?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

A bit sick, but also cautiously optimistic

Since I'm feeling what is either a mild cold, or a nasty ragweed allergy, I will take this opportunity to show off my new icon. I hope you find it as creepy as I do.

However, I am feeling pretty good emotionally (she said, tentatively, looking over her shoulder for any dropping shoes or the like) and I am inclined to think that the new antidepressants may be starting to work.

You know, before my mid-adolescence, I was a very cheerful person. I wasn't really the least bit troubled by abstracts like mortality and meaning, etc. And during a few periods of my adult life, I've been able to reach a similar state of mind. I've come to think of that as my real nature, and of the morose, fatalistic self as the diseased one. So I feel that when the antidepressants are working right, they aren't so much changing me as preventing the depression from changing me.

Or… or maybe I have some sort of multiple personality thing going on, and when I take the meds, I'm really repressing the "depressed me," and sort of causing her to cease to exist…

Aaaaaaaah! I really need to stop thinking out loud as I type.

Um. As I said. Cautiously optimistic.

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
eac
Sep. 14th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
Creepy? No. But i LIKE it. :)

I'm not sure what to think of the way you characterize your depression. I might feel better if you saw it all part of a whole.

Regardless, I'm glad you're feeling optimistic...
fenriss
Sep. 15th, 2005 02:12 pm (UTC)
I guess Dru is always a bit creepy to me, but I don't consider that derogatory. Creepy is good!

I actually do consider it all part of a whole, but sometimes it can be hard for depressed folk, when going on and off various meds, to avoid thinking in fractured terms.
bhanfhlaith
Sep. 14th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)
You know, I think you're onto something.

I think I am going through a related thing. You remember a long, long time ago when we first met, I was also a lot more upbeat in demeanor and nature (pre divorce and subsequent years of sturm und drang), and I think that the depression-like state that enduring such puts you in, made me dour and pissy and more razorlike with people. One of my big "things" this year as you might have read in my LJ, is reconnecting with old friends who remember the real me, because I think they would add energy to getting her back.

Nice icon :)
fenriss
Sep. 15th, 2005 02:24 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Yeah, I guess I can see that the content of your LJ (or more specifically, some of the stuff in your user profile) sounds a degree or two angrier than I would have expected of you back in the day. I mean, compared to some of our mutual friends, you are the gentlest of delicate flowers, but that's neither here nor there :)

And I'm glad you like the icon.
aghrivaine
Sep. 14th, 2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
Depression,it has always seemed to me, is a blanket that gets thrown over your perception of the world. Everything is muffled, dark, and impenetrable. It's the same for the world peering in, too - rather than the sharp edges and bright colors of the real you, they're seeing the outline of you, the silhoutte, with none of the countours and details.

Depression is a disease that keeps you from experiencing life as you ought to. And the worst thing about depression is that the first thing it does is make you believe you deserve to be depressed, or that it's somehow natural.

Frickin' depression!
_blackjack_
Sep. 15th, 2005 12:18 am (UTC)
Depression,it has always seemed to me, is a blanket that gets thrown over your perception of the world.

Or, arguably, it is a curtain being pulled aside allowing you to see the world as it actually is, without the filters we need to be able to cope with it.

And the worst thing about depression is that the first thing it does is make you believe you deserve to be depressed

Yes, but I've found that self-loathing was at times the only thing keeping me alive, since I didn't think I was worthy of the release of death.
aghrivaine
Sep. 15th, 2005 12:22 am (UTC)
Chemically speaking, at least, what you're saying is factually incorrect. A depressed person has a neurological chemical makeup which is different from their "normal" or healthy state.

We can tell that the normal state is actually the normal state because there are regulatory forces at work attempting to keep the brain in the normal state - which in a case of clinical depression, fail. There's no value attached to these empirical observations, it's just the way the brain works.

Since the failure of the neurological regulatory mechanisms also tends to make people experience extended negative moods, as well as fail to experience normal pleasure associated with positive or pleasurable events, we can attach the value of "bad" to this neurological condition.
_blackjack_
Sep. 15th, 2005 12:38 am (UTC)
Oh, I know that. I was speaking more philosophically. The "curtains" and "filters" of which I spoke would be normal and a necessary part of euthymia, just as healthy people have filters for various stimuli which, for instance, autistics may lack. My musing was (and there is some clinical evidence to this end) that depression actually allows one a clearer, more factually-accurate understanding of the external world, than is possible to the euthymic brain. Now, the CONCLUSIONS drawn from this understanding may be distorted, but "healthy" people are rarely conscious of exactly how grim the world is.

None of this should be taken to imply that depression isn't a "real illness" or that "madness is cool" or anything like that. Notice I list "psychopharmacology" as an interest. It's just...a broken window may not keep the cold out, but you can see through it more clearly, so to speak.
aghrivaine
Sep. 15th, 2005 12:47 am (UTC)
Hmm. I heard an interview lately on NPR (so take the source as being not necessarily authoritative) with a doctor doing research on depression, that suggests just the opposite. That depression offers a more muddied view of the world than is factually accurate - that it's a fallacy that artistic inspiration or deep insight come from depression.

Your brain functions less efficiently when you're depressed. Of course, I'm a bit skeptical of his findings - we don't know exactly how the brain works, after all. We just have glimmerings. But the example he used was that people always say Van Gogh never would have painted had he not been depressed. He rejects that notion, and submits that it's likely he would have painted more, and been more inspired to create, rather than less.

Of course, if someone (like yourself) is actually so depressed that it keeps them from suicide... then I suppose we've just found a positive side-effect to depression. It's an odd sort of positive, I guess... but better than the alternative.

Is it possible that one can have a clear-eyed view of the world without being depressed? To see the world as it truly is, and not as we fear, and not as we desire?
(Anonymous)
Sep. 15th, 2005 01:18 am (UTC)
I heard an interview lately on NPR (so take the source as being not necessarily authoritative) with a doctor doing research on depression, that suggests just the opposite.

I may well be full of shit. I have no idea where I head it, and I'm skeptical myself how they might measure such a thing objectively. It may have been as simple as depressives being more aware of unpleasant current events, which doesn't prove much.

He rejects that notion, and submits that it's likely he would have painted more, and been more inspired to create, rather than less.

I, personally, am much more productive now that I am not depressed, but I suspect there are plenty of variables, not the least of which is bipolarity. A nice, sustainable, functioning disthymia might inspire some interesting stuff, but the full-blown, crippling depression I dealt with in my 20's inspired me to do nothing by curl up in a ball.

Of course, if someone (like yourself) is actually so depressed that it keeps them from suicide... then I suppose we've just found a positive side-effect to depression.

Well, not being depressed at all is a much more effective means of preventing suicide. I just take coping mechanism where I can find them, and use my vices against one another as needed. Another one was to think up suicide plans so elaborate and spectacular that I would never have the energy to undertake while depressed. One theory as to why some people attempt or committ suicide after beginnin antidepressants is that the drugs start to kick in just enough to get them out of bed and into the gun closet, but not yet enough to keep them from wanting to die.

Is it possible that one can have a clear-eyed view of the world without being depressed? To see the world as it truly is, and not as we fear, and not as we desire?

It's pretty hard to be MINDFUL of the world as it truly is in a euthymic state. One may have an intellectual understanding that, say, there are millions in great suffering, or that the death of loved ones is inevitable and possible at any moment, and that, indeed, all ones efforts accomplish little in the grand scheme, but healthy people don't really consider these things on a day-to-day basis, and find it disturbing to do so. Depression kinda lets you take it all in and wallow in it.

But I think one who had survived real depression can be left with some remnant of that clarity. It's useful as a means of keeping perspective, if nothing less. Much of the appeal of the goth subculture to me (beyond the fact that pale chicks in too much eye-makeup are hot) is that it embraces the dark and disturbing aspects of life, and to some extent, robs them of their power over us.
_blackjack_
Sep. 15th, 2005 01:20 am (UTC)
Er, that was me what said that.
fenriss
Sep. 15th, 2005 02:38 pm (UTC)
One may have an intellectual understanding that, say, there are millions in great suffering, or that the death of loved ones is inevitable and possible at any moment, and that, indeed, all ones efforts accomplish little in the grand scheme, but healthy people don't really consider these things on a day-to-day basis, and find it disturbing to do so. Depression kinda lets you take it all in and wallow in it.

Devastatingly well put.

But I think one who had survived real depression can be left with some remnant of that clarity.

I think so too. Back from the Underworld, and all that.

It's useful as a means of keeping perspective, if nothing less. Much of the appeal of the goth subculture to me (beyond the fact that pale chicks in too much eye-makeup are hot) is that it embraces the dark and disturbing aspects of life, and to some extent, robs them of their power over us.

*nods emphatically*
*whistles past graveyard*
fenriss
Sep. 15th, 2005 02:45 pm (UTC)
In the final analysis, I'm in the "brains function less efficiently when you're depressed" camp. When you're down there in the mire, you think you're seeing some unutterable Truth that normal people wouldn't be strong enough to endure if they saw it (or, uh... maybe that's just me?) but in reality, it's just perspective.

When I'm healthy, I'm still painfully aware of the suffering in the world. It just doesn't render me incapable of functioning. Maybe that means there's some kind of filter in place, but I don't care too much. I just like feeling equal to the tasks of life.
theletterelle
Sep. 16th, 2005 02:47 am (UTC)
We need that filter in order to do anything about the suffering. When I'm depressed or panicked, I can't do anything to stop the things I'm depressed or panicked over. Like Jack said, curl up in a ball time. When I'm functioning normally, I can take action. And it's okay to have that distance between yourself and the suffering of the world. Like it's okay for doctors to be detached from their patients, so they can cut them open and fix them. If they didn't have that distance, they'd be too scared to take action.

I'm tired, so I'm not being terribly eloquent, but you get the idea.
fenriss
Sep. 15th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC)
Now, the CONCLUSIONS drawn from this understanding may be distorted, but "healthy" people are rarely conscious of exactly how grim the world is.

This is true. And I've even found myself deriving an ugly kind of pleasure from a sort of depressive chauvinism (if you will). Maybe you cheerful bastards are enjoying your lives, but at least I won't have to face the devastation you will suffer when the awful truth of things finally hits you like a bag of wet sand. I am already intimately acquainted with it.

But it's sour grapes, and it's lame. Let's here it for Wellbutrin.

rednikki
Sep. 14th, 2005 10:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, hon, I'm so glad for you.
fenriss
Sep. 15th, 2005 02:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks, love. Updates as events warrrant!
_blackjack_
Sep. 15th, 2005 12:21 am (UTC)
I've never been cheerful. My non-depressed self is just the one that gets out of bed.
(Deleted comment)
_blackjack_
Sep. 15th, 2005 01:17 am (UTC)
Man I miss that show.
fenriss
Sep. 15th, 2005 02:31 pm (UTC)
I know. *smooch*
mercurialgirl
Sep. 15th, 2005 02:56 am (UTC)
Love you.
fenriss
Sep. 15th, 2005 02:32 pm (UTC)
Love you, too.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

ghost
fenriss
Fenriss

Latest Month

October 2016
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner