Jan 2, 2010

Snowy slopes of depression

On new year's eve, I was in freezing temperatures with my band mates, not enjoying really enjoying the time that we spent at what appeared to be the most beautiful place on the planet - Gulmarg, a hill resort right in the middle of the Himalayas. This disenchantment - no, disenjoyment - was purely due to climatic reasons, I must clarify. At the warmest point in the day, it was a chilly 3 degrees Celsius. With the Sun beating down, however, it was more attractive, and a tad closer to what postcards of hill stations make you feel that you are missing out on.

As I watched Mr. Omar Abdullah and other officials skiing on the slopes, a few dozen meters away from the porch of ill-heated guest house that we were halting at, I wished I could have fun in the snow too. The white snow. As pure as it looks, but way colder and more dangerous than you expect it to be.

I realized how this paradox paralleled the state of mind during depression, when everything that looks as inviting and innocuous as snow could send the coldest shiver down your spine; - when you are in direct contact with it, that is. For example, social situations like pleasantries and greetings would make you freeze into socio-phreno-plegia.

The whiteness of the snow resembled the vulnerability of the depressive mind, where any shade of color, even a single drop, could taint it colossally - yes, you are vulnerable when you are depressive, to even the minutest of things - people don't often realize that, and sometimes when they do, they abuse the vulnerability - and choose to spit out their venom in different shades of red, thus damaging the beauty of your mind-scape forever.

Bipolar disorder can be analogized to the phenomenon of seasons - the former not so regular perhaps - and people could be compared to different places on the planet differing in latitude and altitude - thus explaining the cyclical occurrences of bipolarity. Ice ages could be compared to suicidal depression, thus killing the vulnerable, eventually evening out the mental flora on the planet.

The analogy had to end somewhere, and it sure does. Unlike the pristine picturesque winter, the mind does not thaw out and wash itself clean like the snow would melt during the spring through summer, only to form a virgin snow-scape during the following winter. The mind doesn't really get the chance - the stains remain, the chills recur. The only hope for a depressive person is to have an ice age. Good riddance, aye?

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