I am working on a long post about how I healed from depression, as I would like to help others avoid, if at all possible, everything I went through.
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 injustice, pain, and madness that societies have renamed sanity. The pandemic was simply the first time I discovered others who share my views.
I will post here as soon as possible. For now, I'll just share these resources that helped me (and continue to help me) tremendously:
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
and the poem: Hail to You! by Kazimierz Dąbrowski
You are not crazy. You are not abnormal.
Difference is not a disease and it does not deserve a diagnosis.
Suffering is not an illness, but it does deserve comprehension, compassion, and healing.
You are a Survivor.
And you will soar and sing again.