Before it happened to me over a decade ago, I didn’t believe depression was a real thing. I was wrong. Back then, I didn’t understand that depression is not unhappiness or being weak, but that it feels like a hostile takeover and suffocation of your mind, a constant feeling of being overwhelmed by every aspect of every day.

Since that time, I’ve gone through periods of depression that can last for days, weeks or sometimes months during which I feel like my brain is paralyzed. At its most extreme, every day seems like too much. Everything shuts down. I can’t think, except for the constantly cycling fears and anxieties. I can’t write. I can’t make decisions. Responding to an email seems nearly impossible. I don’t want to interact with those around me. And I don’t want to be around anymore. These episodes can be paralyzing and excruciating on a day-to-day and minute-to-minute level.

Michael Kasdan, with Wiggin and Dana. Courtesy photo