Depression: More Than Just Emotions – Think: “Cognitive Depression”
If you really look for that Clint-guy attitude you will find him hanging out everywhere. This Clint is with us far more than Elvis.
Not about Clint..
But first a personal note to/about Clint…
My wife and I had the privilege of briefly meeting Clint himself many years ago at a large fund raiser in the Banff Springs Hotel, in Canada. Check out the setting below. So much fun, a Hollywood moment, with many celebrities milling about – and the dress code was Maximum Tuxedo.
Naturally, while there in the Canadian Rockies, I didn’t plan to attend a black tie affair, so showed up with a borrowed plaid sport coat, tan trousers, and my trusty LL Bean duck boots. Not cool. My wife looks great whatever she wears, but I looked significantly out-of-place midst the tuxes, flash cameras, and the Beverly Hills set. Take a look at the setting – Banff looks even better than this shot:
Now that I have your attention, I will abbreviate that story to hit the punch line: Personal observation: Clint is a real gentleman, – is thoughtful and courteous even under the pressure of cameras and Clint Watchers. [BTW, he was the only other person there in a casual sport coat, - yesss... .] This *Clint Eastwood Depression* thing, is not about Clint, it is about his character “The Stranger” in High Plains Drifter, and the other guys in Fistful of Dollars, or Gran Torino, etc.
Far too many don’t flesh out the cognitive aspects of depression. Regularly overlooked: the dangerous and challenging manifestation of “guy depression,” – or, to make it easier for the guys: “Clint Eastwood Depression.” We often think of depression only as affect, sad feelings. Many guys show up reluctantly for that first visit [who just hate to see a shrink], say: “Before we gets started I just want to tell you, my wife thinks I am depressed, doc, – but I am NOT depressed.” Then, after some careful questions: ”Oh yeah, Clint, that is exactly me.” When I mention Clint they get it. They can see that cognitive apathetic attitude better with Clint, because that attitude. that bridge, looks so damn good. Denial is a good thing…
Look For The Stranger
Key CorePsych point: If we can identify it, we can treat it. If it looks that good, looks on the surface like a successful coping strategy, it can remain untreated for a lifetime. And, yes we do see the Clint in kids – who don’t get the reference because they don’t know who Clint is on any level. *Clint Depression* at this moment has no clinical name, no label, and is so often overlooked. But The Stranger needs specific intervention. Alcohol and drugs just don’t kill that internal, disconnected feeling.
This *Clint Eastwood Depression* presentation is clearly not about Clint himself, but about The Apathetic, Indifferent Stranger. “I don’t care. Kill me or I can kill you, life has no meaning. I am pretty well dead and alone anyway. I want you to fear me. It keeps you away so I won’t have to deal with you personally.” Know anyone with that theme?
I heard or read somewhere that Clint wants to put the spaghetti westerns behind him. Reportedly, with more years he has come to see the “bad example” of those movies. But Clint, my friend, don’t be so hard on yourself. You are not a poser, period. Thanks for your courtesy and warm reception at the gala in spite of the circumstances. My wife and I will always remember that true Clint connection.
Denial At Work: No Feelings
Men and women have used those silent, apathetic defenses for eons, even before the beginning of recorded history. Avoidance, not listening, vertical management strategies, arrived with us humans before The Stranger, and will be here for years to come. They are primitive coping strategies that often do work in tribal warfare. Corporate posing is pandemic. Internationally, take a look at the dictators. Review those who disdain self reflection.
The tip: use the *Clint Depression* metaphor as a useful tongue-in-cheek tool for those folks who think they have close/distant relationships managed – yet don’t listen, and don’t care. Remember: The positive spin – if they can see it they can participate in fixing it. Who wants to ride the range with no wife, no conversation, no connections. -And think of The Stranger’s guns as words: Words can kill. Words do kill.
Anybody out there who has never been shot by a Stranger?
Thanks, Clint, for your contribution to better understanding of the core issues present in The Stranger. Depression is more than just sad affect, it can also manifest as a cognitive coping strategy. It may work for a while, but just won’t work for a lifetime.
And check out this brief audio note [6.18m] to lock this depressive subtype down in your thinking: