I look closely at my father, and I can see it. He is... heavy. I should have recognized it before. Depression. I know it, from both sides. I am his son, after all. Long slow breaths, pauses, a tendancy to look away, and that feeling, like your head is wrapped with gauze. The whole world filters through in slow motion. Dim, muffled, grey, worthless. Worthless. Without value. Lorri says he slept all day yesterday and most of the day today. I know that too. The only means of escape from that endless expanse of grey worthlessness. It is like hiding your face in your hands. You look away, not from the things themselves, but from the gauze which separates you and them. You close your eyes, your mind, to hide from that dank, rotting film that has chosen to parasitize you. Stinking grey vision and stale, useless air. You might be angry if it weren't all so worthless. If I could take the thinnest, most delicate knife, and slice the gauze from my father's face, I would. There is no such magic knife though, and I must sneak to inch the slightest bit of worth through this, like sneaking cigarettes into a prison. I cannot simply explode with stupid, blatant joy, some damn idiot love-crazed over this land of no worth. To act as such would be a disrespect for his feelings, for his suffering. Value must enter gradually. The slow blade penetrates the shield. I work gradually, summoning up all the memories of my own misery, to align myself with my father. We watch television, the stronghold of worthlessness if ever there was one. I comment, and periodically, a faint expression sneaks through onto my father's face. It is not joy, by any means, but it is something not-depression. I can offer him only this. Tiny cracks in the wall, but it is a begining, it is something.

Depression is something a bunch of us are going through, or will go through. There are varying degrees of depression, ranging from just a perpetual sadness to severe, debilitating clinical depression. I have also included information on bipolar disorder, or manic depression if you will, since it’s on the same branch of psychology. Whichever it is, you will probably benefit from eating up as much knowledge about it as you can.

Depression pushes you against surfaces, and adds heaviness either atom by atom or all at once until the strain of this motion dominates all else. It is one-pointed, claustrophobic, and circular. It doubts, denies, and questions everything that comes in contact with it.

I offer you all the nodes ever written about depression. Enjoy your meal.




Personal experiences with depression:

Other people’s opinions about depression:

The facts:

Medications and treatment:

Helpful information and advice:





Literature, and writers who suffer from depression:

Depressing Music:

Depressing Films and Directors

Philosophy and Philosophers:

Artistes:




Related information:

In economics, depression is a period of severe decline in a national or international economy, characterized by decreasing business activity, falling prices, and increasing unemployment. Sort of like a recession on steroids.

Contrast this with hyperinflation and stagflation.

The Great Depression was said to have started in the great stock market crash of 1929 (Black Thursday) but the seeds of it were planted during the heyday of monetary mismanagement in the 1920s. It lasted through much of the 1930s - the U.S. economy didn't really pick up until America mobilized for World War II.

Depression is, basically, as much as a disease of the mind, a problem of the soul. Out of all the metaphors and similes I've seen for depression, the most accurate would probably be a dark grey cloud, or fog. Depression dulls edges, shrouds the world, and isolates you from everything around you.

Other good descriptions: a weight around your neck, apathy of the soul, wanting to sleep and not wake up.

On a more advice-like note, depression is, for most people, not something to be dealt with alone. Depression is an illness. It can be diagnosed, treated, and cured. It can be fought. Be strong, and get well.

It's like drowning without the water ...

Every single day, every hour, you're pulled down to a depth you've never been to before, one you have no knowledge of: the only time you've been so totally screwed, so unable to move, or think, or breathe, was in your nightmares...

You want to just sleep and lie in your dark room forever, until you get it together enough to snap out of it or shuffle off the mortal coil, but "life" intrudes and you still have to do the stupid things that prove you're still "okay" to your family and friends...

You don't want to be like this (who would want to be so miserable, so pessimistic, so ready to die, or burst into tears, at any moment?) but you have no choice. Before you open your eyes you're feeling the weight of the life which has been assigned to you sitting on your sagging shoulders, and the last thing you feel at night is the memory of all you've done wrong and fucked up during the day.

It's all pointless; we're all going to die, and not one of us is going to make a real difference to the world which will exist thousands of years from now, so don't even try to change tomorrow's society.

When 'futility' is the word you believe in most there's nothing for you to look forward to.

Your whole life you're just wanting it all to be over and done with. You want to wake up and find that it's all been a dream.

At least if it was a dream, you could wake up. Yeah, you wish, you psycho.

This is a general account of how I feel when I'm depressed (I am now on an anti-depressant, Zoloft)- by no means is it designed to describe how everyone feels when they're down.

It is the great nothing. It has no pulse. It has no bounds. It has no single source. It is the destructor with no jugular.

While depressed one might catch a glimpse of the edge of this great nothing, but it will be dashing around a corner, mocking you. It will leave a trail of laughter echoes, like glass breaking in your heart (oh wait, that was your heart!) If you try to catch it you might pass your hand through it’s shadow. This will sting.

You never really get a chance to wring its’ neck because while it is there it plays tricks on you. It pretends to be the thing it knows you won’t look at. It hides in places you won’t have the energy to poke around in.

And when it is gone, you will be so fuckin’ relieved that you will want to think it was all an elaborate hoax. You won’t invite the thing to tea to ask about motives because then you would have to hang out with it some more. Instead you forget all about it.

Then, one day you fall asleep with the windows open and it creeps in, a funk in the periphery. You will just lie there in your bed, under the blankets with the lights off, while the sneaky little devil freaks out all your friends, swallows up your cash flow and erodes your faith in the future, AGAIN.

For a depressed person, a day isn't just a day. A day is 24 more hours of horrible suffering. Another day where you let everyone down, and feel even worse.

I see it as not just a mindset, not something you can "snap out of" (but those close to you may think you can, and subtly show how annoyed they are that you can't just fix it yourself). I think part of it, at least, truly is a disease of the mind.

In depression, things that should make you feel good, just don't. It's like eating food and not being able to taste it. (I've had sinus infections where I lost the sense of taste for weeks at a time). Anything that makes you feel bad is just magnified. Any mistake you make, anything you do wrong, lingers and echoes and reverberates in your mind.

It's like being in a pit that you cannot climb out of. And the worst part is this: no one understands. No one can, because (unless they are depressed themselves), they are functioning normally - they can take things in stride. A setback isn't a big deal to them, because they are resilient. They can't see what it's like to be depressed, when there's no such thing as resilience. And many times they can be unknowingly hurtful by belittling the depressed person's feelings, which only makes them feel more isolated, more like something's wrong with them, more like they are failing.

Depressed people can offer each other a great amount of solace, though, because they see the world in a similar way, and they understand each others' pain. This is one of the few comforts for a depressed person.

I know how it seems to make no sense for someone to take their own life, but for them, it can often be the option that offers the least amount of suffering, and sometimes they just can't take it anymore. For me, I knew I couldn't really do it because I knew I didn't *deserve* to have a release from my suffering. Terribly pathetic, but that's how it was. And I knew I couldn't justify hurting my family like that just so *I* could end my pain.

I will never forget what it was like to be depressed. Part of me will always be in that pit, in a way. When I hear that someone committed suicide, my first thought is compassion, to think of how much they must have suffered to want to die just to make it stop. And I think that in some small way I am glad that they aren't hurting anymore. (No, that doesn't make it right, at all). And of course I recognize the terrible waste and feel badly for the ones left behind.

Beth

It's wierd. I had been depressed for several years, starting in about seventh grade. At the time, I had a total of about 0 friends, maybe 3 people I'd sit with at lunch--it went no farther than that. It really did a number on my self-esteem, to the point where I had none. Of course, looking back I realize that I had no real friends in elementary school either, but I honestly can't remember feeling too bad about it, besides crying myself to sleep one night in the beginning of fourth grade in a new school where everybody hated me (ironically, my parents did me a huge favor and pulled me out after winter break). So that was 6 years ago.

In eighth grade I wasn't all that depressed, just unsure of myself. For example, I went to the eighth grade social without a date simply because I figured there was nobody who would want to go with me. This overlapped into the beginning of freshman year, but by winter break last year I had started making new, stronger friendships at the private school I now attend. I was still depressed because I had no really close friendships, and I was still very unsure of myself. I got decent grades, nothing special, nothing to give myself that extra boost of confidence.

Last summer was somewhat of a relapse. At the beginning, I had tons of fun and grew very close to several of the people who were my friends at the time. Then, we started drifting away. They didn't call as much, I didn't initiate anything, nothing happened. At this point, I'm friends with one of those people.

At the beginning of sophmore year, I went in extremely depressed. I remember taking depression tests and scoring up to 96%. I felt that I had no friends, or at least at my school. Then, things seemed to be brightening up. I got a girlfriend, I started making new friendships with more people, and I had less and less to feel bad about. Of course, my girlfriend eventually dumped me (I don't care about her at all anymore, stupid whore--shouldn't have wasted my time with her in the first place). It set me back, though.

Last night, yes, Christmas Eve, I was sitting home playing guitar, which I've only recently found skill in, and I began to think why I'm still depressed. I came up with a few reasons--none of my friends ever call me or invite me to do stuff, I'm not very good at guitar, girls don't like me--but I found a reason why each of those shouldn't be depressing. My friends never call me--maybe I should call my friends, instead of leaving it up to them to invite me; I'm not very good at guitar--I only started seriously playing a few weeks ago (up to that had just been screwing around), and I'm making good progress. Girls don't like me...this one stopped me for a second. I began to think "What do girls typically want?". Well, from my understanding, they want a sensitive (that's me), caring (that's me), confident (uhhh....) guy. So, is being depressed getting me anywhere? Of course not! And not only was depression getting me nowhere, it was taking away from what I already had. One of my better friends even told me "Ya know, talking to you makes people feel uncomfortable when you're so down on yourself".

So that made up my mind for me. I figured out that I have nothing to be depressed about. I decided (almost as a joke) that I would try to not be depressed anymore. It startled me when I realised that it was working.

What's the moral? If you're depressed take a look around and ask yourself why. Chances are, being depressed is a cause of most of those things, or at least feeling better would solve many of the problems you feel faced with. Unless, of course, they're legitimate depression reasons--as in loss of a loved one, major life affecting incident (war, etc). And unless you have a serious problem, it probably won't be as difficult to get out of as you had thought.

"But wait, what're you going to do now?"

Good question. Well, of course, I still plan on commiting suicide but that's only because I want to die by my own means, not in some hospital bed. I'd change my name, but I don't want to lose the xp/articles I've already made on this name. So just be warned, this name no longer applies to me too much.... :)


Note: When I called my ex-girlfriend a stupid whore, I didn't mean to offend anybody (but her) because she really is stupid and she does sleep around. Of course, being the straight edge that I am, I personally didn't sleep with her.



Look back and laugh. Life is the game that no one wins, so don't worry about things. Do you want to look back and see that you simply worried about a bunch of trivial stuff? Neither did I.


Update 6/29/01: Damn, it didn't work. Still depressed...things are harder to change than I thought. What I thought was just general feelings of sadness and alone turned out to be just the surface...I know this is depression, and not because of any of the tests I take. I know I'm depressed because I haven't been happy in years. I might be amused at times by certain things (like going out with people and having a good time), but that's not being happy. I haven't been happy with my life for as long as I can remember. And before that, I was too young to even comprehend things like depression.


Final update, 8/29/01: Kinda weird how quickly human emotions can change, huh? I suppose it's part of being a teenager, with mood swings. The fact that I'm good at arguing and very pessimistic towards myself probably has never helped me, I was always able to come up with abundant reasons why I'm a crappy person. But all that stuff about toughing it out and just trying to be positive is true. You just need to try to find the good things in life. You just need to look at all the good qualities you have, through an unbiased eye, even if it isn't yours, and yes, everybody has good qualities. Life is like dominos. If one falls down, it's easier to let them all fall than to stop one and then pick up the rest, and if they've all fallen, then it's much easier to leave them all lying their than to pick them up, one by one. But it's repetition--if you can get the hang of picking one up, it's easy to just associate it with another "domino," or area of your life, and pick that one up. And if you have all your dominos picked up, then you're all set. But don't try to do it all by yourself. I couldn't have done it by myself, even though I had to start out alone. But if you can start with your social life, trying to get that together, and you get some friends you can trust, then you can hopefully get some help from them. Drugs can help, but dependancy on them is very bad, so make sure you watch yourself. That's all the general advice I can think of, I offer my assistance towards any possible depressed members of E2 who would like to talk. I'm a good listener, and chances are that I know how you feel. Oh, and another thing, you can expect to have some relapses, such as the one I updated 2 months ago. But don't let it ruin everything, just get a little perspective. =)
Its been said before but I'll say it again, depression is an illness and it can be treated like any other day to day illness.

I was dignosed depressive a year and a half ago but I think I had been suffering for a long time before that. But I couldn't see it. I didn't believe what people were telling me. I was just tired. I couldn't sleep, and becuase I couldn't sleep I wasn't eating. I wasn't eating because I wasn't sleeping, and I wasn't sleeping because I was busy at work, I was busy at work because I wasn't performing, I wasn't performing because I wasn't sleeping.

Thats all I thought it was, that my sleep pattern had been disturbed and wasn't settling down.

It took an awful lot of persuasion from my partner and a couple of good friends to make me go to see a doctor. I was tired, not sleeping, thats all.

I hadn't been to a doctor for years and wasn't sure what to say when I did get there. Over an hour and many tears later I walked out of the surgery with a prescription for clomipramine hydrochloride. That was the beginning of the future for me. I started sleeping more (actually much more than I should have been!!) and I started seeing a therapist. It took a lot of effort but it was worth it.

18 months on I'm still being treated but things have improved a hell of a lot. I'm still on medication, a different one from where I started and I feel great.

For me medication has been the crutch that I needed to improve my life. Just like a broken leg needs a crutch to provide support, a dysfunctional mind needs something to support it too. Pharmaceutical support may not be for everyone but it is something to be considered. Anti-depressants can have a certain stigma attached in certain circles but this is a lot less prevalent than it used to be. Before I was diagnosed I was sort of aversed to taking a-d's but I was talked in to trying it and now I see how much I was helped.

Depression, is a day at the beach. Not the beach itself, or the sand, or the shells… or the little creatures, or the rock-pools in which they find their home. But in the waves themselves I see depression. In the water, which can be so fierce. One day to be fine… then crash, the next horrible… and CRASH another day of meaningless life. CRASH, the depression overflows. Pulls you under… Deep into the water. Way over your head. The sand, harshly scratches your eyes, it’s in your hair… in your mouth. You are dashed against the sandy sea bed… tumbling tumbling…Then released for a short while. Your head is spinning, while you try and find the surface, fight for breath. There must be air here somewhere. Then you can breath again, you can see the shore… so close. You can see the sun. You breath in deep, and CRASH… Suddenly you are under again, you breath in salty water… Where did all the air go to. And you fight, but the power dragging you down is so great. It is an endless cycle, will you never be able to get out of this. The water surrounding you, pulls you deeper. You have two choices… Fight, or drown

De*pres"sion (?), n. [L. depressio: cf. F. dépression.]

1.

The act of depressing.

2.

The state of being depressed; a sinking.

3.

A falling in of the surface; a sinking below its true place; a cavity or hollow; as, roughness consists in little protuberances and depressions.

4.

Humiliation; abasement, as of pride.

5.

Dejection; despondency; lowness.

In a great depression of spirit.
Baker.

6.

Diminution, as of trade, etc.; inactivity; dullness.

7. (Astron.)

The angular distance of a celestial object below the horizon.

8. (Math.)

The operation of reducing to a lower degree; -- said of equations.

9. (Surg.)

A method of operating for cataract; couching. See Couch, v. t., 8.

Angle of depression (Geod.), one which a descending line makes with a horizontal plane. --
Depression of the dewpoint (Meteor.), the number of degrees that the dew-point is lower than the actual temperature of the atmosphere. --
Depression of the pole, its apparent sinking, as the spectator goes toward the equator. --
Depression of the visible horizon. (Astron.) Same as Dip of the horizon, under Dip.

Syn. -- Abasement; reduction; sinking; fall; humiliation; dejection; melancholy.

 

© Webster 1913

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