I have clinical depression. It comes and goes in waves, sometimes I can see it coming and other times I find myself up to the waist in it without realizing. I have been diagnosed in the past by a psychiatrist and was previously on anti-depressants which helped a great deal but had questionable side effects.
While in the midst of a bout of depression, I can almost always recognize the effect it has on my mind and body in comparison to situational depression or stress. I find this extremely troubling, my mind recognizes there is something going on but I feel as though I have no control to stop it. I have negative thoughts, I realize why I am having them and try to stop them but cannot and get frustrated at my lack of ability to control myself.
For example, here are a replay of the events of tonight:
1. I feel very down about my relationship situation.
2. I want to write a whiny post on google plus about my feeling down but stop myself.
3. I recognize that #1 and #2 are caused by depression and stop myself.
4. I want to write a sarcastic blog post on google plus about how I am stopping myself from whining.
5. I stop myself from doing so on the basis that “nobody wants to read that shit”
6. I feel even more depressed both that:
a. I considered #4 at all,
b. that other people seem to do this all the time anyway and maybe I should just allow myself to do this
c. I am over-thinking this way too much
7. I feel down about the fact that I am over-thinking this too much.
This sequence of events, where I feel down and then check myself only to feel even more down as a result, occurs five or six times every day so long as I am allowed idle thoughts. It is especially bad at night when I am at home alone (which is to say most nights). I will usually counteract this by trying to do something productive to take my mind off things or, more frequently, going to sleep regardless of what time it is.
For a few years I was on anti-depressants which lessened the frequency of these episodes. Instead of happening two or three times a month, I would only be afflicted maybe once every three months. My issue with the anti-depressants was that they eliminated both the episodes but also any a large portion of my ambition and sense of urgency to change my life situation.
For example I keep getting depressed over my relationship situation and while normally feeling this way should spur someone into action, when I am in the midst of a depression episode I just want to whine about it on the internet. When I was on the anti-depressants I just did not think about it at all, good or bad, which still seemed like an overall negative reaction to things.
Multiply this feeling of complicity across many aspects of my life and I felt at times like a deader version of my normal self. I hate to even bring it up as it probably seems like a cliche for me at this point, but the moment I fell in love with Titus Andronicus was when I realized that their song “No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future” is about antidepressants, with Patrick Stickles the singer describing the exact same experience I had while taking them.
I am not even sure why I am writing this, other than to hopefully have something moderately productive come out of my current depression episode.