Hi. I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was in college at 18. My family is rife with mental illness and depression is the lesser evil. I am told my grandmother would get terrible migraines and would shut herself off for a week at a time. My great uncle was bipolar, but never received treatment. Of his 6 children, 2 have committed suicide and 1 died of cancer, 1 has bipolar and takes lithium, and the other 2 have clinical depression but are not treated. My father has seasonal affective disorder and all three of my sisters have some form of depression. Me and my older sister both have clinical. We are smart, loving, and boisterous. We are educated and gainfully employed. None of us are drug addicts or alcoholics. When I was diagnosed, my mother asked me what I had to be depressed about. I didn't have an answer. Why do you want to kill yourself? Because then the self hate will stop. Why do you hate yourself? I don't know. People talk about being depressed because of something. A death or a trauma. If that hasn't happened to you then your depression is considered selfish and illegitimate by many. The drugs you have to take have serious side effects. Prozac can affect your sex drive and your sleep pattern. Zoloft can affect your appetite and some gain weight. Some of these side effects and the stigma of being unable to pull yourself up by your boot straps lead some people to fight the battle without armor. And, like my nephew, they get tired and they kill themselves. He was 19. I understand if you don't use any of this rambling bit of crazy. But it feels nice to vent. Clinical depression is a chronic condition that you have to diagnose and fight like any other life threatening disease, but it is often belittled as a disease of self pity. I understand that view, but I don't accept it. I choose to fight. I am sorry for the horrific lack of paragraphs and grammatical errors. I appreciate the opportunity to tell my story.