My blog started as a general kind of blog… the blog of some girl in the world with a lot in her mind. However, with the passing of time, is been shifting (or maybe it’s always been like that but I only acknowledge it now). I still blog about a lot of things (and will keep blogging about a lot of things) but it’s mostly about my experience with chronic major depressive disorder. Anyone who’s been reading this for a while would know. I have people in my life with whom I get to talk about the other things, but the depression stuff is still reserved for the blog. I’m not all about depression but it takes so much of me. It doesn’t define me but it stains everything I say and do. I’ve learned a lot about it – which is different than just learning about it in med school – I’ve survived and grown despite it. It is worse now -not the worst ever I guess but bad enough, and I’m off medication. I grow but the depression grows too, it’s a never ending race.
For months I’ve been blogging about it; not thinking much about it, I’ve ended up knowing a lot of people who suffer of mental disorders. In the circle of depressive blogs, you find people who understand what you’re going through. To be honest, without the Internet this would be rather difficult, if not impossible. When I see myself going through he worst, I think “what a pathetic, weak, (insert several other horrendous adjectives) person” despite my clinical knowledge of it. But when I read other bloggers going through the same, I want to hug them and for a second I see my own depressed self as someone worthy of the same support. You could say other blogs act as a mirror that is not being distorted by my own self judgement.
We might not know each others little bits of information, even things as big as our first name as some blogs are anonymous. It’s the opposite to real life acquaintances – we know their names, main hobbies, what sports team they like, where they live and sometimes their birthdays but we know absolutely nothing about what’s going on inside their minds. In the circle of depressive blogs sometimes we talk about things that would be considered too much information for the regular person.
This leads me to a subject I want to know more about: Triggers. I’ve noticed some blogs have trigger warnings before they start talking about things like deep hopelessness, suicide or self harm. I haven’t found information about blogs being a trigger for depressive thoughts or self injury on the readers and personally I haven’t found myself negatively affected by any of these subjects. I can’t say it doesn’t happen because my information is limited at the moment.
There’s a small online community that I’ve belonged to since I was 15 years old. We’ve grown older and most of us don’t even have much in common anymore, but we keep going in there, and recently there has been a talk about the future and whether or not we’d still talk to each other several years from now. Despite not having that much in common anymore, I’d say it’s not a crazy possibility. Healthy, active individuals have good chances of being alive in a decade from now, two decades or more. I imagine that if I’m still around by then we’d have some fun talking about how our lives have turned out to be.
In the circle of the depressive blogs though, it’s hard to even think about it. There’s this fear in the background that one of them will stop blogging one day, and we’d all know why. The risk for suicide in depressive disorders pops different numbers everywhere… 1%, 7%, 15%… all depending on the severity, accompanying risk factors and illnesses, and even gender. It’s hard to tell but it’s always in the air, especially with the kind of things we talk about. We know better than others about how we can never promise this will not happen.
Some days more than others, the abstract ideas and the numbers in the statistics become more solid.
I don’t want to talk about the specifics right now, all I know is that I hate when this happens. Everything feels even more real and horrible when it does. It becomes evident that it is not a game.
“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key. — Elizabeth Wurtzel