The following is an excerpt from a book by Tom Wootton called The Depression Advantage, continued from Post 43.
“When I went into depression the first time, all I saw was darkness and pain. At the time, I thought it was unbearable, but looking back and comparing it to some of the far deeper hells I have experienced, it was
“As My perception has grown, I am beginning to ‘see’ things I never knew were there: good insights, lessons, and personal growth. In ‘seeing’ clearly, I notice that now depression doesn’t affect me so negatively.
“On a scale from one to five, I used to think of a five as experiencing no depression at all, and a one as so deeply depressed that I would attempt suicide. I thought four was a little painful, three even more, and two almost unbearable.
“Each time I experienced depression, it became clearer to me. I began to redefine what depression was, based on the features that I could now ‘see’ more clearly. My scale began to change, from a scale based on pain, to one based on a much richer perception of what was going on. I still define a five as ‘having no symptoms,’ and a one as ‘so difficult that I try to kill myself,’ but four, three, and two have become a rich and varied landscape.
“I have also come to understand the significant difference between those who have ‘situational depression,’ caused by outward circumstances, and those who have what I consider ‘true depression,’ caused by mental illness. I have learned to articulate that clearly enough to make a difference in the lives of both those who are truly depressed and those who love and support them.”