Self-destruction and the struggle against depression
August 26, 2009 8:37 PM Subscribe
What are we fighting when we fight against depression?
posted by Aleatoire to human relations (44 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
A psychologist recently offered the following comment that struck me as a potentially constructive (read: not self-destructive) way of conceptualizing the strong sense of sorrow, solitude and of depersonalization that have me dwelling on death with unnerving frequency and concreteness: namely, that I should take care to not think and treat depression as separate and distinct, as if this gnawing and piteous feeling were something that eroded and displaced the self, to be "struggled against" (as the common expression goes) and opposed.
After this suggestion, I have come to suspect that the analogy of antagonism has done a particular disservice in the domain of mental disorders, when both the adversaries and the arena are aspects of myself. Further reflection brings the realization that what language I have to understand and express emotions is not only limited but seems to be limiting my own ability to cope with negative feelings and beliefs.
What follows, then, is this question: what other analogies are available? what modes of relating could I draw from that are not antithetical, to stop this "struggle against" depression and put an end to self-sabotage?
(Although I recognize that there are physiological components to depression, the fact that at my lowest of lows I feel acutely disconnected from myself and from my surroundings tells me that I could benefit from some kind of perceptual shift, beginning at how I conceive depression as a problem. If you disagree, and think that this is fruitless whimsy, then I would be equally grateful for your thoughts.)