Comedian Robin Williams’s death in August rocketed depression into the headlines, and his suicide became a defining moment when the nation would finally reckon with depression.
But this reckoning never happened.
Memes are inventive, provocative, and attention-grabbing. Ironically, a profusion of angry, silly memes is likely to do more for our public conversation about depression than many rounds of sober sloganeering.
We have many fine literary accounts of depression. A good example is Styron's Darkness Visible, which I heartily recommend as nicely conveying depression's foreign awfulness. But, in my view, not half as well as this incredible blog called Hyperbole and a Half.
The long run outcome of deep depression is typically cruel: Depression leaves a dull hangover of residual symptoms in its wake. Episodes of deep depression are prone to recur. Yet a subgroup of sufferers beats these odds.
We know quite a bit about why and how people fall into depression. From negative thinking to stressful environments to poor ways of coping to gloomy temperaments, falling in is no great mystery. But why and how do people pull out of depression?