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On Depression and Reticence April 2, 2013

Posted by shaunphilly in Skepticism and atheism.
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I periodically go through bouts of depression.  It isn’t usually serious, but it has real-life effects on me.  I become less social,  I am much more cynical than usual, and I write a lot less.  It’s why I have not been writing recently, and the shift out of feeling depressed is why I am writing today.

One of the other things it does is causes behavior which causes stress to my relationships.  I become less affectionate, responsive, and it can lead to arguments which would otherwise not happen (because my depression leads to non-ideal behavior).  When I’m feeling depressed, I’m not much fun to be around, especially for my partners.

Another side effect can be a lack of pursuit of my desires.  I’m less likely to ask for what I want, to speak up for myself when I disagree, or to be assertive in any way.  And because live with a few extroverts (although Ginny is certainly an introvert), that can often mean I feel intimidated and shrugged off.  There is no competition, from the depressed introvert’s point of view, with confident extroverts around you, and so I don’t try to participate as much.  Not that anyone is trying to shrug me off or intimidate me ( I don’t think), but that I just feel that way and so I sort of disappear and don’t pursue what I want, and so I don’t get it.

I have thoughts, desires, and feelings during such times, it’s just that in times like the last few days I was not voicing them except where I was compelled to.  And today, feeling more energetic and happy, I am able to reflect on this periodic depression and think what I can do better next time, while still thinking that this is fruitless.  See, I am feeling somewhat confident now; right now I believe that I can continue to grow and improve as a person.  Two days ago, I did not believe that.  All I could bring myself to believe then was that I’m not really worth much, and I’d be doing the world a favor by just shutting up and going away.

And so I was not writing.

It’s anxiety-causing to admit this publicly  but it is also part of the healing process.  I know that sometime in the future I will feel crappy again, and while I’m feeling crappy I will be intellectually aware that I will feel better again soon, but while I feel crappy I am reticent–I am reluctant to speak out, up, or about much at all, and it affects those close to me.  I don’t know what to do about that.

Now that it is Spring (although it’s still too goddamn cold!), I will be starting to get outside more, get more exercise, and this will result in another cause for less writing; enjoying life.  But don’t worry, I’ll still be around disrespecting faith and finding monogamy quaint.  Ain’t much going to stop that completely, just periodically.

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Comments»

1. Moniqa Aylin - April 2, 2013

A big thank you for sharing something so personal. It’s important to speak honestly about depression to help lessen the stigmas around it and show fellow sufferers they are not alone. This was a long, hard winter for me, too, and I didn’t create any art, something I typically cherish doing, because of it. Cheers for spring!

2. Jim Lawler - April 2, 2013

I could have written this myself, except that I have probably been much worse on many occasions. But I am glad to see that you are feeling much better now.

3. Kat - April 2, 2013

Thanks for sharing this. It takes guts to admit this about yourself. I have struggled with chronic depression for my entire life. And it has caused it’s fair share of anxiety in my relationships. I am blessed to live with a partner who is comfortable with my moods. He doesn’t understand, but he accepts them. Treats them with care, and allows me all the space and downtime I need. There are no time limits and he’s even willing to take on my chores and childcare while I recover. Both of us recognize that it’s not going to last forever, and it’s just a part of who I am. When there is no pressure to “feel better”, I find I often feel better faster. While I would consider depression to be my greatest weakness, in my adult life, I feel I have also been able to make it my greatest strength. Good luck.

4. Alan M - April 2, 2013

Agree with Moniqa; thanks for sharing. I say you’re damn admirable in several ways.

Alan M.

5. Ash - April 2, 2013

Definitely glad that you are starting to feel better. I second/relate to everything that the previous posters have said. I’ve dealt with major depressive episodes for about 80% of my life, and sometimes I wonder if it will ever fully go away. In the meantime, I don’t write or draw anymore, much less do anything because the anxiety from work and family drama zaps all my energy.

6. Dealing with depression | myklluli's Blog - April 3, 2013

[…] On Depression and Reticence (polyskeptic.com) […]

7. Danielle Mock - April 11, 2013

First-time commenter, short-time reader. Bravo for you for recognizing and sharing! Reading your words, I felt like you were transcribing dialogue from my own brain. I experience the same and truth be told, I have concerns about how it will effect my spouse and I, as well as future relationships, as we are newly pursuing the world of poly. Thank you so much for sharing!


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