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Music and depression

Depression feels like suffocation of the mind. It is as if no light can enter into the heart. The body feels as if someone else is operating it, like a marionette controlled by Agony. Hope is nowhere to be found in the cave of darkness that is the self.

Music, for me, is the candle in the cave. 

People always say, Call someone when you feel depressed. Reach out. Talk to someone.

What they don't understand is, you can't sometimes.

It doesn't occur to you to call anyone. At first, you think the feeling will pass. When it doesn't, you think it'll pass. When it doesn't, you still think the feeling will pass. Then things gradually begin to lose color. Sunsets look grey. Food tastes bland...if you even want to eat at all. The funny is gone. So is the laughter.

You begin to think it's not going to pass. And when it doesn't pass, you wonder if this is what life is now. And when it becomes Life, you start wondering if you can take it anymore. And when it doesn't change, you cycle into despair so complete your breathing changes, your movement changes, everything changes. 

Who do you call? Who will understand this? Who will take it seriously?

Even if you wanted to call someone, who will stop what they are doing to cater to your feelings of complete despair? It's not like cancer where you can see it, and if you don't do anything, you can track the trajectory and know with pretty good accuracy when you're going to die. This isn't that.

With depression, it's different. Everyone's got problems; why are yours so important that folks will drop what they are doing to come help you? 

When you're in the grips of depression, that's what you think and feel. It's the feeling that's most important here...the feeling of "What's the use? Who can help? What do I do? Where do I go?" 

The moment I hear the opening notes to Mozart's symphony in G-minor, K-550, or soprano Gabriela Crowe's Un Bel Di vedremo, or Rufus and Chaka Khan's Tell Me Something Good, I can cling. Now I have something to hold on to until I can see a doctor. It isn't the only thing that helps--doctors, meds, exercise, rest, work, and yes, laughter--but music is a vital element of my survival toolbox.

 


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