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Some Excellent Ways To Deal With Depression

Charleston, Meeting Street, College of Charleston Gymnasium
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<i>Image by <a rel=hdes.copeland
Charleston, Meeting Street, near its intersection with George Street. The rear of the old College of Charleston Gymnasium, c.1939 meets the new College of Charleston Arena, c.2008. Photo taken in early December, 2008.

The old gym, now known as the Silcox Gymnasium, was designed by Albert Simons as one of several large projects funded by the WPA. The goal of this make-work federal project was designed to put the unemployed construction workers of the region to work and to give the city’s public college its first indoor athletic facility.

The gym was built to replace the recently demolished Radcliffe-King mansion, c.1799, allowing the new gym to incorporate the perimeter fence and walls of the massive urban estate. Architecturally significant interior finishes were salvaged when the Radcliffe-King Mansion was pulled down. Much of this important historic fabric was later incorporated into the interior of another WPA project also designed by Albert Simons. The interiors of the public rooms of the Dock Street Theatre were once part of the drawing rooms this great house. It is this open and egalitarian access to what anywhere else would be a closed elitist enclave that makes Charleston unique. Where else would a palace designed to show off the wealth of a private individual so seamlessly be transformed into a public high school? Charleston’s high style has always been supported by its elite classes while almost limitless access has been guaranteed to everyone else.

The large Adam style residence built for one of the city’s wealthiest planters, Thomas Radcliffe. It joined others along a stretch of upper Meeting Street that for the years between the late 1700’s and 1865 could have been called Charleston’s Golden Mile. The city’s most prominent families and cultural benefactors were represented within a few blocks of this house.

The Radcliffe estate, for most of the first half of the 19th century, became the home of a prominent member of the bar and a leading South Carolina jurist, Judge Mitchell King. Judge King’s son studied medicine in Germany where he was a university student at the time of the student riots and the failed democratic uprisings of 1848. He developed a close friendship with classmates who were leaders in the reform movement and subsequent revolts. Among his personal friends was the young Otto Von Bismarck with whom he maintained correspondence for many decades, as the political fortunes of one rose to great heights and the other fell.

After the American Civil War, with the family fortunes in disarray, Dr. King moved to Asheville where he practiced his profession in the foothills of Appalachia. He leased and later sold his family’s famous palatial home to the city to house its overcrowded boy’s high school. At nearly 50 years old in the 1880’s, the High School was already the 3rd oldest institution of its kind in the US. With public schools on the rise throughout the country, especially in the urban South after the Civil War, the old 12 room Greek revival high school on Society Street was too small. Competition for admission to the city’s only boy’s public high school had taken off after the region’s economic and political collapse in 1865. The economy and many of its buildings were in ruins, but its institutions were intact. It was that fact that allowed sons of the first and second generation immigrants and the city’s new middle class to rapidly fill the void left by the casualties of the recently ended war.

For nearly fifty years the Radcliffe-King Mansion served as a well suited home for the classical education offered by the High School of Charleston. When the city’s YMCA, one of the nation’s oldest, chose to expand its facilities, it logically chose a site just west of the city’s growing high school, then a block and a half east of the College of Charleston. With its indoor basketball court, a move supported by the father of basketball himself, the Charleston "Y" set the pattern for joint use of public facilities in the area as its mansions became homes to large public institutions. The King family’s legacy was just one of many to follow.

James Gibbes home across Meeting Street from the King Mansion was given to the Carolina Art Association first to be its public art gallery and later to be sold for funds that built the Gibbes Museum we now know. The Pinckney-Middleton Mansion just east of that became the city’s water works within another grand Adam style palace while its backyard became the city’s Olympic sized public swimming pool. Again these public facilities were all used for organized programs designed for nearby high school and college students.

It wasn’t until the 1930’s that this Cinergy of public uses of so many grand private homes began to give way to urban decay. Gabriel Manigault’s home was demolished to become a gas station. The Gibbes house was torn down to become a parking lot. The YWCA, across from the YMCA, demolished their house to become more "like" the YMCA. The High School of Charleston had already moved to modern and larger quarters on Rutledge Avenue leaving the huge Radcliffe-King Mansion empty for almost a decade before it finally joined the fate of other great houses torn down and sold for their parts.

When the end finally came for the last great house at this intersection, the architect for the WPA project had an eye for the details. Most went to the Dock Street Theatre project. The grand entry door went to a private home on Murray Blvd. A few flourishes went to adorn the otherwise plain entry hall outside the auditorium of the new High School on Rutledge Avenue. Everything else went the way of old brick and memory.

In its place, the classically trained architect, Albert Simons, oversaw the design and construction of a very handsome yet functional college gymnasium that any urban university in the Northeast would have been glad to have when it was built. Without the support of the Federal WPA program of FDR’s New Deal, the College of Charleston and its steward, the City of Charleston, never would have afforded such a multi-use facility that would have been a basic necessity for a municipal college anywhere else. To Charlestonians, such a gym in the 1930’s was a luxury beyond their dreams. The Great Depression had sent reeling backwards whatever recovery the city had seen following the Civil War which ended with the surrender in 1865 and the Earthquake which had followed that in 1886.

The new gym as the old gym was once called, respected the city’s classical form and to a degree followed the general lines of the Radcliffe-King Mansion which it replaced. It certainly respected the perimeter walls and ironwork long associated with these private palaces that lined the city’s streets in the upper wards near the College of Charleston which itself was walled and gated.

The new gym as presented follows none of these stylistic rules. An irony was presented when at the proposed design’s initial presentation to the city’s Board of Architectural Review, a team of modern architects referred to the height, scale and mass of several buildings in the area which the new design would follow and respect. All were buildings constructed since 1990 and at no time did the developers of the new barrel roofed area attempt to make reference to either the classical design used in the old gym which the new area would join, nor was there any reference to the massive buildings that once surrounded this site, such as the Pinckney-Middleton Mansion, which still stands, or any of the structures that were torn down, some as recently as the five story Beaus Arts style YMCA building which was lost in the early 1980’s.

A Board of Architectural Review with no knowledge of reference points is just as dangerous and useless as a preservation movement with no memory. Without having direct experience of what makes a successful city work, it is almost impossible to reconstruct the mechanics of good urban design that came so naturally to a previous generation. How else could a city with an international reputation for its wealth and elitist tastes built on a slave and cash crop agrarian plantation economy also support social reform through a series of civic firsts?

Against this exotic post card view of a nostalgic past Gone with the Wind, the record shows the same Charleston encouraged public education at all levels starting in the 1830’s. A girls high and normal school showed its support for the higher education of women leading to professions. In the midst of this old order it supported a YMCA in the 1850’s, a system of public transportation, a public teaching hospital, an orphanage with no peer in the western hemisphere and its business community allowed, if not encouraged, organized labor…among free black teamsters, no less. Far from the predictable balance and classical harmony of its architectural style, historically the city’s institutions managed to reflect a full spectrum of ethnic and social diversity with equal access to the common style of the city.

Today, our city is doing the reverse. Its architecture is no longer is balanced, predictable or harmonious. As a result, access is denied to many of its residents. The institutions are no longer identified by the buildings or as anchors of the city’s neighborhoods. The public institutions are as temporary as its architecture. It is becoming like anywhere else in a throwaway culture. How sad, since this is happening just as everywhere else is beginning to gravitate toward where Charleston once was.

Photo and text posted: 6 December 2008
Revised: 29 March 2011
Copyrights reserved: hdescopeland

You should always have some knowledge of what you need to look for and what you can do to deal with depression. You need to have the right resources and the information on who could provide you the answers you need in order to improve your way of living. The tips mentioned here can get you headed in the right direction.

If depression interferes with your day-to-day life, get yourself to a doctor. Your physician can possibly hook you up with a counselor and is also able to prescribe antidepressant medication, either of which makes your life much easier to bear.

You can lift yourself out of depression through acceptance. You must know that a specific object, person or income level is not going to make your unhappiness disappear. Learning to accept your depression will put you on the right path towards healing and emotional well-being.

Change what is needed in your life, this can help you break free from your depression. Many people who have depression feel as though they are trapped in one place. Work to break your old patterns one by one, and you’ll see significant results.

One way to help with depression is to do your best to remain positive about everything no matter what the circumstance. This is crucial due to the fact that you need to remain positive, so that you can work around the task at hand.

If you have depression, try to avoid sodas and other items that are sweetened artificially. Artificial sweeteners can reduce your serotonin levels, make it difficult to sleep, and giving you headaches. Because of the fact that these are already symptoms of depression, it can be harmful. Avoid consuming these products.

When struggling with depression, remember to change the mantras that you continually repeat to yourself. Don’t let negativity flow through your thoughts; instead turn those negative ideas into positive ones. Repetition of these types of messages can do wonders for improving your outlook on life.

If a certain situation in life is causing you to feel down, depression may not be the cause. If you are in doubt, consult a professional to get a firm diagnosis.

Whether you suffer from routine sadness or clinical depression, you should keep in touch with a professional. Only a doctor can give you the right diagnosis and prescribe a medication if you need it. It is important that they describe to you symptoms of your particular type of depression.

Do not let yourself get lost in a cloud of depression symptoms. Furthermore, letting your mind race repeatedly through negative thoughts can worsen depression. Keep your chin high, and encourage those closest to you to do the same.

If possible, decorate your home in an upbeat style that makes you happy. Bright surroundings cause you to feel brighter as well.

Spend a little bit of time trying to understand and analyze your depression. Depression can manifest itself in both physical and psychological ways. The brain will have a decrease in serotonin when a person has been anxious or stressed out for a while. The reduction in serotonin levels then becomes a physical cause for further depression. A doctor may prescribe antidepressants as part of your treatment plan; many of these medications work by stimulating your brain to produce more serotonin. Boosting your serotonin levels in a natural way can be accomplished by many different methods. Taking care of your physical needs is the best thing you can do to cure depression. Make sure you eat enough and eat healthy and balanced meals. In addition, you should exercise daily and engage in productive activity throughout the day so that you’re tired at night and can go to bed at a reasonable hour. Limit your use of caffeine, which is a stimulant, so that you sleep enough. Finally, if you’re depressed you probably should avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, so you need to be careful of it if you’re already feeling sluggish or depressed.

Recovery

Many times when people are depressed, they want to lay in bed and withdraw from everyone and everything they once enjoyed. This is quite the opposite of the action you should be taking. While recovering, you need positive people around you, and you need to do things that you love.

As you have seen in the above tips, there is a lot of knowledge you can acquire before seeking treatment for your depression and it’s this knowledge, along with assistance from a doctor, that can help improve your symptoms. Do everything you must to find a treatment that works for you.

Category: Anxiety Help
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