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Triple Header

I have what you could not-inaccurately call triple depression.

This is actually not as bad as it sounds (though it can still be pretty bad). It’s not tripled depression, wherein the sum total weight of the world might crush you into your bed for months at a time. My depression takes the slightly more casual form of a general lack of enthusiasm or interest in Life, the Universe, and Everything, which makes engagement with reality difficult but not impossible. Triple depression is merely a description of the vectors.

Vector one: genetics. I have depression, because my mother had depression, because her mother had depression—and I can only assume this continued on through several iterative generations of mothers, though I have not confirmed this. This is your run-of-the-mill major depressive disorder, a result of a bad brain, but sometimes too a result of exacerbating, exhausting life circumstances, like insurmountable health bills, the political climate, or being a writer. The good news is: drugs! If you can’t make your own serotonin, store-bought is fine. Me and my bupropion will take comfort in one another until our dying day. The first head of the hydra is defeated.

Head the second: seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, because some scientist somewhere thought this acronym would be very funny (and they were right), is when one’s eyeballs do not receive sufficiently strong light. Enraged by a diet of Soft White 2700K bulbs and dim computer screens, these traitorous orbs send a whiny message to the brain, demanding it be compensated for the lack of sunlight. Due to the fact that the brain is a little bitch, it instead turns on the Depression Dial and calls it a day. This dial can at least be switched back off, once the eyeballs have been provided with sufficient fake sunlight. And best of all, this mostly only happens six months out of the year.

The stupidest and least useful means of depression generation arrives now in the unhelpful label of “gluten intolerance,” which is a thing doctors tell you that you are when eating an elastic protein makes your body attempt hara-kiri in vague and confusing ways. This is to say that consumption of bread, that storied staple of civilization, the staff of life, instead causes a direct attack on my person in unsportsmanlike ways. Eating gluten gives me a whole host of other problems, but the most insidious of them manifests as depression—but not until three days after eating the gluten. The subtle nature of this assault left me unaware of the correlation for nearly three decades, unable to link the joy I felt consuming pizza to the sinkhole of despair that would follow several days later.

Triple depression sucks.