In the news this week, Robin Williams committed suicide. He suffered from depression.
In America, we tend to treat depression and ADD like physical diseases, which are cured by pills. This is compared to other countries, which tend to treat them like psychological diseases. Facebook is currently raging with the debate on whether or not depression is an illness.
As usual, no satisfactory conclusion can be reached, because people on both sides of the debate are too busy writing off everything their opponents say. The most popular write-off seems to be "you can't talk about depression, if you've never had it."
This is, of course, wrong. Doctors and psychologists regularly treat diseases they have not suffered from. In fact, when I was treated for depression, I preferred having a therapist who never had depression. I wanted someone who would be sympathetic with my situation, but I feared someone who had depression before would be so sympathetic that they'd take it easy on me.
Actually, Facebook wants me to add my old therapist as a friend. I haven't done that, because I think it would be awkward. I haven't seen him since in two years ago, since I moved out of California, so I doubt he'd remember me. (Moving away, as you might have guessed, was helpful in overcoming my depression.)