After Justice I worked out and had a pretty good run. I might need to tighten the belt on my exercycle soon because I'm not having much trouble with the top tension. That's fine for now but eventually I'm gonna need to up the ante. Makes me kinda proud.
Anthropology was a total wash. The professor didn't show up and one of the TAs (who I HATE as educators) babbled for like 40 minutes before releasing us. I have no idea what she said because I was busy checking through my Justice essay but I'm sure it wasn't important.
In psychology the author of one our books came in to give a guest lecture. He's a journalist with the New York Times, so naturally he knows how to spin a good yarn. The story he told was definitly interesting and informational but there were a few parts that had me squirming in my seat. One was that he basically refered to being fat and unweildy as everyone's greatest fear. Well it's something that I deal with every day and it's not PLEASANT but it's not my greatest fear. I'd think that commiting evil actions or being completely out of control would be the biggest fear people would have, not just how they'd end up looking aesthetically. This was in reference to mental illness and I think that mentally ill people who just end up with aesthetic problems are probably pretty lucky when compared to some of the more serious cases. So that didn't sit well with me.
The other issue was how little he actually knew about psychology. I understand he's a reporter and all and it's not neccesary to be an expert in a field to report on it but I felt that there was a political agenda being advanced and only thinly disguised as learning. That left me feeling a bit queasy. I don't know, maybe I'm old fashioned but I think that the classroom should be for facts not crusades. That's probably just me though.
The thing that got me thinking most in the class though was when he talked about depression as a disease that can be as devestating as schizophrenia. Depression is something that I know well. Not only does it run in my family but it's something I've struggled with my whole life, especially since my father died. I always used to think of it as either a clear view of the world or a character flaw. In other words either "I'm depressed because the world is a giant lump of shit" or "I'm depressed because I'm a bad person and if I was not so loathsome I'd feel better." I no longer think that this is the case. Depression is a pernicious and vicious disease. It's difficult to deal with in part because it masks its own existance. It's very difficult to look out from a state of depression and actually understand that you are, in fact depressed. It seems at the time like you have perfectly good reasons to be depressed and depression increases that impression even further by tending to actually worsten your life condition, whatever it may be. Anyway I managed to defeat depression without the use of drugs, and that took a tremendous act of will, but I didn't understand that at the time. Basically what I'm saying is that all this newfound willpower has been there all along but it was just being used to fight off my depression, not for constructive purposes.
My depression isn't gone now, it's only faded. When you're depressed it's very difficult to concentrate on anything at all, be it school or cleaning or whatever. I still have that difficulty. My mind still tends to wander and I still see a lot of futility out there. However it's much less pronounced and I can honestly say that I haven't wanted to just give up in frustration for a few months now. That means something. I have always known that a lot of people want what I have, be it financial advantage or academic talent. Only recently have I begun to appreciate the things that I have. Slowly but surely I'm improving.
I'm not sure what I wanted to say with this last bit except to say that while depression is not as debilitating as schizophrenia or a personality disorder, it is a condition which is more complicated and insidious than it seems. I know from personal experience just how insidious and complicated it can be. But now that I'm stepping out from behind the veil of my depression I also understand how much energy I expended fighting it and now have more faith in my emotional strength and reserves. I'm also asking that if you know a depressed person you understand that it is a sickness and if they won't do anything it's because it takes an enormous amount more effort for them to do it than it does for a normal person to do things. I'm just starting to relearn how easy basic life functions can be when you're actually feeling decent and it's pretty shocking. Oh nevermind, I guess this is not the way to go about explanining depression, halphazard and without structure or thesis. Later on I will try to construct a more coherent picture of what I mean. If I can still remember by then