Passion… or manic depression
Published 00:00 GMT by Aoefe Ansar and Bhetti Ameen.
CANADA — Aoefe Ansar has been immersed deep within the confines of a specialist mental hospital for women, attempting to find the truths behind her hypothesis:
there is a high associated with love and sometimes the high is greater with men who play with our emotions – the heights simply feel higher because they bring us lower than we should probably go.
She has unearthed a dark secret amongst the inmates.
“I loved the idea of passion. The highs, the lows, the sex. The idea of not being moved emotionally by the person I was with was just repulsive. I didn’t know it was a disease. I didn’t realise how bad the darkness could be,” says Kirsten, a young woman, “The breaking point was when my man left me for some bitch called Rachel. I couldn’t kill her or him. My anger had nowhere to go. Deep depression was my only avenue. I turned on the last person I should have turned on: myself.” Kirsten shows this reporter a tattoo: ‘P.M.A.F.T. Forever’.
“My psychotherapist said this tattoo was a form of self-harm.”
Claudia, 20, remarks, “There was no word from him for me for three whole days. Before he disappeared, he’d teased me saying I was dishonest. I didn’t think it anything of it at the time — I was on such a high — but then doubts started to gnaw at me. Then I became convinced he was more serious. Turns out he was mostly busy with work and not exactly putting me into the ‘No Contact Zone’, which is something I greatly feared. Would it have killed him to answer with a one-word text to any of my calls, asking for reassurance? Was it partially deliberate or not? It was too late by then. I’d swallowed a whole bottle of pills.”
A psychiatrist who wished to remain anonymous and wanted only to be known as Dr. XXX says, “There’s a definite trend here. These women are emotionally dependent on their partners. These abusive men train them like dogs. A spiral of despair could result from him saying the food she lovingly made for him needs less salt. Or from not calling her for days even after she calls him a few times. When he does give her attention, she goes into manic mode. The amount of happiness and energy is… well, I’m not supposed to say this as a psychiatrist but there’s no other word for it: the happiness and energy when he’s loving with her is insane. It can’t be normal for a mere human being. It’s normal for a dog but not a human being. It’s definitely mania.”
“Manic depression is remorselessly propagated and enabled by the media in the form of passion. I didn’t realise all my relationships were manifestations of this disease.” says Jane A, a professor in Literature and a former inmate of the facility that our savvy reporter tracked down. “Looking back, the first clue I should’ve had was my love of Wuthering Heights.” It certainly makes Jane A’s job harder. “My lecture halls are empty. I can’t teach anything with a hint of passion in it, not just for the good of my students but for me. Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day is my maximum limit. Otherwise, I become trapped into a ‘tingle cycle’ between the great memories and hopeless lonely despair. A memory that’s particularly an emotional rollercoaster for me was the time when I was on a literal rollercoaster with my ex one time. Oh God, here it comes.” Jane A is suddenly alternately laughing then sobbing. Once she composes herself, she snatches this reporter’s pen and notepad. When gripped by spasms of emotions, her main symptom is a prolific output of writing and poetry. Sylvia Plath was similarly afflicted.
The horrors resulting from this condition are clear: one new inmate spewed torrents of verbal abuse, due to a healthcare worker tearing up a photograph of her boyfriend. How could she not recognise it was for her own good? “They have no insight into their condition,” comments Dr. XXX. “They don’t see that their passionate relationships are causing this. I know this case. She bakes. Once he brought her to such an intense high that she made enough cookies to feed her whole neighbourhood. Triple chocolate cookies. All those people, victims of so much sugar. She doesn’t know what she’s doing, poor thing. She doesn’t know she’s worsening the obesity crisis. It’s this manic depression.”
Aoefe asks Dr. XXX if we can ever hope to cure this condition. “Doubtful,” he says, “It’s getting worse. Say, let’s fight it together. Would you be interested in a passion-free drink later?”
Aoefe walks away, wondering if she, too, can ever be free of the passion disease.