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The Boring Truth About Depression


If you watch enough daytime television, you’ll probably get the impression that having a mental illness is a super dramatic situation, rife with scene-stealing opportunities. Plenty of crying and vase-throwing and running through the rain, all set to violin music.

What few people seem to realize is that having a mental illness can actually be one of the most unutterably boring things imaginable.

Consider me, once again floundering under the weight of a depressive illness that’s plagued me on and off for as long as I can remember. Apart from the usual stuff — deep, unyielding unhappiness; comprehensive self-loathing; a sense of infinite hopelessness — I’m also bored out of my skull.

I’m not just bored with the symptoms that keep coming back with relentless monotony. I’m bored because I have no energy to do anything. So I spend most of my time sitting on the lounge in front of the TV. I’m also bored with sitting on the lounge in front of the TV, but have no desire to do anything else, except maybe sleep, so after a while I go to bed, sometimes when it’s still light.

But even sleep gets boring after maybe 12 hours. So I drag myself up and go to work, which bores me because I have zero motivation to engage with it. (Also because my job is kind of boring.) Then I come home and sit in front of the TV.

It’s enough to make you want to throw a vase. Unfortunately, I don’t own any.*

Perhaps we could introduce some new treatments, to add some spice to the tedium? Like, with every six-pack purchase of Cymbalta you get The Cure to come play live in your lounge room. Or whenever you find yourself staring dully off into space, wondering what the point of it all is, someone hands you a kitten. Or, instead of having to just sit there and listen to your shrink drone on, you could throw a cream pie at him every time he suggests you stop drinking so much.

But until such things become possible, I’m afraid I’m stuck here. Me and my TV. I know this will pass, as it always does, but it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when everything is grey. So here, for now, I stay. Although I am thinking about doing some baking before my next therapy session…

*Vase donations welcomed.

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Thinkstock photo via Digital Vision


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