Dysthymia – Naturism in Depressive Times

Low-level depression

Dysthymia.. For many, Covid19 has resulted in a persistent, low-level depression, a state of what I would call a psychic tiredness. One might have lost interest in normal daily activities, and left with a feeling of hopeless and beginning to believe that it is all pointless. One is left being less productive at work and at home. Low self-esteem and an overall feeling of inadequacy appear. Dysthymia. Look it up and you will find a more comprehensive description.

As I watch the Covid19 numbers begin to rise, perhaps suggesting that we are about to begin a dreaded second wave, I also see how the seven-month long [eight and a half months technically] pandemic has left most people I know exhausted and feeling hopeless about the near future. It was bad enough the past few years with the inundation of information about climate change and the threats to humanity’s survival. Even though the threat was a few decades distant in the future, the impact on our psyches was real. The threat of the Coronavirus is an immediate threat. Short term and long term threats to our very existence do not leave much room for enthusiasm for life.

Curiously, I have noticed that the naturists whom I have come to know, are somehow more optimistic. Though for most of them, opportunities for public and private nudity are limited, those opportunities somehow are enough to lift the mood. Moments unclothed outdoors in sunlight appear to flood the body with the captured energy of the sun’s rays, and transform those rays into buoyant life jackets of hope.

The same thing happens to me when I seize the moment to do something outside while nude. A simple thing such as watering the rose garden behind the Buddha fountain, with water saved from a bath, even though the outdoor temperature is only 5 degrees Celsius, energizes me. Being outdoors, even while clothed helps, but not to the same degree as being outdoors in sunshine while nude. With enough hours spent outdoors, my sleep is better. For me, this is vital.

For too many years I suffered from depression. At times it was so bad that I lost the will to live. And almost always, those low points were in winter when the weather did its best to confine me indoors. I rarely slept. Though I ran just about everyday, the endorphins didn’t do much to counteract the depression. It was only when I finally had a mental breakdown that I turned a corner in my life, a corner that led me to finally give my body some much needed respect. It wasn’t much to begin with, stolen moments in the sunshine where I hid from the eyes of others as I exposed myself to the rays of the sun. But it was enough. A corner had been turned.

Now, I live my life differently. Nudity is normal in my life, especially outdoors when possible. The level of depression has drastically been reduced. I am more in touch with the planet, and less imprisoned by my mind. As a result, I believe in life, in my life and the lives of those around me. I have hope that there is a light at the end of the Covid19 tunnel.

And you? How have you coped? Where is your hope?

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10 Responses to Dysthymia – Naturism in Depressive Times

  1. rhpayne says:

    My grounded space is the interactions with people like us.

  2. This resonated so much with me Robert and I thank you for bringing this very personal and often misunderstood subject .

    I have been suffering from MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) since 2018 and although I am on medication the most important aspect on getting through it was getting sunshine.

    Of course, any time outside was shortened due to the pandemic. My time spent nude was relagated to staying at home indoors or in the privacy of my yard.

    I do have my good and bad days and inspiration for my art can be challenging. I try not to bring my mood into my work and I say try and not always succeeding.

    As much as I like Fall for the colours I know that layers of clothing are coming.

    Keep up your great work and as always, stay bare. – Fabien

  3. rhpayne says:

    Robert, Fabien. We three know each other’s pass experiences somewhat. With this I would like to through something out (I think you guys will catch it): “What do you call three depressed white men? God.”

  4. Allen Knudsen says:

    As usual, Robert, you speak a truth that so many of us can resonate with. Thanks for reminding us that your truth is our truth — and that ours is yours. Allen

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