Stigma: It’s Okay to Snap


Screen-Shot-2012-07-01-at-8.13.28-AMMerriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the word “snap” as:

  • to grasp at something eagerly; make a pounce or snatch;
  • to bark out irritable or peevish retorts;
  • to undergo a sudden and rapid change.

I wanted to make sure that is, in fact, what happened yesterday toward the end of my run at the Naval Academy.

My husband and I were talking about my giving up the role of playing a “political correctness” cop on the online depression support group I co-moderate. Someone wrote to me irked that a wrong term had been used to describe a certain diagnosis. Instead of being my people-pleasing self, I said I was really sorry that she was offended, but I couldn’t censor everything on the site.

“But you had the same defensive reaction when your sister called someone ‘cra cra,’ this last past weekend,” my husband said.

I’m not sure why I snapped this time and not when she said it a few days earlier. I figure my brain is like those quarter machines at an arcade. You think you just need one more to tip over like 20 quarters. But the quarters hang on—tantalizing you until you put another one in. Finally, five bucks later, you hear that divine sound of coins falling.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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1 Response
  1. Ammah

    Thank you for writing about depression so openly.
    I think it’s perfectly ok to say I am depressed. We need to get over this Stigma & labeling. It’s not fair or right to keep this illness silent. We need better understanding.

    It is NOT ok to dump ones depression on others by accusing others of lying, causing mischief to cover up ones depression & mental state of mind. We need to have better communicational skills and understanding. Not accusing each other & break up the family unit.

    Unfortunately bad therapists are quick to blame parents & encourage them to estrange. This causes far more trauma & does not help …. All it does, it causes pain & keep the gravy bowl from drying up.