Stormrunner1730

Kaladin's Mental Health Depiction Appreciation

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I'm sure this has already been posted about, but I really appreciated Kaladin's arc in this book.  I think it was important for him to have a more introspective/internal conflict (even though he still does alot of fighting haha).  It's great how his depression doesn't just "go away," because that's not how it works (at least in my experience).  I haven't dealt with PTSD, but I've dealt with (at least what I've viewed as) more situational depression, and I think the depiction of that part of Kaladin's mental health was spot on.  I've been where Kaladin was (in the scene where he breaks down in his room) and that was depicted pretty realistically to my experience (so I appreciated that authenticity alot).  I also loved how Adolin and Syl collaborate/conspire to take Kaladin out to the bar so that he's with friends.  I adore the subsequent bar scene and really appreciate that Brandon included this scene to show that even this seemingly small gesture by Adolin helps Kaladin get out of his head for a few hours and relax.  Syl and Adolin know that Kaladin needs to be with people and to not feel alone, and think that's super important and really sweet.  

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Personally I was slightly disappointed by Kaladin this book.

I Really Harmonized with him in WoK, but RoW just felt... off. 

I suppose the best way to say it was in WoK I felt it, in RoW I recalled it, I didn't feel that Kaladin should be so weighed down, maybe if Brandon had spent more time on that I would like it, but it was more memory than harmony.

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Interesting. A lot of people say this, but I don’t relate to Kaladin, the depiction of his depression, or the way he handles it at all. And instead of Kaladin’s POVs helping me, they actually make me worse to the point that it isn’t safe for me to read his POVs when I’m depressed.

In my experience depression does just ‘go away.’ I have PMDD, which means my depression lasts for a week to ten days every month. Then I get my period and I’m fine. Since it only lasts ten days max, there really isn’t anything that can be done except grin and bear it. It’s too short for medication, and therapy needs more than a week to accomplish anything.

The way I’ve dealt with it is to force my brain to go somewhere else. I draw, write poetry, read books - but not SA, because Kaladin makes me suicidal. (I kind of hate him for that. He’s basically ruined the series for me because I cannot read his POVs, and then people get mad when I say that which makes it worse. I’m so glad he helps you, but he makes me want to kill myself so...) Mistborn, because Kelsier reminds me to smile. I didn’t learn CBT was a thing until college, but I’ve been doing it since I first got my period. I just didn’t know what it was called.

I grew up surrounded by Holocaust survivors. They went through hell, lost everything, and came out unbent, unbowed, unbroken. If they can smile, then so can I. If they could move past their grief and keep moving forward, then I certainly can. I WON’T be defeated. I WILL NOT be broken. I WILL embrace my pain and let it be my strength.

I don’t have time to sit in a room once a month waiting for someone to save me from myself. Strength comes from within, not without. The only one who can save me is me. So I push forward. I force the darkness and the pain away, force myself to see the good, to find the joy I know is there. And I smile.

To me, the way Kaladin acts is a dangerous temptation. I WANT to do that. I want to be able to wallow in the pain. To not fight to find REAL reasons to smile. To have a Spren or an Adolin or a Dalinar to come save me. To just wait things out. But if I did that, I’d be dead. So I save myself instead, because I’m the only one who can.

I just wish Kaladin would too, so I could read his POV more than once every three years.

It occurs to me that since I do not view PMDD as a part of me, but as an enemy to be defeated, it could actually be cured by Stormlight. Interesting. It will go away forever eventually, when I hit menopause and no longer get my period. Or possibly after my next pregnancy, as that can alter the hormones that cause it.

Edited by Kingsdaughter613
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10 hours ago, Stormrunner1730 said:

I'm sure this has already been posted about, but I really appreciated Kaladin's arc in this book.  I think it was important for him to have a more introspective/internal conflict (even though he still does alot of fighting haha).  It's great how his depression doesn't just "go away," because that's not how it works (at least in my experience).  I haven't dealt with PTSD, but I've dealt with (at least what I've viewed as) more situational depression, and I think the depiction of that part of Kaladin's mental health was spot on.  I've been where Kaladin was (in the scene where he breaks down in his room) and that was depicted pretty realistically to my experience (so I appreciated that authenticity alot).  I also loved how Adolin and Syl collaborate/conspire to take Kaladin out to the bar so that he's with friends.  I adore the subsequent bar scene and really appreciate that Brandon included this scene to show that even this seemingly small gesture by Adolin helps Kaladin get out of his head for a few hours and relax.  Syl and Adolin know that Kaladin needs to be with people and to not feel alone, and think that's super important and really sweet.  

Thank you for making this post!

Kaladin is my favorite character in whole freaking cosmere, and his arc in Rhythm of War was phenomenal from beginning to end. I commend Brandon for writing depression and battle shock so accurately. I'm an author and most of my books deal with dark moments within characters, hence I understand. While I haven't ever faced PTSD, four years ago when I was 14, an incident left me in a black space for years and it still shrouds my mind. It sometimes also manifests in form of sparse episodic depression, and I also have mild SAD. But that's not how I fell in love with Kaladin. His character journey has been best described than any other character for me, a perfect journey which still surges towards its destination. This is a man whom you can relate, not matter how powerful he is, and during his darknest times, you find yourself with him- feeling, reeling and crying but accepting that you DO understand what is going on. 

Healing is difficult but it is possible. For every night that hides our tears, there's a morning which bathes us in fresh light to breathe better. Kaladin is that light for Stormlight Archive.

What I don't understand is people labelling him with words like  weak, pathetic, sniveling and galling in many threads I've come across. It's wondrous to know that they find themselves 'acceptant' over a character burning his wife to death or mercilessly killing his own soldiers, or even poisoning while given excuse of personality disorder or people being commended for prejudicing for whole life only to be giggled over because he'd become friend to a hero- I am astounded that people find it difficult to not understand how conflicted Kaladin is because he can't protect anyone. Almost everyone, no matter how atrocious their deeds are, are being given redemption arcs and hailed mighty great by whole world but a character who is presenting you an after-effect of discrimination, abuse, slavery and depression is being called as an impossible read?

Yes, I like other characters but that doesn't mean I like what they have done. There are many things which are far irredeemable by any means and the only salvation is to take a journey in right direction. But a character whose journey has almost always been in right is being assaulted substandard verbatim? You cannot expect a hero to be always swooping in and taking charge. You cannot expect a hero to dress well and flash a charming smile. You cannot expect a hero to be hypocrite past his own deeds. You can but expect a hero who will be real to you. Nevertheless, I always know we fans have our preferences and their dislike for characters is alright but at least provide valid imputation for your commentary-- don't label as something which is not 'right' by a character. We all have our heroes, and for me, that is Kaladin Stormblessed. And yes, he breaks many times more, he shatters, his soul fractures but he joins himself, picks himself up and rises again. That is the Life, the Strength and Journey. 

Edited by Ramona Tehradin
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While I'm not in such a bad state myself, I can resonate with Kaladin in many ways and I'm over and over again appreciative of Brandon's deep and complex understanding of human psychology. That said, in this book I felt he stretched out Kaladin's self-deprecating and hopeless thoughts a bit too long and made them too repetitive. I can understand he wanted to hammer it into the reader just how bad Kaladin felt, but he didn't go to such lengths even in WoK. The rhythm of the book just felt off this time. It might have been more effiective to make those passages poignant, but shorter. 

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I initially DNFed Oathbringer because Kaladin's struggles were such a gut-punch.  (that's not a bad thing, it just hit me hard)

In ROW, I think that Kaladin's depressive narration dragged on a little bit longer than it absolutely had to, but little stuff like Adolin taking him out for drinks hit a lot harder in a  good way.  

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One thing I'm noticing on a reread of Rhythm of War is how much Kaladin's depression has been amplified by external circumstances throughout the book. He was doing a lot better in part 2, helping the soldiers with PTSD and spending time with his family. In chapter 39 he told Teft and Rlain: “It has been helping,” he said. “I think … I think I might be putting myself back together, for the first time in my life.”

And right in that moment the radiant suppressor is activated and Teft drops to the table. This is how he describes it in the book: "Kaladin felt a striking moment of disorientation. A feeling of oppression on his mind, like a dark force trying to smother him." This oppression continues through the rest of the book, getting worse and worse with each node that is corrupted by voidlight and destroyed. Syl also feels it, and her mood also gets darker through the book. It doesn't go away until after Kaladin has sworn the fourth ideal, when Navani bonds the Sibling.

Added to this we have Kaladin being tormented by Odium every time he goes to sleep. This starts right after the invasion. He has visions of people he loves dying or killing each other over and over. Some of it is just straight up torture on what sounds like Braize. It's probably a hint of what the heralds much have gone through. And yet despite these nightmares and the resulting exhaustion, Kaladin gets up and helps Navani and the Sibling every time they ask for it. 

It is this combination of the depression, the suppressor fabrial, and the Odium visions all combining to sabotage his thoughts and actions. Of course Kaladin thinks all of it is his fault, his weakness, his own mind betraying him. Yet despite all that he keeps going and helping people as long as he can, even though he fully expects to die at the end of it. His story in this book is not always easy to read, but personally I find it inspiring.

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15 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Interesting. A lot of people say this, but I don’t relate to Kaladin, the depiction of his depression, or the way he handles it at all. And instead of Kaladin’s POVs helping me, they actually make me worse to the point that it isn’t safe for me to read his POVs when I’m depressed.

In my experience depression does just ‘go away.’ I have PMDD, which means my depression lasts for a week to ten days every month. Then I get my period and I’m fine. Since it only lasts ten days max, there really isn’t anything that can be done except grin and bear it. It’s too short for medication, and therapy needs more than a week to accomplish anything.

The way I’ve dealt with it is to force my brain to go somewhere else. I draw, write poetry, read books - but not SA, because Kaladin makes me suicidal. (I kind of hate him for that. He’s basically ruined the series for me because I cannot read his POVs, and then people get mad when I say that which makes it worse. I’m so glad he helps you, but he makes me want to kill myself so...) Mistborn, because Kelsier reminds me to smile. I didn’t learn CBT was a thing until college, but I’ve been doing it since I first got my period. I just didn’t know what it was called.

I am sorry for you struggles and please dont take my response to the rest of your post as me trying to diminish your experience.

15 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

I grew up surrounded by Holocaust survivors. They went through hell, lost everything, and came out unbent, unbowed, unbroken. If they can smile, then so can I. If they could move past their grief and keep moving forward, then I certainly can. I WON’T be defeated. I WILL NOT be broken. I WILL embrace my pain and let it be my strength.

I don’t have time to sit in a room once a month waiting for someone to save me from myself. Strength comes from within, not without. The only one who can save me is me. So I push forward. I force the darkness and the pain away, force myself to see the good, to find the joy I know is there. And I smile.

To me, the way Kaladin acts is a dangerous temptation. I WANT to do that. I want to be able to wallow in the pain. To not fight to find REAL reasons to smile. To have a Spren or an Adolin or a Dalinar to come save me. To just wait things out. But if I did that, I’d be dead. So I save myself instead, because I’m the only one who can.

I just wish Kaladin would too, so I could read his POV more than once every three years.

It occurs to me that since I do not view PMDD as a part of me, but as an enemy to be defeated, it could actually be cured by Stormlight. Interesting. It will go away forever eventually, when I hit menopause and no longer get my period. Or possibly after my next pregnancy, as that can alter the hormones that cause it.

There are a couple of problrms with this argument, the first boils down to this is not the trauma olympics, just because one person can do something, has no bearing on another person buckling under the pressure, nor should it be considered weakness. Also, do you honeatly think that everyone who endured the Holocost  or any trauma for that matter, just grins and bears it? That there arnt days they cant get out of bed, sure they might not tell you about it, but look at Kaladins parents reactions when he says hes like them, theyre stunned, how could Kaladin feel dispare, hes so strong. We get to see inside Kaladins head, and that shows us a lot more than others.

 

The other side of this is your missing where Kaladin does stand up, he even says, that man is dead but I can become him one last time for these people. Kaladin while suffering torture from Odium, the oppresion of the tower fabrial, lack of food, sleep and support, as well as, depression and PTSD stood up and saved the day. If thats not strength before weakness I dont know what is.

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8 minutes ago, Lemiltock said:

I am sorry for you struggles and please dont take my response to the rest of your post as me trying to diminish your experience.

There are a couple of problrms with this argument, the first boils down to this is not the trauma olympics, just because one person can do something, has no bearing on another person buckling under the pressure, nor should it be considered weakness. Also, do you honeatly think that everyone who endured the Holocost  or any trauma for that matter, just grins and bears it? That there arnt days they cant get out of bed, sure they might not tell you about it, but look at Kaladins parents reactions when he says hes like them, theyre stunned, how could Kaladin feel dispare, hes so strong. We get to see inside Kaladins head, and that shows us a lot more than others.

 

The other side of this is your missing where Kaladin does stand up, he even says, that man is dead but I can become him one last time for these people. Kaladin while suffering torture from Odium, the oppresion of the tower fabrial, lack of food, sleep and support, as well as, depression and PTSD stood up and saved the day. If thats not strength before weakness I dont know what is.

I was explaining how I, personally, deal with depression and why Kaladin’s POVs are a problem for me, personally. I was not comparing traumas; I was telling you where I found my strength. You took my words and twisted them into something they weren’t. 

Although, for the record, they didn’t ‘grin and bear it.’ The Survivors I know are some of the strongest, kindest and most JOYOUS individuals I’ve ever met. They’re so hopeful and so full of faith. I don’t know how they do that, but if they can - I can too. I can see their strength and emulate it. It’s only a week, after all.

It’s not about ‘grinning and beating’ it; it’s about finding joy. It’s about looking for things that can make you honestly smile. It’s recognizing that joy and hope is a choice and CHOOSING.

You also seem to have very nicely missed the part where Kaladin’s point of view, as written, make me seriously consider killing myself. So I have good reason for wishing they were written with a more hopeful mindset.

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3 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

I was explaining how I, personally, deal with depression and why Kaladin’s POVs are a problem for me, personally. I was not comparing traumas; I was telling you where I found my strength. You took my words and twisted them into something they weren’t. 

Although, for the record, they didn’t ‘grin and bear it.’ The Survivors I know are some of the strongest, kindest and most JOYOUS individuals I’ve ever met. They’re so hopeful and so full of faith. I don’t know how they do that, but if they can - I can too. I can see their strength and emulate it. It’s only a week, after all.

It’s not about ‘grinning and beating’ it; it’s about finding joy. It’s about looking for things that can make you honestly smile. It’s recognizing that joy and hope is a choice and CHOOSING.

You also seem to have very nicely missed the part where Kaladin’s point of view, as written, make me seriously consider killing myself. So I have good reason for wishing they were written with a more hopeful mindset.

I do not think i twisted your argument, nor did i ignore your personal take from it. I outlined why i disagreed with the argument raised against Kaladin, and how I thought people over looked when Kaladin is happy  or puts aside his struggles. I also further explained that we see inside Kaladins head, where as we dont see others struggles, to quote robin williams

Quote
I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.
Robin Williams

There is no doubt robin laughed and was happy  he was also sad and struggling  theyre not mutually exlusive.

 

I also in my first line said I was sorry for your struggles and not trying to diminish your experiances. To be clear I disagre with your arguments, not that reading it is bad for your mental health. I sincearly hope you have the support to get through the darkness and I am sorry if you took my response as a diminishment of your feelings or health

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9 minutes ago, Lemiltock said:

I do not think i twisted your argument, nor did i ignore your personal take from it. I outlined why i disagreed with the argument raised against Kaladin, and how I thought people over looked when Kaladin is happy  or puts aside his struggles. I also further explained that we see inside Kaladins head, where as we dont see others struggles, to quote robin williams

There is no doubt robin laughed and was happy  he was also sad and struggling  theyre not mutually exlusive.

 

I also in my first line said I was sorry for your struggles and not trying to diminish your experiances. To be clear I disagre with your arguments, not that reading it is bad for your mental health. I sincearly hope you have the support to get through the darkness and I am sorry if you took my response as a diminishment of your feelings or health

I wasn’t speaking against Kaladin. That was your false interpretation. I wasn’t comparing anything, despite your assertions.

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My issue with the treatment of Kaladin's mental issues is that there's a disconnect between what he should do if he was a real person suffering from PTSD, and what he should do as a main character in an epic fantasy story.

In the real world, telling someone like Kaladin that they don't need to keep fighting, that they shouldn't keep fighting, if it means putting themselves through so much suffering, and that there's no shame in finding a calmer, less traumatic way to help others? That is absolutely good advice that they should heed.

But in the context of The Stormlight Archive? Being a soldier and a leader of soldiers ... those are the only noteworthy skills Kaladin has. Without them, he has no role in the story, nothing he can contribute to the epic war the books are focused on. A Kaladin who gives up fighting and looks after his own mental health is a Kaladin who ceases to be main character material.

Brandon wants to tell people suffering from PTSD that they can step away from their source of trauma and shouldn't think anything less of themselves, but Kaladin, as a combat-oriented character in an action/war story, really does become less if he steps away from the battles that traumatize him. Hence why Kaladin spends most of the book forced to fight, because otherwise, there'd be nothing for him to do.

 

16 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

In my experience depression does just ‘go away.’ I have PMDD, which means my depression lasts for a week to ten days every month. Then I get my period and I’m fine. Since it only lasts ten days max, there really isn’t anything that can be done except grin and bear it. It’s too short for medication, and therapy needs more than a week to accomplish anything.

I've read the theory that Kaladin has seasonal affective disorder, he just happens to live on a planet where the seasons change randomly every few weeks, so he never knows when his mood is suddenly going to shift.

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4 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

I wasn’t speaking against Kaladin. That was your false interpretation. I wasn’t comparing anything, despite your assertions.

To quote,

 

Quote

To me, the way Kaladin acts is a dangerous temptation. I WANT to do that. I want to be able to wallow in the pain. To not fight to find REAL reasons to smile. To have a Spren or an Adolin or a Dalinar to come save me. To just wait things out. But if I did that, I’d be dead. So I save myself instead, because I’m the only one who can.

Yes you talked about your health through it, but weather by intention or otherwise, you implied kaldin wasnt strong because he had help, and that others are able to smile despite trauma.

This implication is as much an argument against kaladin as an explicit one. However I feel we are getting no where and I wish you the best with your health.

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6 minutes ago, Lemiltock said:

To quote,

 

Yes you talked about your health through it, but weather by intention or otherwise, you implied kaldin wasnt strong because he had help, and that others are able to smile despite trauma.

This implication is as much an argument against kaladin as an explicit one. However I feel we are getting no where and I wish you the best with your health.

I have a NVLD. I don’t do implications; I’m not really capable of it without considerable effort. (Think of it like super high functioning ASD.) Any implication is your own interpretation.

I was describing my own coping methods. It was not an indictment of the character.

@Raven Wilder Until my cycle steadied, which didn’t happen until my twenties, I didn’t know anything was wrong. I just thought random emotional shifts were a normal thing. Once my cycle was regular I realized that it was a consistent change, but I thought it was normal menstrual stuff. It took a fairly long time to realize that it was much worse for me than most people.

Edited by Kingsdaughter613
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19 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Interesting. A lot of people say this, but I don’t relate to Kaladin, the depiction of his depression, or the way he handles it at all. And instead of Kaladin’s POVs helping me, they actually make me worse to the point that it isn’t safe for me to read his POVs when I’m depressed.

In my experience depression does just ‘go away.’ I have PMDD, which means my depression lasts for a week to ten days every month. Then I get my period and I’m fine. Since it only lasts ten days max, there really isn’t anything that can be done except grin and bear it. It’s too short for medication, and therapy needs more than a week to accomplish anything.

The way I’ve dealt with it is to force my brain to go somewhere else. I draw, write poetry, read books - but not SA, because Kaladin makes me suicidal. (I kind of hate him for that. He’s basically ruined the series for me because I cannot read his POVs, and then people get mad when I say that which makes it worse. I’m so glad he helps you, but he makes me want to kill myself so...) Mistborn, because Kelsier reminds me to smile. I didn’t learn CBT was a thing until college, but I’ve been doing it since I first got my period. I just didn’t know what it was called.

I grew up surrounded by Holocaust survivors. They went through hell, lost everything, and came out unbent, unbowed, unbroken. If they can smile, then so can I. If they could move past their grief and keep moving forward, then I certainly can. I WON’T be defeated. I WILL NOT be broken. I WILL embrace my pain and let it be my strength.

I don’t have time to sit in a room once a month waiting for someone to save me from myself. Strength comes from within, not without. The only one who can save me is me. So I push forward. I force the darkness and the pain away, force myself to see the good, to find the joy I know is there. And I smile.

To me, the way Kaladin acts is a dangerous temptation. I WANT to do that. I want to be able to wallow in the pain. To not fight to find REAL reasons to smile. To have a Spren or an Adolin or a Dalinar to come save me. To just wait things out. But if I did that, I’d be dead. So I save myself instead, because I’m the only one who can.

I just wish Kaladin would too, so I could read his POV more than once every three years.

It occurs to me that since I do not view PMDD as a part of me, but as an enemy to be defeated, it could actually be cured by Stormlight. Interesting. It will go away forever eventually, when I hit menopause and no longer get my period. Or possibly after my next pregnancy, as that can alter the hormones that cause it.

@Kingsdaughter613Hmm.  I'm really sorry about your experiences.  I think that this is a case where different people can deal with stuff differently?  Obviously, not all instances of depression are the same.  So I think it's totally possible to have some people really relate to how Kaladin is written in this book and for other people to really not like it (and understandably so).  I think Brandon made a strong creative choice to really go in-depth with Kaladin's feelings and depressive thoughts.  That was really powerful for me, because I was able to see one of my favorite characters experience those thoughts and overcome them.  I personally don't see this as Kaladin "wallowing" in the pain, but rather really going to a dark place to come out stronger on the other side.  However, I can totally see how those POVs would be really tough to read and be more unhelpful if they could be triggering, etc.  So it makes sense to me that seeing Kaladin deal with the same thoughts over and over would be draining for you (given what you said about your suicidal thoughts and how you try to push through those weeks).  Basically I think it's possible to both see Kaladin's struggle as relatable and inspiring, but also frustrating from a dfferent point of view (i.e. we're both "correct" haha).  I hope I didn't misconstrue or misrepresent what you were trying to say!  I also think it's important to have discussions like this about different points of view on these deeper and more personal issues (even if we don't agree with people on a given topic).

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19 hours ago, Ramona Tehradin said:

What I don't understand is people labelling him with words like  weak, pathetic, sniveling and galling in many threads I've come across. It's wondrous to know that they find themselves 'acceptant' over a character burning his wife to death or mercilessly killing his own soldiers, or even poisoning while given excuse of personality disorder or people being commended for prejudicing for whole life only to be giggled over because he'd become friend to a hero- I am astounded that people find it difficult to not understand how conflicted Kaladin is because he can't protect anyone. Almost everyone, no matter how atrocious their deeds are, are being given redemption arcs and hailed mighty great by whole world but a character who is presenting you an after-effect of discrimination, abuse, slavery and depression is being called as an impossible read?

Yes, I like other characters but that doesn't mean I like what they have done. There are many things which are far irredeemable by any means and the only salvation is to take a journey in right direction. But a character whose journey has almost always been in right is being assaulted substandard verbatim? You cannot expect a hero to be always swooping in and taking charge. You cannot expect a hero to dress well and flash a charming smile. You cannot expect a hero to be hypocrite past his own deeds. You can but expect a hero who will be real to you. Nevertheless, I always know we fans have our preferences and their dislike for characters is alright but at least provide valid imputation for your commentary-- don't label as something which is not 'right' by a character. We all have our heroes, and for me, that is Kaladin Stormblessed. And yes, he breaks many times more, he shatters, his soul fractures but he joins himself, picks himself up and rises again. That is the Life, the Strength and Journey. 

@Ramona TehradinI like this alot overall.  I generally agree that it's odd that people find actions like the Blackthorn's more acceptable (in light of his redemption) than how Kaladin deals with his depression.  I personally really liked that Kaladin's arc in this book was not about him swooping in and saving the day (although he does do that at several points haha).  However, I can see how people could be frustrated with how Kaladin deals with his depression (particularly if their own personal experience would lead them to react this way).  People having different opinions about characters (not named Moash haha) makes the series more interesting to me.  I think it's a testament to Brandon's writing that he can have characters as different as Kaladin and Shallan, but have people equally excited about them for different reasons.

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22 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Interesting. A lot of people say this, but I don’t relate to Kaladin, the depiction of his depression, or the way he handles it at all. And instead of Kaladin’s POVs helping me, they actually make me worse to the point that it isn’t safe for me to read his POVs when I’m depressed.

This. I haven't ever reread Way of Kings because of this (still my favourite though)

It's also why completing WoK and RoW took me the longest amount of time, I had to take time to recuperate and come back from nopeville multiple times.

Edited by Honorless
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I think 4 things stood out re Kal's mental health in RoW as particularly good things: the helpful actions of Adolin and Shallan

The way Kal still struggles to self-love and accept others caring about him even when we see lots of evidence that they do - which is very real (though some, most unhelpfully his father, really don't get it)

The way Kal uses his experience to help others, which is heartwarming

 

And the way Syl feels upset she can't quite understand Kal, and the heartbreaking way she makes herself feel her worst memories to try to empathise with him (which I'm not convinced is a good thing).

 

I liked the balance of understand Vs sympathise in this book. Both are helpful, but as Adolin showed and Syl has time after time, you don't need to understand what someone is going through to support them through it

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On 12/12/2020 at 11:34 PM, Kingsdaughter613 said:

In my experience depression does just ‘go away.’

There is more than one type of depression and it varies between people. While I don't have anything that gives me mental breakdowns, I have my own issues with depression that, while they do go away, also do come back a lot, which the book does make a point of. And seeing as I read this book during my depressed scene aka now, I can confirm that a lot of it is relatable. (There's a thing called SAD (Seasonal Associative Disorder) which I have noticed that I am heavily affected by, so it does go away when winter ends, and then comes back. Every year. Same damn time. And I'm pretty sure I was depressed as a kid and didn't realize, cuz what kid knows they're storming depressed. Depressed was my normal.)

Kaladin in this book was great. Still think his strongest appearance is WoR, but this book continued his long and harrowing journey, giving him some respite before forcing him through, and boy, the more I think about it, the more connections I can make to my own life. He likes fighting, he loves it, Vasher outright says it. However, it takes a toll on him, tires him, and he needs to take a break doing something else he somewhat loves. This is very similar to me during my depressive episodes, where I'm doing something i love (writing), but it tires me and takes a toll on my mental health and I need to take a break and recover by doing something else I love (Literally anything else. Read, youtube, movies, shows, anything, just stay away from the stress inducer.) His struggle with his parents does not perfectly mirror my own, but to some extent, his parents are dismissive of his condition. My parents, while unaware of how bad it is as I refuse to tell them, are fairly dismissive to it, as they refuse to understand the why or that even their child can go through depression because 'that's for crazy people, you're not crazy' (Despite my sister admitting she goes to therapy, provided by her job, and taking anti-depressant pills, so both their kids are depressed. Wonder why.) Adolin pesters him and makes sure he isn't alone, as he knows that he needs the company to improve his mood. While I have no friend to do that because of stupid quarantine, I do have a friend who invites me on walks and I force myself to go with him even if I'm too sleepy/tired/angry/depressed to. Having talks with him does lift the burden, and being able to talk about your problems makes it so much better. (Also, while Sanderson doesn't show it much, You can be depressed and still smile and laugh. He has Syl make Kaladin smile a few times, but rarely laugh, which does happen with people you are genuinely happy to be with, it is not just acting/faking as he implies. It's harder, and it's more fleeting, but it does happen.) So, Kaladin's depression was the most relatable and dare I say realistic I have seen/experienced, at least compared to my own experiences. While not at the sheer level, I too get moments of just not being able to do anything. And ironically, that made me quite happy while reading, because boy, if there's something that can put a smile on my face, it's good writing. Now if only I can find my own Syl in the form of a boy/girlfriend/any significant other, that would be great. 

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1 minute ago, Aspiring Writer said:

There is more than one type of depression and it varies between people. While I don't have anything that gives me mental breakdowns, I have my own issues with depression that, while they do go away, also do come back a lot, which the book does make a point of. And seeing as I read this book during my depressed scene aka now, I can confirm that a lot of it is relatable. (There's a thing called SAD (Seasonal Associative Disorder) which I have noticed that I am heavily affected by, so it does go away when winter ends, and then comes back. Every year. Same damn time. And I'm pretty sure I was depressed as a kid and didn't realize, cuz what kid knows they're storming depressed. Depressed was my normal.)

Kaladin in this book was great. Still think his strongest appearance is WoR, but this book continued his long and harrowing journey, giving him some respite before forcing him through, and boy, the more I think about it, the more connections I can make to my own life. He likes fighting, he loves it, Vasher outright says it. However, it takes a toll on him, tires him, and he needs to take a break doing something else he somewhat loves. This is very similar to me during my depressive episodes, where I'm doing something i love (writing), but it tires me and takes a toll on my mental health and I need to take a break and recover by doing something else I love (Literally anything else. Read, youtube, movies, shows, anything, just stay away from the stress inducer.) His struggle with his parents does not perfectly mirror my own, but to some extent, his parents are dismissive of his condition. My parents, while unaware of how bad it is as I refuse to tell them, are fairly dismissive to it, as they refuse to understand the why or that even their child can go through depression because 'that's for crazy people, you're not crazy' (Despite my sister admitting she goes to therapy, provided by her job, and taking anti-depressant pills, so both their kids are depressed. Wonder why.) Adolin pesters him and makes sure he isn't alone, as he knows that he needs the company to improve his mood. While I have no friend to do that because of stupid quarantine, I do have a friend who invites me on walks and I force myself to go with him even if I'm too sleepy/tired/angry/depressed to. Having talks with him does lift the burden, and being able to talk about your problems makes it so much better. (Also, while Sanderson doesn't show it much, You can be depressed and still smile and laugh. He has Syl make Kaladin smile a few times, but rarely laugh, which does happen with people you are genuinely happy to be with, it is not just acting/faking as he implies. It's harder, and it's more fleeting, but it does happen.) So, Kaladin's depression was the most relatable and dare I say realistic I have seen/experienced, at least compared to my own experiences. While not at the sheer level, I too get moments of just not being able to do anything. And ironically, that made me quite happy while reading, because boy, if there's something that can put a smile on my face, it's good writing. Now if only I can find my own Syl in the form of a boy/girlfriend/any significant other, that would be great. 

I was discussing my experiences, not yours. My depression does just ‘go away.’ Yours doesn’t. That doesn’t make one experience more valid than another.

I’m glad you liked WoR. Reading it was one of the closest times I came to killing myself. So we obviously have very different reactions.

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13 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

I was discussing my experiences, not yours. My depression does just ‘go away.’ Yours doesn’t. That doesn’t make one experience more valid than another.

I’m glad you liked WoR. Reading it was one of the closest times I came to killing myself. So we obviously have very different reactions.

Sorry, it sounded like you were saying depression does just go away and the fact it doesn't for Kal is dumb. I wasn't trying to devalue your experiences, just trying to make clear his experiences do match up with many other cases.

Yeah, I love reading/writing, so reading a well made depressed character will do more good for me than bad. Plus, I'm pretty sure I am somewhat emotionally detached to... everything. And honestly, it was less his depression i liked and more the conflicting loyalties and all-consuming vengeance to those who have wronged you which... I can relate to. A lot.

Very sorry to hear about that, I have some experience with those kinds of moments and, to some extent, know how it feels. I would honestly suggest skipping chapters in Kaladin's POV, that's what I do with chapters I don't want to read. Also, I admit to only reading half of your post. Once I realized you took it the wrong way, and realized I recognized you and you weren't a random (the default icon messes me up), I went back to read the rest of your post, and yeah, I can see why Kal's chapters mess you up, esspically with how you handle your depression, which... does not work for me to say the least. At least not without some serious problems for people around me. (I can be very aggressive.) I wish you luck on your journey, you'll probably get over it long before I do. 

 

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55 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Sorry, it sounded like you were saying depression does just go away and the fact it doesn't for Kal is dumb. I wasn't trying to devalue your experiences, just trying to make clear his experiences do match up with many other cases.

Yeah, I love reading/writing, so reading a well made depressed character will do more good for me than bad. Plus, I'm pretty sure I am somewhat emotionally detached to... everything. And honestly, it was less his depression i liked and more the conflicting loyalties and all-consuming vengeance to those who have wronged you which... I can relate to. A lot.

Very sorry to hear about that, I have some experience with those kinds of moments and, to some extent, know how it feels. I would honestly suggest skipping chapters in Kaladin's POV, that's what I do with chapters I don't want to read. Also, I admit to only reading half of your post. Once I realized you took it the wrong way, and realized I recognized you and you weren't a random (the default icon messes me up), I went back to read the rest of your post, and yeah, I can see why Kal's chapters mess you up, esspically with how you handle your depression, which... does not work for me to say the least. At least not without some serious problems for people around me. (I can be very aggressive.) I wish you luck on your journey, you'll probably get over it long before I do. 

 

Thanks. PMDD is weird because it’s so tightly bound up with the menstrual cycle. It literally will be ‘cured’ once I hit menopause, though that won’t be for decades. The biggest issue is that those seven to ten days come with some very intense suicidal ideations, at least for me. I do recognize that they aren’t normal for me though, which definitely helps.

I love reading/writing too! I like my characters to be hopeful though, even the morose ones. Constant feelings of despair are very wearing on my psyche. When I see a character spiraling it can cause me to reflect those feelings, which can be very dangerous.

I wish I could skip his chapters, but they’re rather plot relevant... If I skipped them I’d miss half the story. So I usually read the books once, then use my kindle to double check for things if I need to look them up. But I don’t reread SA, and I don’t read them during the one week a month I am depressed. (I got lucky this time; the book came out the week before.) On the other hand, my Mistborn books are very well read.

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5 hours ago, IndigoAjah said:

The way Kal still struggles to self-love and accept others caring about him even when we see lots of evidence that they do - which is very real (though some, most unhelpfully his father, really don't get it)

That part hit me personally.  My dad tries really hard to help me feel better, and weirdly that sometimes makes me hate myself more because he's trying so damn hard and here I am still freaking hating myself all day.  Honestly, Kaladin's something else.  In his situation I would've thrown myself off the tower already.  Hell, I would've jumped into the chasm in TWOK.  

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I've had issues with depression in the past, and while its not a constant or even regular thing for me, I have had episodes that have lasted for weeks/months. I do really appreciate the realism that some of the chapters display. The two that really stand out to me are the bit with Adolin taking him out in RoW that has already been mentioned (definitely one of my favorite chapters), and the sequence where Kaladin is in jail in WoR. 

The bit that really stands out to me from the jail sequence is when Kaladin is thinking that all his friends are probably relieved not to have him around. Its such a ridiculous irrational thing to think, as its been shown that bridge four practically worships him, but that's how depression can be a lot of the time. I've definitely been bothered by similar thoughts that I know are entirely untrue on a rational level, but I'm unable to shake the feeling on an emotional level. I think this might also be why readers can get frustrated with Kaladin, he definitely is being irrational and overly negative, but that is pretty true to life for depression in my experience. 

I also can appreciate the realistic depiction just because I know the first time I had a serious episode of depression I felt like I must be going crazy or something, and reading about other people with similar issues helped me to make sense of it, and in turned helped with coping with it. I've found its easier to deal with when I have been able to recognize that I'm depressed. I can tell myself not to trust the way I'm currently feeling because I know the negativity will pass. Knowing that other people have the same sorts of irrational thought processes makes it easier to reject the negative thoughts as being caused by depression.

Edited by Jon
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19 minutes ago, Talirta said:

 

As much as I admire Kaladin as a character it makes no sense to me why his character and story developed that way.

 

…I think you might need to supply some context/detail if you’re looking for someone to engage with this.

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