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Cvlture

Where is My Mind ? Clinical Depression

Everyone at some point feels sad or a little down, but actual clinical depression is not just being bummed out. Profound natural emotions like grief can be intense and even paralyzing for a time, but even those lows are different from having a major depressive disorder. With clinical depression, you don’t need life events for it to feel like some one dialed up gravity in the morning, making it hard to get out of bed. Sounds like you are just feeling lazy? Laziness might find you lacking the ambition to be productive, but with depression it feels like the energy needed to preform daily tasks is not there. Sounds like you are just tired? Tired would imply that you had this energy at some point and expended it. Depression means even after taking your meds, you have to power through things like taking a shower by digging into the reserves of your will power. Depression is not as romantic as the lyrics to Morrissey songs might suggest. So we are going to take a look at clinical depression, also known as major depression. It’s a condition I have personally been paralyzed with and continue to treat on a daily basis.

 

 

It’s not wallowing in heartbreak for inspiration, as you lose interest in things you once enjoyed and are apathetic towards seeking out creative pursuits. Daily feelings of worthlessness and guilt distract you by weighing down your head. If you are lucky enough to get out of bed, there is the chance that you won’t be able to get back to sleep. This often feels worse, because you are lying in bed with your head running wild in a spin cycle of despair that is painting a picture of why this sense of hopelessness is based in immutable fact. These facts are built into something that can only be fixed by hanging yourself from the tree in the back yard or from the balcony. The latter makes more sense to me in these times; I have had too many branches break on me over the years. How do you get to this point? The symptoms often seem more subtle than just suicidal ideation. The symptoms that come with clinical depression generally appear and typically last every day for at least two weeks. You forget that life wasn’t chronically like this day after gray day.

 

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Almost seven percent of the population in the United States suffers from clinical depression, with women suffering twice as often as men, as hormonal changes can bring on this shift as early as puberty or as late as menopause. The accuracy of the studies wavers, due to the fact that in men it’s often unreported. Men become more irritable and angry. They also self-medicate more with drugs and alcohol; this should come as no surprise to you, since I’m also the guy who writes the Taste the Void articles about drug abuse. If I allow it to, this can become a chicken or the egg debate in my own head, with endless sorting over questions like, was I mentally ill as a child and then learned to self-medicate? Or in the course of my addiction did I damage my neuro-transmitters? The answer is a little bit of both, and something I don’t allow myself to ponder unless I’m writing something like this, as it brings on regret, guilt, shame and other things that trigger low swings.

 

 

The DSM is now used to over-pathologize people in record number. If you can name it and dish out a diagnosis, then you can write a prescription for it, possibly get a kick back from the drug companies who have become a billion dollar industry – not treating the deeper problem, and putting a band aid on the symptom. Treating the deeper problem takes work, and we have become an instant gratification society who wants easy solutions. We want to be able to find the answer on Google and be over it. Years of therapy, a dedication to change your life and sitting through the discomfort of changing numbing behaviors for healthy ones is no fun, and not what we signed up for. It means coming to terms with the fact that you are never going to be cured. Medication makes the illness more manageable, but despite what television commercials might suggest, there is no miracle cure. Taking a pill doesn’t suddenly lift my mood, as my head turns into a balloon and floats off my shoulders with a smile.

 

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Photographer: Edward Honaker

 

A therapist once told me when I focus on the problem, the problem increases, and when I focus on the solution, the solution increases. So it’s important for me to take action – healthy action, and not planning another suicide attempt. Breaking out of cycles of isolation and being present are the hardest parts of this equation. To do this, I engage in things like playing guitar, working out, writing, or being creative in some other medium to help reconnect me with myself, thus allowing me to interact with others. Even some of those things can turn into an escape, so it’s about achieving the right balance with mindfulness in my intention. Sounds like a lot of work, if you think about it. What’s the fun in that, when I could be numbing myself out in the rabbit hole that is Facebook? After battling this for decades, I realize the alternatives are a return to old addictive patterns that have caused me to detach enough from life until suicide is the next logical step, and planning it is as easy as deciding what to get at the grocery store.

 

With my “Taste the Void” series, I compile lists of albums I enjoyed on certain drugs, and I thought about what albums I listen to when I’m in a low swing for this article. But the truth is, when I am depressed I lose interest in music and don’t listen to it. I think this is a powerful statement about how this disease twists one’s perspective, considering how much music I ingest and how big of a role it plays in my life. So the following albums are what I listen to when depressed:

 

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Written By

Wil spouts his thoughts and theories on metal / goth/ post-punk/ and darker indie rock on blogs like Abysmal Hymns,No Clean Singing, Geekinthings, Treblezine etc... He is very passionate about horror movies, comic books, the occult and Morrissey , though David Bowie will live on in his heart forever

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Danie Bowman

    July 4, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    There is nothing worse, then going through hell of depression. You wake up each day, not knowing if you will make it
    ’till night, or you will simply give in, and end it all yourself. The drugs sometimes help, and sometimes make it worse.
    Felt like I had no control whatsoever over my own life. It took me a while, but I managed to teach myself how to push trough the day, and keep on fighting.
    In the end, it all comes down to helping yourself get up and fight. For anyone suffering from depression,
    I recommend something that has helped me a lot. It is James Gordon’s system at http://lookingupstuff.com/mentalhealth/2015/02/06/how-to-destroy-depression/
    He is a former depression sufferer, and teaches a totally natural 7 step process which relieves depression from your life.

  2. keef

    May 24, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    This article says it all,i have trauma counselling in a few hours time and feel like i can open up a bit more thanks to this and the comments that have been left.

  3. Nah

    May 24, 2016 at 10:44 am

    That gravity metaphor is spot on, I’ve always felt a deep inner heaviness when I’m disregulated.

    My emotional disregulation is rooted in physical/mental abuse that goes back to infancy.

    The question I always come back to, after reading a bit about early childhood trauma is; most studies of those surviving childhood/prolonged trauma is that the brain is functionally different due to the abuse – this resulting in poor emotional awareness/mood control – is: What should ones expectations be, realistic expectations of what therapy, meditation and/or medication can bring about?

    I would also add, when those responsible are no longer alive, how does one feel any sense of resolution?

    It’s been a little over 3 years in since learning of how far back the abuse I experienced had started (a family member felt able to reveal stories after both my parents deaths), so far it is not an easy road in any way, but the gains as they do come, feel worth it.

  4. Jota Silva

    May 23, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I’ve been struggling with clinical depression for eleven years. Many of those were spent ruining my life and shutting out all the shots I had at being someone I could like. If you survive your self-aggression, you might come to a point in which you begin to take a day at a time. Slowly, you begin to build healthy habits to stabilize you and to negate self sabotage. The struggle never ends. But some days it’s worth it. And you have to be alive for those days. Hang in there, and thank you for spreading awareness about this illness.

  5. Niño Rata Kalashnikov

    May 23, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Brought me to tears.
    I lost my first local punk rock heroes to suicide when I was around 15.

    It completely wrecked me.
    I grew up somewhat alone, to a broken family and ’round the clock working mamma.
    I’ve been battling depression for about good 14 years now.
    I’m an alcoholic and I have barely decided to go to therapy.

    You are not alone.
    Read the comments here.
    Metal and punk music has always glued us together, and we’ll rock together, until the end.

    Keep your head up ya’ll.
    We’ll see each other smiling soon.

    (Excuse my broken english!)

  6. Jason

    May 23, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Truth brother. It’s like living in slow motion, or being weighed down by unseen teathers. Even when we’re “happy” it’s a constant fight to stay “up”.

  7. Remco van Hattum

    May 23, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Thanks. You Really explained in words how i feel

  8. Paul Hunter

    May 23, 2016 at 8:04 am

    This is one of the most well written articles ya’ll have published. Good job!

  9. Marek Žiška

    May 23, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Yeah, no shit. I can’t see myself living to see 30…

    • Davide Femia

      May 23, 2016 at 3:12 am

      The hardest part is when you have passed your 30’s and you have too many responsibilties to have an exit

    • Marek Žiška

      May 23, 2016 at 3:23 am

      Is it? Or is it knowing you won’t even live to see the responsibilities arise?

    • Davide Femia

      May 23, 2016 at 3:26 am

      I’m 35 i have a family and work, my weakings are also my force to go on despite everything 😊

    • Marek Žiška

      May 23, 2016 at 3:28 am

      That’s what I mean… I have nothing, no one, no chance to have it, and no way to escape.

    • Davide Femia

      May 23, 2016 at 3:30 am

      Work on yourself, channel your force on something cathartic…

    • Marek Žiška

      May 23, 2016 at 3:39 am

      I can’t do shit, my eyes are fucked and I’m in constant pain whenever Im trying to use them. I’m like blind without being blind. I can’t even get out or it gets worse. I have no way to escape the problem, because I can’t even play a game or watch a movie, read a book.. I may be just fucked.

    • Davide Femia

      May 23, 2016 at 3:44 am

      You can channel your pain through power electronics, scream everything out, not a pernanent solution but a temporary relief

    • Victoria Chakal

      May 23, 2016 at 4:12 am

      Hey man, medicine is advancing fast these days – maybe they’ll find something to help you out (either allow you to see better or at least ease the pain) within a few years. Or they won’t, but it’s a possibility to keep in mind.

      I’m sure it’s a bitch to live with that, especially as your struggle with depression seems to run deeper than that. I can understand the desire to bail before 30. But don’t think you have nothing (you have yourself, which is greater than you think), and don’t underestimate the capacity of life to bring beauty and purpose to you in spite of all the bullshit.

      (I know Steppenwolf probably isn’t a go-to reference for most of the Cvlt Nation crowd, but you know John Kay? He’s legally blind. 100% colorblind, very sensitive to light, can’t drive or do anything of the sort. But his mind sees far, and from his wisdom he weaved some incredibly powerful rock songs, and the world would be smaller without him.)

  10. Chris LaVey

    May 23, 2016 at 2:41 am

    William Campbell like this page

  11. Jorge Humberto Garcia

    May 23, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Really a great article, I also suffer from depression and as you did, I tried to kill myself, living with this shitty illness is like living in hell. I also try to go on making some creative stuff, that helps a lot. Thank you for that great article.

  12. Davide Femia

    May 23, 2016 at 1:07 am

    Great article

  13. Davide Femia

    May 23, 2016 at 1:04 am

    I would like to give the opportunity to who thinks that depression is cool or cute to live one day in the mind of a depression bearer… there’s no space for coolness or cuteness, only fucking gray days and shit 😤

  14. Kegan Daly

    May 23, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Kelly Rose

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