Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Cry For Help By--Edgar Allen Poe - Introduced By Kay Jamison

In the book by Kay Redfield Jamison " Touched With Fire" I found a paragraph which she describes "the more serious depressive states" so elegantly that few people can match. For me, she can describe the very heart of what we ourselves, or at least me, are feeling but having trouble putting into words. This paragraph leads to the quote by Poe I want to share with you. Poe, no doubt like many, yours truly also, in his condition was crying out for help. Kay Jamison wrote:

"Mood, in the more serious depressive states, is usually bleak, pessimistic, and despairing. A deep sense of futility is frequently accompanied, if not preceded, by the belief that the ability to experience pleasure is permanently gone. The physical and psychological worlds are experienced as shades of grays and blacks, as having lost their color and vibrancy. Irritability, quick anger, suspiciousness, and emotional turbulence are frequent correlates of depressed mood; morbid and suicidal thinking are common. The mood of misery and suffering that usually accompanies depression was experienced by Edgar Allan Poe in a letter written when he was in his mid - twenties:"

"My feelings at this moment are pitiable indeed. I am suffering under a depression of spirits such as I have never felt before. I have struggled in vain against the influence of melancholy - You will believe me when I say that I am miserable in pain in spite of the great improvement in my circumstances. I say you will believe me, and for this simple reason, that man who is writing for effect does not write thus. My heart is open before you - if it be worth reading, read it. I am wretched, and know not why. Console me - for you can. But let it be quickly - or it will be too late. Write me immediately. Convince me that it is worth one's while - that it is all necessary to live, and you will prove yourself indeed my friend. Persuade me to do what is right. I do not mean this - I do not mean that you should consider what I now write you a jest - oh pity me! for I feel that my words are incoherent - but I will recover myself. You will not fail to see that I am suffering under a depression of spirits which will {not fail to} ruin me should it be too long continued."

Edgar Allen Poe

"My Mind"

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