Depression is the greatest misery, for in it we’re alone in a prison from which there seems to be no escape. When we have a physical illness, no matter how great our pain, at times we can separate ourselves from our suffering and feel close to other people, sharing a joke, feeling loved and comforted. But when we’re in the prison of depression, and there is always a barrier between ourselves and other people.
People who are depressed describe this prison in many different pictures: “I am at the bottom of a black pit.” “I’m locked in a dungeon and they’ve thrown away the key.” “I’m inside a black balloon and as much as I struggle, I can’t escape.” “I’m alone in an icy desert.” “I’m totally alone, and a great black bird is on my shoulders, weighing me down.” The pictures are many and various, but the meaning is always the same. The person is alone in a prison.
Even worse, inside the prison of depression, we turn against ourselves in self-hatred. We torture ourselves with guilt, shame, fear and anger. We tell ourselves that we shall never escape from the prison, and indeed, in some way, we do not want to leave the prison. It is torture. It is safety.
The prison of depression is torture because it is isolation, the one form of torture which as all tortured know, will break even the strongest person. But it is safety because the walls of the prison shut out most of the things which threaten to overwhelm us and cause our very self to shatter and disappear.”
SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications. ( Foreword by Dorothy Rowe, Ph.D., Page 11.)