Friday, February 24, 2012

Mysteries of the Mind

   Just when you think that depression is just depression, and it can be warded off with good intentions, fitness, nutrition, positive outlook, optimism and general joie de vive, along comes the diagnosis that hits far deeper than merely the pat phrase "Seasonal Affected Disorder." The deeper I delve into the mysteries of the mind, at least MY mind, the truths begins to surface. At times it feels as if I am looking at an algae covered pond, seeing some mysterious creature bumping up beneath the dense green surface. I can see the movement, see the solidity of the beast beneath, but cannot for the life of me identify it for what it truely is. Or in truth, discover how many creatures are actually there. One? Two? Too many? And just how large?
    One of the largest and most active creature seems to be Introjective Depression. I had never heard of such a beast. But apparently it inhabits my pond: "Introjective Depression is developmentally more advanced that Anaclitic Depression. Introjective Depression is characterized by feelings of being unworthy, unloveable, guilty, and having failed to live up to expectations and standards. The person with introjective cognitive structures has a keen sense of morality and self-scrutiny. These individuals have excessive demands for perfection, a proclivity to assume blame and responsibility, and feelings of helplessness to achieve approval, acceptance, and recognition. The Introjective person overachieves in order to win the approval which he or she feels is lacking. With any sense of failure or lack of approval from important others (an activating event), the Introjective individual is vulnerable to depression." Hell, who knew? Yes, I've always been a perfectionist, and have felt deep angst at presumed failure. And "keen sense of morality and self-scrutiny?" Oh hell Yes. Have you read any of my over-analytical blogs? Most of my writing is all about self-scrutiny. I guess it should come as no surprise to find that these hardwired aspects of my personality are also a core of my self-flagellation. They are more than the core, they are the hand that holds the whip.

    There is a sense of relief in the naming of things. A name is another step towards understanding. And understanding is paramount in finding a source of relief. It gives me a jumping off point, a target, a visible creature to define and understand.

(*For those who know me and know my private nature, understand that my sharing of this information is one of many hurdles towards my own self-acceptance, understanding and management of the Whirlwind that is Me. It is not an attempt to elicit pity or sympathy, just understanding. I love the Whirlwind that is Me. I truely do. But I am searching for ways to lessen my impact on my psyche and my environment, for a Whirlwind is a force of Nature, not to be denied, but hopefully to be understood and accepted for what it is.*)

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