Major depressive disorder, better known as depression, is one of the most popular mental illnesses talked about on the news and social media. Depression can lead to a lack of energy, loss of interest in activities that used to excite the individual, prolonged feelings of unhappiness, and even suicidal thoughts. The exact cause of this mental illness can vary from genetics to environmental experiences, there is no one cause. It is complex and can last year’s such as in the case of major depression or in shorter periods of time in cases like postpartum depression or seasonal affective disorder.
“Reasons to Stay Alive” is a memoir written by Matt Haig. He writes about his struggles with depression and anxiety starting at the age of 24. This is the first time Haig has written about his mental illnesses as he opens the novel with telling readers he never thought he would be even alive to write this book.
“Thirteen years ago, I knew this couldn’t happen. I was going to die, you see. Or go mad. There was no way I would still be here. Sometimes I doubted I would even make the next ten minutes. And the idea that I would be well enough and confident enough to write about it in this way would have been just far too much to believe.
But depression itself isn’t a lie. It is the most real thing I’ve ever experienced. Of course, it is invisible.
To other people, it sometimes seems like nothing at all. You are walking around with your head on fire, and no one can see the flames. And so – as depression is largely unseen and mysterious – it is easy for stigma to survive. Stigma is particularly cruel for depressives, because stigma affects thoughts and depression is a disease of thoughts.”
To purchase and read Haig’s book use this link.
Feature Image: Paola Chaaya, On Unsplash, Creative Commons