“What is depression you ask? I’ll tell you.
“It’s when the only warmth you feel is when you have a bath or a shower. It’s when you walk into a room and people are friendly, but you still feel isolated in their company. It’s when everything is boring, nothing interests you, even your hobbies or the things you know you love. It’s when everything is too difficult and you haven’t the energy to lift a finger for even the simplest of things.
“It’s when you have such a negative view of yourself that every compliment is played down and every insult magnified, when you dwell on your mistakes far more than your successes. And no amount of ‘jollying along’ will lift you, no shallow pep talks will help.
“Depression is a deep disability that requires someone to be equally deep in helping them.
“Not a disability, you say? Merely chemicals out of balance you say, with a dismissive air?
“Everything we do as humanity is chemicals. Every muscle movement, every thought, every action is as a result of a physical component in our bodies acting chemically in one way or another. If those chemicals are out of balance because of a physical defect, it is a physical problem. Depression is physical, a physical disability of the brain, a brain that is as solid and visible as any organ.
“Depression locks you away from people in the worst way possible. You are able to function in many ways and look normal, but you are locked inside your mind and no one without a depth to their character can reach you, though shallow people can hurt, control and manipulate you.
“Depression is not sadness writ large, a temporary illness that will go away, it is a lifelong handicap that holds you back from a full life.
“There are people who suffer a temporary, deep sadness at low points in their lives, something akin to a broken leg. They recover and carry on, though they bear scars. Others, like me, carry the disability through life: we cannot get rid of it. It is much a handicap as a lost limb or eye.
“We can do some things well, things that allow us to hide, but most people just disrupt our lives, our being.
“It is not their fault, they cannot magically heal us with a few well chosen words. We need to be held, understood and allowed to be, to be allowed to let misery have its day, lose its power and leave us.
“What is depression you ask? It is a disability of the brain, a physical fault that cannot be easily rectified.
“Laugh if you will, put us down and make fun of us. Point the finger and call us slack or weak. But nothing you can say or do will change the facts.