Why I Write About Depression
As it turns out, I write and shoot videos and do interviews here and there about depression. I have “mild clinical depression” according to my shrink. That means I don’t have it nearly as bad as some cases, but I have a bunch of chemicals that conspire against me on even the sunniest of days.
I have an ulterior motive.
I Want Depression to Be Seen as Normal
Not “normal” like “hey, everything’s okay!” but more normal like “this is just a thing. Some people have it AND they do other stuff.”
I want companies and employees and customers and friends and random people who find out that you are dealing with depression that it’s kind of like saying you have diabetes or something similar. Yes, you need meds sometimes. You always need to adjust your lifestyle after you find out you’ve got it (like depression). And finally, it’s not allowed to be used as an excuse.
Pay attention, friends dealing with depression. You still have to do your best. You still cant be an asshole to people. You still have to try and get out of the hole.
Pay attention, all humans who don’t deal with depression: everything I just said in the above paragraph is harder than you think. Be patient.
I’m a Generally Happy and Friendly and Funny Guy
One weird side effect of writing about depression from time to time is that people seem to think that I’m serious and earnest and probably depressing at all times. I’m not. I love making jokes. I love laughing. I love love. Emotions are awesome.
In lots of ways, depression is this massive soaking wet bath towel thrown over how I want life to be. But once I (and people who deal with depression) come back up again (and we always do), we love love. I love life.
My Revised Top 3 Ways You Can Help People Dealing With Depression
Here you go. Say some version of the following and mean it:
- “I’m on your team.” Depression isn’t fun to be around. It gets lonely fast.
- “Depression is a liar.” I need this one more than anything. Depression lies.
- “I know you’re working through it.” We need feedback that our progress is showing.
That’s what you can tell folks dealing with depression.
Today, as I write this, I’m in a good place. I had a somewhat new and experimental treatment (look up the drug ketamine and its use treating depression). I feel great. I’m sitting with someone I love and we have had beautiful times together. I’m productive. Writing my book. Working on getting some new clients. All is well.
But some day, I’ll be down again. And sometimes, those downs take a while to recover (the last one went at least 14 months, probably longer). Like lots of people, I’ll just do my best, fight, and get back up again. It’s all we do.
Chris Brogan is a business advisor, international keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. He’s hard at work on his 10th book, “Be Where They Are. Go Where They’re Going.” Due in 2019 from Wiley Business Books. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org