Living with Depression
In February 2020, I released my first non-fiction work, Living with Depression: Journeys to Healing. The first thing I want to say is, the title is quite apt for me. Living with depression is like having a roommate who is constantly telling you just how worthless you are. Granted, that annoying roommate is actually you, because depression makes you your own worst enemy, but I thought the analogy worked quite well.
There’s another analogy I’m quite fond of using. Imagine the worst song you could possibly think of. One that is so annoying that, as much as you hate it, you somehow keep hearing it, over and over and over … So, depression can be a bit like having that annoying song, only the song is telling you you’re no good, you’re worthless, and so on. All the negative thoughts you have. At least, this is my experience with depression.
The book took me two years to complete. One year of it was mostly research – what depression is, what causes it, how to manage it and so on. The rest was interviewing, writing and editing before publishing.
I wrote a lot about my journey, but I thought why not try to dispel some of the myths around depression. One of the biggest myths, of course, is that it’s not real.
I interviewed a few people who had been through their own experiences with this. Some of them also had difficulties with family and friends refusing to believe them, despite it being diagnosed by a health professional.
One of the things I wanted to clear up right away was this idea that if a person can’t see anything physically wrong, then that means there’s nothing wrong. It’s the same for other illnesses, such as auto-immune disorders. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.
Another thing I wanted to demonstrate by talking to others was the idea that it is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of illness. Depression is a very individual experience and while symptoms may sound similar, what caused it depends on a person’s experience. By the same token, while one person finds medication helpful, another might find it counter-productive.
The one thing I found helpful for me was writing. Whether it is in fiction stories or in venting in a journal. Writing is a good way for me to express my feelings and my frustrations. For instance, I once wrote a story around a character who felt somewhat alienated and was going through depression. I related a lot to the character, so I was able to explore my own feelings through his. It really can be quite cathartic.
My book is available both as a softcover and as an ebook.