Living with Depression


Living with Depression
by Shazde Asdola Mirza

One of the young “users” of this site keeps haunting others as outcastes and downtrodden migrants. He himself appears to have chosen a western name in real life (Mark) and a military title (Sargord) for his avatar. Perhaps those are his double escape-routes from alienation and helplessness. His resentment towards the migrant crowd is also very likely the outward projection of his raw anger towards his own parents and their choices in life. All of that shows how some of our kids will never be able to fully understand and forgive our situations and our struggles.  

When the Iranian Mrs and I left Iran 21 years ago, we were both like two fugitive inmates fresh out of the asylum – shell shocked, hurt and confused. I had been out of US for 10 years, but at least had some educational and cultural footing to stand on. She became like a lone tree cut from the stem and shoved into an unfamiliar ground. Depression loves those rootless trees.  

You hear about the D word, and you see the ads for it medication; but nothing prepares you for its full impact. It doesn’t hit you like a train, but rather in the fashion of a persistent and resilient darkness; it overtakes your world. An endless night which refuses any dawns and consumes all hope. The days upon days of silence, of uncontrolled tears, of never ending slumbers and shapeless misery.  

The running inmate in me felt trapped and threatened again – out of the penitentiary, but still having the remainder of its ball and chain bearing on the neck. After the first months of trying, I refused to listen; after long observations, I declined to see; after the intimacy was lost, I sought alternatives. My survival instinct kicked in and told me to keep my distance, even better, to build a fence … no a wall – to be able to move forward and gain what I had lost – to build what I had ruined during 10 silly years spent on IRI.  

She descended further and further into the abyss. Two years in the wilderness of consultations, therapies and voodoo doctors. Until finally, the pharmaceutical world blessed us with their brand new miracle: the Prozac. It was the difference between night and day! Those little pills broke her cycle of depression and inaction, and let her explore and study, play and enjoy – and yes, be ready to disperse the next wave of dark clouds, before they could gather enough vigor to conquer her spirit.  

Over the following two years, we became stronger, wealthier and wiser, but a third entity too grew in our lives. You know, emotional walls are funny things; once you build them, they gain a life of their own. While the two of us were struggling, one in the outside world and the other in her inner cell, the wall was building layer upon layer onto itself. Subconsciously, we were both providing the brick and mortar, from both sides of the divide – me partitioning not to be weakened by her misery, and she plastering to block my judgmental gaze.

So our story ended: two “successful” adult migrants and one insurmountable wall.


Recently by Shazde Asdola MirzaCommentsDate
The Problem with Problem-Solvers
Dec 01, 2012
I am sorry, but we may be dead.
Nov 23, 2012
Who has killed the most Israeli?
Nov 17, 2012
more from Shazde Asdola Mirza
Nazy Kaviani

The wall

by Nazy Kaviani on

What a remarkable piece of writing this is, Shazdeh Jan. It made me think and it made me remember our years of struggle as immigrants on a solitary level, as a part of a couple, and then as a member of a larger family. We are so ill-prepared and ill-informed about the matters of the mind and the soul. We are a nation that loves poetry, celebrates families, and devotes selflessly to friendships. Most of us, therefore, get confused when we realize that there are things love alone cannot do, that there are walls no amount of family consultation and devotion can break down or move. I have found that the realization hurts Iranians too much; the acceptance sometimes never materializes.

I had major struggles around me last year and for the first time in my life I got a brief, but good taste of that crippling depression myself. The wall felt like it was made out of sturdier material than bricks and plaster, Shazdeh. No noise went through on either direction, that's how it felt.

Thank you for writing about this my friend. You are brave and generous, on top of being intelligent and thoughtful and, when you choose, funny as hell! Live long and live happy my friend.


Shazdeh jan: I commend your

by vildemose on

Shazdeh jan: I commend your remarkable courage to share a piece of your soul with your  readers. The analogies in describing the turmoil inside and out  are exquisite and one  the best I have ever read in "depression" literature. You have given us  an insider's view of what it's like to be depressed.I have battled with depression my whole life and for my part, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this here. Depression is a dark secret for so many people and your candor is most appreciated.

This is ubiquitous  phenomenon among all immigrants from all walks of life. You and your partner are not alone in this journey. it waxes and wanes but it never goes away.  

I hope that reading your  story might help someone else who suffers from depression realize that there always is hope and help if they ask for it.  I also hope that you have helped  people to understand how insidious a disease depression really is, and to intervene when they see people suffering from this illness.

Depression also has an 'Upside', believe it or not. Very interesting article:


hamsade ghadimi

thanks for your heartfelt

by hamsade ghadimi on

thanks for your heartfelt story shazdeh.  it seems that you've been sitting on the fence for a while now. i hope that this new journey will some day result in mending it with your hamrah.


Thanks R2-D2...

by Parham on

... for that and what a beautiful text above by Shazdeh.


It appears that she was dysthmic. But I'm glad you guys were

by thexmaster on

able to find treatment and been able to cope with it.


Don't expect any empathy from Mark.  He's already built his psychological defences to deal with such realities and perplexities. 


Sorry to hear about your struggles

by MM on

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) work miracles, but some are better than others due to the un-intended side effect profiles of some SSRIs.

The joke in some work environments was "they need to prescribe Prozac for day-time and Viagra for night-time" due to the stress at work and the sexual disfunction following Prozac use.


I Watched ...

by R2-D2 on

This program on PBS (Public Broadcasting) in US a couple of years ago, and I found it extremely educational and informative:

Depression: Out Of The Shadows

P.S. You can actually watch the entire program online .....




Thank you.

by benross on

Thank you.

M. Saadat Noury

Lessons to be learned

by M. Saadat Noury on

It is an excellent article on the lessons to be learned; thank you for sharing. Here are also some links to the Controversy Over Prozac Usage:

//   //