Dealing with Depression - the need for catharsis
A Personal Essay on My War with the Mind
Ups and downs, highs and lows — a manifold of emotions, a confused sense of anxious upheavals and a never-ending throbbing of the heart are feelings I have had since I can remember. The acute inability to define the emotions is most likely what causes the pain to reach a heightened sense of loss and an innate lack of control. It isn't always a simple pathos, anger or fear, rather a culmination of tumultuous mind melts that makes sanity ripple out of control like dominoes.
I hear every other person these days face similar discrepancies of so called normalcy. Though it hurts me to think of the existence of such sorrow in my fellow humans, it also selfishly enough gives me the reason to doubt myself tad less owing to the realization that I am not alone in this quest for a peaceful mind.
Such horrors of the brain and an incessant tussle within oneself reflects in a fluctuating disposition occurring with waves of emotions that come and go like ebb and flow.
First comes the giddy anxiety with physical blockades of inability to sit or stand, work or play, coupled with sudden welling of the heart or a rush of undefinable wrath. Then with the pretty pittance of marvel medicines sets in the numbness of a depressive state. The riled and volatile emotions do not completely vanish, instead are pushed down to a pit, helping the mind to decipher and analyse the problems within.
I have personally found this temporary state of deadness to be a blessing as it has enabled me to discover myself and though the whys take time to grasp, the whats become clearer with thorough investigation of the various dark and light layers in me.
However, too much dulling of the heart eventually starts acting up resulting in a confused and shaken chi. This is the time when a necessity of cathartic purgation rises.
A liberation of the bottled emotions through crucially essential boo hoos gives a sense of calm at its end.
The Magic of Music
My personal note is to find the use of a literary, visual or musical tool to induce the catharsis.
For me it is a few specific musical numbers.
Beethoven's Silencio brings out the much-needed rush of waterworks. It reflects the artist's dreadful torment of silence while creating this masterpiece. The agony with the chaos takes me very close to my own emotions. The painful pathos in Silencio brings out the composer's turmoil with his terrific talent struggling against the deadly deafness — can anything be as doleful as a musician unable to hear? Beethoven's intense woe in this piece jiggles my emotions on every possible layer. The rises and falls of the keys portray the storm within — the climax and anti-climax of fate and passion. This is a piece I use at a state of immense suffocation under the force of unaided, unrealized sentiments.
An Aided Recognition of Madness.
For a lighter emancipation and more from the need to make sense of a collage of crazy thoughts and images, rises my affinity for Queen's I am going slightly mad. A steady deterioration of sanity echoes a stream of conscious madness unmasked to oneself but without the ability to explain to others. Freddie's battle with AIDS along with the contemporary closed mindset against homosexuality in addition to the comparative conservatism of his background might have always made him feel out of place. It was with his bandmates and music that he finally found the avenue for expression of his brilliant mind. Not just Mercury but Queen itself was and still is the most unique band with wide versatility. Coming back to the mentioned song in particular, it always manages to help me sort my madness into words or thoughts that I can understand and in the process deal with.
So, in conclusion, to my fellow depressives — find art, words or music, find what shakes you and find what holds you. Indulge in tears, decipher, analyse and verify whats within. That's the way I personally have come to terms with the madness inside. Cliched as it may sound, the world is cruel and abusive. But there are so many other positives that we can achieve simply through the realization of differences.
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© 2019 Tiyasha Maitra