Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Scene 1: Over contemplation

To me depression has several guises but the one that stays in my mind the most is a scene of void. When I am alone, when it's cold and the emotions are to deep I feel it tug inexorably at me. Since a time in college when my world fell apart and I was penniless, literally, and forced to share a room with an unstable room mate that was gradually succumbing to his own demons I have felt alone in my heart. It's was a hardening of persona and adding labels seemed to make it worse. I tried playing it straight to fit in and avoid another label. It feels painful to be labeled, put in a box and looked at, judged for the words that describe me.
I lack adequate words to explain how living the lie compounded the self hatred until it broke me open and I had to come clean, and live with the labels openly.
After facing that, the depression got worse for a time as I readjusted, having friends that playfully teased me helped, it drew me out of my shadow and I became confident for the first time in a long time. But the scars remain. Not long after I came out I started dating a nice guy, he wasn't quite my type but it was nice to be adored. But even than I distinctly remember thinking, "he's a fool to love someone as fucked up as me." Of all ironies someone had told me that about themselves long before all of this and i remember how hurt that made me.

Has the depression gone away? No not really I have better ways of dealing with it but it's still there and is something I've had to learn to compensate for and combat.
Can you combat depression? I like to think so, it depends a lot on the type of the depression. Some of the more foundational depressions are emotional, situational, chemical, and I would argue cultural.

Chemical depression caused by genetics, diet, or drugs is hard to combat. Drugs can stabilize but only until your body and mind compensate for them. My advice to these sufferers is accept the likely irrationality of your actions driven by your out of control emotions, correct diet and work to use meds responsibly There is only so much medicine can do for you and you are likely to locked in a spiral of stronger and stronger drugs. Try and train your brain to accept lower levels of happiness as normal. Your brain is misgauged and your best long term goal is to retrain it.
Situational depression could be caused by deaths, job losses, a failed relationship normal events that are sad and bring you down. A story about an old german psychiatrist in WW2 has been the best wisdom I've ever heard concerning this state. A soldier came in suffering from shell shock and depression. The rest of his squad had been killed recently and he refused to get up and fight. He tried to explain this to the doctor but the old man would have none of it. "Oh course you feel sad and depressed! everyone died, you survived. There is no rhyme or reason to it. So What?
Everyone feels horrible, your suppose to after something like that. It is just an emotion, not a wall, not a heavy block, just a feeling in your head. Now get up and go feel depressed on the battle field."
Say what you want but to me the Doctor made sense.
Emotional depression comes from inside you, it could be complete lack of faith in self, the death of your inner dreams. The inability to feel connected or whole. Ennui. The opposite of this form is purpose, goals, someone or something to live for, not easy things at all. Something i struggle with daily. I want to live for my dreams but I barely understand them some days.

Most typically I suffer from emotional depression, cutting out sugar and caffeine brought most of my chemical depression under control, but i still use alcohol and weed as a crutch. I can suffer from seasonal depression fairly badly at the start of winter but staying active dulls that the best. My work can cause me situational depression but for now that is the easiest to deal with. I just try hard to leave work at work and live a separate life, it seems to have worked and I'm glad to say that for me this is under control.
So for now emotional depression still haunts me and I have not escaped the tug of the void.

Okay that was fairly long but I've been meaning to say something like this for several weeks. Has anyone else worked to pinpoint their depression and have tips for dealing with it? Dagon I know you've talked about meds, any tips on how not to over do it?

Okay I'm going to bed now, I may edit this after reading it in the light

No comments: