Medical De-Saturation

I deal with depression.


Depression, as in, the disease, not the emotion. In fact, for clarity’s sake, I’m going to re-name depression: the disease.

I’m going to call it…medical de-saturation.

(Like, you know when you de-saturate a photo, you turn it into a black and white photo? Like that. )

What is it like? It’s super-boring. Really. My latest experience with symptoms kept me from getting out of bed. I couldn’t really think clearly or problem solve. I slept as much as humanly possible to just get a break from my symptoms. I cried a lot.

And that’s it. I could try to describe how awful it feels, but rest assured, it just feels awful.

The closest comparison I can come up with is losing a loved one.

And I can hear your doubt even through the computer screen, “Psh, no WAY it hurts as much as when I lost my loved one.” But I take that phrase very seriously, and I truly think it is an accurate description.

So, it feels really bad. And it is simply too exhausting to do the things that would alleviate, for a moment, the symptoms (like taking a walk, meeting a friend, browsing a bookstore, or doing something creative).

The hardest part about medical de-saturation is the stigma that I’m “just not thinking positively enough.” That’s pretty frustrating. I’m a yoga teacher; I’m well versed in cognitive re-framing and positive affirmations.

But positive affirmations in the face of medical de-saturation are like a surf-board on a tsunami. 

Right now I’m working with my doctor on a new combination of medicine. I’m taking a week off from teaching yoga and trying to do those little things that re-saturate my world: taking walks in beautiful places, being creative, and re-connecting with people.

Maybe this is a life-long journey. Maybe I will overcome it sooner than that. I guess I’m writing this publicly because I don’t like feeling like I need to be vague about what is happening to me. Medical de-saturation is a disease, just like Type 1 diabetes, or cancer, or the flu. I didn’t do anything to contract it, and I’m doing everything in my power to overcome it. And I’m optimistic.

Dare I say…I feel like thinking positively? 🙂


Depression: Offering Support Easy ways to be there for your loved one.

Sapolsky on Depression A very funny Stanford prof lecture. Just watch the first 15 min. ( Gets really clinical after that.)

Depression Infographic Because of course

1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline



2 thoughts on “Medical De-Saturation

  1. Alison! Thank you so much for this post. I have dealt with depression in the past, and am currently on zoloft for postpartum depression (my daughter is now 19 months old). It is always nice to not feel alone. I turn to yoga (and crossfit now) to help with my mental state, and they help a lot – but I TOTALLY understand the part where you say ” it is simply too exhausting to do the things that would alleviate, for a moment, the symptoms.” Yes, Yes, Yes. I have been there.

    I read this today and wanted to share it with you:
    “You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”

    – Jonathan Safran Foer

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