“The Great Depresh”

This is another non-kinky post and I’ll be back to the bondage soon (I hope), but in the meantime last night I was alone at the house for a change, and I was dressed up, so I took it easy and watched Gary Gulman’s comedy special, “The Great Depresh,” about his lifelong struggles with depression. It’s really not a depressing show even though it sounds like it is. He’s an extremely likeable guy and very funny. I was only a little familiar with him before watching his special and really enjoyed it.

He’s struggled with the kind of debilitating “treatment-resistant” depression, as they call it, where he couldn’t even function – sleeping eighteen hours a day and completely mired in despair. We’ve all had bad days or periods in our lives, but this is an altogether different beast. I’ve talked about my own struggles with mood here in this blog, but by comparison my issues are mild. I’m basically (still) a garden-variety melancholic with good days and bad, but I function pretty well overall, and I typically never have problems getting up in the morning. I even had an ex-girlfriend years ago who was almost annoyed that I could wake up and be almost completely clear headed in about two minutes without any coffee.

Hearing more about Gary Gulman’s story it really makes me wonder, what is going on inside a person who experiences such deep depression? It really is a mystery, especially with someone who appears to be a sweet and charming man, with a good life and no apparent major traumas in his past beyond the typical disappointments of simply being alive. I’ve read a lot of books on depression in hopes of “fixing” my own mood disorder, and the thing that strikes me is that there’s always a paragraph where the author, usually a therapist or psychiatrist, will finally admit, “Well, we don’t really know what causes depression.” It’s kind of stunning in this day and age. There are loads of suspicions and tons of research about brain chemistry, social pressures, trauma, learned helplessness, PTSD, isolation, and stress, but in the final analysis there’s still this huge mystery as to why some people struggle repeatedly with low moods and despair and others don’t, or at least not in any persistent manner. The persistence is the thing that’s brutal.

In any case, this does sound like a heavy post but “The Great Depresh” is actually very entertaining and enjoyable, and Gary Gulman has such a light and engaging manner about him that it’s just like listening to a series of interesting life stories. Worth catching if you have access to HBO.