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I was scrolling through Reddit the other day and came across a post entitled “Depression and Writing”. I was intrigued so started reading.
Needless to say, it was a bit depressing, BUT also eye-opening.
The author of the post wrote:
I have no motivation. No interest in anything else in my life besides reading and writing. I find no joy in whatever appears in front of me. I’m not interested in relationships or outdoor activities. Yet cannot write.Yet, I cannot read. I can merely exist in a space that is far from living.
…How do you do it, depressed writers, how do you muster up anything?”Reddit: u/Artistic-Mall-2254
This thread was huge and a lot of people commented that they too felt the same way–that what he was describing was also their life.
The whole thing was so sad because so many are in the same boat but are stuck to the lifestyle or self-imposed exile.
Depression is such a catch-all phrase isn’t it? It cover such a huge gambit of thoughts, life-style, action and non-action.
According to the American Psychiatric Association depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
As you can see the list goes from mild to extreme and is not something to fool around with.
A lot of these things can also be related to outside influences, substances, or biological/genetic factors of the individual.
There’s an old saying that misery loves company…. what this refers to is being around like minded miserable people who support the ongoing lousy moods.
Does this post sound like you? or someone you know? What do you do to combat the darkness?
One responder on Reddit wrote:
…Depression is romanticized so much when it comes to comics and writers and “troubled artists”. Don’t fall into the trap of depression being your key to creativity. Go get treated.”Reddit: destroyerofpoon93
This is wise advice. There are many ways to treat depression now. I’m not a doctor but perhaps you need to see one.
While this may not be for everyone there are a miriad of medications, therapies, and coping mechanisms that can be explored.
Being a writer means writing.
If you’re a depressed writer, fine, but you still have to write or you’re simply a depressed person identifying as a writer.
It’s like me saying I’m a depressed ballerina, but I can’t dance because I’m depressed–well, guess what–ballerina’s dance.
I guess the main difference to the above example is that I’m really not a ballerina, but you may be a writer who’s so paralyzed by mental health issues that your need to find help.
Be truthful with yourself.
The thing is that everyone goes through bouts of sadness or questioning, but when it becomes debilitating to the point of not being able to function, there’s no choice but to seek help. Simple as that.
Don’t cheat the world of your creativity. Find what works for you and start writing again.
Here are some numbers in Canada for Help
Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566 (24/7)
or connect with Wellness Together Canada for support and assistance.
Get help! Get Writing!
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