Gable: I guess I miss her face most of all… she had a face which looked best without clothes. Seems her boss felt the same too. She left me for him 9 months ago, and I have been depressed ever since.
Phineas: You need to start with your name, then tell us why you are depressed and finally describe what being depressed is like for you.
Gable: Okay. My name is Gable and I am depressed. The reason I am depressed is because my wife left me for her boss. And I would describe depression as being addicted to a drug you neither crave nor want.
Group: Hi Gable, and welcome to ‘the slayers of depression’.
Benny: Hi all, my name is Benny and I am depressed. After attending the ‘Culture Building Workshop’ at work, I accused my boss of having strong body odour and vitiating the office environment with it. The company fired me, saying that I slept through the workshop and made statements without understanding what is meant by work environment. I have been unemployed for 14 months now. That plus the fact that I have started balding over the past year, has made me depressed. I would describe depression as the feeling of, buying a doughnut and realizing that someone has licked the frosting off it.
Group: Hi Benny, and welcome to ‘the slayers of depression’.
Taylor: My name is Taylor and I am depressed. The reason for my depression is that, as a child I was abused by my father. I would describe…
Phineas: Hold on Taylor. Child abuse is a serious condition that is well researched and studied. I don’t think joining this group is the right approach for you. You need to go to a psychologist.
Taylor: I have been to psychologists but they cannot treat me. They don’t seem to understand the basis of my depression. Growing up my father molested my elder and younger sister, both of them except me. That emotional abuse, made me grow up feeling rejected and unwanted.
Benny: You are depressed that you were not molested?
Phineas: Research shows that only three out of five children are abused. So, your not being abused is perfectly fine.
Taylor: But why the other two and not me? Why didn’t he want to molest me?
Phineas: I am not sure if that qualifies as a cause for depression.
Taylor: But I am depressed. And I would describe depression as the feeling of, being on the 40th floor of a 60 floor building, when the elevator is out of order. You can see the whole world from there but no one can see you. And you are stuck because you don’t have the energy to walk up to the 60th floor, to take the only emergency elevator to the ground.
Group: Hi Taylor, and welcome to ‘the slayers of depression’.
Deaton: Hi everyone, my name is Deaton and I am supposed to be depressed. A couple of months ago when my father and me were on a fishing trip, my mother sold our house. She left with the money and no intimation. After that my father had a paternity test done on me which came back negative, and so he left. A month later my dog got run over by a car. Then I found out that my boss and secretary have been embezzling from the company on my account. My friends say that I should be depressed. I don’t know if I am depressed. I am wondering if I should be depressed.
Phineas: That is not how it works. You’re either depressed or you are not. It’s like being in debt; you might have a large amount of debt or a small one. But the fact that you are in debt is always clear. That is how it is with depression.
Deaton: In that case, I guess I am a little depressed that I don’t know if I am depressed. I would describe depression as the feeling, when there is something wrong, and the wrong is that you don’t know if something is wrong, and if it is you don’t know what it is.
Phineas: I am not sure if that is a proper description…
Group: Hi Deaton, and welcome to ‘the slayers of depression’.
Kara: Hi my name is Kara and I am depressed. When I was a teenager, I got pregnant and gave my baby up for adoption. He was adopted by a couple in China…
Benny: Your baby got adopted by a couple in China? Isn’t it the other way around…
Phineas: Benny hush. We as a group will be free of any stereotypes – cultural or geographic. Please continue Kara.
Kara: That was then. Now that me and my partner are settled in life, I want my son back. But the price that they are quoting to give him back is more than what we can afford. Even both our combined incomes do not match up to that much. And I cannot keep waiting and saving…
Gable: You want to buy a baby?
Kara: Not buy. Buy back.
Deaton: But that is illegal.
Benny: Isn’t it easier to just have another baby?
Kara: Legal and illegal are just words to me. First being gay was illegal, now it is not. Then gay marriage was illegal, now it is not. The same could apply to me buying back my son. And we cannot have another baby because both me and my partner are women.
Benny: Lesbians, hot.
Phineas: Benny hush.
Kara: And I would describe depression as the feeling of, being in a game where the opposing team has no goal post and your team has no goalie.
Benny: Lesbians and sports.
Phineas: Benny hush.
Group: Hi Kara, and welcome to ‘the slayers of depression’.
Phineas: Hello everyone, my name is Phineas and I am the group conveyor. My dream right since childhood was to become an Olympic Figure Skater. I practiced for it day and night, yet the older I got the worse I got at it.
Until, the failure started making me feel suicidal. To help deal with my suicidal thoughts, I was put on medication. However prolonged use of medication, right since early adolescence, has left me with permanent erectile dysfunction. That combined with the failure of my childhood dream has made me depressed. I would describe depression as the feeling of, your heart losing its cable connection and receiving just the one national broadcast channel.
Group: Hi Phineas, and welcome to ‘the slayers of depression’.
Deaton: Isn’t atleast one person in the group supposed to be normal, or over their depression? How else are we supposed to know what to do? I mean if all of us are still depressed…
Phineas: I have been depressed for over 12 years now, and it has made me an expert on depression. That is enough. Our purpose here is to completely appreciate depression; we are not after the cure to depression.
Deaton: What is the point of that?
Phineas: As I mentioned earlier our purpose is to completely appreciate depression. And we will do that by describing depression, the more we describe it; the better we can define it; the better we can identify it; the better we can understand it. And with that understanding maybe one day overcome it.
Deaton: But why is this meeting being held in a park? And why are we having it standing up? Your website did not mention anything like this.
Phineas: I read that depressed people need to get out more and see the outdoors. And that they might lack in Vitamin D, which is absorbed through sunlight. Also that exercise is helpful in their condition. So the park is the ideal place to have this meeting.
Deaton: But standing up is not exercise.
Phineas: Still, it is better than sitting down. Anyways, now that we have introduced ourselves, I would like for all of us to offer more descriptions about depression.
Gable: Okay, I would describe depression as the feeling of, life having written you off as a bad deal.
Taylor: I would describe depression as the feeling of, needing to go on a mass murdering spree but lacking the energy to do so.
Deaton: I would describe depression as the feeling of, being emotionally constipated.
Kara: I would describe depression as the feeling, which causes sex to feel like manual labour.
Benny: Lesbian sex, hot.
Phineas: Benny hush.
Benny: I would describe depression as the feeling of, your deal with life having gone bad and you are left holding the toxic debt that your initial investment in life has become.
Taylor: That’s almost what Gable said before.
Benny: Okay. Then I would describe depression as the being choked up with emotional cholesterol.
Taylor: That’s almost what Deaton said before.
Benny: Okay. Then I would say that depression feels like the rotting of your potential.
Taylor: Potential what?
Benny: Fine. I would describe depression as screaming at people through vacant eyes.
Taylor: What does that mean?
Phineas: Taylor, we do not judge anyone here. All are allowed to describe depression in their own terms. Let’s move on. What would you say is the biggest problem with depression?
Deaton: Its invisible nature.
Gable: Bang on. There is no way of actually telling, or showing, or proving depression. I mean it could be a combination of many things or it could be nothing. You can never tell for sure.
Benny: I wish depression were like a physical disease, which can be seen, and so proved and treated.
Phineas: We will reach there Benny. What else can we say about depression?
Taylor: Depression is thought to be a normal condition in women, as if it’s a biological problem.
Gable: And that’s what makes it worse for men. First of all being depressed, and then feeling depressed about being depressed, because depression is a woman’s disease.
Kara: What do you mean a woman’s disease? Anyone can be depressed, even children.
Phineas: What else can we say about depression?
Gable: I think opening up and talking about it seems to help. Guess that is one of the reasons why all of us are here.
Phineas: Yes depression like vomit must be fully expelled. To retain either of them inside in any amount, only has bad consequences in the future.
Benny: Talking expels it out?
Phineas: Exactly. Silence is the colostrum on which depression fattens and grows.
Deaton: Vomit… Colostrum… Is this a registered support group? Are you trained in any way at all?
Phineas: If we had chairs here, would you have still have those concerns?
Taylor: Yeah, is there anything you are not uncertain about Deaton?
Gable: But they say lonely people are prone to depression, then who will they talk to already being lonely? Or is it that depressed people become lonely, because they don’t talk to people.
Phineas: If you are depressed, interesting people will steer clear of you, because depression makes one a dull person. That leaves only the boring people, and being depressed you won’t have the mental fortitude to bear up talking to them, and so avoid them. Thus depressed people cannot talk to anyone. That’s my theory of why depressed people become lonely.
Taylor: Nobody avoids someone with cancer. Then why do they avoid people with depression? As if it’s something contagious which they might catch.
Phineas: Depression being contagious that could be an interesting theory.
Benny: Yeah, what if I got depression because someone infected me with it? It’s not like I was born depressed, it had to come from somewhere. Maybe depression is an invisible transmissible physical force, like gravity maybe.
Deaton: Depression is not a physical force. It has nothing in common with gravity. And I am certain of that Taylor.
Benny: Sure it has. You can’t see gravity can you? You can only show gravity. It’s the same with depression.
Gable: Gravity just exists. What do you mean show gravity?
Gable: Why the hell did you push me down?
Phineas: Benny behave yourself.
Benny: I did not push you down. I merely pushed you, which unbalanced you, which enabled gravity to pull you down. There I showed you gravity.
Gable: He is not depressed, he is a retard.
Taylor: Gable stop dusting yourself. I don’t think that it’s just mud.
Gable: What do you mean?
Kara: Yeah, mud does not smell so decomposing. I think something was buried in the mud there.
Gable: What, what smell?
Kara: I remember that smell from when I was a young mother…
Benny: Depression, depression could also be a smell, the smell of depression. Like a tired stink filling up under your skin.
Deaton: Depression is just a state of mind. It has no physical dimensions.
Benny: But it could. That is what I am saying. Depression could be a force that has physical dimensions, like gravity.
Gable: No it could not. Depression is a debilitating state of mind. Not a physical force. Because depression could be dealt with medication, but there is no cure for gravity.
Benny: Oh yeah, why don’t you ask an astronaut?
Gable: Because I don’t need to, you ass-trout.
Phineas: Keep it civil guys. In this group we will be respectful of each other at all times. Benny, describe depression then.
Benny: As sadness… tiredness… feeling stuck.
Phineas: Not the medical description, the physical force description.
Deaton: That is not the medical description of depression.
Benny: I would describe depression as the feeling where, one has shit their pants and the world is out of toilet paper and water, so you just have to sit there with the stink.
Kara: Are you just saying that because of the smell from Gable’s pants?
Gable: What, what smell?
Taylor: Yeah, that is not a description of any kind.
Benny: Okay then, you explain it Miss Freud.
Taylor: It’s your dumbass theory, so you explain it.
Phineas: Keep it civil guys. In this group we will be respectful of each other at all times. Benny, tell us what you mean by depression having physical dimensions.
Benny: Like I was saying, the world’s understanding of depression could be wrong. The way they approach and study it could be wrong. Its cause might be Newtonian not Freudian.
Deaton: There is no such thing as Newtonian.
Benny: But in this case there might be. Depression might be like a physical vector.
Gable: Depression might be an emotional vector at best, never a physical one.
Benny: Depression is the devils marijuana.
Gable: As opposed to whose marijuana?
Benny: The angels marijuana.
Gable: One more idiotic description from your mouth Benny, and you will feel my fist send a physical vector aimed at your face.
Phineas: Keep it civil guys. Respect each other.
Kara: This is going nowhere.
Taylor: All we seem to be doing is describe depression.
Kara: Yes and my feet hurt.
Deaton: Depression is not an invisible physical force. All of us have some sort of reason why we think we feel depressed.
Taylor: Why did you look at me when you said “some sort of reason”? That too from you, who doesn’t even know if he is depressed.
Deaton: All I am saying is that there are extraneous reasons to being depressed, like setbacks tragedies etc. Benny was right in saying that no baby is born depressed.
Phineas: Okay, we all know that. Then what?
Deaton: Maybe we should think about how some people cope with it and bounce back, while some others to continue sitting in the stink.
Gable: There is no smell or stink.
Benny: So then there might be two factors. The external force one, and an internal factor. And when someone has both factors they become depressed.
Gable: There is no external force.
Kara: It could vary from person to person too. My friend from high school got pregnant twice and gave up the babies for adoption. And she is fine and not depressed in the least.
Phineas: Yes, we all know that there is an internal component. The external factor is only the trigger. Like Kara said, the same tragedy can affect two people differently, with one being depressed and one being unaffected. Or, one becoming slightly depressed and recovering and the other never recovering. That is known. But I think what Benny has been saying is that, ‘the internal something’ which makes some people depressed, that might be externally acquired.
Gable: So you are saying that there might be an ‘external force’ which makes people weak minded, and when the event trigger acts on them they become depressed? That is not just a matter of an external trigger acting on a genetically strong or weak mind?
Taylor: Who are you calling weak minded?
Gable: Exactly what? Are you saying that I called depressed people weak minded, or that you agree with my theory.
Deaton: It cannot be both. They are mutually exclusive. Plus your theory was different.
Kara: What if it is the duration of the external trigger? Maybe when one faces only an abrupt external problem it is manageable but when one faces a sustained external problem, it becomes unmanageable causing depression.
Phineas: No. Now you are defining stress and strain, and triggering external event and continuous external environment. Next you will talk about the intensity of the external trigger or environment, and permutations and combinations of all of them. All that has been discussed before by others and found to be inadequate. That is not why we are here. We are here to appreciate depression.
Kara: Why can’t I appreciate depression like this?
Taylor: Yeah, who made you the grand Puba of appreciating depression?
Phineas: Because I say so; because it is my support group; because I am the conveyor; and because it is my theory to fully appreciate depression to cure it.
Deaton: And 12 years was not sufficient enough time for you to appreciate and cure it?
Phineas: I didn’t come up with this theory as soon as I got depressed, smarty pants. It took years of trial and error, to come up this theory.
Kara: We are here to be free of depression. Not to be guinea pigs to test your theory out on.
Phineas: Come on guys. Let’s be respectful of each other. We seem to have gone off track. I apologise for my side of it. Let’s get back to appreciating depression.
Gable: External force or not, energy seems to be a big part of depression. Rather the lack of it, I mean.
Taylor: The nature of the external trigger could also be the factor, whether the setback is a reversible one or an irreversible one. People might recover from the depression caused by the reversible factor, but might be unable to leave their depression if the setback is irreversible…
Phineas: Taylor, we are done with that aspect. Please let Gable continue, he is saying something new about the energy and depression relation.
Taylor: You don’t want me to participate or ever involve me.
Phineas: It’s not that. All are welcome to participate. We just don’t want to hear that
Taylor: Okay. Maybe depression is so hard to treat because, like the common cold there could be many types of depression. And the effects of various types of depression, on various types of minds could vary. And also what if someone is affected with more than one type of depression at the same time?
Phineas: No Taylor. Please let Gable finish describing his idea first.
Taylor: You are rejecting me again. Everyone rejects me.
Phineas: No we are not.
Taylor: Yes you are. I hate you!
Phineas: Taylor please be civil.
Taylor: Go slay yourself! I will not be civil. I am just as depressed as the rest of you, and I have just as much right to be socially callous as the rest of you.
Phineas: Okay. Gable continue, describe what you were saying about energy and depression.
Gable: Lack of energy is a strong element of depression. For example, depression could be described as the feeling of your whole house being on fire, and you are unable to care about anything beyond the ice cream in the fridge melting.
Deaton: Yeah, like being pushed onto the path of an oncoming train; and hoping that you don’t survive; because if you do; you don’t have the energy or will to get up.
Benny: That is true. These days while brushing my teeth, I feel so tired, that I need to take a break for a few minutes; and then go back to finish it.
Phineas: So you are saying that depression eats up energy.
Gable: It’s more like depression crowds up your insides so much that, there is no place for energy.
Kara: Or rather, there is nothing you can do with your energy, which will cause you to have more positive energy. And you are running out of your total energy.
Benny: How is that different from what I said before about getting negative returns on your investment?
Deaton: It’s not. Depression is like quicksand to your energy. It slowly gobbles away your energy; and the more energy you expend to try to escape from it the deeper you end up in it; and the only way to escape, is by being dragged out by a force of energy stronger than the force of depression.
Taylor: That proves nothing new. It’s just an amalgamation of the previous theories. Mine was a new theory about different types of depression.
Phineas: Hold on Taylor, let us finish discussing this one first.
Taylor: Stop rejecting me!
Phineas: Taylor, please calm down and behave yourself.
Taylor: Stop telling me how to behave. I hate this group!
Benny: When you say energy, energy comes from the heart. So maybe it’s not the head that the external force acts on. Maybe it acts on the heart, causing lack of energy, leading to depression. So maybe cardiologists should look to treat depression, not psychologists.
Phineas: The heart… That could be something. Elaborate and describe your theory Benny.
Kara: This is still going nowhere. I don’t see how continuously trying to describe depression like this, will help me.
Phineas: Patience Kara, patience. This approach is slow but methodical, and so bound to succeed one day.
Kara: One day? I can’t wait that long. I might as well try medication.
Benny: Yeah, the only reason I showed up is because I cannot afford pills, and this
group is free.
Phineas: Pills are not the solution to depression, pills are the enemy.
Gable: Why are pills the enemy?
Phineas: Because of the half-life of depression. No one knows what causes depression; or its effects; or how long it is supposed to last; or what cures it. You could keep taking pills and never feel better or maybe one day start feeling better. But if you do, how do you concretely know what cured you? The pills; or a gradual change in the external environment; or a slow sustained increase in mental ability to deal with it?
Deaton: Well, it may be due to the pills or maybe due to something else, but atleast you get cured.
Phineas: Yeah, but what if the depression returns? Or what if it was indeed cured by something else? Then what is the point of taking pills? And what of the side effects of the pills? No this approach is better for a healthy lasting solution.
Gable: How does this help us? This could go on for who knows how long, and we might not have the wherewithal to last until then. You claimed to have a radical new approach to solve depression, but all you seem to be doing is push an anti-pill agenda.
Taylor: Yeah, how exactly are we slaying depression here?
Phineas: It’s not an anti-pill agenda. The agenda is to appreciate depression.
Deaton: Then why call the group ‘the slayers of depression’? You might as well have named it ‘the appreciators of depression’.
Phineas: We appreciate in order to slay.
Deaton: This is bogus. Listening to the theories here, I could even say that knowledge of depression is what causes depression. I was doing quite fine until I was told that I might be depressed, so if I hadn’t been told, I could have been non-depressed now.
Phineas: There is no such thing as non-depressed. You might have been normal, yes. But your case is weird. You yourself are not completely sure if you are depressed.
Deaton: Of course I am depressed. If I was not depressed, how could I describe depression so accurately?
Phineas: Your descriptions were about as accurate and effective, as buckling in the seat belt on an empty car seat.
Gable: Again with the descriptions.
Benny: Okay. I would describe depression as the feeling, when the world has reduced you to becoming just the janitor of your life. One who lives in a secret room in his head, away from himself.
Taylor: Again makes no sense.
Taylor: I am leaving.
Phineas: Taylor hold on. This method is bound to succeed.
Deaton: I am leaving too.
Phineas: Guys, we can make it work.
Benny: Yeah, I am out too.
Phineas: Guys please, this is just our first meeting, things will get better.
Kara: Just a waste of time. I am done with this.
Phineas: We will succeed eventually…
Gable: Yeah this is pointless. Let’s leave.
Phineas: You are not leaving… great.
Benny: Unemployed, I got nowhere else to be and nothing else to do.
Phineas: Good, stay. Deaton you?
Deaton: I lost my house, my mom, my dad, my dog, and my colleagues are no good. Where do I go?
Phineas: Stay, we are all friends here. Gable?
Gable: I would leave, but it took so much damn effort and energy to leave home and come here, that it seems a waste to go back right now.
Taylor: Yeah, so tired. If not I swear, I would have left.
Phineas: Stay, this will be of help. Kara you are staying too?
Kara: I am just too damn tried, to even attempt huffing out of here. Plus my feet hurt.
Phineas: Good. Great that all you guys are staying back.