Winston Churchill called it “the Black Dog”, a phrase he coined to explain that feeling of sadness, dread and despair that comes from the most common of mental illnesses — depression.

Depression is a serious malady that manifests with darkness: sufferers feel heavy and lethargic; they lose interest in everything around them; there is a generalised feeling that life is pointless. The depressed person feels worthless.

Suicide moves into the frame as a way to escape this world of pain, where the depressed person feels useless, and that life is meaninglessness. I know the symptoms: I’ve had bouts of depression and anxiety throughout my life. When you’re in it, you can’t see a way out of it. And when it’s over and there’s a return to normalcy, you can’t imagine ever having been depressed.

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