Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Self Indulgent Blues

I don’t think that there is any doubt that depression is chemical in origin. Having said that, there is depression and then there is depression. There, I’m sure that clears it up for everyone. What I am focusing on is being able to tell the difference in self indulgence (feeling sorry for yourself) and genuine depression. It is my considered opinion that a lot of people (cough, cough WADE cough) break into self pitying modes as a matter of self indulgence and that that particular cycle, once it gets deep enough, initiates or combines with true depression, deepening the cycle.


Only a professional can help you with true depression, but almost anyone  and anything can help you with self indulgence issues. The biggest help is simple human contact and focusing on other issues besides your own poor pitiful life. This sounds so easy, but for some of us, it is quite difficult because what we really want from our self indulgence is to be left alone to , well, self indulge. After John McCain lost the Presidency last year he told several interviewers that he took several days to “feel sorry for himself” and that he had enjoyed it immensely. This sounds strange, how can you enjoy feeling bad ? What McCain was saying is that it had been his choice to be self indulgent and so something within him must have enjoyed it. McCain was not giving himself enough credit, what he was suffering was genuine grief, the inevitable result of losing something that you have worked very hard for. However, McCain was onto something for many of us. Maybe we want to feel bad. I have heard women say that what they really need is a “good cry”. That cry may be cathartic, ending self indulgence before it really gets started. I don’t know. I have never had a really good cry. Tears come to my eyes, but I have never really wept. I guess I have been too busy felling sorry for myself.


As  depression is said to be “anger turned inward” I think that self indulgence is unexpressed passive aggressiveness. That’s not much of an insight, but then again, I’m not much of a psychologist. While getting out your anger may help your depression, active passive aggressiveness will do nothing for you except deepen your problem, especially if it is resentment. It may all reduce to pure pettiness. The mark of narcissism. The belief that everything revolves around you and that it is a tragedy when you don’t get whatever you want. I don’t know. If I did I’d write self help books instead of blogs. Are these blogs the ultimate self indulgence ?


Blogger Jannie Funster said...

I never get depressed for longer than a few hours at a time, and that not too frequently. So I'm lucky.

I suppose blogs can be self indulgent, but I doubt most are.

Here's one I really like, she contantly challenges me to be the best I can, by looking within and reaching for the light we all are made of. She helps put all woes into perspective.

7:18 PM  

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