I was a bit melancholy today, maybe at 1 kilorat (or a little more) of depression.
There has been a push in psychiatry of late to determine the success of treating depression by complete remission, not merely improvement.
I am not in remission.
Depression always hits me like a ton of bricks. I wake up one day and the world has gone black-and-white and my core has been removed. Luckily, for years I've been warned by depressive dreams to increase or augment my medication a number of times. This time I can't remember a warning, and I've been struggling for over three months.
Although for me the onset of depression seems instantaneous, coming out of it can be very gradual.
For those who have not experienced it, being depressed is like a being hollowed out. Afterwards nothing remains between the dead walls of the log that encircle what never was.
With treatment, the log has to imagine it's being filled with wood again. But that wood now has a ghostly quality, because bipolars and serious unipolars, though they regain their lives, can never forget how their lives were so easily snatched from them. Life never has the same solidity again. Which makes one's personality feel very much like a construct even when one's mood returns to "normal."
A bad depression is a death and a birth, For example, as I improve I'm trying to get to know my wife again and why I love her so much--what it feels like to love her instead of acting intellectually as if I did. That's how I survive depressions, by the way, "having to construct something to hope upon"--pretending. Pretending in my chemical despair until my neurotransmitters recalibrate and life becomes real again.
I write this today because it's rarely talked about. There's much more to say about it, but I'm done for now.
Thine in Kilorats or Kilobunnies,
C. E. Chaffin