A letter to one, a letter to all.

Dear Depression,

I am sure you must be so sick and tired of trending on every social media platform in the country.

The incessant chatter about you.. everyone thinking they know and understand you, everyone underestimating your complexity and everyone being an expert at defeating you.

I know you want to tell people “Hey please don’t talk about me as if you know me or know my power. Please take a moment to read up on me and educate yourselves before you speak about me.”

I know that you want to explain to people that you can’t help yourself once you get your deadly grip on someone. That you are unable to let go. That the grip can’t just be released by having friends or even talking to a friend. I know you want to tell people that you wish it were so simple.

I know you want to tell people that the only way to get rid of you is to go to a mental health professional. I know you want people to understand that talking to an untrained person is not the solution, that their responses can often make your grip deathly or at the very least tighter.

I know you must be laughing at the idiocy of many people who don’t recognise you as a very scary sickness. I know you wonder how a species so quick to run to a doctor for a little flatulence is unable to see you for what you are.. An illness.

I know you want to tell people that you don’t look at money, fame or success when you decide to attack someone. I know you don’t want to be who you are but you can’t help yourself. That once you get into a host you take over. I know you pray that well meaning but ill informed people would just learn to not comment on you.

I know that you get offended when people mention your name so casually in every day conversation. Statements like “I’m feeling depressed because my job interview didn’t go well” or “I’m depressed today because I had a fight with my husband last night”.

I know you want to shake people when they mistake you for sadness or grief. “I am different, so very different.” you want to scream,

“I am more powerful because I am not situational. I am all pervading and I can come without any warning. I don’t need any tragic or challenging event to make my presence felt. I am an illness and so I can’t be wished away, fixed or vanquished by chatting with friends. To defeat me you need treatment in the form of medications and therapy. Psychiatrists and Psychologists study and train for years to help people get rid of me.”

I know you want to tell people “Watch out for me. If you see my shadow over your loved one, intervene by directing them to a trained mental health professional, just like you would direct them to an Oncologist if they had cancer.

I am not the opposite of happiness. I am the opposite of healthy. I am ill health. Please see me for what I am.” you plead.

I know you feel like shouting from rooftops and crying to the world to take you seriously and to see you for what you are.. An illness.

I want you to know, that though I can’t change people and all their misconceptions about you, I do promise to try.

Yours truly