I've lived the devastating effect of depression, watched suicide rip lives apart. It's a deadly disease and yet so horribly common. Despite the fact that it impacts so many of us on a daily basis, we as a society are hesitant to discuss it in an open, honest way. When it is addressed, it's often with a sense of shame, confusion or even blatant misinformation. Those of us who do suffer from depression often perpetuate our isolation by hiding and using the little energy we have to disguise it from the world, creating this illusion to ourselves and other sufferers that we are, in fact, alone. We often believe the lie that we deserve our prison, we are weak, that we should be ashamed, when actually, the opposite is true! Depression is not a personality flaw; it is a disease and we need to start talking about it and treating it as such!
My book Night Shifts Black is just a small step on the road toward opening the dialogue about depression and suicide. There's so much more we can do to change the conversation about depression, remove the stigma, and start to bring others out of hiding to get the help they need.