Another poignant testimony is the 4,500-word article entitled “Hell and Back” by Chris Rose, a columnist for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, who reported on the post-Katrina life, and, as a result, got sucked down the “rabbit hole” (as he describes it) of depression. It’s worth reading the entire article (click here), which elicited more than 2,000 e-mails from readers.
Here’s a snapshot of the moving essay:
“Before I continue this story, I should make a confession. For all of my adult life, when I gave it thought — which wasn’t very often — I regarded the concepts of depression and anxiety as pretty much a load of hooey.
“I never accorded any credibility to the idea that such conditions were medical in nature. Nothing scientific about it. You get sick, get fired, fall in love, get laid, buy a new pair of shoes, join a gym, get religion, seasons change — whatever; you go with the flow, dust yourself off, get back in the game. I thought anti-depressants were for desperate housewives and fragile poets.
“I no longer feel that way. Not since I fell down the rabbit hole myself and enough hands reached down to pull me out.
“One of those hands belonged to a psychiatrist holding a prescription for anti-depressants. I took it. And it changed my life.
“Maybe saved my life.
“This is the story of one journey — my journey — to the edge of the post-Katrina abyss, and back again. It is a story with a happy ending — at least so far.”