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An Encounter with Depression

Itís like being trapped inside a haunted house. Or maybe not a haunted house, but one of those houses in slasher movies where there is a killer lurking in the shadows somewhere and youíre hiding in a dark corner or running down creaky corridors to try and escape. But you canít get out. The doors are all locked. You keep trying to find a way out somehow or turn on a light but the house is so dark, all the lights are bust, and you know that the killer is there somewhere. Sometimes he will jump out from behind a door or round a corner and you will scream and run. You keep getting flashes of his knife, flashes of death. Now and then you will find somewhere that seems like a good place to hide, and youíll sit there with your arms wrapped around you in the quiet and everything will seem ok for a little bit of time. But then youíll hear the creak of a floorboard or a door slam and youíll have to keep moving, and by this point you are so tired from running, youíve been stuck inside the house for a seemingly endless amount of time, in fact you canít even remember what the outside looks like anymore. It feels as though all of your energy has been squeezed out of you. So youíre forced to hide again, you find some bed to hide underneath and you lie there in the dark, paralysed by fear and drained of energy, waiting for him to come. You feel completely alone. You think of all your friends and family out there in the light. None of them know that youíre trapped; your screams canít be heard outside the house. You think of them laughing and happy in the sunshine. You feel guilty because the killer who is after you is your own creation; he was born from your mind. You are the only one that can fight him, destroy him, and find a way out of the house; nobody else deserves to be dragged into the darkness.

It helps to retrace your steps, remember how you got trapped inside the house in the first place, then maybe you can find a way back out. Sometimes youíll find a good enough hiding place, like in the basement or a locked room, that the killer never detects you and you can just wait for him to get bored and go away. Itís the running, screaming, resisting that depletes your energy and makes being in the house even harder to bear. Accepting that you are inside the house for the time being but that sooner or later youíre going to find an open door and go back outside into the sunlight is the best course of action (or non-action). And although it may not always be possible to ignore the presence of the killer or hide from him indefinitely, itís important to remember that in reality he has no power over you. He is an actor wearing a mask and his knife is made of plastic. Often just realising this is enough to make him vanish.