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Half a Person

28 Jul

I’m planning on writing a series about depression when, um, I’m less depressed (or have fewer things to do that take up my energy and willpower), but I thought I’d talk briefly about one of the symptoms I have that I hate the most. When my depression gets bad, I become really, really dumb.

My ability to learn quickly, remember things, problem-solve, and concentrate completely goes away. I’ve seen people* try to chalk these symptoms (especially lack of concentration) up to excess rumination, which can be true, but it’s beyond that. It’s truly a physical response–my brain slows waaaaay down. I forget how to do things I’ve done hundreds of times before. I can’t do simple math or remember short strings of numbers. I haven’t read a remotely challenging book in quite some time because I’m simply not up to it.

I’m okay with being a space cadet (I always have been, and had daydreaming down to an art when I was in school), but feeling slow and stupid? I hate it. Especially when my brain is already trying to tell me that I’m incompetent, useless, fat, lazy, unloveable, etc etc etc.

The worst part about it is that there’s nothing I can do about it. Sometimes caffeine helps, but that also makes me more anxious, which also makes me stupid (although in a different way–yay!). All I can do is try and turn off the asshole part of my brain and resist telling other people, “No!!! I’m not normally this stupid, I swear!” It sucks.

*Mostly dicks who don’t believe that there’s any physiological aspect to depression and that it’s all in people’s heads. Unfortunately, a lot of these people are considered “experts”. Which is part of the reason why I feel like I need talk about these things with complete candor sometimes.

I Don’t Have Sound and This Still Made Me Happy

7 Feb