I Believe a Cure For Depression Must Be Found

Linda - Huntington, West Virginia
Entered on April 12, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: illness
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe a cure for depression must be found and that only those afflicted understand how truly debilitating this illness is.

I have suffered from depression since childhood. It is a terrible disease. I have taken anti-depressants most of my life and they do get me out of bed and allow me to walk around in society and go through the motions of living. But I still have a very poor quality of life.

Well-meaning friends try to help and inspire me with stories of physically impaired people who overcome extreme odds to accomplish great things. Surely my depression is nothing compared to these physically handicapped people they tell me.

My friends don’t understand that those physically impaired people use the awesome power of their minds to overcome their physical limitations. But depression is an illness located in the brain. If the brain can have such a powerful effect in helping a person, imagine the terrible power that a dysfunctional brain can have if it is working against you. That is depression.

I have tried many times to escape depression. I moved to new cities and got new jobs, new houses, new boyfriends. During those times I was kept busy with all the logistics of a move. The distraction and stress provided a temporary if slight lessening of my misery.

Then, invariably, I would wake up one day with a little twinge of melancholia hovering over me as I brushed my teeth and dressed for the day. That vague feeling would soon morph into a black cloud of sadness, hopelessness, and despair. Then the running away process would begin again.

Depression takes away health, physical energy and mental motivation. Long range planning for the severely depressed person is trying to figure out how to make it out of bed every morning. How can you aspire to run a marathon, further your education, or go for that promotion at work when it takes every ounce of energy just to throw your feet over the side of the bed in the morning and make it through another pointless day. Depression is exhausting.

The wisdom of middle age has allowed me to recognize a deeper toll that depression has taken. Would I have made any significant contributions to this world had I not spent all my energy and my youth wrestling with depression? Would I have had children who might have made significant contributions or given me comfort in my old age? Would I have strived for more and accomplished more in life? It is devastating to know that because of depression I have been unable to live a normal life that so many take for granted.

I am now 48 years old. I scan the news to see if a cure for depression is on the horizon. I cling to the hope that I may yet find a little peace and happiness in the remainder of my life if only a cure can be found for me and others like me.