January 6, 2020:
There've been moments in my life when I felt so claustrophobic I had to withdraw.
The voices of the people in the room, their elbows on the furniture, their laughter, their smell, the sound of their breath. The clink of their ice in their glass. Having to walk around them, having to move aside for them to walk around me. Being unable to focus on their conversation, what they're asking me or saying to each other. Like I'm being swallowed. By what I can't say. Something. With an inward welling of energy that feels like burning in my bones, where I have to thrash around, have to go out and run, have to be by myself.
So I bounce. Leave the party, leave the house, go to my room, run around the block, get out of the car, go home. I feel that if I don't escape I'll implode.
This strange behavior has cost me friendships. I can understand how hurtful it is. One minute we're laughing in the car, the next I'm ordering you to pull over because I have to get out. I once bailed on a weekend getaway with a girlfriend by doing exactly that. If I'd stayed in the car one more second I'd have disappeared. She was heartbroken and, why shouldn't she be?
I haven't seen this described in the literature of depression. But I'm certain it's related. I felt it for a couple of straight days when I started on bupropion. In a very mild form, but there it was. Something's happening with key neurons controlling mood, perception, spacial acuity. Like a button on the neurochemical control panel reading, "GET THE FUCK OUT!" Press that and say goodbye.