About 6 years ago, I turned to face depression in myself, and started to deal with it. Whether it was depression from MS that was at that point undiagnosed, or my continuing a questionable family history, or simply my own makeup, I don’t know. But I found some interesting perspective – which may or may not have anything to do with the depression that goes along with MS – from several writers on the subject.

One writer suggested that we revive the old term “melanchoic,” for people with depression. I think it is a far more descriptive term – I feel that it applies more to me than depression does. The same writer, or maybe it was another, also suggested that our society sees melancholy as an abberration, something that needs to be fixed, that we should take the melancholic person and, if need be, medicate him so that he is not melancholic any more.

Why can’t I be melanchiolic, as long as I am not harming anyone? Why do we look at melancholy as something to be fixed? People talk about feeling more like themselves when they first start with antidepressants. I definitely felt remarkably different when I first started, but I wouldn’t say I felt like “myself.” I felt like myself on drugs.

Anyway, I am interested in the MS/depression connection. Food for thought.


Author: Stephen

Stephen Harris is a writer, painter and a photographer who lives with his family in Maine.

One thought on “depression”

  1. Amen! I’ve dealt with bipolar II (which is depression/hypomania) and major depression over the years. While I have to say that I really didn’t enjoy the major depression, as I did want to live but felt I was being smothered nonetheless, when I swing into the depressive end of my bipolar (now that it doesn’t have low self-esteem and self-destructive thoughts and beliefs to feed off of) I feel much more like myself than when I’m hypomanic. My theory is this: For me at least, depression (or, you’re right, melancholy) manifests more as profound emptiness than as sadness. So, in a culture where we are constantly being stimulated by noise, lights, sounds, the media, politicians, etc, melancholy is a nice quiet place to sit and turn all of that off for a while.

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