With the recent death of Robin Williams and the many other hard things going on in the world, I have seen a lot of discussion of depression.  I wanted to offer some resources to help people understand the condition a bit more.  First, check out the video below.

There is a lot of interesting work being done to understand depression, and options seem to change rapidly. The biggest thing to note in my mind is that the more we research the more we find that there is a biological component to this condition.

But it is not just a biological condition like a broken arm or cancer, it effects mood, personality and other aspects of what we would describe was "who people are."  The fact is, as people we cannot really understand a situation other people are in until we have had a similar situation.  We try to empathize, remember a time we were sad and what we did to get out of it.  But that only helps when the source is emotional alone, not emotional and biological.

Image from Robot Hugs. Click to be taken to source.

Image from Robot Hugs. Click to be taken to source.

Most other ailments do not impact the person's ability to be treated like depression does.  The very thing people need to do (talk to people) is the very thing they cannot.  It creates a cycle which is part of the reason depression is such a hard thing.  It is not a single issue.

  1. Biological Condition leads to,
  2. Psychological Condition which reinforces,
  3. Biological Condition which leads to,
  4. Social Condition which reinforces...

And so on.  For those of us that have no experienced depression it is hard to explain what it is and how it feels.  But here are a few places that have tried to not bring a solution, but simply attempt to explain what it is like

Hyperbole and a Half

This is a fun blog it its own right, but the author has two posts that I have found about her experience with depression.

Adventures in Depression

Depression Part 2

Depression Quest

This is an interesting text based game available here, that was discussed on Arstechnica. Though a story with decision points and depending on the level of depression, therapy and medication your current play through is on some options will be blocked or allowed.  I found it to be a really interesting attempt to help those who have not experienced depression understand just a bit of what people can feel.

But please be sure you are confident in where you are before playing, I would hate to see my recommendation of this game increase someone's struggles.

Final Thoughts

Depression is a complex thing. No one treatment plan, game, post or conversation will fully explain or fix it.  But please know that there are people at every stage of the journey, and we are here to help.