A history of depression? Doesn’t depression just exist, like cancer? You can’t really write a history of cancer; perhaps how it’s been treated or diagnosed, but you can’t write a history of a disease in and of itself. It just is, right?
In the West, we commonly think of depression as just another biological illness like any physical malady (and how we got to this perspective is what we’ll explore today!). The comparison is tempting, as it diminishes the stigma around mental illness; you wouldn’t feel bad about treating a tumor on your spleen, so you shouldn’t feel bad about getting help for the invisible tumor on your brain, either.