Thursday, May 7, 2015

Depression and Fry and Wit and Weather

I don't think my family would be reluctant to admit that we have a tendency for neurotransmitter deficiency along with an admiration of all things witty, intellectual and sarcastic . . . leading to a natural admiration of Mr. Fry.  My sister posted an insightful and heartfelt Fry quote. 

How can you not love the combination of academic humor with a fearlessness in discussing unpleasant things! 

I think it is reasonable to say depression is horrible for everyone; siblings, kids, parents, friends, teachers and especially for the person depressed. It is a hopeless, exhausting slog to remain semi-functional.

A young lady wrote Stephen about her depression and this is his response:

April 10, 2006

Dear Crystal,

I'm so sorry to hear that life is getting you down at the moment. Goodness knows, it can be so tough when nothing seems to fit and little seems to be fulfilling. I'm not sure there's any specific advice I can give that will help bring life back its savour. Although they mean well, it's sometimes quite galling to be reminded how much people love you when you don't love yourself that much.

I've found that it's of some help to think of one's moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather:

Here are some obvious things about the weather:

It's real.

You can't change it by wishing it away.

If it's dark and rainy it really is dark and rainy and you can't alter it.

It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row.


It will be sunny one day.

It isn't under one's control as to when the sun comes out, but come out it will.

One day.

It really is the same with one's moods, I think. The wrong approach is to believe that they are illusions. They are real. Depression, anxiety, listlessness - these are as real as the weather - AND EQUALLY NOT UNDER ONE'S CONTROL. Not one's fault.


They will pass: they really will.

In the same way that one has to accept the weather, so one has to accept how one feels about life sometimes. "Today's a crap day," is a perfectly realistic approach. It's all about finding a kind of mental umbrella. "Hey-ho, it's raining inside: it isn't my fault and there's nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow and when it does, I shall take full advantage."

I don't know if any of that is of any use: it may not seem it, and if so, I'm sorry. I just thought I'd drop you a line to wish you well in your search to find a little more pleasure and purpose in life.

Very best wishes

Stephen Fry

I am very happy to have as many champions of public understanding as we can get. 

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