On depression

I wish depression was something we talked about more often. Maybe then it wouldn’t be so grossly misunderstood.

In the hours and days following the tragic death of Robin Williams, I have seen and heard far too many times how “selfish” suicide is. The tone is that those who choose to take their own life are weak, are cowards.

I take that way of thinking very personally.

I hate to reciprocate judgement with judgement, but it’s difficult for me to believe that the people who say these things have ever experienced depression. It’s hard for me to believe they have any clue what the fuck they are talking about.

Depression is a beast. A lying, deceptive, convincing beast.

Depression has led me to believe, on more than one occasion, that I am not only a burden to my family and friends, but that I actually make life for them worse. By simply being, I lessen the quality of life for my husband, children, and everyone else around me.

I was diagnosed with a “mood problem” in February. A month later, doctors added an “anxiety problem” on top of that. I’ve battled this for years, pre-diagnosis. And, yes, I’ve survived this for years. But the thing about “mood problems” and “anxiety problems” is that they don’t just get better and they don’t just go away. My mood and anxiety issues have progressively worsened over the years – what started as grieving the deaths of my grandma and father turned into a full-blown battle with depression. A constant struggle to overcome something most people never saw.

Depression lied to me and made me believe that Big E would have a better life without a mother. It made me believe that he would be better off with no mother, than with me as his mother. It made me believe my husband would be happier as a widower than as a man married to me. And if it hadn’t been the gentle but forceful hand of my husband, that just might be the case today. Because to me, killing myself was not a selfish act. Yes, it would end my suffering… but even moreso, it would end my family’s suffering because they wouldn’t have to deal with me anymore.

Let me be very clear: I have wanted to die. On more than one occasion, I have wanted to kill myself. On more than one occasion, my husband has taken fistfuls of pills out of my hands. Because it felt like the only way to make anything better.

Depression is not rational. Depression does not make sense. Depression does not allow for rational thinking.

Medication helps; Zoloft helps… sometimes. And sometimes it’s enough. But sometimes it’s not. I feel good today. I felt good yesterday. But tomorrow? Tomorrow is always uncertain.


11 thoughts on “On depression

  1. Thank you so much for contributing to the discussion that is long overdue.

    Though we may not be in contact as often as we’d like, I hope you know how I care for you. My life is better for having you in it.

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