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February 27th, 2006

Depression

Allow me to clarify depression, to illuminate how superfluous the psychology articles remain -- to symptomatically describe what a depressed person feels.

1. Antisocial

A depressed friend will never call you and ask for help. Friends who do call and complain about how depressed they feel are -- at most -- suffering from the blues. Depression wraps a person in a horrifically comfortable cloister, like their bedroom, for days ... weeks.

2. Fatigue

Your depressed friend sleeps for the majority of their day -- at least 10 hours; usually between 12 and 15 hours. Friends who complain about sleepless nights are suffering from higher than normal reserves of energy and, necessarily, not depression. See Unmotivated below. Insomnia in a depressed person is merely a by-product of one extremely long sleep cycle followed by a unmotivated, waking period -- lying idle after sleeping, for example.

3. Nihilism

A depressed friend becomes nihilistic -- he says things like "nothing matters" and "everything you do merely fills the void". Obviously it is depressing to be around your depressed friend. Inevitably you will talk about Death and want to escape their pessimism to return to your meaningless existence.

4. Anxiety

Like the panic that overwhelms rationality from not surfacing soon enough to take another breath, a depressed friend feels that something is terminally wrong. One sneeze must be an oncoming cold, dry skin becomes a rash, et cetera. Your friends will mention how they feel a cold coming on or how dry the winter is making their skin -- but your friends are not depressed if they supply (valid) reasons for their suspicions. A depressed person can, at best, verify their suspicions with ESP, but more consistently with fatalism: 'I must be sick'.

5. Unmotivated

You will find your depressed friend wearing dirty laundry, sitting in heaps of trash, drinking from dirty dishes, and lying around with greasy hair or abit of BO. Friends who feel overwhelmed by their ToDo list are not depressed. Depressed peoples do not keep lists of things to do: see Nihilism above.