1. ‘Depression is glamorous’. For some reason we seem to consider happiness as the preserve of simpletons or at the very least, those who haven’t quite thought it through. Nonsense. Just as losing your parking space does not equate to a dark night of the soul, genuine depression is miserable and somehow boring at the same time. Yet it’s often portrayed in the media as cool, ironic and exciting.
2. ‘Depression is sexy’. As Tom Farrington writes in ‘A Hell of Mercy’, ‘depression saps relationships; untreated depression eventually destroys them’. Young Heathcliff might look damned hot across a windswept moor, but after a couple of days eyeballing his sulky jaw you’ll be tossing your Weetabix at him.
3. ‘Depressed = tortured genius’. There may be some truth in this – if you’ve got a big brain, then you’re probably going to overthink your world. At the same time, depression is not necessarily a catalyst for creativity. Often, the reverse. When you’re lying at the bottom of a deep, dark pit, picking up a pen is tricky, let alone writing your magnum opus.
Depression is none of these things. It’s just depressing.