In a developing story out of Maddie Shawn’s bedroom, the 27-year-old is currently far too depressed to take any of the recommended actions that would lessen depression.
“None of this feels super feasible at the moment,” says Maddie, with ‘how to cure depression immediately’ pulled up in her Google search bar. “It says that regular exercise helps prevent depressive episodes, but we’re a bit late for that, and I’m not sure that I should start exercising right now since it’s 5 p.m. and I haven’t eaten yet.”
Between her futile research and a lifetime of feedback ranging from “buck up” to actual advice from mental healthcare professionals, Maddie has no shortage of pathways that allegedly combat depression, and no capacity to do them as life to her currently appears meaningless.
“WebMD said that to control my depression I should take a language class,” Maddie says. “Which is a bit less promising and more long term than I hoped, but I did learn to say ‘¿Volveré a sentir felicidad alguna vez?’”
“The best way I can describe depression is like sadness nausea,” Maddie adds. “In the same way that when you’re nauseated, everything seems nausea-inducing, when you’re depressed, literally everything strikes you as tragic. My friend sent me a video of a chihuahua getting a massage and it made me cry tears of absolute sorrow.”
With this in mind, Maddie is hesitant to poison any activity with her depression lens.
“Do I look like someone who’s about to take a candlelit bath or cook myself a meal?” she says. “And for what? So I can be depressed in the bathroom or the kitchen? Unlikely.”
Maddie’s roommate, Nina Perez, supports her right to feel terrible.
“I’m here for her, but I think sometimes the best thing you can do is just survive a depressive episode,” Nina says. “Plus, I’m having a guy over later, so I’d just as soon not have her mental illness in the common areas.”
At press time, Maddie had decided to stay in bed watching YouTube videos about redlining, stating, “The only way out is through.”