(Last DFW-related post for a while, I promise.)
In a story David Foster Wallace wrote in college, “The Planet Trillaphon as It Stands in Relation to the Bad Things,” the protagonist describes depression like this: “Some people say it’s like having always before you and under you a huge black…
the feeling of being unable to escape the hole and then beginning to feel that I have become the thing that surrounded me, as if the obsessive worry has enclosed me and then emptied me out.
The curious thing here, of course, is that the anxiety is almost always pretty insular and narcissistic, so “you” feel like you’re losing control of yourself as you fall into/become this dark hole, but in fact you are literally doing nothing except thinking about you.
This in turn makes you feel worse about yourself (at least if you’re me), which only makes it harder to think about anything else. There is probably a term for this narcissistic cycle, but I don’t know it.