I have a friend who suffers from depression. For weeks she can go so low that leaving her house – under the glare of so many eyes in such a hostile world – is too much for her to bear, so she stays indoors instead.

Once I suggested that she do as her doctor suggests: take the prescription, take the pills, and live a life with less dread. I spoke about something I know nothing about – a darkness that I am fortunate never to have known.

In the UK the use of antidepressants has soared by 500% in the past 20 years, so discussing depression – with knowledge, experience or neither – has become a mainstream ...


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