Depression — My Superpower

If an illness can be a superpower…

Tony Atkinson
6 min readFeb 24


Depressive Man — the new hero in town! Image created by Author on Dall-E, all rights reserved

Full disclosure — I’m currently in counselling. After the deaths of my parents in December and January, I needed to unpack my relationship with them. Especially in view of the fact that the only emotions I seem to be experiencing are resignation, relief and disappointment.

But as these things do, talking about the one thing brought up links to others. Basically, I’d divided my life into discrete sections. Childhood (a nightmare), Growing Time (alone and self-sufficient), Real Me (husband, father, grandfather and trouble-making crusader). I’d chosen to ignore the fact (which you, Gentle Reader, already spotted) that all these things depend upon each other.

You might’ve ignored it, I didn’t!

Be quiet, you! I’m talking about you, not to you!

About us, you mean!

True enough. Sorry about that, Gentle Reader, but the old Black Dog will have his say!

Anyway, as I talked (and talked, and talked) to the counsellor, it became clear that some form of depression and anxiety had been around all my life. That in itself was a surprise, as I’d only really been aware of it for the last ten years or so, since an actual diagnosis.

I have always been here!

What are you, a Vorlon? Never mind. What I found was that, in me, depression kindles anger. Like many people in the North East of England — the old Danelaw -I probably have Viking genes and the berserkergang might well be lurking somewhere in my DNA. It’s what made me react with open anger and protest to my mothers’ violence, even when, as a child, it only brought more on me. My counsellor, rather charitably, refers to it as my ‘fighting spirit’.

Were you fighting her, or me?

Don’t know, don’t care. It kept my identity intact, and that’s what matters!

The other thing was that much of my mothers’ reprehensible behaviour was in reaction to my protests at her silly, arbitrary rules. Rules that sprang not from any attempt to guide or safeguard me, but to protect her own comfort or suit her current mood (usually angry — she was always angry back then). So it was that silly, arbitrary rules, self-indulgence and…



Tony Atkinson

Snapper-up of unconsidered trifles, walker of paths less travelled by. Writer of fanfiction. Player of games.