Sunday, 24 February 2013

Depression - When it's time to quit

Depression - When it's time to quit (Part Ⅰ)
It can be a popular subject, depression. Some people like to talk about it, to claim a seat at the table of woe. For them, it's like there is a competition, to get on the list; be the most qualified, have the worst story. Speaking as someone who dealt with depression (after decades of indulgence) I can honestly say it is far better to be without it, have a mind that is under control, rather than being under the control of the mind.
The fact is, once the manipulative fingers of this vile condition take hold, they grasp with a hold that is so persuasive, so familiar, so comforting, the grip is impossible to shake off. You'd think not, you'd think that the looming spectre of death, dancing before the eyes of the victim, put there by the victim, created as the solution, the final solution to all the weight of angst and misery dragging the dying spirit down to the bedrock of hopelessness would frighten and terrify the crushed soul into life, into a fight for survival. After all, the will to live is strong in us all, including the depressed. Not so. When you hit rock bottom, when you can fall no more, when the world is surely at its worst, its most unforgiving, at its most despicable, you start to dig, to find a way to go deeper, lower, beneath the surface of total despair: to bury yourself further in self-pity.
Depression is a dark place, lonely, and yes, like that much overworked phrase, an 'abyss'. An endless pit filled with dark thoughts that gather in some kind of mad ballet, dancing around, endlessly churning over, pirouetting and leaping, gathering momentum and style, accumulating refinement and their own beauty. The thoughts capture the mind and take over the will. Depression becomes a reason for being. The self-pity drives a person to wallow, to think only of themselves, how bad their life is, or how sad they feel, or how cruel the world is to them. They stop thinking of others altogether. They care less about another's pain or suffering. It also becomes a bolt-hole used for comfort, a state of existence that justifies a condition of alienation and selfishness.
The problem is, of course, when someone is in the midst of all of this they are completely oblivious to depression's true character, nor is there anyway for them to be told - the mere suggestion of any such truth could be fatal. Even when the sufferer reaches the first step to recovery, the need for extreme delicacy dictates that harsh realities remain untold. Sympathy is key - no matter how hard such a stance may be. Any suggestion that the disease is anything other than a condition requiring the deepest compassion, the most vigilant care and the utmost consideration can act as just a little too much pressure on a very finely set hair-trigger.
The first step to recovery is simple though. It is nothing more than the acceptance by the sufferer that they want a cure, that they want to stop the insanity. Although simple, it is also major. Till this point is reached no amount of pills or counseling will achieve anything. As long as someone want to be depressed, as long as someone willingly wraps their inner conflicts in the comforting familiarity of depression, nothing can be done.
Taking the first step will not stop the pain, or any damaging behaviour: that comes later. But once past this point the way out of the madness will slowly present itself. A revelation will come into view that will lead to the components of recovery assembling in the mind... but the time to quit is still some time off.


  1. Wendy sent me. Your post is excellent.


    1. Hi Janie
      Thank you for leaving a comment.
      It is a long time since I read this piece: amazingly I still agree with everything I wrote. My personal voyage continues and the improvements are massive.
      I wish you well.


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment.