Handling Loss of Interest

Francisco Goya’s Two Old Men.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve lost interest in a lot of things. It doesn’t just mean not liking things that I used to enjoy. Sometimes it’s a state of near catatonia, where I feel like getting involved in anything will be a waste of time.

I am aware that this is delusional, but at the times I’m experiencing it, the fear is quite real. That fear is something I’ve been dwelling on for a while now. It’s definitely affected many projects I’ve worked on both in decreased output and change in tone. I used to think about writing silly things that amused people (my fiction). Now, I can only muster something like that if I know the joke’s on the character.

Horror is a genre that I like, and it used to be that I couldn’t tell why I liked it. Nowadays, I think it’s the only story type that I can find refuge in to express myself while I’m otherwise cloistered from the world. My life contains artificially enhanced levels of despair. Horror gives me an outlet for that.

I can see why this might disturb some people. It’s a change in behavior, and those changes are felt most by people with mental illnesses like me. Behavior often is the only barometer for understanding where a mind is, and predictability is more than just a quiet comfort. What’s the difference between me struggling with a depressive episode, and me going down the drain?

I hope this highlights the concern I have with loss of interest. It’s like a fire that can feed itself, perpetually running hotter for longer on its own. Loss of interest is a change, change is bad, and that uncertainty prompts more unhealthy coping, which leads to more change.

It’s easy for me to forget that any outlet will do at times like this. Yes, my moods and interests will change. They never were going to be permanent. Rather than finding fear, I have to be mindful that this is normal.

Loss of interest doesn’t mean the world has suddenly ended, or even that I should be afraid of it. With everything regarding a depressed point of view, maintaining healthy perspective is important. Such an exercise requires practice. Writing it out helps me sort through such thoughts and arrive at my intended vantage point.

Naturally, it most likely doesn’t work with everyone. That’s okay. It just means the right tool to help out hasn’t been found yet.