For most of my life, I’ve been a pretty happy-go-lucky person. I worried a lot as a child— for instance, every time I got a stomachache I assumed I had cancer— but those moments tended to pass quickly and my outlook has always been generally optimistic.
Growing up in a family where depression is rampant, I’ve also always been aware that my optimism was a gift, and was not something that I accomplished on my own through the power of positivity. Still, it’s always been hard for me to understand what depression is. I realized that I’ve only experienced true depression twice, for relatively short periods of time— the other times when I thought I was depressed, I was just sad.
This cartoon by Hyperbole and a Half is surprisingly one of the most articulate and eye-opening discourses on depression that I’ve ever read. I think it’s important to read for people like me, who have never struggled with depression long-term, and who have a hard time grasping that someone could feel like that for any amount of time. It’s well worth a read.