Posted by: forgingahead | October 23, 2008

A General Malaise

I am not alone. Seems many of my blogging buddies are struggling to find words that inspire, entertain or even simply communicate an idea.

I too am feeling a little at loose ends. But it does pique my curiousity that it’s not just me.

So a little research. I go to Wikipedia, my first stop on most every research trail.

Here’s their definition for malaise:

Malaise is a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness, an “out of sorts” feeling, often the first indication of an infection or other disease. Malaise is often defined in medicinal research as a “general feeling of being unwell”. This usage may have originated in folk medicine, but it is adopted from the French word meaning “discomfort,” “feeling faint,” “feeling sick.”

The “winter malaise” is another rendition of the term. This is described as feeling run down, depleted, fatigued, “out of sorts”, depressed, or a combination of all the aforementioned symptoms. Unlike the colloquial term, the winter malaise is generally not associated with the oncoming of any particular illness (unless one considers the possibility of Seasonal Affective Disorder). It is the culmination of the body adjusting to cold winter conditions and a possible depressing atmosphere due to either being forced inside due to the cold, or forced into a mundane daily routine because of the winter conditions. It is important to understand the difference between a winter malaise and depression in order to be treated properly for any of the symptoms that are exhibited.

The term is also often used figuratively in other contexts; for example, “economic malaise” refers to an economy that is stagnant or in recession.

Ah ha! Perhaps the economy is bringing us writers down. Bad economy!

gotta go to work,



  1. Kathleen; I so connect with this malaise. For those of us who thrive on writing and posting, it is an unsettling feeling to come up short in the writing department, slow on ideas and creativity. Maybe it is the season as we go inward and explore the source of our creativity. Who knows. I’m struggling to post and hoping it passes.

  2. Never heard of that word in my life… cool, learned something new! I think it is the “off season” of life. As the training load lessens so does the writing and all the other stuff we fill our lives with…

    Hope you have a GREAT Thursday and some kind of adventure to write about! All the best to you…

  3. Kathleen, this couldn’t be more well-put. I was just thinking today “gosh…I want to post but I feel this overall sense of ‘blah’…” and well – MALAISE!

    i wonder if it’s between the markets, the change in weather, the mud-slinging of this stupid election and my inability to know exactly where I want to go with my goals for next year’s tri season, I feel kinda ‘eh’…in limbo, if you will.

    That’s probably what contributed to my consideration of taking a break from blogging, though just FYI, I don’t think I will. 😉

    I haven’t even felt much like cooking lately!! WTF?

    I hope it goes away for all of us, soon! 🙂

  4. The economy, the election, the general negativity and fear in the air…

    I’m feeling it too, but I can’t blame winter because it’s perpetually sunny and warm in LA. But then, I love fall and winter, and rainy overcast days, so perhaps I can blame my malaise on the sunshine.

  5. Totally “bleh” here too. I can’t seem to shake it. Funny thing is, like Elle, I can’t blame it on the weather either. I am frustrated with the ineptness that seems to be epidemic everywhere. And the lack of accountability. And, well – just everything I suppose. It’s taking a toll on me and everyone else too. I have to believe that things will get better soon. I try to feed myself on optimism, but it’s in short supply. So you’re not alone my friend.

  6. Oh such a relief to realize it’s the economy’s fault! Can my horrible diet also be blamed on that??

  7. You seem to have identified a phenomenon that many of us are feeling. It’s definitely in the water.

    How to struggle against the tide and pull ourselves out of it – that is the question.

    Hope you have a better week!

  8. Great post… I feel it too. I have had a harder and harder time lately. Not sure if it’s emotional climate or exhaustion, but definitely some kind of heaviness. Plus it’s hard to be silly when I know so much hurt & struggle is happening all around…

    It’s nice to read this and fell connected with my writing community… and isn’t it nice to have something to blame 🙂

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