A surprising thing happened today: I got hungry. It was such an unusual sensation that it took me a minute to figure out. While I haven’t, this time around, been actually unable to either ingest or enjoy food (thank your local deity for me), I have mostly been eating because I know I’m supposed to. This newish sensation led me to think about how depression hits us in the places that make us human. Therefore, I’ve decided to babble about it here. Poor you, now I’ve trapped you into listening!
Take food, for instance. We need food to survive, at a minimum level, but it’s also one of our primary pleasures. How many accounts of gustatory delight have you read in books, seen in movies, or talked about with your friends? The ritual of eating is perhaps the most important glue to hold families and social groups together. It’s the event we use for first dates, a pleasant distraction that lubricates awkward moments in the ‘getting to know you phase’ of the mating dance.
Ah, yeah. That. Sex is another one of our pleasures, and another thing stolen away by depression. Maslow, in his wisdom, considers it one of the basic physiological needs, more fundamental even than safety. In a modern civilization, I’m not certain I agree, but regardless it’s one of the few activities that actually can make a person feel alive and joyful. And yet, once depressed, our response is ‘Ewwwwwww…no thanks.’
Sleep, then. I’m not certain it qualifies as a pleasure, but it certainly is a basic need. One whose importance you don’t realize until it’s denied you. I put up some gobbledy gook about that recently, so I won’t get too far into it, but it seems to me that every other need and pleasure is absolutely impossible when your sleep tank is empty.
I could go on, ad nauseum, but the idea is this: the essentials of being a living being become lost in depression.
Is it any wonder that we separate ourselves from our peers when this happens? Is it possible that we lose our willingness to socialize, because we now feel that we are no longer members of the human race? We don’t speak the same language anymore, our bodies have defaulted us out of the rat race that consumes those around us. It’s almost as if we no longer have a common language, the implications necessary to comprehend each other’s words have all reset to a new paradigm.
Oh, blast it. Guess I’m having a dissciative moment.