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It is nearly noon and instead of at the office I am at home.

Why? Because the depression has returned, in full force.

It is every bit as bad as before, with the sole exception that I am still able to function at work, once I drag the body, screaming with tiredness, into the office. Yet today I took fully four hours to get out of bed. Once more I wake up to a moaning agony of tiredness. Once more apathy and weariness on all levels torments my soul. Once again the craving for food, sex, and love reaches obsessive levels.

All I want to do is run away, crawl in a hole, forget all duties, forget all responsibilities, return to the womb, cease to exist. What price ambition? What price hope? Only the stark reality of pain, mindless pain, stabbing pain, agony that comes to me in my dreams, saps the vigour of my limbs, turns joy to dust, hope to despair, destroys all that might be called a real life.

And worst of all, suicidal thoughts, which had been absent for many months, are slowly beginning to return. The more I try to drive them out the stronger they become. The notion that a socially retarded person, unable to form any semblance of a real relationship with another human being that is not hidden behind the words on a computer screen, may never be able to experience joy and may be happier dead.

Two weeks ago, I would have placed the chance of suicide at zero. Now I would place it at 5 percent, and growing.

Therapy is not working. Antidepressants are not working. Homeopathy is not working. NLP is not working. Hopelessness is winning the war, like a malevolent cancer that no force can resist and no balm can soothe.

It is wrong of me to burden you with my problems like this. Part of me does not even want to send this letter. Yet I plead your forgiveness and send it anyway.

Private email, Apr. 9, 1997.