It's rare that I find a connection between Corrie and my own life. Weatherfield is a heightened world that exists outside the norm; I have no long-lost relatives, I've never had a baby or been divorced, and a tram has never fallen on my head. Admittedly, I did once club an ex-boyfriend to death with a tacky statuette, but that was ages ago.
Steve's current battle with depression has hit home quite badly. I'm suddenly seeing parts of my life on screen. The doctor's questionnaire, the resigned looks, the fear of madness. The sheer terror of that first panic attack. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety five years ago, and since then I've had it infiltrate every part of my existence. Watching Steve go through the same symptoms as I did is strange; like seeing myself from the outside.
Depression is different for every person. The way Steve feels though - the absence of joy, the lack of engagement, the constant desire to crawl under the bed clothes and stay there - it's really familiar. Depression doesn't make you "sad"; it makes you nothing. It hollows you out and leaves you empty. The happiest experiences of your life become irrelevant, and you can't understand why people want to spend time with someone like you. You're worthless. Nothing.
I got help. Thank goodness for the NHS. I got regular doses of anti-depressants, and I saw a psychiatrist and a counsellor. I had to give up work but luckily I had a caring partner who helped and supported me.
Which is where Steve's been let down, of course. Michelle's complete lack of sympathy for Steve is heartbreaking for him and revolting for us as viewers. Right from the start it's all been about her. "Steve's not very talkative - it must be because he's going off me!" She's motoring along in Michelle world and doesn't spot that there is something significantly wrong with the man she supposedly loves; she's not even suggested that he see a doctor. No, as far as Michelle is concerned, Steve's just doing all this to annoy her. I hope she stays kipping on Carla's sofa or, better yet, gets a job on another cruise ship. That sinks.
It's good to see Corrie deal with an issue that affects people across the country, but doesn't get the same levels of sympathy that other illnesses get. "Pull yourself together" is most people's idea of how to deal with it and let me tell you, it's not that easy. I'm getting better, and I hope Steve does too.
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