“Depression is an excuse to lay around in bed all day” (and other stupid things people say)

If I am honest, and I feel that I must be, I am a bit disappointed to find myself once again writing about depression. When I decided to write a blog, I had planned specifically to avoid the topic entirely, partly because it felt a bit too much like work, and partly because I did not want to open myself up too deeply to the world. Writing about travel and yoga offered me the opportunity to present to the world a woman who was free, fun, funny, and adventurous. This seemed ideal. Writing about my experiences of mental illness threatened to reveal to the world the scarred person I try to run away from, and to open me up to a maelstrom of criticism about being self-indulgent,  imperfect, and lazy. This didn’t seem as wise.

As usual, the universe had other plans for me, and my anger compelled me to to respond to some of the hateful comments about depression which surfaced in light of the German Wings tragedy a few months back. I feel equally compelled to write about depression again, in response to comments I have heard repeated more and more often recently, both to and about people who are suffering.

Three lines of thinking seem to form the foundation of antipathy towards people who are sick with depression, and I will respond to each in turn.

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