In the muddy middle

I’ve been struggling this weekend with my depression, all the while contemplating hopefully a possible path to having ECT to treat it.

Depression doesn’t usually conjure images of hope but somewhere in the mire of stillness is this small ray of hope.

See, that’s the thing about depression and life in general.  Nothing is ever entirely one thing.  We are never really living in extreme in our head, but we feel compelled to describe our thoughts and feelings and opinions that way.

We see any sort of contradiction in thought or emotion as being hypocrisy or making a statement false.  We have fallen into this binary world where everything must one thing or another, when in fact, very little is actually just one way.

Life is not clean.  Its not divided simply into halves for us to choose.  Its a big field of possibilities and many of them can co-exist inside our heads, inside the world.

In morality, most of us would condemn murder.  But we have all recognized at least once some situation where a murder seemed justified.  The father who beat his child’s sexual molester to death, the idea of sending a time traveling assassin to kill Hitler…. Somewhere, at sometime you have considered a murder as not contemptible.

In politics, most have some kind of bias as liberal or conservative, but when you talk to individuals, they will often identify in some fashion with platform position of the other guy.  Many liberals feel the government should be more monetarily conservative.  Many conservatives have positive feelings about gay marriage.

Take something that is objective.  The colors black and white.  Except.  No.  The human brain decides a color based on context.  So that colors stop being exactly one color.  They change based on context.  Remember the dress?

There is no right or wrong.   There is no liberal or conservative.  There is not even black and white.

We need to stop pretending that life is a T/F test.  It’s not.  Extremism is fueled by this thought that every question has a clean simple answer.

As humans, we would be far better off if we recognized that life isn’t clean.  Its a big muddy mess.  And inside your head are lots of ideas that don’t necessarily seem to belong together – but they exist there anyway.  And that is OK.  Because that is the way life is.  Complicated.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. ~Walt Whitman

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5 thoughts on “In the muddy middle

  1. ECT wow. Do you have an ECT consultation set up? Do you know WHAT you’re depressed about … or are you just generally depressed without being able to put a finger on it?

    I have mixed feelings about ECT. Very mixed.

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    1. Do I have a consultation set up. No. I am hoping to be referred to a doctor that is experienced in it, so that I can spend the next year discussing whether it is a viable option.

      ECT is the treatment that has best long term effect. Study after study shows this. It is not a horror show anymore. Its helpful and effective. 4X as effective as Anti-Depressants. Which in my case are not effective.

      Do I know WHAT is causing my depression?
      Depression isn’t a mood. Its generally not caused by an event or life situation like sadness or happiness. It’s an imbalance of brain chemistry and connectivity. So that even if you have a great life, and no particular REASON to be apathetic or sad, you are.

      However, if you have a life situation that causes you to withdraw, your brain could develop a sort of loop of withdrawn behavior and apathy and sadness. So lets say a person loses a spouse. A normal process of grieving will cause a huge amount of sadness for a long period of time, but eventually the sadness will lift. In some people that sadness becomes a permanent sort of depressed state. Their brains don’t revert to a balanced pattern as is normal.

      However, many people, I would guess most people, are not experiencing depression that has a first cause state like that. Most of them just slowly sink into the brain malfunction over time, very subtly. They don’t really watch it happen, it just happens and then it’s there. There isn’t any cause that anyone has pinpointed. It just exists.

      Because its not a static thing, you have good days and bad days with depression. But there is no external cause of the good days or the bad days. They just happen. And no amount of thinking positively will change it.

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      1. I don’t think of ECT as a horror show. I do know that it’s use is for the severely depressed and many people do report positive changes from this therapy.

        Yes, depression is neurochemically related … I just wondered if you had a specific situation or stressor that you were experiencing to create or exacerbate your depression. I’m sorry that antidepressants have not helped. 😦

        And no, no positive affirmations or positive thinking or prayer or magic juju fixes depression … it’s obviously and definitely much more complex than that. I applaud you for recognizing something’s just not right and wanting to take action before things can go too far south.

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