Jun 8, 2015

Initiating conversations about depression

For some reason, I know and/or am close to a lot of people who have known psychological issues, especially depression. For example, Vinokur, my first ex-boyfriend has a plethora of neuroses, including Type II Bipolar Disorder. My second ex-boyfriend Joe has depression, but is still in the closet. My present boyfriend J has been diagnosed with depression and is supposed to be on therapy for it, but is not the most compliant patient.

My sister has symptoms similar to me, but is not willing to take treatment. My dad and mom too have a variety of symptoms. Several of my close friends have depression and they are friends with me because they can freely and openly have conversations with me. Conversations both about depression and otherwise. I tend to empathize with them and don't force them to do things that they are not comfortable with.

So why am I ranting about it? To spread awareness about it, actually, and to share my learning experiences. About my point...

Although being perpetually distracted is a known symptom of depression, it is something that people don't notice too often. Maybe they do, but they don't attribute it to depression. I think it goes hand in hand with the fact that you don't want to seek help to treat it and that you don't want things to change. Plus, of course, if you are like me, you are likely thinking you deserve to be punished for being such a bad person.

I noticed recently that most of the time that I have known J, when I initiate conversations about some chores/tasks that we need to collaborate on to finish, he seems distracted and preoccupied with something else. He behaves like a little school kid being forced to listen to a lecture that he/she is not interested in. I used to think of this a rude, unkind, inconsiderate behavior.

Two nights back, I was at my apartment, feeling nice and refreshed after a relaxing session of EMDR. I am usually hesitant to initiate conversations. But I felt great about myself and I decided to call J on Skype. The conversation started smoothly. J was happy that I called and was playful and clowning around as usual. However, I had to initiate some serious conversation about his health and the things that we need to get done for his birthday party this weekend.

As soon as I did, however, he seemed to zone out. He started picking up things from his desk and shelves and examining them and rearranging them. He was listening to my monologue all throughout. When his turn to respond came up, he did not have much to say. This slowly built up to a point when I waited for a full minute for a response. Of course, I didn't get any.

I decided that it was time to let him know what I thought. And I did. He didn't receive it well. The conversation was awkward and he hung up unceremoniously. This was not uncharacteristic of J and the conversations that we have.

I closed Skype and started working on one of the tracks I was working on, and got lost in it. In about half hour's time, I got a call from J on Skype. This time he acknowledged that he realizes that he has been distracted and he wants to snap out of it. As usual, I suggested that he get an appointment with his shrink about it.

As a concluding note, I feel that I did something good. At the very least, I think I was successful in reinitiating the process of recuperation.

1 comment:

Manoj Varma said...

Really considerate of you. You are a very understanding boyfriend