There are many symptoms of depression, but the one I would like to convey is the feeling commonly endured that is never exactly the same for anyone who is unfortunate enough to experience the awful illness; that is the sense of detachment from the rest of the world. Cut off from every aspect of their existence the depressive is now alone in their own prison of depression. This prison can represent itself in many ways:

Sylvia Plath (poet, novelist, sufferer of depression who eventually committed suicide after coming to the dreaded conclusion that death seemed a better prospect than carrying on living with her illness), described the detachment as seeing the world from inside a bell jar, with her view being clouded and distorted by her own stifling depressive atmosphere. Occasionally the bell jar would lift a little, allowing the "fog" to escape and the world would become slightly clearer again, but then it would undoubtedly lower once more and the stewed atmosphere would prevail. I believe that when she ended her life it was because she had finally "suffocated" in her bell jar.

One man, I forget his name now, described his cut off experience as like existing on a treeless windswept terrain that stretched to infinity; the more he hated himself the more desolate it became.

For me, it was different again. It seemed as though the whole world had turned black and white, with a grey mist enveloping everything and everyone. Much of the time I felt distant and spaced out (although that is also a result of the eating disorder at the time, not having nearly enough of the necessary nutrients to exist like one normally should. Note: depression and eating disorders are closely linked in a large percentage of cases, with one normally being a primary cause of the other. This is not always true but it is definatly not uncommon.). Indeed many sufferers have described it as living through thick syrup, merely existing had become slow and laboured.

Depression is different for every sufferer; it does not have clear cut symptoms like diseases of the body, for example, influenza or chicken pox. Being a mental illness it is complicated and very personal, and just as the symptoms one experiences whilst having it can vary greatly, so do the methods by which one’s depression is cured/healed/sent into "remission".

no doctor can tell you you have depression, you just know it. you know when you look in the mirror and get lost in your own self-hatred. people mistake you for vain because you can't tear your eyes away. you know it when you feel the hunger pains and you just smile. you make no effort to quench that thirst, even when your abdomen feels like it's on fire. you know it when you try to talk to someone but no words come out. you feel your heart beating as they frown at you and you feel like you can't breathe. you know it when for weeks you feel fine, months even, then you miss the bus and the world falls apart about your head. you can't remember what you are doing but suddenly there's coke smears on the mirror in front of you and someone is screaming. then you realise that blood-curdling noise is coming from you.

at least, thats how it is for me. my life is wonderful right now. i have a special person in my life who loves me and we're making plans for the future. i'm just waiting for the day when i fuck up and go completely off the rails. i feel like i am walking on eggshells waiting for the day i cry more tears than he's ever seen. the day when i proove to him that the girl he loves, i hate. the day i loosehim forever.

i guess i agree with vega star. i don't need the doctors to tell me i need help. no one does...

don't listen to the labels. don't listen to the doctors. the only person who can save you is...


don't let them crowd your mind, clear it and remember that you are STILL here. despite everything, so far, you've survived. cut the bull shit. you know how you feel, time for the choice, do you want to live or die? either way, make up your fucking mind. if you want to see the dawn, my friends, then breathe, rest your eyes and wait for the sunshine to wash away the sins of the night before. start your day with the knowledge that you are going to make this better. if, however, you want to meet your maker sooner rather than later, remember you family or who ever is going to find your lifeless body. brains splattered everywhere can disturb even the most mentally stable and i'm sure you don't want anyone to feel the way you feel now. so poison yourself and when the world fades away, smile and try to look peaceful.

don't be like me, i wish i had the guts to do it before i hurt him. unfortunately, i'm too happy right now, i couldn't even cut myself if i wanted to. i'm so happy i could go dancing in the street, i just wish i could garantee i'm going to be the same tomorrow.

Apparently "I'm fun".

The people dancing around me don't realize that the reason I'm 'fun' is because I've secretly downed 5 vodkas earlier to numb the overwhelming feeling of loneliness which, even in this crowded room, threatens to overwhelm me. So I drown myself in alcohol instead. Even though I know there'll be hell to pay tomorrow. There always is with mood swing whiskey.

Looking around the utter pointlessness of it all sends shivers down my spine. I am temporarily happy in the haze of a drunken hour. On the dance floor an attractive woman dances, surrounded by men like the petals of a sordid daisy flower. One by one, the men wilt away. She loves me not. She loves me not. She loves me not. She loves me not. Only one remains. She loves him? She loves him not. That doesn’t stop them leaving together after a few minutes. Later that night he will awake from his post-coital slumber to the sound of her crying in the bathroom because she doesn't love herself either. He'll slip out quietly. They are both destined to remain alone.

Meanwhile I return home alone after disappointing a girl who has a crush on me. I know I have hurt her feelings. I hate myself for that. I hate that my hating myself has led to my hating myself even more. I hate that I hate myself without even the slightest sense of self-humor. There’s that much hate in the room. I cannot put things in perspective. If I could bottle this and capture it on CD I’d be rich.

I greet my neighbor who has just woken for his morning fix of jogging and endorphins. I fall asleep crying. I dream of someone giving me a hug and wake with a start, crying. I stay inside for the next three days listening to The Smiths. Toby take a bow. Is it still light outside? Endless knowledge of musical trivia won't give me the answer. After a week I venture a look see.

"Where have you been?” friends ask. "Busy", I lie. Meanwhile I have managed to mask my utter hopelessness with cynicism and humor. Life is a joke, but the joke is on me. I am slowly alienating those around me.

Three months later I cut off the last of my friendships. I have burnt all bridges behind me. This always coincides with an increase in suicidal thoughts.

Four months later I am drained and apathetic. I've stopped drinking. I no longer want to kill myself. Life is still empty. It is time to make some new friends for so long as I don't despise the human race and myself. Hey, on the bright side I’m not a total hypocrite. Am I?

I'm still not sure if I'm depressed or if this is just how I am.

Am I misanthropy taken to its logical conclusion?

Am I just a pretentious idiot whose use of vocabulary has isolated him from the real world so that he is now choking like a vacuum packed sandwich?

No. The real reason I am isolated is because I'm afraid of getting hurt. My isolation doesn't protect me, it hurts me even more. I am stuck in a vicious cycle.

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