June 9, 2006 07:42 | Confession

À propos de rien

Barlow had these lines in a recent email about a friend of his' death:

Fighting clinical depression is inevitably a lonely struggle. What could be less conducive to compassion than a disease that make you whine? Laymen and loved ones tell you to get a grip. They make you feel ashamed to be sick. Even if they're more enlightened about the disease, they can't help but harbor a secret, naturally human, belief that you are suffering a failure of will rather than biochemistry. Meanwhile, the doctors consider little but the neuro-soup and turn you into a shambling medical experiment, testing pharmaceutical nostrums on you that are as blunt as the mind is subtle, though just as unpredictable. But, for you, life just trudges on. It remains, despite whatever visible signs of well-being - wonderful spouse, great kids, well-located house, etc. - a purgatory of uselessness, barren of joy and meaning. Love, incoming or out-going, becomes something you think, not feel.

I don't know if I am clinically depressed, and I sure as hell ain't pining to find out, but this made me think hard, still does actually, about many things.

Perhaps that's just the problem, innit? Hrm. Dammit, what a cliché.