David Frum

11.06.12

A Firsthand Account of Dealing with Depression

The agony of depression. It may be the master illness that explains so many other medical ills from industrial accidents to obesity to addiction. Our friend and reader Tom Doran offers a brutally candid personal account of the condition in today's Independent. Read it here:

A few years ago, I went to visit a friend in Manchester a few days after his best friend had committed suicide, to offer moral support. I went for a night out with him and his social circle, including the girlfriend of the deceased. All were trying hard to be normal, drinking and dancing like the rest of the throng, but a deep and terrible wrongness pervaded everything, a gnawing void. It felt, I remember thinking, like a bomb had gone off in the middle of that group and blown all their lives to pieces.

Only then did I truly understand the meaning of the German word for suicide, Selbstmord – self-murder. For in his despair, that young man had committed an act of violence no less terrible than if he'd killed another. In both cases, a person is robbed from the world, from society and, above all, the ones they loved and were loved by. I think of my parents and suddenly the whole business is unthinkable. It would destroy them. Destroy them. Whatever is wrong with me, and that's a long list, I don't have that in me.