Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Given up

Depression has some very well known costs, such as suicidal thoughts and social withdrawal, but there's one symptom that's rarely discussed: loss of interest. Every one of these objects either is or represents something I've given up. The car represents two things: model building and racing. I've given up on photography quite a few times, but I've always come back to it. Unfortunately, music didn't meet the same fate-I don't feel inspired with an instrument in my hands anymore, and haven't for a very long time. Also, given my experiences with depression, giving up firearms (that's a BB gun) was probably a good idea.

It's a fairly predictable cycle. During hypomanic phases, I have a tendency to take on new projects, new delusions of grandeur, or find a new hobby. I would pour my heart into it at first, putting it ahead of things I really shouldn't put a hobby ahead of. But each time I'd go through a depressive phase, I would come out with less and less interest in my hobbies. Eventually, I'd feel so uninspired that they began to feel more like work and less like hobbies. When that happened, I put down the trumpet, the guitar, the dreams of being an aviator, the camera, the baseball bat, the guns and left the drag strip, and, with the exception of the camera, never picked them up again. Luckily, with medication, I don't think this will be a problem again.

On a side note, bipolar disorder itself is known to induce a creative streak in people. That's probably part of the reason I find photography (particularly film-this image was done with one of my film cameras) to be a good release, and why I was drawn to music. That's another topic for another post, I think.

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