Depression and Geeks →

The delightful Good Math, Bad Math blog discusses the often-misunderstood nature of depression.

The thing that you always need to remember about depression – and which Benjy mentions – is that depression is not something which you can reason with. Depression isn’t a feeling. It’s not a way of thinking, or a way of viewing the world. It’s not something that you can choose not to suffer from. It’s a part of how your brain works.

The thing that anyone who suffers from depression needs to know is that it’s a disease, and that it’s treatable. It doesn’t matter if your friends are nice to you. It doesn’t matter if you know that they love you. That kind of thinking – that kind of reasoning about depression – is part of the fundamental trap of depression.

So true. Also:

When I started taking antidepressants, it was almost frightening, because it changed the world so much. Antidepressants didn’t make me happy. In fact, for a while, they made me very sad, because I was realizing how awful I’d been treating my wife and daughter.

Antidepressants aren’t “happy pills” any more than tylenol are “pleasure pills”. They (when they work properly) remove something that gets in the way of happiness – but that same thing is also in the way of curiosity, of contentment, of sadness – of feeling, and having those feelings be real and normal and work properly.

If you’re depressed, get treatment. People don’t sit around and try to deal with a broken leg. They shouldn’t sit around and try to deal with a broken brain either.