From an old Peter Kramer New York Times Magazine article. You may recall that Kramer was the author of the bestseller, Listening to Prozac. He found the response to his book highlighted many curious attitudes toward depression:
Like tuberculosis 100 years ago, depression today carries with it an element of refinement, of sacredness. Kramer writes, “We idealize depression, associating it with perceptiveness, interpersonal sensitivity and other virtues. Like tuberculosis in its day, depression is a form of vulnerability that even contains a measure of erotic appeal.” He goes on to say that “Depression is not a perspective. It is a disease…We should have no trouble admiring what we do admire – depth, complexity, aesthetic brilliance – and standing foursquare against depression.
If you’ve ever struggled with depression, did you ever idealize it? Even once? It’s a fascinating read, explores the way depression has been romanticized. Kramer knows his stuff and writes persuasively and knowledgably. Worth a look. You can read the article here: There’s Nothing Deep About Depression.