Clinical depression seems to be the black lung of writers.
In his successful 2006 novel "It's Kind of a Funny Story," Ned Vizzini sorted out his jump from the Brooklyn Bridge, which he survived. He tried to deconstruct what depression is. More recently, Kevin Hines did that in his nonfiction "Cracked, Not Broken." The difference was that Hines had survived his jump from the Golden Gate Bridge. Also, as of this time Hines is still alive. Vizzini is not.
Last Thursday, reports Bob Fredericks in the NEW YORK POST, Vizzini jumped from the window at his parent's home in Prospect Heights, New York. This time, at age 32, he succeeded. Here is the coverage in the POST.
Psychology, Psychiatry and Pharma often present explanations and remedies for clinical depression. Those haven't provided adequate insight or treatment. At least not for me.
What has worked better, at least until it stops working, is for us writers to shift our focus from our own internal pain to creating text about something, anything. It distracts us from us.
Also, it can generate some of our most successful work. On my syndicated legal blog, for example, Bloomberg, The Economist, Dow Jones, and Abovethelaw.com link to the posts. Here is what Abovethelaw.com has linked to this holiday weekend.
The tragedy is, of course, that there are times, as for Vizzini, that we can't write our way out of our clinical depression. At best, those result in nervous breakdowns. In 2003, I had one and lost everything. At worst, they end the writer's life.
This blog extends sympathy to the Vizzini family. Our families suffer, right along with us. From when I turned 11 and the internal wiring got frayed there were those concerned looks on the faces of my family. Since this disease tends to be genetic, some of those same concerned people appeared to have offed themselves through passive suicides.