Someone I recently met suspected I was depressed because my Instagram pictures are ambiguous enough to lack narrative. Separately, I was told by a reader that the tone of my blog suggested possible depression. Yes, I do feel some unease in my life, so please join me for a quick tour of my mind informed by anecdotes and pop-psychology. This is an exploratory post to ask if I'm I okay.
The secret to good mental health isn't much more complicated than prioritising the things and people you love. It's about confronting internal negativity, rather than chasing external standards or blaming circumstance. I believe that however existential our fate, life is as real as the illusions we choose to create. If illusions have become uncontrollable delusions, then mental illness may be involved.
The time to check the logicality of my lens is now, as I lie stagnant, wondering if the narrow gap between 'wanting' and 'having' is in fact too wide. I compare myself with one ex who cut herself and another who told me I could never understand how it felt to think that
no matter what I do, I will always go back to feeling like shit for the rest of my life.
Recalling this conversation has always been a reason for me not to self-diagnose depression because I've never felt this existential hopelessness. Similarly, the headspace that could motivate self harm has always been unrelatable.
Self diagnosis based on comparisons to others seems unwise. So I thought about the actual level of disruption to my life. My mood has never stopped me getting out of bed, whilst taking medication could never give me what I really need: friends and direction. My current self diagnosis is that the hole left where there was recently a relationship, is deepened by the difficulty I have socialising. My self prescription has so far amounted to nothing more than a theoretically proactive attitude.
I think my problems are more social than mental. That a couple of cousins have been recently diagnosed with autism has encouraged me to think in that direction. I take the stairs to the third floor to avoid proximity and find it difficult to express myself without seeming blunt. Yet I'm not super clever and have functional emotional relationships. An online test says I could have mild autism, but probably not enough for the healthcare system to live up to its second syllable. As much as I'd like to explore a possible diagnosis, I haven't got the resilience to deal with the NHS pushback I'd get for my lack of severity.
If nothing else, I've learnt about myself by identifying and exploring the issues affecting my life. The response to the possibility of an illness or disorder could inform behaviour as much as neurology, so I think this writing has had some therapeutic value. I'm functioning and want to live, so see me in the street like any other Sisyphus.