Depression – a coming out story (6 November 2015)

Mental illness affects someone you know. Talking about it is the first step to normalization. This is the first in a series about my daughter’s experience.

Metathesis

Fig1

Chandelier II, a sculpture from my art show, “The Strength in Our Scars”

Two years ago I came out: not with a revelation about my sexuality, rather an announcement about my mental health. At the point I came forward, I had been struggling with major depressive disorder for roughly a year, but things had recently gotten bad. Cutting myself bad. Fantasizing about suicide bad. In need of hospitalization bad. At that point I needed to let loose the secret I had so closely guarded.

I don’t want to abscond with the language developed by the LGBT community and simply coopt the description of the brave announcement of their true selves, but I see useful overlap in the two experiences. It is the overlap of stigmatization and fear of consequences in both processes that leads me to respectfully borrow the term.

As much support as mental illness sufferers may get from…

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