Depression as mental/emotional overwhelm

Here’s a hypothesis about a way my brain works sometimes. Epistemic status: talking out of my ass.

You know that feeling where you’re overwhelmed with a problem and you just go “this is overwhelming, I can’t think about this anymore”?

I’m gonna guess that’s what happens with a lot of Trump voters. “The government doesn’t work for me anymore. It’s so broken, I don’t know where to start. Forget it, let’s blow it all up and start over. This guy says he’s gonna blow it all up and start over, good enough for me.”
Person who is not feeling this way: “But… yeah, ok, we need massive overhaul, but in the meantime, shouldn’t we do X good thing instead of Y bad thing? Plus, your guy isn’t going to actually blow it all up, he’s probably going to make things worse.”
Person who is feeling this way: “Ehhhhh accepting this train of thought would involve thinking about this space that is too hard to think about. Forget it, blow it all up!”

Similarly with brains: “Life seems really hard and meaningless. I can’t really figure out how to fix it. So what do I think about life as a whole? Ehh, forget it, it must just be hopeless anyway.”
Person who is not feeling this way: “Yeah, but… isn’t it still worthwhile to do thing X instead of Y? Like, don’t we prefer some futures over others? And isn’t it meaningful to pursue the better ones?”
Person who is feeling this way: “Accepting this train of thought would involve thinking about this space that is too hard to think about. Life is difficult and meaningless, etc. Plus, making a better future means we’re going from -100 to -99; yes I think we should do that, but it’s hard to get excited about that or find it meaningful.”

Just like with Trump voters, I don’t think this is a very productive mindset. Luckily, we don’t have a Spiritual Fox News, so nobody’s trying to convince me to spread the word that life is meaningless. If you don’t feel this way, great, keep it up! Similarly, I am continually trying to move this switch for myself. It’s probably actually good to try to make a better future, and to feel like it’s meaningful to do so.

(Note! Obligatory disclaimer: not crying for help or anything; I have a great support network and am doing fine. The intent of this post is to explain one variety of depressed mind a bit. Also know that I would not cry for help by vagueblogging; if I forget to post a disclaimer like this in on any future post it doesn’t mean anything, don’t worry.)


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