Depression: The Way out of Your Prison

By Dorothy Rowe | Go to book overview

Chapter 1

THE PRISON

What is the difference between being depressed and being unhappy? There is a difference, and when you have experienced both you know what this difference is.

When you are unhappy, even if you have suffered the most grievous blow, you are able to seek comfort and let that comfort come through to you to ease the pain. You can seek out and obtain another's sympathy and loving concern; you can be kind and comfort yourself. But in depression neither the sympathy and concern of others nor the gentle love of oneself is available. Other people may be there, offering all the love, sympathy and concern any person could want, but none of this compassion can pierce the wall that separates you from them, while inside the wall you not only refuse yourself the smallest ease and comfort but you also punish yourself by words and deeds. Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.

It is this peculiar isolation which distinguishes depression from common unhappiness. 1 It is not simply loneliness, although in the prison of depression you are pitifully alone. It is an isolation which changes even your perception of your environment. Intellectually you know that you are sharing a space with other people, that you are talking to them and they are hearing you. But their words come to you as if across a bottomless chasm, and even though you can reach out and touch another person, or that person touches you, nothing is transmitted to you in that touch. No human contact crosses the barrier. Even objects around you seem further away, although you know it is not so, and while you

-1-

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Depression: The Way out of Your Prison
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Preface to the Second Edition ix
  • Preface to the Third Edition x
  • Acknowledgements xiv
  • Chapter 1 - The Prison 1
  • Chapter 2 - Inside the Prison 4
  • Chapter 3 - How to Build Your Prison 12
  • Chapter 4 - The Depression Story 101
  • Chapter 5 - Why Not Leave the Prison? 114
  • Chapter 6 - Why I Won't Leave the Prison 119
  • Chapter 7 - Outside the Wall: Living with a Depressed Person 162
  • Chapter 8 - Suppose I Did Want to Leave the Prison, What Should I Do? 208
  • Chapter 9 - Leaving the Prison 292
  • Chapter 10 - The Prison Vanishes 301
  • Notes 305
  • Index 317
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