Depression is a real chemical imbalance in the brain. It's a condition shared by a large number of the population. It's treatable. The people living with depression are some of your favorite people. They are your friends and loved ones, and people you look up to and admire. They need and deserve compassion and understanding.
We expect brilliant people such as Robin Williams to contribute to society well past their 60th birthdays. Yet the rest of us are more or less expected to retire, step aside, and draw benefits from the government for the rest of our lives. This neediness and dependency view is vastly out of touch with what we now know about aging.
The stigma of mental illness is often believed to be that we don't talk about mental illness. The harsh reality is that people don't talk about their emotions period and a large percentage of people feel that mental illness isn't treatable. We need to have a clearer starting point and explanations of mental health for people to follow in order to find the help they need.
There are some days when I embrace the work, my activism, and keeping up with the latest about HIV/AIDS. And there are other days when I want to forget about it all and just escape. Because no matter what I do it never seems like it's enough, or that I could somehow be doing it better, or that maybe I waited too long to decide to act.