On Depression and Reticence April 2, 2013Posted by shaunphilly in Skepticism and atheism.
Tags: blogging, depression, Mental Health, Mood
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.