(Please note upfront that this blogpost is written at 2 am while in the midst of a very bad depressive episode that has been building up for a while and has been massively interfering with my daily life for the past couple of days. I might delete this later, I might not, I don`t know right now.)
For a while now, I`ve noticed a pattern whenever I get a bad depression or anxiety episode. I don`t know if this is something that everyone does or if it`s mostly me, but: I look up as much information as I can about mental illness.
For me, there`s something comforting in knowing as much as I can about something that`s happening to me. Research is something I`ve never had any issues with doing (although if I think of it as actual research, I dread it and avoid it). I remember writing longer essays in high school than necessary because I was enjoying reading up on the subject too much. I know that often, if I`m reading an informative book, I`ll have my computer next to me with 20 tabs open on different topics I came across and I want to look up. I love finding random small tidbits and pieces of (probably) useless facts that are utterly fascinating. (I do surprisingly bad in most quizzes though.)
Learning about things has always been how I deal with it. Scared of Ebola? Let`s read up on all the websites. Depressive episode? Let`s Google masterposts on Tumblr and go through the interesting-looking links. Vaguely hear something about some strange diet someone is doing? Read every article and watch every documentary about it and hey let`s learn about the global food industry while we`re at it.
In a way, it helps me focus. It – ironically – distracts me. It`s also distancing me from what`s happening to myself, taking a step back and looking at myself in what`s probably a more academic way than is healthy.
It also makes me feel like I`m doing something productive – surely, if I just learn more and more about it, I can handle it better? I`m bound to pick up some useful facts and ideas somewhere.
This strange urge to research everything is also one of the reasons why I started a science channel on YouTube. This way, I could channel all that learning into something potentially interesting for other people.
I`m not sure if this is the healthiest way to go about this, although it seems to work better for me than talking it through with people again and again (which is something I do anyway, but it also makes me focus on me, which, contrary to popular belief is not actually something I enjoy. Plus, it tends to make the problems worse again).
So, excuse me while I go research some things.