Depression: (See also Abject Dictionary, Transition Magazine)

“The theme of silence, and of the near-impossibility of adequately communicating the feel of the disease to those who have not experienced it, has turned up over and over in my research. Depression is often a profoundly alienating experience, inflicting a pain that even its most articulate victims struggle to describe accurately. Novelist William Styron, whose Darkness Visible is one of the most eloquent memoirs of depression, writes that “if the pain [of depression] were readily describable most of the countless sufferers from this ancient affliction would have been able to confidently depict . . .some of the actual dimensions of their torment, and perhaps elicit a comprehension that has been generally lacking.” 31 Mennonite poet and editor Victor Enns offers this effort: “From personal experience I believe depression (particularly unipolar, severe, clinical depression) silences my ability to imagine, to create, to communicate and to care. When people ask what it feels like to be clinically depressed, I often refer to how boring it is. There seems to be so little ‘content’ or ‘experience,’ even of the imagination, in a severe depression.”32” – Jeff Gundy in “Scatter Plots: Depression, Silence, and Mennonite Margins” – Conrad Grebel Reriew Volume 18, Number 1, Winter 2000.

Transition Magazine Fall 09 (PDF)



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