This is a word that cuts in both directions for me on the issue of depression. Firstly, one cannot defend oneself from the onslaught of depression. If you know that others in your family have dealt with this, maybe you’re aware it could happen. But, if it does, not like you can hide behind a shield and withstand the assault. It happens anyway. There’s no missile system that can prevent it from hitting you like all dread packaged in an IED. No shield is relevant. No bunker is strong enough. In fact, the deeper you bury yourself, the more likely you won’t resurface.
So, you can’t defend yourself. The other indefensible part of this is that it is so unnecessary. And what’s unnecessary about it isn’t the biological part. It isn’t that the docs cannot necessarily pinpoint what will help. It’s the social stigma. By acknowledging that I am mentally ill, it means people will look at me with a different lens. Certainly, some people see me as suspect, broken, incapable, unreliable, etc. There are days I feel each of these things. There are moments when that might be true. However, what’s more common is that I feel shitty about myself. And people see that. Then, in turn, they feel shitty for me.
If you make your employer nervous, they’re going to return the favor. If you are honest, you will pay. If you lie, you’ll ruin your reputation. If you know what’s happening, it’s unfair not to tell. If you tell, it’s a risk to your job. If you don’t, it’s a risk to your life.
Maybe indefensible is an incorrect term. Maybe it’s just unfortunate. It is certainly not indefensible that because I couldn’t do my job, I lost it. That’s merely unfortunate. What I find so problematic is that I’m by nature very honest and want to remain so. But I also have to do a better job of protecting my own interests. It wouldn’t have mattered, the results would have been the same, but it’s about cultivating better habits. I’m trying.