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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Fri March 9th, 2018, 11:12 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 13th, 2011, 22:41 GMT
Posts: 81
Location: Hessle, England
It’s interesting reading peoples opinions on this having suffered with depression all of my adult life.
I have found that some songs do help with it but it never truly leaves me.
I remember a quote about Hank Williams “I’m so lonesome I could cry” that someone said “everybody loves to feel sorry for themselves” which is an interesting way of seeing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Sun March 11th, 2018, 21:23 GMT 

Joined: Sun July 6th, 2014, 19:57 GMT
Posts: 473
I think songs like Desolation Row and Dark Eyes reflect mild undiagnosed/“uncompensated” autism and/or personality disorder. I think a lot of the time depression and depressive themes are symptoms of someone who is genuinely a little different.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Fri March 16th, 2018, 13:40 GMT 
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Joined: Tue January 29th, 2013, 15:16 GMT
Posts: 686
Location: got a house in baltimore
I was actually pleased to see this topic show up. I am diagnosed with severe chronic major depression with anxiety, and am actually going through a mild to moderate depressive episode right now. Part of what took me from casual fan of Bob's music for my entire life to really huge (dare I say obsessive) fan, was that listening to Time Out of Mind over and over every day, helped me through an incredibly severe depressive episode, for which I was hospitalized (both inpatient and outpatient). I would listen to Time Out of Mind every day on my way to and from my outpatient day hospital visits. "Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain" - not only did that line speak to me, but I have a necklace with that quote on it. "There's too many people, too many to recall / I thought some of 'em were friends of mine / I was wrong about 'em all' - I was living that line too, at that time. "When you think you've lost everything..." etc. Later, Tempest brought me out of another depressive episode. Now, when I start to feel myself taking that first step down, I'm able to recognize it, and I can put on a bootleg and listen to it, and that usually shakes me out of that initial downward spin, back to feeling even-keeled again.

I don't think it's so much that his music is "about" depression. For me, there's a quality to his music and to his voice, that feels like "home" to me and that lifts my spirits, regardless of whether the song itself is a "sad" song or an "angry" song or a "happy" song.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Fri March 16th, 2018, 16:00 GMT 
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Joined: Thu March 31st, 2016, 17:53 GMT
Posts: 176
Location: SF, CA
faerie queen wrote:
Part of what took me from casual fan of Bob's music for my entire life to really huge (dare I say obsessive) fan, was that listening to Time Out of Mind over and over every day, helped me through an incredibly severe depressive episode, for which I was hospitalized (both inpatient and outpatient). I would listen to Time Out of Mind every day on my way to and from my outpatient day hospital visits...


I actually had a very similar experience with Time Out of Mind. I was going through severe depression after a relationship had ended, to the point I could barely function. I had just bought Time Out of Mind, it was winter in Chicago, freezing cold and pitch black at 7pm and I listened to Love Sick for the first time on the bus ride home. I'm not sure if it made me feel any "better," but it allowed me to get out of myself for just a few minutes, I just loved everything about the music, lyrics, and mood.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Fri March 16th, 2018, 22:38 GMT 
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Joined: Mon March 16th, 2009, 10:46 GMT
Posts: 1065
faerie queen wrote:
Now, when I start to feel myself taking that first step down, I'm able to recognize it, and I can put on a bootleg and listen to it, and that usually shakes me out of that initial downward spin, back to feeling even-keeled again.

I don't think it's so much that his music is "about" depression. For me, there's a quality to his music and to his voice, that feels like "home" to me and that lifts my spirits, regardless of whether the song itself is a "sad" song or an "angry" song or a "happy" song.

A friend of mine, who tends towards melancholy, remarked some years back
that he found Dylan's voice to be healing. I don't disagree. I think it's true
even beyond what Dylan himself either knows, intends or understands. A gift
is a gift.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2018, 01:54 GMT 

Joined: Wed March 28th, 2018, 01:23 GMT
Posts: 4
I had a short lived religious based psychotic episode with mania. I have yet to be diagnosed with a chronic mental illness but it is highly likely I am bipolar. This episode occurred at the same time that I had a growing fascination with Bob Dylan, and unfortunately his music got heavily tied up in it.

I was on holiday with my ex-girlfriend. We had just split up after four years of living together and it had hit me really hard. We’d already paid for the holiday and both of us were too stubborn not to go. This was a horrendous decision and as respite from the insufferable time I was having I spent almost the entire time reading about and listening to Bob Dylan. It was the only thing that gave me any pleasure and took my mind off things.

A week into the holiday we had probably the worst argument we ever had and I was filled with rage and bitterness. I knew it was supposed to be excellent so I had been saving Modern Times as one of the last albums I was to listen to whilst I worked through his whole discography; I chose after that argument as the right time. It had a profound emotional impact on me straight away, especially Beyond the Horizon. At that moment I wanted nothing more than to believe those lyrics.

After twenty years of atheism that night I asked for a sign from God; and I believed I received one. I interpreted something in the hotel room as the presence of sheer evil trying to swallow my soul and it terrified me to the core - to be precise, it was the design of a leafless tree on the hotel room wallpaper, and I related it to A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall (“I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’). I lay on the bed a shivering wreck, and then suddenly the words “God exists” rushed through my mind and got louder and louder until I felt what was like electricity coursing through my veins. I believed I had seen Satan and it was a warning. I believed that I was touched by God when choosing the right path, and I went calmly to sleep feeling safe and secure.

I woke up the next morning feeling like a new man. At first I thought I had discovered some carefully ingrained philosophy in all Dylan’s music post-motorcycle accident. I started to believe that Dylan himself is a “messenger of God”. I spent three sleepless days and nights deliberating on a speech about it that I believed to be of the utmost importance to the world. It was exhausting but exhilarating and fascinating, I kept piecing more and more lyrics together to make sense of it whilst working on my own speech that I believed was a higher calling from God. In the meantime I also started songwriting myself. I hurriedly wrote songs that to me looked brilliant and ingenious, it felt like these songs were being sent by a higher power. I felt that I knew what it meant to be like Dylan, that possibly I was chosen to continue what had been started with his music.

Sadly, things took a much more sinister turn. I thought I had discovered a prophesy in his lyrics that my ex-girlfriend was going to commit suicide and that it would be my fault. The black branch I saw had no blood and this had puzzled me for days - it then occurred to me the blood on it was going to be hers. This delusion was not without precedent - in arguments people often say stupid things, “and you’re driving me to suicide” was one of her go-to insults. I booked the next flight home and warned her about it. I kept piecing together more and more lyrics. I believed she was the Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. I felt I couldn’t look into her eyes as when I did so I was somehow feeding off her soul (“Stare into the vacuum of his eyes”).

It was when I tried to warn her of all this that she got an on call doctor to sedate me for the flight. So as to avoid being put in a foreign hospital we just lied that I was having serious anxiety. I was shot up with enough tranquilliser to knock out an elephant, but it didn’t set me to sleep. I was still piecing together more and more lyrics to support this prophesy, wondering what on earth I could do to avoid it. I considered taking my own life as a possible course of action.

Then, just as I was getting more and more terrified and frustrated, the song It’s All Over Now Baby Blue came into my head and there and made perfect sense of the situation. I burst out laughing and crying at the same time, both relieved and feeling like a complete moron. That song made me accept I had gone clean off my head and I needed help. I had pieced together all these coincidences, I was extremely vulnerable, I had been thinking of a “life on the highway”, I had even minutes before interpreted what I believed was a saint in the sunlight on the wall of the hotel room. That this song made such perfect sense of the situation in itself was something of a coincidence, but I still to this day see it as a song for talking sense into those at crisis point and I am extremely grateful for it. Regardless of whether it saved my life or not it certainly stopped me from having to be sectioned when I returned home - I saw a psychiatrist immediately but my own understanding of the situation allowed me to be treated as an outpatient on a low dose of medication.

I recovered pretty quickly afterwards. For a while I avoided listening to any Bob Dylan works I found sinister or at all prophetic, but I am emotionally strong enough now that I can do it again and enjoy the songs for what they are. Now and then I hear lyrics that could be interpreted as supporting the philosophy and prophesies I felt I had uncovered, especially the fixation on eyes in albums like Empire Burlesque, but I try not to overthink it. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I am an atheist still, but I am not religious. I acknowledge there may be a God after all this but it’s not something I can live my life by, otherwise with my type of nature I would spend all my time interpreting circumstances around me and looking for signs in things.

I still think that his his music has been more of a force for good in my life than bad though despite all this, and at dark times albums some of his albums make me feel loved and validated as a person. I have also thanks to Bob discovered a talent for writing that I never had the confidence to act on before. I just need to be extremely careful to avoid anything like this happening again and to see the warning signs if were to ever occur again.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2018, 10:30 GMT 
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Joined: Thu September 17th, 2015, 01:28 GMT
Posts: 706
^

Thank you so much for sharing such a lengthy and intensely personal story with us all. That's quite an ordeal you went through and I'm so glad you're feeling better and back on track.

Welcome to ER and I hope to see you around!


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2018, 13:39 GMT 

Joined: Wed March 28th, 2018, 01:23 GMT
Posts: 4
mystic garden wrote:
^

Thank you so much for sharing such a lengthy and intensely personal story with us all. That's quite an ordeal you went through and I'm so glad you're feeling better and back on track.

Welcome to ER and I hope to see you around!


Thank you. In the immediate aftermath I was under the mistaken belief this might have happened to a lot of other people, what I thought I had uncovered just seemed so obvious and irrefutable to me, but then on looking into it I found no such evidence. It’s hard to believe how a normally rational person can lose all sense of reason so quickly, for better or worse I certainly have a much deeper understanding of paranoia and mental illness now.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2018, 17:54 GMT 
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Joined: Wed December 16th, 2009, 12:57 GMT
Posts: 1087
Wow, amazing post. Welcome, maniac


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2018, 20:38 GMT 

Joined: Wed March 28th, 2018, 01:23 GMT
Posts: 4
wormington wrote:
Wow, amazing post. Welcome, maniac


Thanks very much. It’s something I have wanted to get off my chest for a while but really wasn’t sure how other fans would respond to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Fri March 30th, 2018, 13:35 GMT 

Joined: Wed March 22nd, 2017, 15:55 GMT
Posts: 408
Welcome aboard Maniac! Mental illness will take you to some really dark and scary places. It's also kind of a blessing in some strange ways.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Sat March 31st, 2018, 22:25 GMT 

Joined: Sat October 18th, 2014, 16:28 GMT
Posts: 15
Maniac, that was beautiful!

You are nowhere near alone. To be honest, its has been Dylan that has opened me up to religion in a healthy/constructive way that I hadn't been before (despite growing up Catholic with very reasonable parents). His words ring with the certainty and alarm of the bible and his themes hit home to anyone willing to question them.

I had a horrible break-up that i didn't deal with in the healthiest manner as well and also so has Bob (all accounts of his break with suze indicate a complete lapse in rationality). I'm so happy you're feeling better. Theres nothing worse than the loss of a loved one or the love of a loved one.

Can't wait to see here from now on. someone as honest and passionate as you always lightens the corridors of any discussion. God freakin' bless.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Depression
PostPosted: Sat March 31st, 2018, 22:55 GMT 

Joined: Wed March 28th, 2018, 01:23 GMT
Posts: 4
restless fever wrote:
Welcome aboard Maniac! Mental illness will take you to some really dark and scary places. It's also kind of a blessing in some strange ways.


Definitely. I’ve kept up the songwriting since the manic episode and it’s something I enjoy a lot and think I have a talent for. Also, the dark stuff gives an excellent muse if I tap into it now and then. Unfortunately can rarely write a complete song in ten minutes or so like I could when I was manic, creativity doesn’t come so easily when you can’t ignore your internal critic!

BuhByeAngelina wrote:
Can’t wait to see here from now on. someone as honest and passionate as you always lightens the corridors of any discussion. God freakin’ bless.


Thanks very much, you are very kind. I am glad that Bob opened you up to religion in a constructive way. I have never been against religion and squirm at the deeply arrogant Dawkins style approach to atheism, but I am not sure if I could live my life as part of an organised and structured religion. That said, I would say this has all opened my mind up to it at least and perhaps I might one day change my mind on this. Would have to be a very liberal one though, I have always been a lefty! ;)

I hope you don’t all feel terribly deceived but you won’t see me posting outside this thread under this alias as I am an active member already. I am sure you can understand why I didn’t want this linked to my usual account when it could potentially be traced back to me in my personal life. Rest assured though you probably have all seen me posting already. If you have a suspicion who I am I would prefer that you keep shtum please.


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