Guest Post: Depression Expressed as Aggression and Destruction By K. Williams

A friend of mine recently told me about a dream he had, in which I we stood at the top of a tall building in New York City. He said that I told him I no longer wanted to live. He took my hand and said, “Let’s do this.” So we jumped. He survived the fall and woke from the dream.

Sadly, depression can often lead to suicide, but there are signs along the way that could help us take notice of someone’s struggle with this disease. Many of the characters I write reflect aspects of myself, so I have no doubt that, when they are analyzed, they will show signs of anxiety and depression, and perhaps a bit of neuroticism, and a rage streak in a lot of cases.

Writing is a cathartic exercise in which we as writers can express our innermost thoughts. To read a person’s writing is to read into their heads. It’s not a smear of the author across the page in all cases. The art of writing is far more complicated than that. The author has to make choices that are true to the manuscript and characters they create. In those choices, we can unravel a psyche. Much like my friend’s dream, which shows a desire for death, which he feels is put upon him by outside forces (embodied by myself), an author’s work can show an array of inner feelings.

Depression is a sneaking disease that is so subtle we may only notice the symptoms by the time it has advanced to deadly levels. Isolation and a desire to remain out of the limelight are just a few manifestations. Over compensating can be another. Rage and destruction are yet more. It depends on the individual experiencing depression how they manifest symptoms.

When I decided to write my series, I set it in a fantasy world where angels and demons vie for control of the home world from which all life comes. I didn’t stop there. My characters required the trappings of life, if they were going to be exciting and readable. Furthermore, I decided that it was time to take off the handcuffs; dismiss the worry that someone close to me or even a stranger might question my motives behind the stories within the story.

Dominic has lived thousands of years among the duta (a race of giant winged beings that fed the myth of angels), hoping to one day rise among them. A rising is an evolution in an atman. The atman is our life force, as taught by mystic traditions. His desire to move up in the worlds is troubled by a penchant for the destructive. When he incarnates into physical lives, he forgets his plans and indulges his appetites, overwhelmed by all the sensory stimuli. Depressed individuals will recognize this as self-medicating (as in the use of drugs) and destructive behavior that is a subconscious form of self-punishment. Dominic is depressed, and why wouldn’t he be? He feels that he’s been blown off by the bureaucracy for what he was promised. After chasing his tail for multiple incarnations, he rightfully has anger. That frustrations translates to self-doubt, feelings of worthlessness, and helplessness.

I’m all too familiar with these feelings. They crop up while I’m working on projects, even blog posts, in my interactions with others and in my day job. The anxiety can make you extremely frustrated and I have had moments of ‘explosion’ to let that steam out. Dominic reflects these emotions and experiences and how I associate them with bad behavior. An early reader expressed to me how she disliked him still by the end of the book. I felt badly for him, because many people with anxiety and depression end up disliked because others are not understanding their behaviors as signs of a problem they’re having. Instead of working with them, or trying to have a conversation, they decide that this person should decide to just behave themselves and be decent. That attitude leads to further alienation, frustration and a deeper depression.

It’s my hope that this writing will expose some of those ideas and lead to a conversation about aggression and destruction as expressions of Depression, and remove the stigma attached to them so that those with the disease can get the help and care they need—so they can rise up and reach their ascensions.

Steampunk Updated

 

Born in Saratoga Springs, New York,  K.Williams embarked on a now twenty year career in writing. After a childhood, which consisted of voracious reading and hours of film watching, it was a natural progression to study and produce art.

K attended Morrisville State College, majoring in the Biological Sciences, and then continued with English and Historical studies at the University at Albany, home of the New York State Writer’s Institute, gaining her Bachelor’s Degree. While attending UA, K interned with the 13th Moon Feminist Literary Magazine, bridging her interests in social movements and art. Topics of K’s writing include the environment, animal welfare, gender limitations, racial disparities, and the trauma of war.

Published novels by K include the Civil War drama Blue Honor, the Second World War spy thriller OP-DEC:Operation Deceit, and the controversial science fiction/fantasy series The Trailokya Trilogy. In addition to writing novels, K enjoy’s the art of screenwriting and has worked on the screen spec 8 Days in Ireland, and the adaptations of her current novels. Currently, K has completed the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program for Film Studies and Screenwriting at Empire State College (SUNY), and is the 2013-2014 recipient of the Foner Fellowship in Arts and Social Justice. In 2015, K. Williams became an official member of International Thriller Writers.

 

TTB1 Spine and Front

K continues to write on this blog weekly, producing commentary Mondays and Fridays on hot topics with some fun diversions for your work week. Whether it’s cooking, learning a foreign language, history or dogs, you’ll find something to enjoy and keep coming back for.  Always a promoter of other artists, K uses Guest Blog Wednesdays to showcase artists from around the web and bring you interesting readings to expand your horizons. A sequel to her second novel, OP-DEC, is in the research phase, while the screen adaptation is being considered for production by film companies.

A devoted dog mom to Miss Sadie Sue Shagbottom, K is also a visual artist, producing the ZoDuck Cartoon, painting and sketching–digitally or traditionally, as well as an accomplished Photographer.

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