Monday, December 26, 2011

Valde Melancholicus

I was watching a TV show about Oliver Cromwell (yes that Oliver there another one?). Spiritually lusty, murderous, ambitious and wait...what's this? Depression sufferer?

Seems they called it "valde melancholicus" back then. This bears interesting implications:
  • Big pharma didn't invent depression as a means to make more money. Oh, I know...protest all you will, but it's just not true. 
  • Depression has been around probably as long as humans have been. Yes, I know, I'm filling in a lot of holes with my imagination here, but I'm feeling bold.
  • It must have really sucked to be "treated" for depression back then. Because...they probably didn't have a lot of "treatments" that actually worked. And it probably involved things like leeches, bats-wings, and arsenic. Yes, the imagination again...but...I'm guessing I'm not far off (as I spark a new obsession with researching ancient and antique remedies for mental health maladies...)...
And so Oliver...or Cromwell if you prefer...would pester his doctor at all inconvenient hours of the night when the spirit moved him (often it was in the midst of a spiritual crisis of some kind) for some remedy that I'm dying to know the details of (Google ain't cuttin' it here...yet...).

Oliver Cromwell...THAT Oliver Cromwell. Geek trivia.

(To add a little accuracy, articulacy and more geek trivia: apparently Cromwell's depression was religion induced and interestingly, some Protestants during certain time periods seem to have been more susceptible to depression and subsequent suicide...depression...a human companion of many origins...)