Secondary to my OCD, I suffer relatively mild depression. One of the symptoms of this depression with which I am well acquainted, but eluded my description for years, is a low level sense of disgust at everything.
And I do mean disgust- disgust and contempt very specifically, and not just “anger” or “irritation”. When this feeling is present, everything feels wrong, contemptible, ill-formed, and incomplete, lacking what would make it good. To feel this way about the world would be quite narcissistic, except it is accompanied by an equally vehement self-disgust at oneself. Everything is revolting- aesthetically, ethically, intellectually, politically revolting- and nothing is innocent or clean.
I’ve never heard anyone talk about this symptom of depression and I wonder why. I think it’s because of the way we think about depression- existential sadness, almost glamorous. I guess it’s a much prettier image than imagining bilious, venomous disgust welling up.
One thought on “The feeling of disgust in depression”
In a couple of years of OCD+depression I’ve noticed that the most consistent way I had to tell whether I’m getting worse is to notice a particular smell. Everything smells of despair and disgust. Maybe it’s synesthesia.