Sunday, July 12, 2009

Living next to a void

I read this today and felt the need to share. It speaks deeply.

My wife has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. She has been like this off and on since we have been married, but things have gotten worse. I have tried to be supportive, upbeat, etc. for many years, but it is taking its toll. It is hard for us to have a “fun” conversation anymore, because she seems to always bring it back to something bad in her life. I respond by trying to offer something cheerful or hopeful, but the game just keeps on. Today, she is at work and I am actually glad that she is gone. I know I should want to be around her, but in all honesty, I need a break from her negative thinking.

I can relate in more ways than one. We've all been in social situations where there's a buzz-kill, but just by working with or for an inhabitant of the void, or being married to one, you are killing your dendrites. The sure sign of that neural retraction is that that you start to feel that withdrawing depression yourself.

Employers can be fired -- don't think that you can change a boss when she demonstrates a depression-inducing, self-reinforcing negativism. Get out while you still have some positive attitute left, and leave constructively.

It is much harder to deal with a slow-burning depression in an intimate relationship. My only advise is to recognize that mild, ongoing depression may be a consequence of a refusal to establish social networks and be open to intimacy -- not a cause for such social dysfunctions. Make sure that you are personally connecting at a social level with people on a regular basis, in such a way that people get to know some real aspect of you, and you get to know them. If you're not already doing this, your relationship isn't healthy; if you can't do this as a couple, at least make an effort yourself without hiding anything or cheating.

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