An Open Letter to Everyone Who Responded to My “Open Letter to Everyone Giving Me Advice About My Depression” by Giving Me Advice About My Depression

( Original letter can be found here: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/an-open-letter-to-everyone-sharing-their-wisdom-about-how-to-cure-my-depression )

Oh, you.

You generous souls.

My old, cynical self would never have believed that all I needed was some more unsolicited advice from entirely unqualified strangers on the internet, but thank goodness I’ve shed that cynicism and opened myself up to your wisdom by sharing my email address in my writer’s bio.

Of course I’m still using your previously suggested strategies, especially the use of turmeric, by which I mean sticking it right in my asshole. In fact, I’ve been inserting it into several of my other holes as well. The itching and burning have not improved, but you know what has? My depression.

After my last letter, many of you quick-witted critical thinkers suggested to me that the anti-depressants I was taking were actually causing my depression. Duh! Why didn’t I think of that? I guess depression makes you stupid too! So, I stopped taking that Big Pharma poison and what do you know? After a couple months of unbearable headaches, a couple weeks of hospitalization, and some truly frightening hallucinations, I’m drug free! I lost my job though, because of course I couldn’t keep working when I stopped my medication because shit was like — YIKES — and the stopping of the meds probably affected some choices I’ve made around the procurement of “essential oils,” but I’m not pumping all those pharmaceutical chemicals into my body anymore and THAT’S what matters! Plus, the only lingering side effects of abruptly stopping my medications are occasionally breaking into maniacal laughter, and constantly wanting to die!

A huge shout out to the many people who wrote to me about essential oils. It’s amazing how a few drops of rose hip oil in my morning coffee just whisks the depression away. Unfortunately though, I’ve run out of free samples, and because I’ve fallen on some difficult times financially, I’ve had to get a little creative about where I get my oils, and also very creative about what I call “oils.” For example, the “lavender oil” I ordered on the dark web appears to actually be some sort of animal urine (I’m thinking squirrel?). But I’m dabbing it on my temples anyway. I mean what’s worse, animal piss on your face, or depression? You know the answer.

Hypnotism! Some very thoughtful people recommended this to me. It has changed my life, and by that I mean I now make chicken noises every time a bell rings. See, I couldn’t afford a fancy mental health hypnotist after losing my job, so I just went to one of those hypnotist shows in a high school auditorium, and volunteered to be one of the people hypnotized. Now, whenever someone starts a car, I start doing the electric slide, and am unable to stop until the car drives away. I am unclear about whether this is just my life now or if these things will stop at some point, but I can tell you that the debilitating fear I now experience around cars and bells is a great distraction from my depression, so thank you!

I want to give a special thanks to the many people who have said or implied that depression is all in my head and doesn’t really exist. Wow. I have to tell you, this kind of tough love — the complete invalidation of a person’s lived experience — is what saves lives. It is always helpful to tell someone that a deeply painful, lifelong condition has just been imagined this whole time. I was like, “Whoa. I guess I should stop imagining this.” And then I did. My wish for others who struggle with this fake-ass disease is that they have friends like you to tell them how bat-shit and delusional they are so they can stop being “depressed.”

I really was a stupid (and depressed!) bitch before you random, kind-hearted folks took the time to counsel me about a condition I’ve been dealing with for 25 years. I’m sure the scream-crying will subside soon, and once I’ve stopped squawking at random strangers I may even go outside again, which, incidentally, is another thing people have told me to do. “Get outside,” they say. Well hey, I’ll be living outside soon because I can’t make the rent, so I guess things really do work out! All thanks to you.

Thank you. So much. I look forward to the new advice I will receive as a result of this letter.

Gratefully yours,

Jen Freymond

Written by

Co-host of the podcast “I Never Saw That.” Humor writer and satirist. Find my work in McSweeney’s, The Belladonna, Little Old Lady, etc... Twitter: @jenfreymond

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