Depression and the senses


Disclaimer: SickNotWeak does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

There is an invisible thick black, oppressive blob over our house. You can’t smell, taste, hear, or touch it but it’s there. It’s depression. It sits over the house like a big dark mud puddle hovering, waiting for either of us to dare see sunlight. As the days go on it starts to sit on the roof seeping into the once cozy house making it heavy and sad.  

I didn’t choose to have the black. My 25-year-old son didn’t choose to have the darkness take over his mind but it came anyway. This month it’s thicker and heavier and despite the psychotropic remedies that get thrown into it’s core, it still grows. 

Depression is the last spoonful.

If you could smell it, it would be musty like an old suitcase that has been stored on the dirt floor of the crawl space. When you’re in the crawl space it has a slight odour — not bad just noticeable. It is only when it is left in the room and you return an hour later that the musty damp smell has now permeated the entire space. You open the window to get some relief and you do, until the window is closed and the smell somehow seems stronger. A suitcase can be thrown away, problem solved. Depression can’t be, as it is weaved into layers of thoughts. 

If you could taste it, it would be like the bottom of the cereal after the milk  has saturated it and made it soggy. At first the crunch of the cereal makes a  pleasant sprinkle of flavour of your tongue. The milk feels cool and wet in  contrast to the dry flakes. They compliment each other. Then they sit  together for too long and the milk takes over. Whether the cereal surrenders or is forced to give up its protective outer layer is unsure. Nonetheless, the last few spoonfuls give no pleasure and are just something to endure in order to clean the bowl. The milk might be sweeter having absorbed the flavours of its companion but the cereal is now wet and soggy. It just flops onto your tongue, heavy, wet and flavourless. While you endure that last spoonful, you know tomorrow the start of your breakfast will be delightful. Depression is the last spoonful, it makes the mind soggy, never to spring back to its original  state. 

If you could hear it, it would start as your favourite song, just a little off the  beat. It wouldn’t be the best quality soundtrack but manageable. You have to work a little harder to pick out the lyrics but they are there. It begins to play  over and over in your head. You try and stop humming it but it stays with you  and soon starts to become an annoyance that won’t stop. You hum another  song in an attempt to override the instinct to go back to the first song. Soon  the song is louder, crowding out thoughts you wanted to hold onto. It gets 

louder and the notes are distorted into something you grow to hate. Yet it  plays on and on and on. It is now in control of your brain, it dictates when it  starts to play and for how long. You are just the vessel it uses. Depression is  the distorted song that once was beautiful. 

Depression is quicksand.

If you could touch it, it would be cornstarch quicksand. It’s a solid dispersed in a liquid that when touched is a hard wet surface that stops your hand from penetrating it. Yet when you place your hand flat on the surface it starts to  sink or be sucked down into the liquid. Of its own accord your hand sinks, the wetness and heaviness of the mixture at first feeling like your sinking in quicksand. It pulls at the palm of your hand as it pushes fingers apart.

Quickly, your entire hand is encased in the liquid. It feels soft and velvety wet. You wiggle your fingers only to find the liquid has now turned solid over your hand. As you pull away it creates a suction you need to pull against. You pull up, it pulls down and you are left with gooey wet slime dripping from your hand. Depression is quicksand, the more you fight it, the stronger the hold it has on you. You can try to pull away but you only sink again. 

I don’t have depression but my adult child does. As a caregiver I watch as this terrible beast ravages and destroys his mind. It takes over his thoughts, his ability to find joy, to hold joy and to love. It is black and heavy and dark.  When this darkness is in the house, the house takes on its shadows. The people around the darkness are covered in the shadows. Depression doesn’t just claim one victim, its powers try to take down everyone in its path.

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