It’s World Mental Health Day: A primer on depression for the public-at-large

My friend Maureen Herman (former bassist for Babes in Toyland) is writing a book called "It's a Memoir, Motherfucker." Here's an excerpt in which she gives her account of living life with an invisible disability and how those who do not suffer can best support those in their lives who do. -- Mark

I think when the chasm between who you really are and who people think you are is too wide, that's where true despair lives. It makes you feel so literally alone, to feel you are the only one who knows you. Loneliness of being unknown, that is the dullest, greyest, flattest, and most overwhelming of voids a human can experience. Prolonged periods of that dehydrate your soul. They may be biochemical, delusional, or situational, or some combination thereof, but what I do know is that at some point, it is literal agony.

Short term gratification fills the gap. It gets you through. When people tell you how much you've accomplished, and what great things lie before you, it sounds like the teacher talking in the Charlie Brown cartoons. Blah blah blah. It means nothing. Some of us have minds live with no sense of the long game. So when people ask how someone could kill themselves when they had done such great things and had the world at their feet, I understand how they could. You don't take any of that into account. It's meaningless. Your only reality is how you feel right now, and when it is that deafening void, and no drink or drug or relationship or amount of positive attention can mute it, it feels permanent. Read the rest