Thursday, May 15, 2008

What Depression Is.

I found some writing from way back when. Thought I would share. Because, well, why not.

My brain is turning on so many things – not all of them pleasant, mind you – but it is so much better than it turning on nothing, or even worse, it turning on turning on nothing.

I suppose the best way of explaining both a manic and/or depressive episode is by comparing it to a swirling pen. A pen to paper that just draws circles and shapes and continues to do so until the scribbles overlap and blend into a blotchy mess of deeply sunken ink as unidentifiable (or un-understandable) as a black hole with its immense gravity just sucking in brain matter from every which way.

On some occasions, you find yourself going over one single topic so many, many times in your head that whatever portion of your brain is responsible for rational thinking just fades away in the distance. At these times, you might finally conclude that you’ve got it figured out, or you might console (or berate) yourself with the full-fledged belief in the idea that you have covered the topic from every possible angle. Then tomorrow perhaps you pick up where you left off, and continue to think incessantly about that single topic some more.

And this, of course, is only the case if you are lucky enough to get to sleep or take a short break from the obsessive thought in the first place. Sometimes you really just can’t, and you stay on that same channel of loud, drowning and obnoxious static noise for what seems longer than a lifetime.

Sometimes it follows you into your dreams, and even in sleep you remain as possessed as when you were awake. Now this is when it’s really hell.

At its worst, this is what depression feels like. Actually, scratch that.

This is what depression is.

And wait: we haven’t even gotten to the kicker yet. The real kicker – what makes this mental state so detrimental and potentially dangerous to your very being – is that during all that time you spent churning over this idea, you were going over it in the exact same way. Like a robot. A single thought was played over and over in your head like a broken record.

You know that conclusion you thought you came up with? You were wrong. Your verdict, your surety was not based on any real contemplation at all. Because you already “knew” or rather decided on the answer before you even started. Nothing would have changed your mind. Because frankly speaking, you had only looked at the problem from one single, measly, obsessively and fundamentally limited angle.

It is a sick trick that our brains play upon us. It fools us. And we believe what it is telling us with all our might. We become so involved and possessed by these thoughts that are so undeniably biased towards negativity. We could not possibly be pulled away from that force. At no point could we step back, when we desperately needed to, to see that which in normal circumstances should and could be plainly understood; your brain has been digging itself rigorously into a hole getting deeper by the second. Repetition, repetition, repetition.

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