“Liverpool lost/ interest rates have gone up/ my party dress doesn’t fit any more/ I’ve got grey hair/ SNP can’t afford their promises/ it’s nearly Christmas/ Scotland are playing international football soon/ the Spice Girls are reuniting/ Ulrika’s up the duff again. Never mind, let’s have another gin.”
It happens quite often – we all say we’re depressed when really we’re fed up, disappointed, hungover, cheesed off, hormonal, jealous or just a bit grumpy.
But I have a friend who was properly, clinically depressed and that’s a million miles from the transient flashes of frown we feel dozens of times every day.
It’s really scary to see your friend in the grip of something which is causing them huge agonies they are powerless to prevent.
It’s like hooking your favourite jumper on a nail and, while you want to stop the unravelling, all you can do is pull.
Sure, something inside me wanted to scream: “Pull yourself together and be happy – you’re lovely and clever and talented and kind.”
But that urge was not about my poor friend it was all about making me feel better: I just wanted to do something to force it to stop.
Thankfully the treatment is slowly beginning to work and my friend is returning to a familiar shape.
There’s still a long, long way to go but my friend will get better.
And I have learned not to take my mundane contentment for granted.