I struggle with depression. I’ve written about it before. Sometimes it’s just a nudge in my brain when I wake up in the morning. Sometimes it completely clouds my vision and renders me useless. I have been looking into the “why” of my depression for a while and was trying to see if it was tied to brain chemistry or my menstrual cycle but I haven’t been able to discern any patterns that would suggest a reason.

Other than, you know, late stage capitalism and the slow erosion of civilization.

I jest but I this is actually worth exploring. What if it’s not something wrong with me but something wrong with the world instead.

An Instagram post from Dr Ayesha Khan tipped me off a while back and sent me spiraling for a while. In it, she explores the common questions around neurodiversity and depression asking if those issues would still be considered “problems” if removed from the capitalist framework.

Like, of course I would still be depressed because my brain is just wired that way, right? …. Right?

Or maybe my brain is exhausted from constantly consuming information about endless social justice issues or learning about insurmountable problems like climate collapse, colonization, and racial inequality. And maybe some days I just can’t find a good reason to not be all-consumed by the weight of these problems.

Last week when I took some time away from Instagram, I realized how much more spacious my brain felt. My ever-babbling internal voice quieted a little. My mood lightened. My inspiration to create crept back in.

I fully acknowledge that learning about social justice and politics and self-healing is important work. I’m never going to walk away from it, but I also need to acknowledge that my brain needs a little space every now and then. I need time and space to breath, to simply exist, to experience beauty, to rest.

I’ve currently got Instagram installed on my phone again because I really truly value the people that I’ve connect with online BUT I’ve got an app blocker that only lets me access the app before 9am and after 9pm so I don’t get sucked into doom scrolling (literal doom scrolling) during the day. So far, so good. I’m hoping this setup might be a solution that allows me to learn from the incredible pool of knowledge that is on social media but also gives me space to exist without constantly carrying the weight and worries of the world.