April update: Going up in the world

I’ve just sent this email as the latest update in my 2500 Clue Challenge! If you would like to be on the mailing list for this and other updates, then please send me an email at 2500cluechallenge@danielpeake.com . I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Welcome to May, the sun is shining (but not for much longer) and as hoped it is much warmer than when I issued my last update! I’m now a third of the way through the challenge and out of 2451 clues, I have solved 829 of them. That’s 33.82% and TWO clues ahead of schedule. This challenge has the potential for going down to the wire!

There was a smattering of excellent clues this month, but I eventually decided on this for CLUE OF THE MONTH: Woman’s rear clad in lingerie (6). Answer at the end of this email.

In March really bad depression decided to pay me an unwelcome visit. I’ve since been to see the doctor and upped the medication. This, and the fact that it’s warmer and sunnier, has definitely helped me cope and whilst I can’t say I’m completely happy, I’m certainly in a better place than I was a month ago.

There’s quite a stigma about taking “medication” for “mental illnesses”, but really it is no different to putting a plaster cast around a broken leg. Depression causes a real physical change in brain chemistry, although both the causes and effects are still unclear at the moment. Whilst other effects occur, quantities of a neurotransmitter called serotonin are usually much lower in people with depression than the rest of the populus. Reduced levels of serotonin then mean the brain can’t communicate with itself properly and it has trantrum worthy of myself as a 2 year old. Or a 27 year old actually, coming to think about it.

A range of medications called “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors” then stop the brain from creating too much of a chemical that breaks down the serotonin, eventually increasing the concentration of serotonin in the brain and helping to ease the depression (although as I’ve said before it’s a poorly understood process).

You wouldn’t try to walk unaided with a broken leg, a plaster cast is there to help it heal and support and protect the leg in the mean time. Taking pills such as SSRI’s do the same thing – they help give the brain the extra bit of help and support so that it too can heal, it’s nothing to be ashamed about. I’m taking SSRI’s at the moment, I have been since 2007, and will be for at least the next six months I reckon. It’s not something I’m embarrassed about.

The answer to the clue of the month is: BRENDA (END inside BRA). A clue that conjured a wonderful image.

I’ll speak to you all at the end of May or when I hit my 1000th clue – which should hopefully happen sometime in May!