To a drowning person
“By far the great majority of the people who go through even the severest of depression survive it, and live ever afterward at least as happily as their unafflicted counterparts. Save for the awfulness of certain memories it leaves, acute depression inflicts few permanent wounds.”
“It is of great importance that those who are suffering a siege, perhaps for the first time, be told – be convinced, rather – that the illness will run its course and that they will pull through. A tough job, this; calling “Chin up!” from the safety of shore to a drowning person is tantamount to insult, but it has been shown over and over again that if the encouragement is dogged enough – and the support equally committed and passionate – the endangered one can nearly always be saved.”
“To most of those who have experienced it, the horror of depression is so overwhelming as to be quite beyond expression, hence the frustrated sense of inadequacy found in the work of even the greatest artists.”
“… if depression had no termination, then suicide would, indeed, be the only remedy. But one need not sound the false or inspirational note to stress the truth that depression is not the soul’s annihilation; men and women who have recovered from the disease – and they are countless – bear witness to what is probably its only saving grace: it is conquerable.”
All quotes from William Styron’s Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.