Monday, November 5, 2012

Characterological Depression : When the void still remains

Hello Dear Readers. I’m back!

Late post today, but it took me an hour and a half to get gas for my car. Finally. Sitting there in line was just so strange. I know this happens to some extent with most major disasters, but it’s just so weird thinking that my parents were doing the same thing back in the 70’s. Especially with our current social/political climate it’s just oddly ominous.  But enough about depressing real world stuff.

Let’s talk about depressing internal mental world stuff! Before the hurricane hit I was talking about Depression and the various ways it presents. Along the way I stumbled on something that explains a way that I’ve been feeling a lot lately. Conveniently it’s also one of the Big 9 qualifiers for BPD in the DSM.

Back in my post on Benzos and Xanas I wrote:

“SSRI’s may help the major depressive disorder type symptoms but don’t touch the characterological depression. *** This strikes a chord with me. *** Note to self to look into this further, b/c currently I feel like my major depression is practically non-existent, but I still have that feeling of emptiness.”

That right there. I don’t feel depressed Depressed, in the way that I have since I was 12. I don’t always feel gloomy and sad. I don’t always feel like that little black rain cloud is constantly hovering over my head. I just feel; blank.

It’s funny (or not so funny, really). I always assumed that the chronic feeling of emptiness was merely a part of my depression. They so naturally go hand in hand that I never stopped to consider that there might be a difference between the physical display of depressive disorder symptoms and the characterlogical emptiness that comes with the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. I haven’t been depressed, but I still have this ever present sensation of… nothingness. My heart feels hollow.

The only time I feel anything is when I’m consumed with something that raises me to an intense emotional height. Except as soon as it’s over I plunge right back to the void that waits beneath the heat.

A long, lingering stillness. I constantly feel as if I’m waiting for something important to happen except I’m not sure what and it never actually does; sitting at a bus stop on a route that’s been out of service for years in a town that went ghost in the last recession.

A perpetual void occluded by the occasional star.

There are good moments. There are bad moments. And then there’s nothing. It’s so strange. I almost miss the depression to justify this feeling of nothingness. Even the moments of bad are better than the lack of feeling anything.

It makes it almost easy to understand why we can crave such intensity that comes with our rapidly swinging moods. In those moments of tumultuousness the sensation of being alive is real. Tangible. When the storm has calmed, there’s nothing left to hold onto. I wonder if anything is even real and life worth living b/c really we’re just a minuscule point in time in a Universe that never ends. The highs and the lows distract from contemplating the infinite vacuum of space between this time and the next.

Of course the problem with riding the ups and the downs is the destruction we can leave in our own wake. I’m learning to get around this. It’s not much of a surprise that I’m a very passionate person. I love the fire that comes with my anger and emotion. The trick is focusing it constructively and controlling the burn instead of letting the fire run wild. I’m very active in fighting for causes that hold meaning to me. The last six months have been great for politics. I fight incredibly hard for social equality, equal rights, government reform. I fight for education, the environment, and science. Obviously I think raising awareness on mental health issues is pressing. So I channel that passion, and anger, into things that give my emotion purpose. Oh I still burn a few bridges and raise some less than happy responses, but I’m not causing destruction for the sake of lashing out. I’m dismantling outmoded ideas and detrimental dogmas that restrict the rights and well being of everyone around me. Or at least I believe my stances are the ones doing that. I’m a fighter. I’ll always be a fighter. My road to healing doesn’t mean destroying everything I used to be, b/c like it or not my personality disorder is a part of me; what it does me for me though, is making it work for me, not against me. And not against everyone around me.


  1. "A long, lingering stillness. I constantly feel as if I’m waiting for something important to happen except I’m not sure what and it never actually does; sitting at a bus stop on a route that’s been out of service for years in a town that went ghost in the last recession."

    It's refreshing to see someone else who feels just the same as I do. When the deep, hellish pain sets, there's still that emptiness...

  2. I really relate to all of this. Recently while in hospital, two psychiatrists told me that I presented with borderline during my stay. Looking up on it, and reading your posts... I'm pretty sure I do have it. That chronic "emptiness" and loneliness is the core of my entire problem. Including the existential dilemmas that you mentioned. I remember saying to a doctor once, when she was talking about learning to deal with my problems: "But what if your problem is just EXISTENCE itself??" and she just stared at me as if I were a complete nut. I mean, can no-one else see it like we do???

  3. Hello sir, How are you today?

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  4. You're not talking to yourself :) Finding your blog has helped me so much. You have managed to articulate what I could never quite manage to. Thank you for sharing!


Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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