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I struggled on and off with depression for a very long time before gaining an understanding of what was happening inside me, why, and what I could do with that pain. My opinion of what "depression" is, what "mental illness" is, changed significantly during the pandemic, as a result of various experiences that I had, people that I met (online, of course), books that I read, and a mental health advocacy group that I became involved with. Or perhaps, more accurately, my opinion of "mental illness" is the same as it has always been, deep down: it is not a medical disease, but a response to trauma and to living in a world with tremendous pain, injustice, and extremely harmful systems. The pandemic was simply the first time I discovered others who share my views. I think that profoundly painful place that gets labeled "depression" can also be something else: the beginning of immense transformation. 

I'm working on a book about depression and will post more information here as soon as possible. For now, I'll just share these resources and websites. They have all helped me:


Mental Health Survival Kit and Withdrawal from Psychiatric Drugs by Peter C. Gøtzsche, MD

Outside Mental Health: Visions and Voices of Madness by Will Hall

De-Medicalizing Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition edited by Mark Rapley, Joanna Moncrieff, and Jacqui Dillon

Lost Connections: Why You're Depressed and How to Find Hope by Johann Hari

Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker

Decolonizing Global Mental Health by China Mills

and the poem: Hail to You! by Kazimierz Dąbrowski

As school, obviously, plays a huge role in our conception of and creation of self, society, mental illness and mental health, I found these two documentaries helpful and necessary: 

Schooling the World

Paradise with Side Effects

And these two websites are a great place to get started if you're looking to read about better ways to learn and live: 


Swaraj University


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