Direct Depression

A couple years ago, when I was feeling really depressed (and had no health insurance), I found this Craigslist ad that claimed to provide free therapy to depressed people. I called the number and took the short phone interview.


Question (Q): “Do you find it hard to get out of bed?”

Answer (A): “Of course.”

Q: “Do you often feel hopeless?”

A: “Sure.”

Q: “Do you have thoughts of suicide?”

A: “As much as everyone else.”

Once the interview was complete, the woman told me, “I’m sorry, but your score isn’t high enough for us to continue.”

“So what does that mean?” I asked.

“You’re not depressed enough,” she replied. “Therefore we cannot offer you services at this time.”


After she hung up, I sat on my couch in a semi-state of shock and thought about her “not depressed enough” diagnosis. I questioned whether or not I was in fact that depressed and if my sad, tired, and unenthusiastic feelings held less weight than I imagined. But then again, I did search Craigslist for free therapy services and call a random number seeking help, so in that case, the weight was probably as crushing as I thought.


The confusion between my own feelings on my current state of mind and that of what the woman who conducted the interview believed possibly resulted from my direct answers. I am not a person who elaborates much in regular life. I am fairly direct with people as I live by the philosophy that the majority of people don’t care about what I have to say, and therefore, my duty as a thoughtful human being is to get my message across as quickly as possible for the last thing I want to do is waste somebody’s time.


Side note: I wasn’t always so concerned about killing/wasting people’s time, but sometime in my early 20’s, I noticed more and more people taking ownership over their time by announcing to their friends and family (or whoever will listen) whenever they felt their time was “stolen” from them and how they “will never” get that “time back” as if their life is so important and wasting two hours watching a bad movie or a few minutes reading a mediocre article was so detrimental to their existence.


At this point, I would like to go back to the depression interview and imagine what would have happened if I elaborated a bit more on my answers.

Q: “Do you find it hard to get out of bed?”

A: “Yes, sometimes I want to sleep all day because the thought of getting out of bed is so painful that it sort of paralyzes me, but I do get up because everyone else has to get up as I realize that I do not have any special stay in bed all day privileges and that we belong to a system that unfortunately requires my minimal contribution, so if I did stay in bed all day, I would feel like I wasn’t pulling my weight, which would make me even more depressed.”

Q: “Do you often feel hopeless?”

A: “Well, when I watch the news or hear about whatever murder, war, tragedy, etc. is going on, I am hit with such an absurd idea of life that the only rationalization I can come up with is we all climb the nearest cliff and jump off.”

Q: “Do you have thoughts of suicide?”

A: “Never seriously acted on it but definitely think about it. Goes back to that horrible news stuff. Feelings of hopelessness. Sadness for things beyond my control. I think if you’ve never THOUGHT about suicide there’s something wrong with you. It would probably do everyone some good to ponder (NOT ACT ON) the idea of taking your life as it can possibly make people appreciate their own life a little more and reduce the amount of self-important assholes in the world.”


“So,” I would say. “How’d I do?”

“You’re definitely depressed,” I imagine the woman saying. “However, I’m afraid we still cannot offer you services at this time.”

“Why not?”

“You require a more specific type of treatment.”

“What kind of treatment?”

“You know…the type where strong bald men come to your home and take you away.”


Direct answers to the depression interview led to me losing out on free therapy. Elaborate answers led to me losing my freedom as I am now in a mental institution surrounded by a whole cast of characters with actual mental disorders. All I wanted was some free therapy! If I could retake the depression interview, I wouldn’t answer so directly or elaborately. I would answer in the politically correct bullshit middle, which is that safe zone that the majority of people love as it makes you appear normal, which is a word that I’ve been pondering lately considering the circumstances. At any rate, I would love to sit here and discuss my recent theories on normalcy; however, it’s pill time, and if you don’t participate in pill time, the staff gets very angry.


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