In our third excerpt from Bill Livingstone’s memoir, Preposterous: Tales to Follow, we catch a glimpse of his raw and unbridled revelation of his lifelong struggle with clinical depression and anxiety. Here, he describes being diagnosed in early adulthood and the struggle to find the right treatment.
A significant percentage of people experience depression and anxiety at some point in their life, if not constantly, and more research and awareness are exposing the conditions and their treatments. Pipers and drummers are no different and, perhaps, even more prone as creative musicians who constantly use high-pressure competition as their primary public performance platform.
Once the diagnosis was made, then the process of finding the right medication started. In my case I was started on Sinequan. The effect was to clobber me into stupefaction – yes, I slept for the first time in weeks, but I could barely focus during the day. This is often a problem for depression sufferers. There can be a long and frustrating search for the right medicine for each patient.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the full effect of the various drugs is not obvious for sometimes weeks. Meanwhile, as the experimentation with the different drugs goes on, one can vibrate like a tuning fork, shake like a Parkinson’s . . .