Saturday, March 25, 2017

My Thoughts on D/s and Depression

Apparently in the past week I seem to be bothered by more and more of what I read.  I can't tell if it's me being overly sensitive or frustration with people making generalized statements that only apply to a portion of the population but in a way that presents it as if it is the only way.

The other day I read a post about "do not use BDSM to treat depression."  To be honest, I mostly skimmed it (I did not want to get overly invested and frustrated after reading the first few paragraphs) but what I gathered was that it was a cry out against submissives using post-play endorphin rushes to combat depression.  In this case it is seen somewhat as a drug of abuse vs. attempting to deal with what is going on inside of them.

While there is a demographic out there that I feel this is applicable to.  People that go have sex with a stranger when they are feeling down.  People that binge eat when they are feeling down.  People that get high when they are feeling down.  For those people, yeah, I will agree that running out and having a play scene probably isn't a great means of coping, just as the other choices I listed above aren't great methods of coping either.

That being said, I disagree with the force of their statement as it tends to lump all types of depression together as well as what people choose to do about it.  I've honestly never met a bipolar person and had them recognize that they are in a downswing and rationally sought out a play session to get good feelings.  If I could reword the overall message it would be: "Do not exploit BDSM as a drug of abuse."  I believe that statement applies in a general sense.

I know why reading this was enough to set off my red flags.  It is because when I talk about my own depression, at some point I will be forced to defend myself against someone's judgement who has taken this stance in too literal a fashion... and is unwilling to delve deeper.

I have a great deal of difficulty separating "the effects of emotional damage" from "depression."  As one of the 15 therapists put it, I have many reasons to feel sad and my depression magnifies the sadness.  I tend to equate the ghosts of the past haunting me with depression.  While it may be a chemical imbalance that triggers it, there are reasons behind the sadness.

I don't just feel bad.  I feel bad for specific reasons.  Life has torn holes in my heart that have never fully healed.  I have worked my ass off to overcome them.  I have tried burying them, medicating them away, drowning them in drugs and booze.  I have changed myself, the way that I live, how I go about things, and so on.  Eventually I reached a plateau that I have not been able to surpass.  This is my limit (so far).  I am imperfect.  I am flawed.

The holes in my heart resonate with feelings about me.  I will be abandoned.  I am worthless and undeserving of love.

As much as I battle this with my brain, it feels like scribbling with chalk over words that have been carved in stone.  They will seem clear for a while, but time and climate eventually wash it away, leaving only what lies beneath.

Over time I have learned to channel this pain into love.  Rather than merely accept the words, I fight against them, constantly proving myself and making them untrue.  Each "victory" is only temporary, if I stop fighting for an instant, only what is carved in stone remains.  I fight and I fight and I fight.  I will earn her love and loyalty.  I will earn my sense of worth. This is my ongoing battle that I fight with every ounce of strength that I possess.

D/s is my sanctuary because it carves new tablets for me to focus on.  Her happiness is what matters.  her will is what matters.  These newly carved words bury the old and silence their ache.

When my depression kicks up, the demons are barely an annoyance.  I don't care what they have to say because she is all that matters.  D/s is my anti-depressant.  It is my source of meaning.  It is what saves my soul.

I have to wonder what the people that truly know me would think on this subject.  Would they tell me not to use BDSM to combat depression?  Or would they tell me that I've managed to make something beautiful rise from pain and suffering?

I like to believe the latter, but if I'm wrong, I hope they will let me know.


  1. Hi Fur,

    I am not at a very good point myself right now either. I am feeling pretty down myself lately. Hope I find the right words:

    First of all: you dont need to defend yourself and/or your depression. I am on your side.

    I just wanna share a few thoughts. And these thoughts say probably more about myself than about you.

    Your posts recently trigger some difficult stuff in me. I know, I know, we dont know each other in real life, have never met, so your posts are not adressed to me personally :-)

    From my perspective it feels like the job is too difficult for the dominant woman. I tend to be one of these persons who give and give and give in order to get love and to be "seen". And in my relationships I had often situations where the submissive man was depressed and looked for me for directions. I always jumped into it. He was completely focused on me. I enjoy being the helper, the rescuer, but there often comes a point when I realize: I dont get enough back. There is no reciprocity between what I give and what I receive back. And I hate these moments. I feel like a fool, I feel needy and unloved.

    The power you give the woman (or dream of giving the woman) scares me. It is impossible for any human being to save another person. I know what I am talking about, I have tried that sooooo many times....And from my point of view, the ideal that you are describing sets the woman up for failure. I mean, what are the chances of her getting through to you that you actually ARE loved and valued?

    Not sure if my words make much sense.



    1. Thank you, Tina.

      I'm sorry that you aren't feeling well. Hugs.

      You brought up some very valid points on things that I did not address. I may elaborate upon them in a future post, but I will touch on them now.

      When I am with a woman, her presence and care for me fill me up. it silences the demons completely. They are proven wrong because I am with her. Over the past 15 years the only times they have returned are when: K died. F cut off contact for more than two weeks. When T loses control of her emotions and makes me feel like I am hated/despised/loathed/terrible.

      I appreciate what is there when it is there and it meshes fairly easily to comfort my emotional damage. However, the effects do not last if she leaves my life. So basically... she succeeds when we are together.

      As for the difficulty aspects, I believe how difficult it is depends heavily upon the severity of depression, frequency of how often it pops up, how well the man can communicate what is going on, and how hard he fights it when it is there.

      I don't let my depression take me down easily. I fight like hell with it, exchanging blows, all the while communicating to her that I'm struggling and could use a little bit of help. I don't ask for help lightly, nor do I want to be dependent on it. I don't want to be weak. I don't want to lose. If I know that she is supporting me, it gives me even more strength to fight it with. I can sense when my emotions are "real" and when they are "out of proportion," and I temper myself to react to them accordingly. In reality, my depression becomes a factor for roughly 6 weeks a year. It only surfaces more than that if I stop feeling the love.

      The other aspect is that when the love is flowing, I spend every moment of every day trying to make her feel like she is the most important thing on earth. I support her through her down time. I let her know how special she is to me and how much I love her. I will do whatever it takes to make her smile. I will make her laugh. I will make her feel warm inside. I will endure for her. I want to save/help/rescue her as well. Even my depression can't deny those desires. I'm not sure if this is enough reciprocity, but K, F, and T all told me at some point that I saved them.

      In addition to battling it I am able to spot internal differences that go on in my mind. There are certain parts of my brain's thought patterns that shift in the weeks leading up to a depression onset. I am very forthcoming with sharing that when it happens and give status updates as things go. If it pops up, an extra spanking once every few days or a few extra tasks each day are enough to keep it contained. I try my absolute hardest.

      I hope some of this makes sense. I know it doesn't help you in your experiences but your concerns are valid and they are things that I have thought about over the years.

      Take care. I hope you feel better soon.

    2. Tina - Do you feel that you are a naturally dominant woman? If not, I can easily see why you feel as though being in that role is just too hard. At least 90% of the responsibility for the success of a Femdom relationship lies in the hands of the female. There is just no getting around this. If one is naturally dominant, it's much, much easier to accept and deal with this responsibility. If you are not naturally dominant, it's virtually impossible to stand such "pressure" for long periods of time. I think it's important to examine one's self in light of this difference.

      How would you classify yourself? How would you classify your sub? If you are a natural dominant (and I think that you feel that you are), it will be very hard to take on all that responsibility with a sub who is not naturally submissive. You will not get the feedback you need and deserve for your efforts if you're dealing with a person without your commitment to the dynamic. That would inevitably lead to frustration and/or depression on your part. As you say "...there often comes a point when I realize I don't get enough back. There is no reciprocity between what I give and what I receive back." So it becomes very important that you also examine the nature of the submissive with whom you are dealing. Much of the problem may lie right there. Before you beat yourself up too much, take a close look at the basic nature of the person you're dealing with. It just might clarify things a bit. No one wants or needs to operate in a vacuum, and that certainly holds true for a Femdom.

      Be well!!

    3. Fur - I didn't mean to ignore you. I think I'm getting so used to your brutal self examination of late that I feel somewhat overwhelmed by the depth of the very personal information you're revealing, and I'm sort of waiting for the inevitable "breather" you'll eventually get to before I chime in with my thoughts. Tina is clearly troubled right now, and I thought I would say a few words to her, but I'm still following your struggles as well. You be well too!!

    4. Thank you, Lady Grey.

      Those are some very wise words of advice. Your perspective is able to give far more guidance than I could hope to give.

      No worries. My self-examination is part of my healing process. I lay it out there as raw as possible and try not to shy away from harsh judgments, both from myself and others. If I find myself having to "convince" others, in many cases it's me trying to convince myself. Thankfully I get enough feedback to let me know when my hopeful assessment is the right one.

      Take care. It is always great to hear from you.

    5. Lady Grey,

      thank you very much. That was very helpful advise. I will do exactly what you recommended.

    6. You're more than welcome, Tina. I hope that things get better soon, and I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here. I certainly don't have all the answers, but if we can all help each other in any way, well, I'm glad for the dialogue that seems to have been inspired by fur's baring of the soul. It just feels good to share with each other, and especially good that in a very real sense we all care about each other. There used to be a lot of that some years back when fur and I started blogging, and I've missed it lately. It's nice to feel that vibe once again!

    7. I miss that as well, Lady Grey.

      There was a "network of camaraderie" back then with a lot of cross-discussion of posts and comments and ongoing sets of replies. I believe that you and Tina are the only ones left from the old guard.

      Take care.

  2. Fur,
    You said some interesting things here and I have strong feelings on this. Some of those feelings are related to events that I am not ready to openly share with the world.

    I agree that a persons use of bdsm makes a huge impact on my view of it either being ok to use in battle against depression or it being wrong. If it is a dangerous self harming behavior such as casual sex with strangers or allowing a stranger to do potentially harmful things so you can say you arent doing those things to yourself falls in the not ok category.

    However, if a persons Domme is fully aware of the depression and the effects of providing an escape into a certain mindspace or a high from endorphin release, I would say it is a couple where the sub leans on his Domme, and she uses all the tools(including outsude help, doctors, diet, activity, and positive influence) in her power to care for him. Would any Domme not do EVERY thing she can possibly do to provide mental safety, stability and happiness?

    Dear Tina,
    I understand how hard it can be to be responsible for so many important things. I do think Lady Grey asked some good questions, as she often does. I just wanted to say that I consider myself more Domme but I am a Switch. I encourage all Dommes to remember that bdsm cannot be the only means of treatment. What I said may not apply to you.

    1. Thank you very much, Miss Lily.

      I have a full blog post in mind that will address much of this. Hopefully it will be live soon.