If you’ve ever been depressed or if you’re currently depressed or are wondering if you’re possibly depressed, walk — no run! — to the blog Hyperbole & A Half, where blogger Allie deftly, and sometimes hilariously, chronicles what it’s like to live with depression. In a new entry, posted today, Allie explains how depression can at first make you feel powerful in its detachment, and then slowly make it difficult to even approximate human emotions.
I could no longer rely on genuine emotion to generate facial expressions, and when you have to spend every social interaction consciously manipulating your face into shapes that are only approximately the right ones, alienating people is inevitable.
Allie also talks about the less sympathetic side of depression — the one where you start resenting everyone around you for trying to make you feel better. Because when you’re depressed, normal solutions aren’t always applicable, despite how much the people around you might want you to “experience the joy of existence” or whatever.
It would be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they disappeared.
Allie’s depression hits so hard, she sometimes wishes she wasn’t alive anymore. “If I had feelings, I’m sure I would have felt surprised. I have spent the vast majority of my life actively attempting to survive. Ever since my most distant single-celled ancestor squiggled into existence, there has been an unbroken chain of things that wanted to stick around,” she writes. She decided to seek out help, but the road back from the deep pit of depression wasn’t smooth, easy or comfortable. And curiously, Allie breaks her cycle of depression with a stupid piece of corn. But I’ll let you read all about that, instead of translating her whole amazing comic word for word. [Hyperbole and a Half]
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