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Depression and disability

Just some musings on depression while I’m in a certain frame of mind.

I am prone to depression. I hate admitting that, because everybody’s depressed these days and it’s not like my burden’s heavier than anybody else’s, so what am I complaining for, but it’s unfortunately the truth. I am fairly certain it occurs only situationally— I can never remember experiencing it when I was not going through a difficult period —and that if I didn’t have anything that upset me, I would not feel the symptoms. But the hopelessness I feel in times of trouble seem in excess of simple sadness or grief.

So I guess I count as “having depression.” But even when the depression was at its worst, even when my mental state was negative to the point of despair, I always stayed functional. I was still busy and active, still highly productive, still always keeping the commitments I made. I never demonstrated any self-injurious behavior. Except for rare isolated occasions, my eating and sleeping habits remained healthy. I mean, I was still desperately unhappy and something needed to be done about that. But I wouldn’t say my depression “disabled” me. In fact, I think if a person can push on to that degree even while feeling that bad, that is the opposite of “disabled.”

Depression is a mental illness, and I would never tell someone with a mental illness that they didn’t have a real disability. But even at its worst, I definitely would not say that depression made me count as “disabled.” Still, I’m not sure that suggests an objective metric. I don’t think it’s right where people police each other for being “mentally ill enough” because they’re “only” feeling despairing and hopeless and still manage to hold their life together. I honestly reject that label for myself, but I don’t think it would be fair to invalidate it for another person in my position if it felt right to that person. So what is the definition? What’s the difference between a discontented able-bodied person and a person disabled by their mental illness? And what’s the difference in how they should be treated-- if not medically, what allowances made?

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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