Those of you visiting my blog will likely nod in agreement on just about every line of this brilliant account of what depression is like and what limitations it brings to the person suffering from it. And those who were lucky enough to never have to experience it, they should absolutely treat themselves to learning about the condition first before making any comments or worse: Wanting to “help” and give advice. Like with any other situation in life: It takes competence in order to arrive in a position of possibly helping someone else. To me, the only competence worth a shred with depression or any other “mental illness” (I prefer to call them “emotional illness”) is either first hand experience or lots and lots of empathy married to a detailed, expert-level understanding of the processes at work here along with the consequences they produce for the suffering individual. It all boils down to respect. While a person may be suffering from one or the other “mental” illness, does that mean they stop being a person deserving of a miniscule measure of respect all of a sudden? I don’t think so. And major kudos to Katherine Gilraine for writing this absolutely fantastic blog post, written from a firsthand, inside view of things. This needed to be said, yes, K.G. – thank you!
I think it’s time we sat down and talked about depression. Not just because Robin Williams’s death is bringing it forward, but because there’s entirely too much out there that is giving people the wrong idea about what it is and what it isn’t. And, having first-hand experience with it, I can’t not talk about it.
Fair warning that a lot of this will get very personal. I’m writing this so you can learn this, and share with any Well-Meaning Wilma in your life that just plain doesn’t get it. I have had my own fight with it, and trust me when I say it’s not something I’ll soon forget.
That and all those Well-Meaning Wilma people just plain piss me off because they do more damage than they realize.
What it is – and what it isn’t.
Depression isn’t a stretch of ‘the blues’. Let’s get that out of the…
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