“Depression,...is a disorder“so mysteriously painful and elusive in the way it becomes known to the self -to the mediating intellect-as to verge close to being beyond description””(Darkness Visible, 30). Severe melancholia drains a person of emotion, takes meaning away from life, and causes a lack of motivation. The severity, like that of depression, lies on a continuum. Anhedonia, the absence of pleasure, is very common in those with melancholia. This feeling can accompany grief and in severe forms be a total absence of feeling. Depression can be caused by just about anything. “Just about any physical trauma or debilities illness, especially if it last a long time and limits physical activity and social interaction, increased our vulnerability to depression”(Darkness Visible, 26). Inconsistencies in early attachment disrupt the natural evolution of autonomy, making depression more likely. Environment plays a large role in the appearance of depression among populations, and symptoms among those depressed. Dark, cold, and rainy or snowy is a friend to depression. More than half of peoples with a mood disorder will have a dependence to alcohol or stimulates as a way to self medicate. This alters mood and misfires our brain’s neurons. This makes recovery, which is already erratic, even more challenging.
Claire Dubois, a victim of this disease, described it as follows, “It is like falling into a deep pit; or being drawn down into a dark vortex led by only a pinpoint of light, which growing smaller and smaller, finally flickers and goes out. With it goes all feeling.”(Darkness Visible, 23). Claire was born in Paris. Her father passed due to a heart attack when she was a newborn, she never knew him. Her mother, an alcoholic, was in and out of the hospital, and died in her late forties. Having no family Claire became close with the people in her neighborhood, they became her family. She had her life set, and then the war came. She was forced to move away to Canada, leaving behind the only life she ever knew. Claire had always drank regularly, whether or not she was an alcoholic like her mother is unsure, but it is genetic and highly likely. In Canada, Claire thought she had found love and married her first husband. He divorced pregnant Claire only ten months later, leaving her feeling worthless and confused. In a “desperate effort to create some sort of future”(Darkness Visible, 28), Claire married her second husband, Elliot. This was a tepid marriage, leaving a void still inside Claire. Claire proposed the family live in Pairs for a year and after Elliot reluctantly agreed, she put all of her hope, energy, and emotional investment into returning home. Elliot was forced to cancel the trip due to financial reasons and Claire, having no money of her own, was devastated. “I remember crying for three days, but after that it was just another loss like the many I had experienced in childhood”(Claire Dubo...