Friday, October 27, 2006

Living In Hell

Read this story about a man who thought depression was a bunch of hooey for most of his adult life until it happened to him. This reminds me of a conversation I was having with a friend a while ago about the effects of untreated depression in marriages particularly when the depressed person is in denial of their problem and tries to compensate for it by taking control of the relationship often aided by outsiders who think they are helping. S had said :

This is such a common theme, I think that for the longest time psych disorders have been swept under the table and therefore if they are not talked about they do not exist. The controlling aspects of people's personalities are sometimes organic (in their heads) and in other times are placed there by misguided individuals trying to help (parents, friends, colleagues). Both are ingredients for failure. If a person cannot be happy in their life by themselves then they will not be able to make someone happy in a partnership. Remote control marriages are the norm nowadays rather than the exception. If a person fails to take guidance that is in their best interest, then the outcome of the situation is a foregone conclusion.

A depressed person, for whatever reason, will draw vital energy from you and change the direction of your movements. In a sense this can be productive, if you both move to a "better place", but in most cases it takes one with vitality and drains them of all energy to be happy. One must be strong in convictions, to recognize that point beyond which there is no hope left and get out before there is too much damage to ones self and their interactions with those for whom they care.

Though belonging to an entirely different context, Alexandra Fuller's words ring true both for those who suffer from depression and their partners who haplessly, cluelessly suffer along with them. There is enough pain to go around yet the most abundant love is not nearly enough to soothe and ease it. You come away from the relationship broken and flawed trying to make sense of your own humanity and that of the one you tried so hard to help.

Those of us who grow in war are like clay pots fired in an oven that is over hot. Confusingly shaped like the rest of humanity, we nevertheless contain fatal cracks that we spend the rest of our lives itching to fill.

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