Mental Health

Inside a mind with chronic depression | by Confused thinker | Oct, 2021

Confused thinker

A personal entry

Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash

Darkness…darkness everywhere. In everything, I see, hear and even eat. It takes an extraordinary amount of effort to even brush my teeth or go for a walk. Every morning feels like a curse upon me from which there is no escape. I loved to read, now I despise it. I loved to play sports, and now it feels like a distant memory. I loved to watch documentaries in my spare time. Now, all I do is sleep or walk around the house, waiting for the wretched day to end. 24 hours feel like 24 kilos in my frail mind.

Feeling happy is a crime, and I am perennially indicted by my conscience for it. Is this my fundamental nature? I don’t know. The void gets temporarily filled(to an extent) when I have small sparks of professional success. Still, when my professional life is not flourishing as expected, I experience an identity crisis-a feeling of extreme shame and guilt. The futility of professional endeavours starts becoming conspicuous. The scary lack of control over what we comfortably take ownership of becomes more and more apparent. This feeling of emptiness and worthlessness has become my natural state of mind.

Envy extends its vicious claws all over the mind. Every time my loved ones accuse me of being a lazy whiner, a shard of glass pierces my heart. Depression can be the manifestation of several diverse internal problems plaguing you. For me, they mainly are:

The extreme pursuit of purpose: Though I am not sure about the credibility of the Myers Briggs test, I find myself resonating more with the INFJ personality type than the other types. As an INFJ, I am incredibly purpose-driven, so much so that I go to great lengths to somehow get a taste of it every day. Like a surfer on the waves of an ocean, my identity goes up and down along with the purpose I see in my everyday life. As a guy in my early 20s, there is little scope for larger altruistic goals. I can only settle for small acts of charity. Apart from that, my identity is almost entirely tied to my professional successes.

Along with sustenance related insecurities, the identity crises that accompany professional troughs crush my personal identity and lead me on the path of depression. Even when I am doing well academically/professionally, the fundamental feelings of purposelessness stubbornly remain. But at least there is the consolation of being free from catastrophic fears. To a small extent, work and academics divert my mind from communicating with my conscience, and hence I can afford the facade of being committed to something purposeful.

It is impractical to expect smooth sailing with all the uncertainties in the corporate world. Therefore, as an extremely sensitive person who looks to the corporate world as a temporary path out of this maze of depression and existential crises, my reactions to professional ups and downs almost mirror someone with bipolar disorder.

Loneliness: I am the type of person who spends around 90% of my time with myself and my thoughts. Spirituality is an inextricable aspect of my personality. I am averse to small talks and conversations that revolve around pop culture and sports. I prefer to have deep, philosophical discussions about the meaning of life, various types of psychology and their effects on society, the power of the subconscious mind and the wonder that is spiritual advancement. My musical tastes are also classical and conventional. Naturally, I don’t find a lot of people that resonate with me. If I enter a hall of 100 random people, maybe two or three people will find my thoughts interesting and relatable. Unable to bring myself to discuss popular topics, I am forced to stay aloof. This obviously leads to a persistent sense of loneliness and detachment. While I love to spend time with myself, the lack of constructive social interactions makes me vulnerable to ruminations, leading to depression and anxiety. A creative outlet like Medium is what I resort to in such situations.

I feel like an outcast-someone who is destined to be alone because of his personality and preferences. If you have ever felt so, don’t hesitate to comment!

Anxiety: Life feels like a walk on the edge of a cliff, always one misstep away from plunging to my death. Each failure only reaffirms my subconscious belief that a catastrophic destiny awaits me. A poor performance in an exam means I will graduate with abysmal grades as expected. A few job applications rejected means I will live and die on the streets like a dumb, homeless guy…as expected. Every imperfection is an “Aha!” moment for my subconscious to eat away at my self-esteem. As a result, I have to treat each aspect of my life like a Jenga block that is only one pull away from toppling the entire structure that is my life. Life is filled with uncertainties, and these dire attempts at controlling it are exhausting beyond measure.

I think I don’t need to explain my experience with anxiety any further since the symptoms are well documented today.

There may be a few more underlying reasons for my depression that I may not have touched upon. I will elaborate on them if I recognise them in the future.

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