone who might become a new friend, it’s great that you dropped by.

Let me introduce myself. I’m Catie Morrison, aka Dysthymia Bree. I’m a middle-class, white Australian woman of the 21st century, which makes me one of the luckiest people ever to have lived on this planet. I love plants (especially trees), have a couple of degrees under my belt, love drinking tea and reading speculative fiction. Oh, and I also happen to live with depression and an anxiety disorder, which sometimes disrupts my life to the extent that I need to go to hospital.

And that last point – which is only one of the many things which define me – is what this blog is dedicated to: living with mental illness and, when possible, laughing along with it. Let’s face it, if you’ve ever spent time in a private psychiatric hospital or clinic Β in Australia (and, in 2009-2010, over 222,500 patients were admitted with mental health-related problems) I bet you’ve laughed – at least once! I mean, you’re living in a place where normal is … well, not normal. And sometimes, if you step back and look at that, it can be outright hilarious.

Of course, this site does not make light of the very real suffering of mental ill-health. There are times when that black dog’s claws dig so deep that laughter seems not only impossible, but sacrilegious. In that case, I hope that some of the stories which will be told here may provide hope, even solace.

My dream is that this blog will become a place where people can appropriately share their stories. “Appropriately” here means preserving the privacy of others and protecting your privacy as a contributor. In particular, I would draw your attention to the Mental Health Consumer Outcomes Task Force, which states that: “mental health consumers have a responsibility to respect the human worth and dignity of other people.” In short, if you’re going to libel someone, do it elsewhere. I practice a strict moral code when posting here: what I post here is true, to the best of my knowledge, and anonymity is likewise protected.

Please take a moment to read this site’s Disclaimer, then settle back to enjoy finding joy in hell.

57 responses to “About

  1. Bree I haven’t heard from you in a while are you okay ?

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    • Hiya! Yes, I am sorry to have gone AWOL – I went through quite a difficult phase and withdrew from many arenas of life, the internet included. I’m much, much better now, thank you. Looking forward to catching up on all the excellent writing I’ve been missing. Hope things are well with you, too.

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  2. love the backbone of your blog. the more people talk about their experiences of living with a mental ‘illness’, the better! thanks for sharing.

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    • Hey – my pleasure πŸ™‚ So true about the stigma-reducing power of telling stories. And, truth be told, I just love the mental health community here on WordPress. I find such support from people here, and there are a few who even notice if I don’t blog for a while and check up on me – how awesome is that?!

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      • Yessss absolutely, talking openly about mental health issues is the most effective way of reducing stigma. My son suffers from schizophrenia and OCD (and has no problem telling the whole world about it), and I volunteer with the Israeli Mental Health Association. We are setting up a project to fight stigma, including media watch activity. Happy I found your blog Bree (well actually you found mine πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by. Heila

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  3. that’s pretty great! i have been wanting to find a community of bloggers who share their experiences with mental illness but have yet to do so. i wonder if it’s because my blog is more a patchwork of things vs. all about my experience with depression…? anyway, i’m glad people like you are out there writing about it. πŸ™‚

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  4. I find it a wonderful coincidence that you found and commented on my blog today. I, too, battle with treating my chronic depression. I could not relate more to everything you said you experience with it…

    So, to not ramble on over pleasantries and gushings, I’ll just have to follow your blog. I grazed it briefly before delving into your “About me” and I do believe I’d like to hear what you have to blog about. I look forward to any future exchanges we have over the things we blog about.

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  5. Thank you for visiting my blog! I appreciate it a lot. Reading this, I realize we have a few things in common. It is always nice, knowing you are not alone with your sufferings. I wish you lots of good fortune on your journey.

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  6. I’m just catching up on your posts, and I LOVE the mental health alphabet. I might do this on my blog if it’s okay with you?
    I was also wondering if you would be interested in doing a guest post on my blog. Please e-mail me if you’d be interested! laneydodson at gmail dot com
    Thanks!

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  7. Ok, should we start psych meds alphabet?

    I’ll start! Anxietram, Buyatril, Conniptozil

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  8. Love it! Let’s call Pfizer and try to make some $$.(I had two “I’s – Interpretram, and Insanatron – I like Irritiquel better…) Justachil, Keepusane

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  9. Lietodoc, Mindablo, Negatarex, Obssesanal (this one works on a couple of levels, hehehe)
    I know, I’m a maniac.

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  10. I love Weepsorsize! And wrapping it up with: Xtremecontrolomine, Yuroktome, and Zonkulon – THAT WAS TOO FUN!!! (Won’t we just crack up if we actually see one of these names being used?)

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  11. I posted our A-Z on my blog. Very fun!

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  12. Love your blog. We need all the help we can get in this world in terms of decreasing the stigma of mental illness. Thank you for writing this.

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    • My absolute pleasure! I’ve said this many times before (but I don’t think I’ve said it to you before): to me, the WordPress mental health community is all about the mutual support. Oh, and the writing πŸ˜‰ Mustn’t forget the writing!

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  13. beautifulcrazynaturalme

    Hi Dysthymia.
    Sounds like a beautiful name straight from a Jane Austin novel. Lovely.
    Just found out it is a chronic and severe depression. Not cool.
    I look forward to reading your blog, and I am glad that you found me.
    I want to join the short story competition. I have always wanted to write a book about this madness. Hahahahaha (in a mad scientist voice).
    So happy to know about the WP mental health community.
    Helen

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    • Thank you, Helen πŸ™‚
      Obviously Dysthymia Bree is a pseudonym – as you said, it’s one name for chronic major depression with melancholia, but I matched it with Bree which apparently means “Life Force”. I liked that!a
      Thank you so much for dropping by. I have my fingers crossed that the little short story competition will be a successful project. I think many of us would like to be (and I say this a little tongue in cheek) “proper authors” – i.e. published! Tongue in cheek because we are already “proper writers”, writing on WordPress. Who knows? Publication in an anthology which goes on sale world-wide might just be the little lift someone needs to embark on, and complete, a larger project.
      And if you ever feel like connecting with some of us outside the public world of WordPress, click on the “Facebook Group” tab on my homepage.
      xx DB

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      • I’m having an awful day; being admitted to an inpatient facility (I’m also in Australia and haven’t found many Aussies writing about it online) for the first time today & looking like an extended stay, which I’m not incredibly excited for. But, I was reading the psych med alphabet in your comments here and I got such a good laugh! Can relate to so many. Thanks everyone for your humour! Xx

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      • Good luck during your admission! Feel free to get in touch about hospital life, if you feel it will help. Take care X

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  14. Pingback: Nature Loves to Hide | In & Out, Up & Down: Dysthymia Bree's Musings On Mental Health and Psychiatric Wards

  15. Thank you for your visit. My garden is my refuge. I am thankful that there are people willing to break the stigma associated with mental illness. The more I communicate, the more free I become. Many of us will fight for the rest of our lives, but we have found others that accept us for who we are and not because a label subtracts from our value. We are no less, no more. We simply are. We were given this challenge for a reason. Our goal is to help others that fight the same fight to learn that they are worthy and rightful of respect as well.

    You are a gift.

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    • Thank you! I love the little mental health community we have here on WordPress – supporting each other, being there for each other. I see it as mutual giving πŸ™‚

      I hope you have a very good day, today.

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  16. Bree are you interested in guest blogging for my new site?

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  17. Hey you, just wondering where you are and if you’re okay because you haven’t posted in a while. I miss you!

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    • Hey back to you! Yes, I did take some time off WordPress – just needed to regroup and recover after my grandmother’s death. It means a lot that you dropped by to ask after me. I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner: I took a complete break πŸ™‚ However, I’m all re-energized now, and ready to re-engage!
      Really appreciate your kindness in dropping by. So thoughtful. X

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  18. I miss your blog a lot. Hope you are okay. ❀

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  19. Just checking in to see how you’re doing. πŸ™‚

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    • Hi ODM,
      Sorry this reply is so late in coming. I haven’t logged into WordPress for ages: I needed to take some time out, some “simplified” time with a bit less going on than usual, so I did that and now am ready to re-engage. Yay!
      You know, I really appreciate your dropping by to check up on me. Thank you so much.
      XX DB

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  20. Hey! Robin and I both dropped out of the blog world for a few months, but are now back. Went looking for you and saw that you are also taking a break. Hope you are okay!

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  21. Just wanted to say hello. Big hugs to you. I hope you’re going okay. xox

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