The Long-Winding Paths of Depression: A Personal Note

Depression, regardless of its original causes, tends to lead one in circles, without one necessarily realizing so in the beginning. One’s general outlook upon life changes, and thus do one’s expectations. Self-fulfilling prophecies are common among humans, but for depressive people, this holds good in a rather and specifically negative manner. Perception shifts to selectively perceiving negative aspects, and in many cases thus leads to overinterpreting them.
There may, as in my case, also appear a discrepancy between emotional and cognitive interpretation of incoming information. When I am in a quite good or neutral mood, I can systematically analyse both past and present perceptions, and tell which of them were distorted or driven by sheer emotional overinterpretation. The actual problem lies with my lack of control in the respective situation itself. My emotions have always been extreme, and even though I regularly take antidepressents which, among other things, reduce the depth of emotions, under certain circumstances, my emotions completely override my cognitions.
Lately, I have also discovered a tendency of mine to bring about situations or circumstances I have been in before. On the one hand, there is, at the core of my character, a humanism telling me to help and trust other humans; on the other hand, there is, as a second layer, as it were, right above my humanism, a misanthropy making me hate and despise humans, and therefore distrust them in principle. Since humanism and misanthropy are not, at least not fully, reconcilable, especially at their cores, I often oscillate between the two.
One possible way to break out of the vicious circle seems to be to rely upon others so little as possible. For unlike myself, most people are quick to make promises, yet when one actually needs to depend upon them, they will not help one. Just because I never make any promises, unless I know I shall, under normal circumstances, be able to keep them, I cannot conclude that this applies to others as well. Indeed, experience, both my own and that of others, in particular in terms of history, demonstrates that mostly the opposite is true. If it were not for my idealism, the solution would, it seems, be easy, but alas, I do care and cannot pretend not to do so for long. Denying my own nature does not make me happy in the long run, either, as I have recently learnt.


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