Depression needs a new name

This piece was written by my good friend Jane. I convinced her to let me publish it here. It is unedited.
Just read Deborah Hill-Cone’s piece on Charlotte Dawson. I’m not linking it – it is vile click bait and one of the more despicable opinion pieces I’ve read.What is really fucking me off about the reportage is that circumstances and events are purportedly to blame for her death. Twitter trolls, ageing, financial and personal insecurity, abortion have all been trotted out as the reason she took her own life. And yes, these things contribute but not the root cause.Depression. I think we need to find another word for it. Depression is too kind, soft, like a slow exhalation of breath. It is anything but that. It’s a neverending chasm, the further you fall, the less light there is. It can gradually build or it can fucking slam you unawares. Sometimes there’s no time to ‘reach out’, no time to reason with yourself. Other times, you can see the signs, be kind to yourself, find help. But mostly, you’re just scared of not coping, being seen to be not coping.

I don’t know Charlotte Dawson but from what I have read about her, she was ace at holding other people up, putting others’ needs before her’s and generally fighting the good fight. What I can also extrapolate is that this took a heavy toll. Some people can help others and leave it behind at the end of the day. I don’t think she could. You can become a vessel for other people’s distress and emotions, hanging on to them and eventually drowning.

Depression is a killer full stop

 

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