1. ·

    I think part of the challenge is that it’s a word that means so many different things. Also that each person’s experience of it is different. I understand what you mean about working and being productive while managing depression, but working when really suffering would have been and was totally impossible for me, I could hardly set one foot in front of another.

    I don’t know if it’s a misconception or not but nothing prepared me for how terrible this could be, and how the world could feel like it had lost its centre, and most of the things I’ve read since don’t really capture the awfulness either. I think it’s something it’s still really hard for most of us to talk about.


  2. ·

    I’ve had mild depression for the last 5 years, in and out.

    I have not opened the medication door, as I feel like (from observing what has happened with others who have opened the door) that the effectiveness of any drug always wears off. The doctor’s formulas are always needing to be changed. Also, the drugs sometimes seem to mute a person’s real personality. Pain is less. Joy is less. It’s all brought closer to a sedated middle.

    Even though I’ve felt deep pain, I tolerate it, to be able to feel great joy.

    I’m not saying that is true in every case. I’m just observing what I’ve seen in a lot of cases.


  3. ·

    I’m 38 and have been depressed since I was a child. Like most depressed people, nobody would ever know it. I only tell people after they comment on someone else who is depressed and say something trite like “She just needs to cheer up and get over it.” After I tell them about me they often assume because I’m depressed I’m going to commit suicide on the spot. That’s the thing that annoys me the most.

    A close second are the people who trash talk people who commit suicide. I have been pushed to that edge a few times and I can tell you it’s not easy and it’s not cowardice.

  4. Kat French

    Charles – I’m with you on the “people who trash talk those who commit suicide” thing. It’s disturbing and says more about the person speaking’s level of compassion than the suicide victim’s character.

    Paul – I did take medication at other points, but found the same thing that you mentioned–the effectiveness wore off over weeks, my personality was muted, and I didn’t feel like myself in that “sedated middle.” But I do know people who have been really helped by them. It just wasn’t for me.

    Joanna – I agree that it’s a different experience for most everyone, and that it’s hard to explain what it feels like when you’re in the worst of it. I found myself trying anyway this week, for a friend who had lost a relative to suicide. She’s just so baffled because she’s looking at it rationally and can’t understand what he was thinking. I think maybe you’ve hit on something important; it’s less about what you’re thinking than what you’re feeling, and how unbearable it seems to continue feeling that much pain. Thanks for sharing that.


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