Image of Ophelia, from the Tate Gallery.
From the New York Times:
...When clinical depression was diagnosed in my senior year, it was a relief. The phantom had been given form, something I could rail against and, finally, accept. It was Prozac that brokered the truce. With it, I believed I had put my fear behind me.
Then I met Margaret, the woman whose brief presence in my life ultimately would allow me to rescue myself, though I never would have thought so at the time.
It was my first week in graduate school. She stood on the steps of the Yale School of Drama, leaves in her hair, bellowing lines based on a passage from Medea: “What feeble night bird of misfortune is this at my door? Is this that great adventurer — the famous lord of the seas and delight of women, the heir of rich Corinth — this crying drunkard beating down the dark doorstep? Yet you’ve not had enough. You’ve come to drink the last bitter drops. I’ll pour them for you.”
The scene was electric, and I, stricken. What had wrung this rapturous outpouring from this woman, and why did no one else seem to take note of her feral presence?
BRIEFLY I wondered if she was an apparition (there was something surreal about her wide eyes and hawkish face), but then she smiled and caught my gaze and I knew. She was one of them. Here but not here. With us but not. Afflicted by, and in communion with, a force both fierce and unseen — a force that both chastened and exalted her.
If you have vertigo, you avoid bridges. If you fear madness, as I do, you avoid the Faraway Nearby — that which is at once distant and perilously close, a term I had taken from the title of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting.
That day was the first of many on which I simply lowered my gaze and walked around her. Yet not only was Margaret a difficult person to ignore, she was positively viral. Her loud, vibrato voice was mesmerizing; it flung Shakespearean and Greek verse about like nursery rhymes. Her rangy physique and erect carriage added nobility to even the shabbiest ensemble. She gave off a sour-milk odor that lingered long after she’d moved on. To inoculate myself, I developed a kind of hysterical blindness. I simply stopped seeing her....
"It was Prozac that brokered the truce. With it, I believed I had put my fear behind me....
She gave off a sour-milk odor that lingered long after she’d moved on."
The sour-milk odor and response to an antidepressant are big clues, and those who know orthomolecular medicine may quickly suspect Candida, Pyroluria or Histadelia and recommend appropriate nutritional protocols for these individuals.
Surprisingly often, correcting nutrition is all that is needed to prevent the waste of a life.
Helpful PDF - Questionnaire (Blake Graham)