I haven't really thought about this much. One thing that I like about the way my brain works is that it is very easy for me to compartmentalize, so usually I am an optimist, not prone to depression etc. Plus I am very sensitive to pleasure, like I must have too much serotonin or something, but I do sometimes feel down. Some sociopaths are particularly susceptible to depression, or I have a few readers at least who feel debilitating depression.
I was talking with a friend about this and asked what it looks/sounds/feels like when I am allegedly depressed. She said that it just seems like I am frustrated with my inability to think, which I think is accurate. I think when I feel "down," it is usually because my mind has lost some of its functionality, either because I am sick, tired stressed, or the brain is overtaxed. My friend also described her own depression, as a comparator. She said that she puts so much of her identity in how she feels, that when she is feeling poorly, she has a bit of a crisis of identity. I believe that is true for me too. I believe that I put so much of my identity in how I think ("I am how I think") that when my brain is sluggish and not performing up to par, I also have a crisis of identity. Being a sociopath already feels really empty, which I am fine with because I have never experienced anything different (and question whether anything different even exists). So emptiness is something you just have to learn to deal with day to day, like any other chronic illness, but sometimes it flares up or something irritates it, like a sluggish mind. And sometimes it gets really bad, like a crisis of identity, inflamed, and probably the only solution at that point is to (self) medicate it, dull it, quiet the deafening silence of the void, and maybe even that won't help. When it gets really bad, there's a hopelessness in wondering whether I'll ever go back to feeling like myself again. If I never go back to feeling normal, will I still be me? That's a really disturbing concern. I have never, ever have thoughts of suicide, but I do think there are worse things than dying.
Monday, March 4, 2013
A reader asks me what sorts of negative emotions I feel: "You've written of loyalty, gratitude, exhilaration (when winning or achieving something), a desire to be in control, etc. I'd like to know more about the other end of the spectrum." My response: