Hi, Cory! Thanks for your thoughtful, lengthy, and angry comment. I read every word, twice so far, and I may well go back to it a third time.

First, I’m sorry your narrative is such a heavy burden to bear — I believe depression to be mostly reactive, and as such a fairly normal reaction for those of us who experienced myriad horrors, be it as kids or as adults. Were we less shitty as a whole, with better values and a sense that we all have a duty of care toward one another, I don’t think depression would be as prevalent in our society.

But it is, because — as you write — nobody seems to care. I’ve often observed this in the U.S., a country so consumed by capitalism and individualism that it literally doesn’t even understand why health care and education should be basic human rights despite the catastrophic outcome that is the presence of Trump in the White House. If that doesn’t serve as a wake-up call, nothing will.

And don’t get me started about Big Pharma either. Being used to the European Union’s way of doing things, I was completely creeped out by an American GP who kept pushing one particular brand of antidepressants on me, going as far as claiming that there would be no miserable homeless folks in Seattle (where I lived at the time) if they were all on it! I soon stopped going to see him after it became clear I’d become an easy billing, the sad little lost immigrant who had enormous difficulties adapting to this ruthless, unforgiving American society. Sure, I was sad, and lost, and needed help — all those things still apply, to some extent — but my broken brain still recognizes predatory ways when it encounters them.

However, living alongside those who have no time for others, you’ll always find some exceptions. Disappointingly, those exceptions may not be family members but they could be friends or even random strangers. A kind word, a nod, a smile, a conversation — be it IRL or online — can make all the difference to someone who feels invisible. I’ve been on the receiving end of such kindness and I try to provide it whenever I can, too, because this is what makes us human. I’m not a machine, I’m not just a bunch of pixels and data packets on a page, and I try to only share words I abide by.

I sense from what you write that, for you, the personal is very much political. It is for me too, I know no other way of approaching life if we’re to ever live in an enlightened society.

Lastly, please don’t apologize for your anger. I take it as a sign of someone who cares, of someone who is all too painfully aware of what’s going on. In 2018 America, it’s the folks who aren’t incandescent with rage that I find highly suspicious.

Finding my anger is how I was able to get back to writing. My career is still in tatters but at least I no longer cower in the corner.

Oh, and one more thing: I don’t know what field you’re in but have you perhaps considered an exit strategy, i.e. a temporary or even permanent move abroad? I think about this often myself.

Thank you again for chiming in, Cory. Your voice matters.


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