The Depressed Self: Reblog from Depression Comix

When I saw this new work from Clay it kind of hit me between the eyes. For most of my life, there was nobody you could call “Lost,” because I had never had the experience of NOT being depressed.

So of course I didn’t know that what I was had a name, “depression.” I did know that I felt like shit all the time, even (especially) as a child, and I didn’t want to be alive, and often really wanted to die. I even tried to one time, by riding my bike in front of a car. I got a head injury and a number of other wounds for my trouble, and was really angry at G@d that I didn’t get to die. I was 10.

I tried to kill myself again when I was 22, by breathing pure nitrous oxide. I did die that time, actually, but was in the presence of someone who knew CPR so I got sent back again. That story is for its own blog entry: this is just a teaser (sort of).

I never knew that what I was, was depressed, until I was in college. There was an ad in the student newspaper for paid volunteers for a drugs experiment in the psychology department. Free drugs plus money? Yeehah! I went and applied.

They gave me an entire day’s worth of psychological testing. I went home and waited for the call to come in and get my drugs, and my money.

I got a phone call, but not the one I wanted. You must go right away to Student Mental Health, they said. Your tests show that you are suffering from Major Depressive Disorder.

Hmmm. I wasn’t feeling any different than I always fely, but I dutifully trudged through the Chicago snow to the Student Mental Health Center.

After the usual wait, a nice lady called me into her office. I sat down. She smiled and waited. I had nothing to say, so she began,

“Well! I see that you were referred for Major Depressive Disorder.” She smiled bigger. “Well! You’re very attractive. I see you get good grades in school. So why are you depressed?”

I stood up, thanked the lady for her time, and walked away from there.

Depression Comix

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  1. That’s very similar to how I found out about my depression. I took a personality inventory to see if the career path I was on was suitable for me, and that’s when I was told I had depression. I didn’t realize it at the time, and I knew so little about it that I thought I just didn’t do the test right or something. I was always myself, I didn’t see what was wrong. I was given counseling, drugs, various treatments, but I didn’t feel depressed. I had friends, hobbies, love interests… I may have been somewhat introverted and prone to being overly moody but I didn’t think I was that different from everyone around me.

    A couple of years later, my girlfriend at the time split up with me to pursue a relationship with my thesis advisor. This had the effect on my academic career as one would expect, and it pushed me into a deep depression with all its lovely effects. It was then that I knew what depression really was.

    So when I was doing this work, I was thinking of who I was before that incident. I may not have been the happiest person around but I still felt like I was in full control of my life. After that, I lost everything… my friends, my career, my future. Depression was probably going to happen anyways, after all, I was predisposed to it. It was going to take me at some point, and it chose then.

    I had a good laugh at your final comment regarding “Why are you depressed?” Your response was perfect.

    • Wow, Clay. Yeah, you had the predisposition, but what a kick in the ol’ bohunkus into the black pit. Thay’s how I see MDD: a pit so deep that you can’t see even a speck of light, so you eventually forget that there exists something called light. Like a person blind from birth: they can have a theoretical knowledge of the nature of light, but direct experience does not exist for them.

      Yeah, that social worker or whatever she was lady, I really wanted to do or say something that would leave her with a lasting impression, but I’ve never been good at the snappy comeback and I don’t think anything would have penetrated her fog, so I just said thank you and left.

  2. That’s me. I disappear. I think it’s a mix of the bipolar and the PTSD and sometimes one or the other. Guess I’ve got twice the chance of it happening having both of them!

    • Yup, we get really good at the disappearing act, both literally and figuratively. From the PTSD angle, I always know where every exit is. Many times I have made use of a back door exit to make my disappearance physically. Likewise, when triggered in certain ways, I disappear psychically. When depressed, I just plain disappear. What is this business of disappearing? Maybe it has something to do with just not wanting to be here, at least under certain circumstances….or, for some of us, all the time.

  3. It’s funny how we assume that this feeling we have all the time is just life. I mean, when you’re depressed all the time, you can’t imagine any other way to be and you can’t fathom how most people don’t feel that way ALL the time. The disappearing act is something I grew accustomed to as well.

    That social worker that saw you really sucked at getting you in. pffff


  4. line

     /  September 26, 2012

    I’m as you, you are not alone. I’m always thinking and I can stop that, sometimes I feel scared but I don’t know way.


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