Saturday, 10 November 2012


Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people, into zombies who can’t wash a plate or change their socks. It affects your ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It stops your healthy ability to cope with bad days & bad news, & replaces it with an unrecognisable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed.
You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the rubbish. You have become pathetic & you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward spiral.
You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. You feel guilty & ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates your depression & the isolation.
If you’ve never been depressed, be thankful, & lay of those who take a pill just so they can make eye contact with the supermarket worker. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life. It’s not an incapacity to cope with day-to-day living in the modern world; it’s an incapacity to function. At all.
If you & your loved ones have been spared, much love to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, much love to you. No one chooses it. No one deserves it. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your energy trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. A depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods, & they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as the one force greater than their depression. Have a heart.
Judge not, lest ye be judged.


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