One of the worst things about depression is that, in my experience, few people believe it’s actually legitimate. Sure, it’s trendy now to equate depression with an affliction affecting some other part of the body, like cancer, but skepticism or outright disbelief are the most common reactions I’ve experienced. Most seem to believe that one just needs to “snap out of it” or “buck up” or “get busy” to overcome it, but that’s rarely ever helped me.
Nor is it “laziness.” I have been anything but lazy my entire life: I earned my BA degree from a prominent California state university in five years while working full-time, my law degree from an ABA law school in downtown San Francisco in four years while working full-time and, after passing the bar exam on the first attempt, have worked full-time-plus as an attorney ever since. Yet depression has been a part of my life – and often debilitating – for as long as I can remember, certainly since middle school.