Recently, Daily Freakout (DFO) had the unprecedented opportunity to interview Major Depression (MD), whom we found candid and boldly unapologetic. Even for those of you familiar with his work, MD’s answers may surprise you. We hope you find these insights as fascinating as we did.
Editor’s Note: The statements made in this interview by Major Depression may be upsetting to sensitive readers, as we have left his answers raw and unfiltered. Like a raw unfiltered cider vinegar, the kind with a blob of something inedible and gross sinking and rising from the bottom of the jar. And like cider vinegar in its natural state, perhaps you’ll agree these revelations are as important as they are disturbing.
DFO: Welcome, Depression. Or do I call you Major?
MD: Thanks, but I want to say up front, I prefer the term “Realist” over the label “Depression.”
MD: Optimists go around expecting some unrealistic future of financial and personal success. They believe they are going to publish bestselling memoirs and their relationships will have a happy future. Honestly, how often does that ever happen? Practically never. They are living in a dream world of statistically unlikely outcomes.
DFO: So you’re a statistician, then?
MD: Ha ha! Of course not. But I am the voice of reason, the cold hard truth about the world and the individual’s lowly prospects.
DFO: Don’t people need dreams, even if they are long-shots, to keep motivated? Why not be supportive of a human’s aspirations?
MD: Well, I’m not here to put a spring in anyone’s step. I’m just keeping it real. Actually I protect people from disappointment by lowering expectations.
DFO: What would you say to optimists who would argue that you are unduly pessimistic? Some might say it is a self-fulfilling prophecy to assume people have only “lowly prospects.”
MD: Perhaps I exaggerate for effect sometimes. The truth is often hard to face, so people need the tough love.
DFO: Are you saying that as a companion, you are helpful?
MD: Helpful…might be overstating my case, but be honest: wouldn’t you rather a friend who tells you when you have a floret of broccoli between your front teeth?
DFO: Well, yes, but is that a fair comparison? Broccoli versus life satisfaction?
MD: Listen. That glaring green blob has probably been there all day. You see? And no one told you about it; they just let you walk around looking like you don’t practice basic hygiene. Me, I not only point out the broccoli disaster, but also make you consider all the people who are thinking less of you because of the broccoli tooth. I have to be the bad guy to point this out, but people don’t care enough about you to tell you when there’s broccoli in your teeth.
DFO: All that from a shard of vegetable?
MD: Absolutely. And I’ll tell you the deeper truth beneath your dental issues: you have no true friends because you’re a green-toothed unlikeable person.
DFO: Um…I don’t think that follows…
MD: Yes, it may be hard to follow, but I teach people. They learn to recognize the harsher reality underlying seemingly minor situations. With my guidance they easily find a sinister explanation for just about everything. I keep my eyes open and I’m willing to help others take off the rose colored glasses.
DFO: You consider yourself a teacher? Good teachers are encouraging, aren’t they? Also, I think you’re mixing your metaphors.
MD: Everyone’s a critic. You’re probably one of those self-esteem junkies who thinks everyone has worth, just because they’re human.
DFO: You don’t believe in basic worthiness of human beings?
MD: Oh, for fock’s sake, as the Irish say. Human beings have to earn their worthiness.
DFO: How so?
MD: There’s a lot required to be a worthy human being, but a big one is by being a productive member of society.
DFO: Is this what you say to a person who is out of work, say, because of an accident or disability?
MD: Of course. Often in this situation, the “disabled person” has ruminated on exactly this topic. Being out of work on a medical leave of absence is, according to the rest of the world, the opposite of being productive member of society. It’s hard, but people have to come to terms with lack of worth from society’s point of view.
DFO: Let’s talk about your current relationship. How long have you been a companion to this individual?
MD: Oh, gosh. Forever, really. I remember when she was a kid, lying in bed awake with her. We used to stare at the glowing orange alarm clock dial, waiting for her parents to get home from a night out or from a business trip. Just so she could be prepared, I warned her that any day, any moment, she could lose one or both of her parents. Probably in a car or plan crash. Look at the narrative logic of her life: she had everything, including two loving parents. That’s a set-up for disaster. Always is. The only question is when.
DFO: That sounds like Anxiety. Actually it sounds a lot like my dog’s separation anxiety. She’s always afraid I won’t come back home.
MD: Technically, yes. But Anxiety and me, we’re peas in a pod.
DFO: I’ve heard of your close association. But let’s come back to Anxiety in a bit. All relationships have their problems. Has your current companion ever tried to leave you behind?
MD: Tried, sure. And even succeeded for periods of time. But she or I always come back, and our relationship becomes the stronger for it. At the end of the day, when there’s no one there for her, I always am.
DFO: I understand that in this particular case you show up as Bipolar Depression, part of Bipolar II disorder. Can you tell me about that?
MD: I could, I guess. Let’s just say that my frienemy Hypomania gets into the action. Now that is a rollercoaster ride, alright!
DFO: Hypomania? Who is that?
MD: She’s the crazily amped up side, but she’s far less, you know, out of control than true Mania. Hence the hypo. But she is exhausting and I don’t feel like talking about her, ok? I see what you’re trying to do–you’re trying to paint me into the corner and I’m sick and tired of it. I’m done with this interview.
Sounds of rustling and banging and receding angry voices.
DFO: Um… Depression just left the studio! I can hear voices from down the hall; it sounds like he’s taking his frustration out on his companion. I’m walking out to see…Oh! He’s dragging her towards the elevator by her hair. Ow! That had to hurt. Oh, good grief: right undercut to the gut! That’s an ugly sight, not a healthy relationship. Truly disturbing, folks. And we’re still left with a lot of unanswered questions. Maybe Depression will agree to return when he’s settled down a bit. I bet you’d all like to hear some responses from this friend of depression and also what Anxiety has to say. Not to mention the mysterious Hypomania! Lots more to explore. Well, this has been a Daily Freak Out exclusive interview. Thanks for joining us.