What does depression feel like?
October 10, 2018 8:19 AM   Subscribe

What does depression feel like? A spoken word and dance performance. (Performance starts at 0:08 after a short ad)
posted by tickingclock (3 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
for me it was watching Bo Jack Horseman, celebrated for depressive anxiety done correctly, and figuring out that Bo Jack wasn't supposed to be relatable. That was a bit of an eye opener
posted by joelf at 8:59 AM on October 10, 2018 [5 favorites]

I guess I get what they’re trying to do here, and I’m grateful for anything that could possibly make depression understandable to the non-afflicted, but I’m embarrassed to admit I’m pretty lost when it comes to dance. It’s probably the one art that, despite years of trying to understand it, remains an utter enigma to me.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:19 PM on October 10, 2018


I do this dance a lot. Waking up and wondering why, filled with the dread of going to work and spending all day watching high performers perform at a high level. I see them and loathe myself. Why can't I do it like they do it? Maybe if I was a better person.

The dance is always there: trying to outflank a phantom in my mind. I do the exercise, I do the meditation, I take the pills. I keep my schedule formatted so I can get good sleep. I haven't had a drop to drink in I can't remember how long. I'm told these are things that help, by people who have that look in their eyes that's so full of pity it just makes me hate myself even more.

Does the motion go like this? Shuffling to the next meeting that doesn't matter? Staring blankly at email that computes grammatically but from which I take no meaning? Making the required eye contact so people don't talk amongst themselves? So much effort to make these moves, taking the body through motions that keep worries and whispers away.

Each performance inevitably breaks for a solo. It's my time to improvise, to show my talent. It all collapses in mumbles and sighs and averted eyes. Don't look down, lest the vertigo take hold and it all falls down. Ashes.

There is no curtain call and no applause, just a dark theater and stage lights so bright and so hot and so blinding that it's just me, alone with a stray cough from somewhere up in the second balcony I can't see. Someone else is out there, watching.

Just keep dancing.
posted by rocketman at 1:34 PM on October 10, 2018 [5 favorites]

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