Saturday, 9 March 2013

High Functioning Depressive (1)

I've been wanting to write a post about people in academia functioning well while depressed, but I'm finding it really hard for several reasons.  Enough reasons that just writing about them is hard and would make a long boring post.  So I've decided to give up trying to write a post but to write smaller posts with parts of my thoughts on this.

First difficulty, I'm not sure "high functioning depressive" is a thing, or if it is out there, whether it should be.  The analogy is with "high functioning autism" but I think that might be a controversial term.

Somehow my working life is approximately insulated from my depression.  I mean that even when I am depressed and quite badly in my own terms, where I might be saying internally "I want to kill myself" every few minutes, I can teach and write and think.   On those days there's almost a sense of your game playing tricks with you.  It's saying "Ok I'll let you do your job but I won't let it make you happy, and just wait till you get home, then you'll be miserable."  

There's an old puzzle: do you want to be a miserable Socrates or a happy pig?  I think most of the times I think about this I decide rather be a miserable Socrates.   It's only just occurred to me that I should choose to reject the question's premise and be a happy Socrates!

1 comment:

  1. This seems very familiar to me. I, too, have an increasing amount of debilitation the more intimate and familiar my context is — to the point where colleagues usually don't notice unless I make an explicit point of mentioning my problems to them.

    I might not be very productive when I'm down; I'll sit and stare at my computer for a day, then go home afterwards and feel guilty that I didn't do more about my work, which ends up exacerbating my moods. But throughout, it's essentially unnoticable at work.


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