I was about 14 when my dad gave me his first piece of advice about depression.
He took me for a drive, and it was dark outside. Probably after dinner. His eyes were focused on the road and that way he could say things to me he might not have been able to if we were sitting across from each other at the dining table.
"You just have to go through the motions," he said.
It wasn't very poetic. Or mildly inspirational.
He didn't elaborate much. He'd battled with depression on and off. So had his dad. And what he meant was, you've almost got to imitate what it is to live a life, even though your heart's not in it. Even though it's as if you're floating above yourself, watching this meaningless ant scuttle to school and then back home again, with no connection to either. The only way out is through. And you might go to school and find it impossible to concentrate. Or turn up to netball and find you can barely catch a ball. That's fine. But you put one foot in front of the other even if they are very small steps and most of them were more of a stumble.
His point was, if you go through the motions and don't fall into the big black hole, then one day getting out of bed will feel less bad. And you'll find yourself attached to your life again, butterflies in your stomach, looking forward to the future rather than dreading it.
It's not perfect advice. But it worked for me. And I drew on it again years later when the black hole reappeared and I thought I might like to jump inside it.
A better way to put "just go through the motions" is "run the dishwasher twice". The four words appeared on my Facebook feed a week ago.
The story had been shared by a counsellor, but originally came from a woman named Kate Scott in response to a question on Quora.
The post begins with the woman describing one of the lowest points in her life. Some days she couldn't even get out of bed.
Watch: The difference between sadness and depression. Post continues below.