I was hopscotching on the interweb (as my mother calls it) before starting work and my eye was caught by the headline: 15-minute short breaks the silence on key mental health issue and garners worldwide praise. Curious, I clicked on an extract, watched, and felt tears streaming down my face. A few minutes captures the hopelessness, the guilt, the anguish, the sense that nobody knows how bad things are except you. I do hope this film does as well as it deserves. Depression is still such a stigma, and so misunderstood. And once you have it, it’s like a coiled serpent, lurking in the depths, curled up, waiting. A nudge, a whisper of memory or just a bad day and you feel it beginning to writhe again. “Remember me?” Sometimes when you’ve had it, and recovered, you recognise the signs early and consign it to the depths again. But sometimes you’re not so lucky. Depression is slippery and silent and occasionally it uncoils while you are barely aware and by the time you are, it is there again, choking you.
After I had recovered from PND, a friend mentioned that she was so glad I was happier as I’d spent a long time “feeling a bit sorry for myself.” I was stunned and ashamed. Stunned that she interpreted a deep clinical depression as me feeling sorry for myself and ashamed that in trivialising my feelings, she had trivialised me.
I wouldn’t wish the malignant sadness of depression on my worst enemy and I’m cheered that this film has been received so positively. And anyone who feels the cold waves of depression lapping at their edges, I urge you to get help.