Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut, by Michael Davis

Michael Davis

Master Of The Universe, Lord Of All Media, Most Interesting Black Man In the World, Sexiest Man on Earth, Mentor, Writer, Artist, Producer & Uppity.

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45 Responses

  1. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    (puts on "One of my turns" by Pink Floyd)While a couple of weeks is admittedly a long time to feel that way, what you're describing doesn't sound that serious, in the sense of needing therapy or medication. You're getting eight hours of sleep instead of five, you're able to focus on your work to a degree, you're just a little…off. You're not used to it, yes, and that'll get you more nervous, and that makes it feel worse.It sounds like the advice you're being given by others has you more introspective than the condition does. You had a theory about what was causing it, but the repeated suggestions from others has you doubting yourself. You're a far better person to say what's wrong with you than these people. We know so much about medicine today (or thanks to shows like House, we THINK we do) that we're aware of what everything we feel COULD be. Every twinge could be a heart attack, every wheeze could be the Big Casino. And then you've got all your friends telling you about the show they just saw, or the article they just read that was ALL about exactly what you're talking about. That'll drive you crazy but fast. Plus, it sounds like you're more describing being tired then being depressed. I know in my case they're quite similar as well. But eight hours of sleep is NOT odd – it may not be the norm for you, but it's about what they say the average person should get. So you may just need to catch up a bit. I prefer the short-term, latest cause analysis. Has anything in your life changed lately? New diet, new detergent, new route to work, anything like that? I think it's much more likely that something that just changed has more an effect on you than the sudden realization that mommy never let you try out for ballet. I have low periods on occasion, and they pass. I'm aware of them as they approach, and when they come on, I let the wife know, and in a day or so they move on. It's a combination of I've not quite gotten enough sleep and I haven't been eating right (or enough, or too much) and perhaps just needing to slow down, and they all combine into a sort of grumpy tiredness that lasts a couple of days. It's not a reaction to anything that's happened or anything anyone's doing, it's just a sort of slow period.Quite often a good solid laugh will burn it away, a sort of cathartic blowout to shake the cobwebs loose. And then it's fine again. Give it a shot. In short, my advice is somewhere between "relax" and "Man up".And if that doesn't work, buy a new handbag. My wife swears by it.

  2. Martha Thomases says:

    Michael – sweetie – please feel better soon. And, if you don't, please don't dismiss therapy and/or medication. I understand your hesitancy. I felt it, too. I worried that if I took the drugs, I'd never write again. I worried that I wouldn't be me anymore. However, it was just the opposite. I feel better, I feel more creative, and I don't want to hide under the covers. Therapy and/or medication are not for everyone, nor are they a magic bullet, but sometimes, they are what you need. If you were diabetic, you wouldn't feel like a loser for taking insulin.

    • Michael Davis says:

      Thanks dear Martha, you know this all started to happen right after I talked to these two writers at a dinner in New York…

  3. Adam says:

    Mr. Davis,I've been reading your column for about two months now, and really enjoying your concision and wit. This one, however, is the first time I've been moved to reply. First, I hope writing this was therapeutical, because writing is obviously something that normally gives you joy. I'll also echo your friends'/family's opinion that the description of how you're feeling are all signs of clinical depression. And, finally, I'm going to be so presumptuous as to share with you what one therapist has given me to cope with "blah" periods. Write down a list of good or helpful things, and keep it where you can see it. This could be anything that normally makes you feel better – Writing, reading a good book, watching an entire season of a TV show in one sitting, a nice prime rib, or even just a big hug from a friend or family member.I hope I'm not being preachy or touchy-feely here, I just know exactly what it is to feel that apathetic and listless all the time. And, for the record, yes, you ought to be yelling at the TV when you see those polls showing that Clinton supporters would rather vote McCain in the Fall if Hilary doesn't get the nomination. And the Obama supporters who say the same thing. Speaking as a citizen of Illinois, I would still vote for Clinton if it were between her and McCain…well, I might vote Libertarian.Hope you get your head back in the game soon. Like I said, I know what it's like.

    • Michael Davis says:

      Adam,I actually did feel better after writing the piece. And no you are not being being preachy or touchy-feely. Lastly, welcome to the forum.

  4. Alan Coil says:

    Mid. Life. Crisis.

  5. John Ostrander says:

    Been in therapy twice and on meds twice as well. The meds were short-term and when i felt i no longer needed them, I no longer needed them. I was hesitant initially about therapy because i didn't want it messing with what I do — my work. being an artist is mysterious; we don't know how it works and we don't want it messed with because it could all go away. However, i learned things about myself in therapy that made the work better.That said, if you won't go that route — period — then you won't go that route. Once time, when it a severe depression, before i ever tried therapy, I found some music that helped and I just played that piuece over and over again. Made other people crazy? Maybe but it helped and the depression eased up. Same thing after Kim died. I heard some music that helped and I played them a lot. So — find some music that means something to you and play it. — that's my suggestion. Also — a marathon of movies that just make you laugh your ass off.Oh — and don't worry about it. You're a cork in the ocean — you'll bob back up.

  6. Anonymous says:

    One small piece of practical advice… if you've changed your diet recently, you may be having a simple deficiency in B vitamins. That can cause the symptoms you mention. Take a second look at how you are eating, and grab yourself a salad or something. Good luck, depression and fatigue are not things to be taken lightly.

    • Michael Davis says:

      Thanks for the well wishes. I'm very much with the whole vitamin thing you suggested. You are the second person to say that to me. As far as my diet-I have to admit it's not great and I should take a hard look at what I'm eating which is everything that is bad for you. I did have a salad last year however.

  7. Elayne Riggs says:

    As a frequent hypochondriac I've been through a lot of these "oh my god I'm depressed how do I ever get out of this" moods and concluded they were clinical. Then I read about people like, for instance, Abbie Hoffman, who never did seem to get the right meds for his condition and killed himself as a result. This too shall pass, Michael (which is what I keep saying to myself about my unemployment).Vin: The Big Casino???

    • Michael Davis says:

      I'm WAY to in love with life to EVER kill myself nor would I ever do that to my love ones. And the reason you are unemployed is because the people you have interviewed with ARE IDIOTS!

    • Mike Gold says:

      Your comments about my former employer, Mr. Hoffman, bring up an irony as Abbie had a masters degree in psychology from Berkeley. There is no question in my mind (and I'm not a trained psychologist) or that of a great many of my associates at the time that he was manic depressive, but that's just an opinion. However, Abbie's brother contested the suicide ruling for many years, and the possibility that Abbie was manic depressive does not necessarily mean his death was suicide. I state this for the record. Personally, I believe it — last time I saw him was in the mid-80s, a couple years before his death.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I'll be praying for you to be back to your crazy-cool self, Mr. Davis.

  9. Shane Kelly says:

    Hello Mike, Depression sucks, as you well know. I have been kicked in the balls and dragged through the sewage time and again over the last few years. But, stupid me has this damn optimist deep within me. I can't get away from it (I think it's bonded to my DNA). There have been occasions in which depression bit me, and poisoned my outlook on things, and on life in general. The thing of it is, it would only come in waves, and would stay for a bit. For me, I took it on (depression, that is) as a challenge to defeat. I was feeling what I was feeling for a reason, and as soon as I dug deep enough within my twisted psyche, I found my answers. I refused to let depression get me down for too long, and vowed to eliminate it…so far it has been mission accomplished. If you don't want to go after it that way (since everyone has their own tricks of the trade)…when all else fails, go sing karaoke! That should do the trick. I look forward to the call, when you have it in you to do so. I know I have a tendency to be a pest at times.

  10. Russ Rogers says:

    Michael, If you broke your leg, you wouldn't be worried about going to a doctor to have him LOOK at it, just for fear of being labeled a "GIMP." You wouldn't avoid treatment, medication or physical therapy because admitting that you were ill would somehow make you a "CRIP" for life. You might try to just "man up" and "walk it off" … IF you were an IDIOT! Because that's just playing Russian Roulette with your heath. Obviously, you have deep seated issues about your Father. Those have been around for DECADES and, in my inexperienced and uneducated opinion, are probably not the source of your current depression. The theory that all your psychological problems are based on repressed fears, anxieties and traumas is (in my uniformed opinion) bull-shit. You've spent a lifetime building up a cozy set of personal quirks, you don't have the time, energy or the need to dig through all of your past or dreams or subconscious states just to deal with this depression. You don't want to spend years in therapy for a funk that has, so far, only lasted a few weeks. But you NEED to deal with this depression. It's already gone on too long.Fact: You don't know diddly-squat about psychology. I bet you haven't taken a psych class in at least 20 years. When was the last time you were in Med School or read a real medical or psychological book or journal? Any psychiatrist or psychologist who would see HIMSELF for therapy or write himself prescriptions is a CRAZY IDIOT and should be sued for malpractice. I don't think you know what you are talking about or dealing with. You can't be an expert about everything. See an expert, a physician, not just your pals or Internet fans. I'm a blow-hard. I know NOTHING. See your doctor.Fact: You have serious prejudices about seeing yourself as weak, especially mentally weak. Being sick does NOT mean that you are weak. And there is NOTHING wrong with being weak sometimes and just needing some help.Fact: You may get over this by yourself. Just like you can recover from pneumonia by yourself or heal a broken leg by yourself. But if seeing a DOCTOR reduces your recovery time AND reduces your symptoms while you are recovering, why NOT! Just because seeing a Doctor will mean that you have to admit that you are weak, crazy or (heaven forbid) depressed? You're going to have to just "man up" and deal with your insecurities on this one. Stop worrying about labels. Stop labeling yourself. You're depressed. Big deal. Get over the label, walk it off. See your doctor.Getting treated for a mental illness doesn't mean that you are crazy. No more than getting treated for a broken leg makes you a gimp or crip. Get over yourself and get some help.You might get over this depression by yourself … and you might … NOT. See your doctor. Don't go running to a psychiatrist and get pills. Don't go to a psychologist and get into therapy. Start by seeing your General Practitioner and see what they have to say! They may recommend that you see a specialist. And if they do, TAKE their advice! It's what you pay them for, an INFORMED medical opinion. They may recommend that you eat more vegetables or get more exercise. Who knows WHAT they will recommend! But here's the deal: being depressed might not just be the disease. Being depressed MIGHT be a symptom of something else, something worse. YOU DON'T KNOW; you're not a doctor! Stop playing Russian Roulette with your health.If you insist on treating yourself, get some real information. Read some books. Find a good web-site, one without an agenda.Here's a depression self assessment and some links to some articles about depression.…Here are two books that deal with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for depression. Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns…I think Cognitive Therapy might suit your style, Michael. It's very self directed. Cognitive Therapy has very little to do with dealing with deep seated emotional disturbances. It's a much more straight forward approach to dealing with depression. But, here's the problem with Cognitive Therapy: it takes a bit of work, a bit of busy-work and a bit of patience. There is some journaling and conscious monitoring of your thoughts and moods involved. For somebody who is depressed to begin with, this can be daunting.I've heard that Cognitive Therapy plus medication is the one of the surest ways to recovery and is statistically more effective than either Cognitive Therapy or medication by themselves. But don't take my word for it; see your doctor!

    • Michael Davis says:

      Russ,I mentioned in the article I come from a family with deep roots in the medical field that includes 2 shrinks. One family member is a big wig at a major University Medical Center. I can make a call and get a free couch ride anytime. I have a great deal of respect for the profession it's just not for me. That said if I started having thoughts about suicide or something that really scares me I'm talking to someone. Hell, after reading your post I may call you. Your take on what I'm about, what I fear etc is interesting. You do something which I would never do and that is to tell someone else what you think they are about. I would never EVER tell someone else what I think they feel or what they fear , etc. I take no offense to what you say because you took the time to say it. But…you don't know me. Like I said I take no offense and thank you for all the work you did on your post but that's the one thing that bugs me about what you wrote. I will address a bit of what you wrote about me. You say I have a fear of being seen as weak.Russ-my favorite move is 'My Best Friends Wedding' I cry at the drop of a hat on a variety of subjects. I have recounted more than a few personal stories from my life in this column where I bare my soul and admit things in which I'm not just weak but vulnerable. Now about my 'daddy' issues. You may be right about that. Hell I will admit right now that I have MANY issues. I simply do not want to know what they mean. I don't need to know the 'why' of everything in my life. As Captain Kirk once said "I need my pain."All this said, you have touched me with your passion about this subject. Your posts are always a good read but dude-this was above and beyond. So much so that I'm giving myself another week then I'm seeing a doctor, a General Practitioner like you suggest. The last couple of days I have felt pretty good. Admittedly I have been knee deep in a few projects I'm excited about and I have gotten almost 50 well wishing personal emails with regard to this article and those 2 factors may be why my sprits are lifted.Again-thanks for your suggestions and a great post. if you are at Comic Con this year, I would like to buy you a drink that is if I'm not in session.

      • Russ Rogers says:

        Michael, Thanks for seeing the positive in my posting. You could have easily interpreted my enthusiasm for the subject as my being a total ass. It just scares me whenever I hear somebody say that they are avoiding medical help as a matter or principal. It makes me think of that poor diabetic girl and her parents who thought they could just pray her condition away. I'm all in favor of prayer. But the Lord gave us a universe where the laws of science are generally consistent. And modern doctors and medical science are now generally a blessing.Your story also touched me very deeply. I was also that "crazy guy" in high school that everybody said would go and do something huge and creative. I went from being "Certifiable" to actually getting "Certified." I had a psychotic break when I was 20, which was followed by a depression. I've been treated fro depression several times since then. I've since come to believe that I'm manic/depressive. My depressive swings have been more frequent than my manic phases. And I've only had that one, scary episode of manic psychosis. I have been treated with both meds and therapy. Both work.I've also been depressed for several months now. So my advice to you was very much advice to myself. I need to get off my butt and do something about this. Unfortunately, being depressed, I find that task … daunting. I find it SO much easier to pontificate and hand out advice than to actually do much of anything constructive right now.Your offer to buy me a drink at Comic Con is one of the most flattering responses I've gotten to my comments here on ComicMix. I've actually never been to a comics convention! I went to a Star Trek convention once, 15 years ago. And I was at Gen Con about 33 years ago! But all the chatter on these pages about the NYCC and San Diego Comic Con has made me realize that I've been missing out on some fun. I'm thinking of attending the Minnesota Comic Book Association Fallcon, October 4 & 5, 2008, on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Terry Beatty was at the 2007 FallCon. Maybe he will be back this year, promoting his involvement with ComicMix? Oh, wouldn't that be cool!Anyway, I don't think I can make it to San Diego this year. But if you find yourself in the Twin Cities sometime, I'd be happy to take take you up on that drink!By the way, I also have two close relatives with psych degrees! 2 shrinks! But I'm still a blow-hard and a know-nothing when it comes to psych stuff. And you are right. I really don't know you. Some of what I wrote was not only direct, it was offensive. I'm sorry. I was trying to make a point and really stepped over the line several times. Thanks for interpreting my intentions as sincere.I'm glad that your mood has lifted in the last few days. Nothing lifts the spirits better than good friends or the excitement of getting something accomplished. That's better than any meds or therapy.

        • Michael Davis says:

          Ross, you sent me suggestions to help. Some may have found your comments offensive but you TOOK THE TIME to try and help me. That's a big deal for me these days so I saw your post as passion.If I am ever in your city-first round is on me.

  11. Reg Gabriel says:

    Brother Michael….. Very much appreciate your transparency….and wit. You got jokes, man. But on the serious tip…it could be natural fatigue (mind/body/blood chemistry) or a supernatural malaise…Either way… here's a gift from me to you…

  12. John Tebbel says:

    Cognitive therapy, etc., ain't no couch ride these days (unless that's the way you want it). It's like talking to a smart friend who doesn't owe you anything but the truth.Just saying, I think you're managing your case quite well.Sign me, Dr. Buzzard.

    • Michael Davis says:

      John, if I go see a G.P. it will be for a check up to see if there is something going on with my body that has caused these moods. The post from Russ got me thinking about that a bit more than I had been. I'm not looking for any therapy. I had an interesting talk last night with an old girlfriend of all people. She called me to tell me she was getting married. Why in the hell do girls feel that they have to call ex boyfriends and tell them they are about to get married? I asked her why she was telling me and she said she thought I would want to know. I told her that when I got married I did not tell a single woman I use to date because it was none of their business BECAUSE WE BROKE UP! I then told her if she invited me to the wedding when I met him I would wink while looking at his new wife and say; "Yo man, she do that trick with the ropes and vaseline with you yet?"She said I would not dare. A few moments later she added; "Oh, yeah you would. Your still a crazy fool."So that's a real positive sign…

      • John Tebbel says:

        M-Like I said, I have no suggestion except "trust your heart, whatever it tells you will be true." As Laurie's friends told her in Oklahoma. She turned out ok.

  13. Kai says:

    HUG(sorry I'm late on your article bandwagon)Going to be in LA this week – can give to you in person :)XOXOXO

  14. Reg Gabriel says:

    So how are you feeling these days, Mike? Has the Light returned?

  15. Cheryl Lynn says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! I've been kind of down lately too. It's nice to hear I'm not alone. I hope you're feeling better though. Misery doesn't love company that much.OMG! Remember the episode of The Cosby Show when Claire was hired as a pundit for a PBS talk show? And she said the same thing? Jeez, I can't believe the useless things I have stored in my brain.

    • Michael Davis says:

      You went Cosby Show on me! Oh no you DID-ANT. Young lady, I'm glad this may have been a bit of help to you. Remember you liked me when you read my article tomorrow…

  16. Michael Davis says:

    I'm better Reg.Thanks for asking.

  17. Ismail W says:

    Ah, as I read further I see that you are okay.:) Nonetheless if the need should ever arise, a great recommendation to all that may be reading.Hemp seed oil (cold pressed and organic). Closest thing to "Mother's milk" you will get in nature. The essential fatty acids help regulate neurological processes. Keeps the brain healthy, provides a solid source of Vitamin A and E, and helps facilitate the transport of essential hormones in males (testosterone)( note: low levels of testosterone can affect certain moods in males) and in females (estrogen) Great for regulating menstrual cramps and pre-menopause and hot flashes in post menopause. I highly recommended essential fatty acids (oils) to a friend of mine who had debilitating cramps. A few months of taking them, she was rather relieved to not be hunched over and in a heap every month.:)And never neglect, exercise.:) Natural endorphins right there.:) Also gets the blood flowing aswell as oxygen.:) You may all already know, yet I don't know if you do what you know.:)So forgiveness if you already do.

    • Michael Davis says:

      Hey, where were you a few months ago when I wrote this? Thank you SO much for the advise. I'm in a much better place now: to be precise. (shameless plug!!! Also shameless dig at comicmix! I still love comicmix but why not dig when you can?) and I'm feeling better to!

      • Ismail W says:

        GREAT!!!:) Glad you feeling better, and glad the info was useful.:) And thanks for the link.:)Took me a while to register on the site (comicmix), read too fast on how to post a comment. :P