Depression, by its very nature, isolates. It undermines your courage, joy and self-esteem. When you’ve summoned up the courage to say “I need help,” you hope for a soft landing. For people who are supportive and understanding. Sadly (depressingly!) this is not always the case.
A friend of mine shared the painful story of colleagues writing cards, sending flowers and visiting with a co-worker who was being treated for cancer, but ostracizing her (my friend) when she was forced to take time off from work to get treatment for major depressive disorder. Just like cancer, depression is serious, debilitating, sometimes treatable, but often life-threatening. This reaction doesn’t seem to make sense in a society that has officially and scientifically broken down the chasm between mental and physical illness, health, and treatment.
We have come a long way from associating mental illness with madness and sorcery, and locking up ‘insane’ people…
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