Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Mob Lectures Part 2

The Mob Lectures Pt.2: Depression

at the age of 11/12ish i was diagnosed and clinically depressive. this differs, as far as my understanding goes, from manic depression in that the mood swings are not so viloently changeable, the depressive state is a steady one that can last indefinetly. in my case it usually lasts from one to two weeks and is usually started by some otherwise insignificant event that would be meaningless if it did not begin a spiral of mental destruction that is my depression.
my first bout of depression lasted about 6 months and would only affect me at home. at school and at friends houses i was perfectly fine but almost as soon as i returned home i would become so resentful of the presence of other people that i would shut myself away. after 2 months my parents took me to my local GP. after talking to him about my problems and what i believed was the problem he prescribed me fluexetine, more commonly known as prozac. i took this for the next 4 months as eventually my mental state returned to normal but this is far from a permanent state, it still affects me, usually at least once every 2 months.
when i was diagnosed as a diabetic this initially didn't trigger a depression episode, i was too focussed on trying to deal with the diabetes, but soon afterwards, when i was due to start a new course at a new university i suffered a mental breakdown due in part to my depression that forced me to return home. this is one of the worst events of my life, i nearly physically collapsed as it felt that the entire universe had just imploded onto my mind.

for me, depression is a twisted knot of darkness in the pit of my stomach, a mixture of anger, guilt and self-pity that constantly grips like a fist and pulls all the happiness out of life. it is the downward spiral. you are never truly cured of depression, you just have to deal with it, and the hope to hell that the people around you are human enough to recognise it and let you deal with it. and are still there when it passes.

Winston Churchill suffered from throughout his life and it's become an established fact that he described it as 'The Black Dog'. I believe it's pretty much universally thought of as the perfect description of the tension and darkness that stalks. you can feel it coming but the feeling is impossible to accurately describe, like trying to describe blue.

i write this for myself. it's something i don't usually talk about. maybe out of shame, maybe because my demeanour is usually so cheery that no one asks whether i'm depressed, either way this has been quite therapeutic.

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