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Loss in all of its manifestations is the touchstone of depression…I felt loss at every hand. The loss of self-esteem,… and my own sense of self had all but disappeared, along with any self-reliance. This loss can quickly degenerate into dependence, and from dependence into infantile dread. One dreads the loss of all things, all people close and dear. There is an acute fear of abandonment. Being alone in the house, even for a moment, caused me exquisite panic and trepidation…There is no doubt that as one nears the penultimate depths of depression—which is to say just before the stage when one begins to act out one’s suicide instead of being a mere contemplator of it—the acute sense of loss is connected with a knowledge of life slipping away at accelerated speed. One develops fierce attachments. Ludicrous things—my reading glasses, a handkerchief, a certain writing instrument—became the objects of my demented possessiveness. Each momentary misplacement filled me with a frenzied dismay, each item being the tactile reminder of a world soon to be obliterated.

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