There is such thing as the Depression Circle. It’s the sort of thing you only ever see with distance. When you’ve experienced or observed, or both, the effects of things and recounted the notches in life. It’s really a rather simple concept; Someone gets depressed. They probably don’t notice. They just know that things look a bit duller than they used to. Not much, because this isn’t something that they notice, not until much, much later. But small things like speaking on the phone become insurmountable tasks, and they feels as if nothing will ever be okay again. And they exist like this for awhile until they’re lucky enough to have someone question them. The time in which this takes place differs among people, of course. Usually it takes awhile because, let’s face it, these people have withdrawn and other people tend to get annoyed. Their friends believe they are being patient but it’s a hard thing to be patient about. Afterall, it’s difficult to like someone who refuses to believe that they are worth liking.
But eventually someone will say something that will cause the Depressed to open their eyes a bit and realized that there’s really something wrong, this is not a bad mood, this is not a slump, this is clinical. And then they’ll start to feel better. There’s suddenly something explaining why they feel the way they feel. The unexplainable has an explanation. This will continue whenever they feel like they doing something about the illness. Because it is an illness. They’re sick! They can’t help it! And if they’re sick they can always get better. Whenever they talk to the doctor, in fact, they probably wont feel the symptoms; like when the car is making a funny sound that ceases when they make it to the shop. They will have the best intentions; “I’m just getting my meds checked, I’m definitely going to start going to that therapy they keep recommending!” Of course, like the best intentions always do, they disappear with distance. Several days afterward they’ll have convinced themselves that pills are enough.
And for awhile they are. Everything’s brighter. It becomes easier to speak to people. Life is back to the way it always was. They find themselves… happy. The synapses in their brains have begun receiving the proper amount of seratonin. The connecting synapse has finally stopped sucking it backward instead of passing it further. Everything is somehow, without ever having noticed, back to normal.
And it would be fantastic if the circle could end there. If it traveled from happy to sad and then back again. But alas, that’s not the way a circle works. Instead it keeps turning, repeating itself over again. Eventually, for some reason that’s not clearly defined except that it’s not unheard of for the body to get used to things, the medication just stops working. It’s not sudden, so at first they may not notice. They may try and compensate by taking more of the medication than is prescribed. But that can’t work forever and eventually it’s back. The blackness and the dull and, worse, the hopeless self loathing.
And then they probably try to ignore it. It’s an off day, there’s something external bring me down. It’s winter and the sky is gray. It’s okay to skip school or call of work or skip out on obligations because it’s just this once. Everyone has off days. But somehow those few days turn into far longer. May they make it to work so they figure they’re really okay. But then eventually, just like the first time, someone will say something and they’ll realize that they have spiraled again. I’s time for new medication. So they’ll go back to the doctor, get their Zoloft switched to Prozac or their Lexapro switched to Cymbalta and then it starts all over again.
The difficult thing, the thing that they probably refuses to think about or perhaps lie to themselves about because it’s too crippling, is that this will never stop. Even when they’re better enough to be off the meds and living happily there will always be relapses. There will always be moment of feeling worthless and they will span months and they will destroy things. Every once in awhile, just like everyone else only more polarizing, they will get sad. But just like before the circle will come around again and somehow, because it has to be, in the end it’s alright.