Make Yourself Comfortable.
Make Yourself Comfortable.

The Circumference of Despair

On Depression and Language by Alana Massey at The Toast

The English language has a great deficit in words to describe the impenetrable hopelessness that mental illness visits upon those afflicted with it. I've spent embarrassing amounts of time seeking out words in other languages that give form and substance to this lifetime of experiences. Germans have Verzweiflung, it is the direct translation of despair but it is also accompanied by fear and pain. The Czech litost is the torment of suddenly seeing the extent of one's own misery. Toska is what Nabakov said could never be fully expressed in English words and described as "a sensation of spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause."


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