At a dinner in Atlanta, Georgia, I sat next to a slightly haggard British woman with an unlikely coif of grey ringlets who, having learned about my work, asked, ‘So tell me, then. Which do you find more burdensome: being gay or being depressed?’ I think I mustered a polite answer even as I imagined telling my husband later that his conversation partner could not have been worse than mine. But that was some fifteen years ago, before I began to question the line between identity and illness. Now, I have to admit that being gay and being depressed do have a certain amount broadly in common and a great deal in common in my life. Not because they are comparably ‘burdensome’, but because they have become my topics, both in my life and in my work. Not a day goes by that I don’t have unsolicited correspondence from someone who is depressed and needs help, or from someone who is gay and suffering for it.
Gay and Depressed | State of Mind
State of Mind
Nothing to be afraid of | State of Mind
Anil K. Seth on the ties between our brains, bodies and consciousness.
Brother | State of Mind
Max Porter on an extraordinary therapy session with his brother.
A Mingling | State of Mind
Siri Hustvedt on contagious emotions.
Mistaken | State of Mind
Maru Ruefle on the complexity of names.
Threshold | State of Mind
Berry Lopez on the interplay between love and fear.
The Republic of Motherhood
‘a cardigan / soft as a creature, smelling of birth and milk’ – New poetry from Liz Berry.
Soon Comes Night
‘I’d become so used to hiding away inside myself I couldn’t respond with any spontaneity. I was stuck in the shallows of my emotions.’ Ekow Eshun on success, night terrors and therapy.
‘What’s in a state of mind? How do we describe emotions, or the complex relationship between individuals and the state?’