Notes & Queries by David Herkt

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Notes & Queries: Little CD in a Prospect of Flowers

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    you – or anyone else – can fix

    Yup hardest thing for me to do is NOT try and fix someone. It goes against everything in my nature. I fail at NOT trying to fix a lot. I do try and remember about the best thing I can do is just listen.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Kyle MacDonald, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I just wouldn't want to see DHC, who has her own issues, become the subject of an angry internet pile-on. Although it's probably a bit late for that.

    Quite. We can easily become blind to bullying when we attack from the moral high ground. Seems a real shame that's been the response to her piece, given the context, despite what people think of it

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    the best thing I can do is just listen

    except when something needs fixing. like a car or a house.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sacha,

    like a car

    In that case it's definitely best if I stay quite far away :).

    The house I can fix :).

    I think the problem for me is I can fix quite a lot of things. I even have experience with many human problems and can pass on that experience, I can even sometimes see how the very human problems we all face can be fixed ... sometimes. All that makes it so very very hard to STFU and just listen.

    Some of the best threads here have been a stream of people "listening", very actively listening. It's a mark of just how good this community is.

    Damn something got in both my eyes again ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Aotearoan,

    Condolences, David. Having had a few friends kill themselves now, I find suicide awfully sad more than anything, And yes, how someone does it makes a difference. I feel much better about the terminally ill friend that upped his morphine dose than the depressed mate who hung himself. Brutal.

    DHC's piece was patronising and unwise, but there was some truth to the effects for women on their ageing and sense of self. A bit of exposure to feminists who accept the changes in their bodies might help.

    I loved the piece on CD dancing to AK79....

    Northland • Since Jan 2011 • 14 posts Report

  • Lara,

    Thank you, David and Virginia, for sharing. I am sorry.

    I’m a human being, not a DIY project you – or anyone else – can fix.


    Shit. Now I'm crying too.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2009 • 82 posts Report

  • Jackie Clark,

    I really think the more we talk about this - suicide - the better. I'm with Virgina - we so tend to go with head in the sand and it's not working. There are a number of reasons for our high suicide rate, I believe - a high rate of mental unwellness and lack of resources for mental health in this country, and a real reluctance to tackle our culture of blame around mental health. People with poor mental health are vilified and made fun of - Whaleoil was an obvious target, as have been others - and there's also this onus for those needing help to reach out. That's not always possible when someone is feeling depressed. By nature, depression causes the person to withdraw, to isolate themselves. I believe the emphasis should be about us reaching in, walking beside that person.
    To that end, I've recently had the fortune to read a couple of really valuable things.
    The first is something I believe has been widely seen by many:
    10 Ways to Show Love to Someone With Depression
    and the second is something my friend Jane wrote in response to DHC's column, which I posted on my blog.
    Depression needs a new name.
    I found great value in both of these pieces. And I would hope that we can find a way to talk about mental health, in the future, in a way that does not stigmatise, but instead embraces and seeks to understand.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report

  • Lilith __, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    Is it bullying to criticise what someone writes? I understand that a large number of people independently saying critical things can be hurtful, but I don't see how we can avoid it.

    My understanding of opinion columns is they are intended to be provoking.

    Are we supposed to ignore the words of people with mental health or other issues?

    WO's whole schtick is to be as offensive and stirring as possible. Do we have to be OK with that?

    I'm genuinely foxed here.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3895 posts Report

  • David Herkt, in reply to Aotearoan,

    Aotearoan, her dancing to Proud Scum was amazing. She had a real fondness for the AK79 album. I think she was word perfect for the whole album. ‘I don’t feel any pain…’ she’d sing along with Chris Knox. It was really nice when she put it on and really real and she was great. I always felt blessed when it happened. I remember the first time it happened in Parnell after I’d first met her, and I remember the last in Sydney. It was always late at night and just her and I. It was a million miles from all the crap that I’ve seen this week.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2007 • 53 posts Report

  • linger, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    * The first reference link seems no longer to work; try 10 Ways to Show Love to Someone With Depression

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Miche Campbell, in reply to SHG,

    Are you serious? She ought to be ashamed of herself for writing it and the Herald ought to be ashamed of itself for publishing it.

    I'm not of the opinion that we should not "speak ill of the dead," but Deborah Hill Cone's article was unnecessary, tone-deaf, and just plain nasty.

    Dunedin • Since Feb 2011 • 79 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Miche Campbell,

    Herald ought to be ashamed

    hehe you made a funny.

    You know I'd be happy to stop talking about Cone and the Herald. There are more important things on the table. Some folks have lost a friend. All of us have been reminded how fragile life is and how easy it is for someone to succumb to depression.

    There are many times in life when we need help from our friends and many when we can give that help to others, perhaps those are more worthwhile things to talk about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Lilith __,

    Is it bullying to criticise what someone writes?

    No - but how you do it most certainly can be. Do I think a certain Tweet Charlotte directed at Lorde was ill-judged and somewhat impertinent? Yes -- but far too much of the reaction (both on-line and in the media) was surreal in it's disproportionate venom and downright nastiness. (And to mansplain the bleeding obvious, so much of it was gendered in a way no man would ever have to put up with.)

    And no -- in the context of this post and out of respect for PAS as a woman-friendly safe space, I'm not going to link to any of it. Nor do I need to, which is a big part of the problem right there.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report

  • Aotearoan, in reply to David Herkt,

    Music and dancing get directly to the soul. Those are great lasting memories you have, David- and intimate to your friendship. Lucky stuff.

    My (equally young) girlfriend and I used to hitch up from Wellington to dance til the morning at Zwines when I wor a nipper.

    So great that AK79 captures the energy of those days. An encapsulation of enthusiasm and exuberance.

    Northland • Since Jan 2011 • 14 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Aotearoan,

    Scratch 'n' sniff...

    So great that AK79 captures the energy of those days.
    An encapsulation of enthusiasm and exuberance.

    Smells like teen spirit...

    ~( { ; > ) #

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Miche Campbell, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Oh, I know they won't be ashamed.

    I also know that I'm the one who decides what's important for me to talk about, thanks.

    Dunedin • Since Feb 2011 • 79 posts Report

  • Scooter Motoretta, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I think a lot of what happened to Cameron Slater, he bought down on himself. He could have shown a lot more humility. Humility doesn't equal weakness, it shows that you can accept criticism instead of snapping like a cornered hyaena. Your comments about a lack of mental health services is correct, it took me six months to get an appointment with a local psychiatrist at the mental health unit. Five years ago I was prescribed Efexor for clinical depression, I started off on 75Mg a day and over the five years I ended up on over 600Mg a day and it wasn't having any effect. Despite my doctor writing letters it seemed as though they considered I was being treated with the medication but I felt worse than ever and felt like living death all day long, mornings were disgusting, being unable to cope and lying in bed until 11AM because I couldn't muster the energy to get up. Finally I saw the intake co-ordinator and am now waiting to see a psych. Many, many times I felt like ending it, especially after losing one of my companion animals in my arms. Basically I lacked even the energy to do something about ending it all. One animal in particular I couldn't bear to leave. Laugh if you want but it gives me something to get up for. Finally ACC will pay for psychologist visits which helped years ago. Talking therapy works sometimes, if you are lucky. My one attempt at group therapy depressed me even more and made me more depressed. But anyway I can understand and sympathise with people who do kill themselves, my fear was that I would cock it all up and end a vegetable, unable to look after myself and have the pity of nursing staff. I couldn't stand that. Whatever you say, it takes strength to kill yourself.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2013 • 1 posts Report

  • Virginia Brooks, in reply to Scooter Motoretta,

    walk safe Scooter & companion animals are great. Hope your psych appointment goes well.
    I don't know where your journey is at exactly, but Pathways provide a variety of effective services:
    Maybe your dc can refer you there while you are waiting for the psych appointment?
    Could be worth a try.

    Since Jun 2008 • 43 posts Report

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Scooter Motoretta,

    There are so many things I want to say to you. There is a temptation to say things which I'm afraid will be wrong - patronising, insulting. I don't know you so I don't know how what I say will appear to you.
    So I'll start with this.
    I'm glad you are here, Scooter.
    (And I would never laugh at anyone sticking around because of their beloved animal companion. Animals show no judgement, listen when we need them to, and love us unconditionally . Well, that's only dogs, to be fair. Cats are choosy.)

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Sorry Maggie B, but there are many reputable studies which question the validity of the copy cat effect.

    An interesting discussion. Yes the coroner has questioned this and there's been a discussion about changing the media guidelines. But should media (if David's column is to be considered as such) just ignore the guidelines in the interim and publish details? Isn't that possibly just stumbling from one thing that doesn't appear to be working, into another thing that may or may not work better?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • Jennifer Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Absolutely I thought D C Hills article was really great. It is hard when you are used to being ogled.. to not be ogled. Your ego doesnt get that boost every time you go out in public, All those people that look at you are potential friends or lovers. when no one looks at you you feel very alone and unattractive.. I always smile and say hello to people. Everyone deserves acknowledgement as a human being.Getting back to Charlotte...some people arent destined to be here for a long time ... here for a good time not a long time!!!!

    Since May 2014 • 3 posts Report

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