Monday, July 20, 2015

Melancholy

I've been feeling very melancholy, which isn't unusual for me.  I seem to have chronic melancholy.  I haven't really looked into it until now.  Simply typing in 'chronic melancholy' started reading about 'melancholia'.  Usually I find wikipedia a good source for more terms to search - yes, I know it's not a preferred resource.   In this case, wikipedia was pretty much useless.  I want a good definition.

Melancholia n.  : a feeling of sadness and depression  :  a mental condition and especially a manic-depressive condition characterized by extreme depression, bodily complaints, and often hallucinations and delusions
That's from Merriam-Webster (dictionary).

I also came across Melancholic Depression, but I don't think I really have depression going on - maybe a little, but not severe.  Melancholic Depression is supposed to be severe.

I found this article on what melancholy was as per 19th Century doctors.
Melancholia was defined in terms of overt behavioural features such as decreased motility, and morosity.  Hence, in medical usage, ‘melancholia’ referred to a subtype of mania and named, in general, states of reduced behavioural output.  These included disorders that might “exhibit depressed, agitated, hallucinatory, paranoid, and even demented states…the ancient diagnosis of melancholy has no correct analogue in modern psychiatric practice…”    

Berrios, G.E. “Melancholia and Depression During the 19thCentury: A Conceptual History.” British Journal of Psychiatry, 1988, 153, 298-304. 


 There is something about the older definition that is more fitting.  It might be a bit of ennui as well.  Here is how Merriam Webster defines it.
Ennui n. : a lack of spirit, enthusiasm, or interest : a feeling of  boredom

Just from the dictionary definitions, I feel that I might have a little of both going on.  My biggest issue is that I'm still trying to be active.  I still have crossfit and taekwondo.  Yesterday I went fishing with my dad.  Saturday I went to see Trainwreck with my friend.  We did laugh our asses off, but it wasn't enough to quite get me out of this weird funk.

I'm not sure if anyone else gets this way.  I know that I'm an artist and this seems overly cliche for creative people.  One thing I did to try to change things around was to buy myself a big dry erase board for my writing projects.  I have some loose outlines for my stories on this board.

Here's a little synopsis of my stories that I'm currently working on.

  1. Unnamed Space Story - Mainly told from the POV of an abductee (Alien abduction).  It explores an extraterrestrial war that is going on.  I'm using aliens commonly found in UFO literature, as well as stuff from conspiracy theories and the like.  I want to write this in 5 parts and turn it into a graphic novel.
  2. Baychimo - In short, a hotel disappears and a handful of people remain.  It has ties to a native story about Coyote and a strange bag (infinity/void...bigger on the inside like Mary Poppins' bag?).  I wrote the first part of this story as a screenplay, so now I'm going through writing it as a novel.  It's fairly tedious work at this point.  The story has all the elements of a thriller/drama.
  3. Eyes Like A Cat - I'm writing a short story based on Alvin Schwartz' piece called "Like Cats' Eyes".  It takes place in a small logging town in Oregon.  See illustration below from Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark, art by Stephen Gammell.
  4. The Man Who Came In From The Flood - This is a short play that I started back in Oregon.  It's about people trapped in a small hotel by a flood.  There's a stranger that shows up covered in blood and scratch marks.  Someone dies.  Something scratches at the window.  I'm aiming for it to be about 30-45 min long.

I feel like I might need some help dealing with whatever is going on with me, but at the same time, I'm not sure what that help would be.  Do I just need to move?  Do I need to socialize more?  Do I need a day at a spa?  I do not know.

Anyone have any suggestions?

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