This was published within the past week -- in the wake of former football star Junior Seau's death --- in a major US newspaper by someone far more famous than I, but it accurately describes the mood of someone suffering with major depression.
With depression, there are no bright colors. A good day is a light gray or a muted blue. Most days are just gray. A bad day is pitch black.
People with depression can't always just "turn that frown upside down." They can't always just suck it up. It's a dark, overwhelming place sometimes. And a lot of us suffer alone because we are ashamed. We feel stupid. How can a person be incapable of having fun? Any moron knows how to have a good time.
It's almost impossible to talk about it to regular people (bosses, spouses, friends). They can't fathom how somebody in good physical health, with a good job, with kids who love them, who seems relatively normal on the outside, can be terminally unhappy.
And when you try to explain it, you come off sounding so pathetic, so weak and whiney, even to yourself — it's just easier, though infinitely more harmful, to suffer in silence.
I've suffered from major depression for the majority of my adult life and part of my adolescene as well. Some days I wonder how I even made it this far or if the struggle was worth it. My first suicidal thought --- although not an actual attempt -- came during high school. In the subsequent years, there have been other times when the will to live left me and the urge to end it all was overwhelming. As life continued, my reasons to keep living and fighting grew fewer and fewer. Each subsequent setback seem to hurt more than the previous one; each pit of dispair seemed a little deeper and took longer to recover from.
I've come to accept the fact that perhaps there are no answers; perhaps people who struggle with this illness do so for their entire lifetimes -- however long or short they may be.
If you or someone you know has struggled with this illness and/or attempted suicide, feel free to share your stories here. And please know you are not alone.