There are many similarities between the two.

Depression and fascists thrive on fear until you question what your eyes, ears, and heart are telling you, and if you endorse the agenda of that which seeks to destroy you.

Depression and fascists thrive on fear. Depression injects doubt into every aspect of personhood. It may undermine a once competent professional until their skills appear worthless and unemployability certain, or shred someone’s self-esteem until they believe a romantic relationship can only exist out of pity rather than love, or put the kibosh on one’s dreams.

Donald Trump is having the same effect on America as depression has on an individual. He is doing it the same way, by strafing journalists and citizens with lies. Depression erodes your sense of self and your identity, and the parasites feed on the physical representation of the host.

The farce takes initiative, courage, and knowing exactly who you are in order to take a stand against what you are being told to accept as the norm, whether by your mind or by the latest White House tenant. The aim is for lies to replace reality.

America still looks like it always has, according to the onlooker. Donald Trump says it isn’t democracy speaking, but fascist through absurd sentences. When I was in the throes of depression, I looked the same as always. It was clear that I was depressed when I opened my mouth.

Now that white supremacists are in charge, they believe that order can be restored by returning anyone who doesn’t fit their norm to their respective sub-human category, ranging from healthiest, able-bodied straight American-born Christian white women to most different and undesirable. Just as I remember a different life before depression flattened me, many of us remember a different life before our current political regime normalized hate.

The current administration would like us to believe that this hierarchy is normal. Many of us are now considered inferior due to a number of factors, including national origin, immigration status, religion, sexual orientation, skin tone, reproductive choices, physical and mental abilities, etc…

Shame and mockery are powerful tools. We should have the audacity to define our own identities and demand equality because America was founded on the basis of all people being created equal, which is to invite mockery.

Depression made me identify with it. The illness kept me under house arrest, stewing in shame, because I couldn’t work, and therefore I couldn’t afford to consume health care and get well enough to work, a dilemma familiar to many sick Americans. With depression, too, shame wields a lot of destructive power.

Staying alive, performing the most basic human functions required to do so, becomes the greatest act of resistance you are capable of under such conditions. I didn’t pass muster in the eyes of a society that is always supposed to win. I was weak, and I failed to measure up. Depression made a wall around me to keep out other humans, and it also made me feel isolated.

You should never discount the hope of better days. Trite though it may sound, “While there’s life, there’s hope,” and your making it through each brand new day is proof of this.

You should never discount the hope of better days. Hope is one of the most powerful weapons because of its intellectual ability.

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