The endless lies of depression

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

There is always some lie at the heart of depression, some fiction. A large body of research suggests a link between creativity and depression. I think the link must be the ability to go over the same story a thousand times, and slowly refine it. I assume Bach did that with his cello suites, and Victor Hugo must have rehearsed Les Miserable a thousand times to get the structure of the narrative down. Over and over we go, repeating the same arcs. Depression is like that, but with you as the center of the story, and some drama darkening the scene.

This is sad:

I am not angry with you. You look too young, too well-bred to know what you have got yourself into. I am not angry with him either. He is very ill.

For years I have supported him through depression made worse by his refusal to accept he has the illness and engage with treatment.

I have spent hours listening to him rail against everything that has stood in the way of the great success and recognition he believes he deserves. I have supported him through failed business ventures, house moves and job changes. I have let him turn our lives upside down to try to make him happy. It has taken me this long to realise I can’t do that. You won’t be able to either.

Since I found out about you, I have started to bait him. I ask innocuous questions and I watch as he lies to me. I am surprised by the ease with which he does it. My friends have been gentle with their reminders that he lied to me from the start – about his age, his ex-wife, his adult son. About being in the army.

You believe he is a heroic single dad, juggling childcare around his high-flying career. You think he is loaded. He’s put your meals and hotel bills on a secret credit card. I sold things on eBay to pay for Christmas.

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