Episode 21: Disability and Depression

Kyle: Hey Emily.

Emily: Hey Kyle.

Kyle: Emily?

Emily: What?

Kyle: Guess what?

Emily: What?

Kyle: Emily, guess what?

Emily: What?

Kyle: We are on Patreon.

Emily: Oh, my God what is Patreon?

Kyle: Patreon is a place where you can go to support The Accessible Stall and give some money to support us in doing our podcasting adventure.

Emily: So we are getting money?

Kyle: Well no not us. We are actually just rolling it back into the podcast in order to pay for things like better hosting, better services, more transcripts.

Emily: Did you say transcripts?

Kyle: I did. I did say …

Emily: Transcripts? Does that mean that The Accessible Stall is going to be accessible?

Kyle: Weird right? Just go to patreon.com/theaccessiblestall and give your donation today if you are willing and able, if not, don’t; we don’t care, we still love you thank you.

Emily: Thank you. Hi I’m Emily Ladau

Kyle: I’m Kyle Khachadurian.

Emily: You are listening to another episode of The Accessible Stall.

Kyle: What are we going to talk about today Emily?

Emily: We are going to talk about disability and mental health.

Kyle: What?

Emily: Which arguably could be the same thing, so some people consider mental health to fall under the umbrella of disability and some people don’t, and that’s okay. You can consider it in any way that suits your identity, but we are going to talk about the intersection of mental health disabilities with all other disabilities today.

Kyle: I’m going to say something other than what for a second, yes how you identify and if you separate them or put them together in the umbrella term of disability is a topic for a different day. Today Emily and I, are going to talk about like she said, where the intersection lies. We are also going to make one thing clear that although depression and disability do often coexist, that having a physical disability does not ever imply that you are depressed, and if you are depressed with a physical disability, whether or not it’s caused by your disability is irrelevant.

They are two separate entities that can affect you for any reason at any time for reasons that are related to your physical disability or not at all related to your physical disability. Got that?

Emily: What he said.

Kyle: Good. Now having said that there are some disabilities like mine that have a much stronger relationship with depression than another disability or an able bodied person.

Emily: Let’s remind our good friends at home what your disability is?

Kyle: Yes. So I have cerebral palsy and if you have cerebral palsy, your odds of being depressed are three to four times more likely than your average able bodied person. No one knows if it’s something to do with the brain damage that causes CP verses things about CP that suck that sort of manifest later in life as depression like not being able to do certain things. No matter what the actual underlying reason though is, it’s irrelevant because the fact of the matter is if you have CP you are much more likely to have depression. I can say that I’ve dealt with it in my life as well and today we are going to talk about it.

Emily: I being more of a rarity and having Larsson syndrome and something that hasn’t been particularly researched, have no evidence as to whether my disability is at all connected to any mental health disabilities, but I most definitely experience anxiety and depression. Often times, it is connected to something about my disability whether it is my body, or whether it is the environment surrounding my body. Sometimes it’s completely unrelated and today I want to focus on the times when disability really has been a…my physical disability has really been at the forefront of my mental health issues.

Kyle: Cool.

Emily: Yeah, groovy right?

Kyle: Very; the grooviest.

Emily: Since you said that there’s actual legit study of showing a correlation. I’m interested to hear about when your disability has directly been connected to episodes of depression.

Kyle: Oh God. A lot of this are going to sound trivial to our listeners and for that, I apologize but know that even though they might sound trivial, they really did have an actual impact on me.

Emily: I actually don’t think you need to apologize but I get the caveat…

Kyle: It’s all relative, that’s all I’m going to say.

Emily: Right but the other thing too is, I think a lot of times when it comes to having a disability physical or a learning disability or a hidden disability that is not a mental health disability, whatever disability it is it’s not a mental health disability. I think we often find ourselves apologizing for these small things that have a massive impact on our life, and saying like we know it doesn’t sound like much to you.

Kyle: Yes but it won’t and that’s the thing and I know that but that doesn’t diminish the huge impact that it had and it really is like so insignificant to somebody who doesn’t have CP but I’m going to say anyway. My most recent bout with it true not like, “Oh, I had a bad day and the sky was grey and it was raining and I had a long day at work and it just put me in a really, really, really bad mood,” that day kind of thing. My latest like genuine fight with depression, which is something that I’ve struggled with since I was a teenager but in recent memory.

A couple of years ago, I had a friend over and we were doing things that friends do; repairing a laptop because that’s a thing that normal friends do.

Emily: I really did not know where you were going with the thing that friends do.

Kyle: What you don’t repair laptops with your friends?

Emily: I can’t say I do.

Kyle: Well get with it, it’s the newest thing or at least it was in 2013 but anyway, so we are repairing this thing, and I was in charge of connecting the screen to the rest of the laptop. Usually, that’s held in place by a tiny little ribbon cable that’s very fragile and very hard to manipulate and very hard to get

back in once you take it out. I just couldn’t do it. I spent like 45 minutes not being able to do it. I didn’t think it had anything to do with my CP at all because those things are hard to do, no matter who you are.

But my friend who doesn’t have CP and is able bodied, I asked him for help like when I was done pulling my hair out. He did it like in five seconds and I was thrilled at the time, I was like, “Oh, this is great. We did it we like finally.” When he left, that night I was like, “That sucked, like it really sucked,” because there are very few times when I have to confront my disability head on. I know it’s different for Emily because she uses a wheelchair and people like to stare at her all day. She can write essays about why that’s dumb and wrong and she has stories for years but I don’t. On the days when I really do have to come face to face with my disability, it doesn’t necessarily depress me anymore.

It used to. It didn’t come from any place of shame, it didn’t come from any place of like I thought I was less then. It didn’t even come from a place of this was something I didn’t want because I was born this way, so even if that were true, I can’t really do anything about it. It was more just how can I expect people to treat me like everyone else except for when it was absolutely necessary? If I can’t even do something that, granted the average person wouldn’t just do on a Tuesday like repair a laptop, you know what I mean? That extends to other things that involve similar fine motor skills and I’m pretty lucky.

On the CP spectrum you can’t get much less CP than me and I don’t mean that as a one up thing against anyone who has more CP. I say more in air quotes because there’s really… there are quantifiable, it’s true but there’s no real… well there are good ways you know what I mean. I got pretty lucky in that regard so when I have to come face to face with it, it’s like now it’s okay, because now it’s like whatever. There was a time when that was a genuine struggle for me and it was all because of that damn laptop.

Emily: See I’ve not gotten past that feeling of gut wrenching awfulness when I confront something about my disability. Perfect example being a couple of weeks ago, I went on a date with someone and I did my research ahead of time to make sure that where we were going would be wheelchair accessible because we were going to do one of those paint night events you know ,where you like paint a picture together with an instructor. Despite what I thought was careful planning, we got there and as I’m getting out of my taxi, I get a text from him telling me that he’s already in the building.

There are stairs leading up to where the paint night is going to be and there was no other way to get up there. Then my date and I proceeded to have dinner but we were sitting directly underneath where the paint night was going on because it was an open area even though it was up the stairs. The whole time we are eating dinner, we can hear the music blasting upstairs we can hear the instructor telling people what to do, the type of brush stroke to use. We can hear the people up there having fun and laughing and ordering cocktails.

My date, credit to him, he said at one point he was like, “I’m not even listening to them anymore.” I could not get past that, and it just that was kind of like the tip of the iceberg of depression issues, not the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Kyle: No but it’s sort of any progress you made to that point was sort of like… I mean not that it invalidated your progress but it sort of like, “Hey, I’m still here you remember me? It’s your old friend.”

Emily: Yeah. Like I had been on an upswing and then all of a sudden I was left again to grapple with this horrible feeling of not quite being like everybody else. I know that a building having stairs is not my fault, but it just really… it kind of knocked me back down a few pegs. To some people I imagine that sounds like I was just sad for a little while, but when you already experience depression and then you have something like that happen on top of it, it really does take over in your brain, and everything that you deal with in terms of self-worth and self-confidence and positive self-image. All gets knocked down because of stairs in a building that you had no control ever.

Kyle: Hey, man give yourself some credit, you researched and it was accessible to you, you did your homework. That didn’t help you sort of looked into it, had it turned out that it was still inaccessible, which obviously, if you found that out beforehand, you surely would have done something else or found a way to do it. It was the surprise I imagine that sort of really punched you in the gut.

Emily: Yeah, it sort of knocks the wind out of you a little bit and also the fact that it was a person who I was going on a date with, who I was clearly trying to make a good impression on. To me it was just such a mortifying situation and I know that you know with all internalized ableism blah, blah, blah, but call it what you want, it just sucks. I have no label for it, it was just sucky.

Kyle: Well I think it’s very important to sort of admit when having a disability isn’t all peaches and roses. Which oddly enough, you guys don’t know this but we’ve done this episode before and lost it like every single time. It actually is kind of interesting that it’s coming up but there is something to be said, that it’s healthy to admit when having a disability certainly doesn’t help things like depression. It’s also just as important not to you know as best as you can let it totally control your life because then I don’t want to say trapped I feel like that’s going to bother somebody, but you are pretty close to it.

When you have a disability part of you know I guess living with it is learning self-acceptance. When you are hit with something like a stray ribbon cable or unexpected set of stairs, it doesn’t undo the work… at least didn’t for me. I don’t speak for you about this but it doesn’t undo the work but it certainly does remind you of that and it makes you like look back. Which, is for me almost as bad as having gone through it, like part of growing up is never having to look back on the stuff you know is terrible. When you are confronted with something like that, it’s like now I have to.

Emily: Well I know it’s controversial but I would venture to say that that is triggering. That to me is an actual trigger.

Kyle: What? A stray set of stairs?

Emily: No, well yes but I’m talking about it in a broader sense. You know how someone types trigger warning before they post something. No but I’m just explaining in case someone is unfamiliar with the concept. Often if someone posts something of a sensitive nature on social media, they will proceed it with a trigger warning or a content warning just to let people know what’s coming.

Kyle: Like we did on our sex episode.

Emily: Yes, which I think was super necessary because I imagine that could really easily trigger someone, but for me reading an article about something inaccessible is not going to trigger me, but being in that moment, sets me off. But no one can put the words trigger warning on top of an actual staircase.

Kyle: Well but it’s not the staircase though, that’s the thing.

Emily: No, the staircase is the symbol.

Kyle: Right, exactly. It would make no sense to put it on the staircase; you can’t really put a note on…

Emily: I guess it’s more of I don’t know the metaphorical thing.

Kyle: No I’m not saying you are wrong, I’m just saying like there’s no good way to do it. It sounds like what you are describing, is the trigger is, the sort of feeling of… the instantaneous feeling of helplessness when you realize that there’s nothing you can do. What triggers helplessness for you might not be you know what I mean it’s not like you have a term. “This thing’s coming, watch out if it bothers you,” you know.

Emily: It’s not even that one instance…

Kyle: No, exactly. It can be anything.

Emily: Yes, but also its not going to cause my depression or make it worse, but when those continually pile up, because it’s not like stairs and inaccessibility

are ever going to go away. Then it becomes sort of like a fountain from which depression tends to flow, if that makes sense. I didn’t mean to make it so…

Kyle: No, I think it does, it’s sort of like a crack in the dam.

Emily: Yeah, it’s like you were doing such a good job building up your armor I mean we are going to use every mixed metaphor under the sun here. Under the sun and we are also going to use…

Kyle: Astrological metaphors?

Emily: Sure. There was a metaphor, I couldn’t think of my English terms at the moment anyway.

Kyle: I think that when it comes to disability and mental health that… we specified the divide in the beginning. For the sake of this show, we are not separating the two things but there is a real divide in our world between people that have mental illnesses and other disabilities that are generally considered hidden and ones that aren’t. Whether or not they are physical, they don’t have to be. It’s really hidden verses non-hidden but it most commonly manifests itself physical versus other.

Emily: I do you think there’s something to be said in that we have separate needs.

Kyle: Oh yeah, completely. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that the separation exists, what I’m saying is that it quickly tends to turn like tribal almost, not tribal but like you know you don’t understand. It’s like yeah you don’t but I’m still one of you.

Emily: Yes, it’s definitely a matter of identity like there was this whole thing with the women’s march and how there was a lack of disability representation.

Kyle: I don’t mean to interrupt you but I’ll take any opportunity to say how proud I am and how amazing it was that there were more women in one city, for the women’s march than attended Donald Trump’s entire inauguration.

Emily: Come at us Donald, we are trying every episode. Anyway, what was I saying? I got so into the Donald thing.

Kyle: Sorry, you were saying that allegedly at the women’s march there was some sort of lack of inclusion for disability.

Emily: Not at the actual march in the platform.

Kyle: In the platform right, which by the way, you totally are amazing at and made some actual change. I am patting your back for you, you did amazing work.

Emily: Thanks bro, I felt that through the computer. Because of the lack of mention of disability, I wrote something regarding it and one of the tweets that I got

in response, not any sort of angry tweet, just a very thought provoking one that reminded me that some people identify under psych labels that wouldn’t necessary call themselves disabled.

Kyle: Sure, you find that in other communities within our communities too like sometimes blind and low vision or deaf and low hearing or something like that.

Emily: Sure, and it was just an interesting reminder because I also sort of internally see my disabilities as two separate things even though I’m aware that depression and anxiety are disabilities, having a physical disability makes me see mental health and physical disability as two completely separate entities in most cases sort of, kind of butting heads with each other inside my body for which I should give the most attention to in any given time. Then occasionally, they’ll both just gang up on me at once.

I know you mentioned earlier that every time we somehow manage to talk about the fact that disability is not always sunshine and roses, we always mess up those episodes or lose them.

Kyle: Which by the way was actually very depressing because they were very good.

Emily: It reminded me when you said that because it was good like, one of the times that we tried to record that episode, I was having a really high pain day, and I was just slumped in my chair like…

Kyle: She really did look pathetic, it was hilarious. I mean, I’m not joking but this is just between she and I right now.

Emily: Yes because Kyle has seen me at my best and my worst. So I was such a pathetic lump lying in the chair, couldn’t, move. Every muscle in my body was just rebelling against me and in that moment, I felt like that was just compounding my depression. It wasn’t even the cause of it, it was just like I’m depressed and I’m in pain how much worse can this get?

Kyle: I remember that instance in particular of that episode because there was like four of them, and we lost them all. You didn’t want to do the episode that day and I convinced you like, “No, this is actually the perfect day to do it because you’ll be so raw.” It’s weird now that we are talking about it in the episode that has everything to do with that episode too so yeah.

Emily: Interesting because today is actually a relatively low pain day for me.

Kyle: Me too.

Emily: I’m like, “Yeah.” But then…

Kyle: Depression, all right.

Emily: Then it’s also like kind of a frustrating emotional pain day, which then goes back to my disability in a different way because I went on a date today of course because it all comes back to that for me. I thought I was going really well then all of a sudden like two and a half hours later and the atmosphere around us kind of changed, and it just all went to garbage. I have this inkling that it might have been disability related but I honestly, don’t know because things just got super weird super quickly.

Kyle: I think it’s an interesting point because whether or not it has something to do with your disability, it doesn’t matter. That because you had the thought that it might, that’s going to be in the back of your head, regardless of what the actual reason is, if you ever find it out you know what I mean?

Emily: I’m never going to find it out.

Kyle: What I’m saying is, it doesn’t matter because even if he told you it had nothing to do with disability right, the fact that you had the thought it could have something to do with it, feeds into your anxiety and depression as well separate from that. So it’s just this vicious cycle that feeds all into itself.

Emily: It’s occurring to me now that a lot of what feeds the cycle is the fact that I know my disability is not changeable, so in some ways I can manage my mental health, but I cannot in the same way manage my physical disability.

Kyle: It’s a very good point.

Emily: This is sort of like a revelation that…

Kyle: You are right though. I mean there’s something very satisfying I guess about taking control of an aspect of your life that you “shouldn’t have control over” in the form of whatever therapy, medication etcetera whatever. Whereas your physical disability it’s just sort of there.

Emily: Yeah, no amount of medication or therapy is going to make the wheelchair disappear. I sincerely mean it when I say that I would not change myself, but it’s also just sort of a crashing reality when you are trying to confront an aspect of your life and you realize that you can work through it mentally, but you are still in the same physical state.

Kyle: Well, you know it’s very easy to say you wouldn’t change yourself when you know you can’t and I’m not saying that for any other reason other than its true. I’m also in that camp. I wouldn’t change the hair on my head but that’s only because I know I can’t. If I was presented with the opportunity using literal magic, I would actually think long and hard about it, and I think anybody would.

Emily: Well, for me I would probably just change the things that cause me pain.

Kyle: Yes I would think… I mean I don’t know that’s another episode but, yes if I were to change one thing about my CP I suppose if we are talking about this, it would be to not feel pain anymore, that would be pretty cool

Emily: Yeah, because I think a large part of depression is knowing that there are aspects of your life that you just cannot alter or fix.

Kyle: Well I think part of…I don’t want to say cured my depression because that’s such a misnomer that people believe that can happen. You can sort of keep it in infinite check, but it doesn’t ever go away.

Emily: You can’t just wake up one morning and be like, “Yes depression it’s totally gone from my body.”

Kyle: You do wake up one morning and totally just have it, which is awful I know not really but I want to speak about self acceptance, because that’s something that I don’t know about you… probably quicker for you I imagine because you are sort of stuck in your wheelchair so to speak, “stuck in your wheelchair,” like it’s not going anywhere. For me it took a while, like I never really to just…

Emily: For what?

Kyle: To admit to myself that this was the best it was gonna… you ever you seen “As Good As It Gets,” with Jack Nicholson? There’s a scene in it where he like confronts his romantic interest and he was like, “Well what if this is as good as it gets?” It took me a long time to say that to myself. Not necessarily because of depression because there was a long time when I was constantly improving through therapy and other things, but from when I plateaued, which was around 18 to now it took a while. It’s a mark of you know maturity to get there. I’m not saying anyone who isn’t there is immature because it really is like a big deal.

Emily: You are talking about acceptance not like conquering depression here?

Kyle: No, God no but what I am saying is that yes I am talking about acceptance but what I am saying is that when I did it the amount… like my depression didn’t cease because it never will, but my God, it’s a completely different beast now.

Emily: See I accept myself, but struggle with when others do not accept me because I sort of want to grab people and shake them by the shoulders and just say, “Oh my God I have worked so hard to get here to accept myself, why can’t you also just do me a solid and feel the same way?”

Kyle: I don’t care about that at all. If someone doesn’t like me for who I am its like, “Good, so I probably wouldn’t get along with you anyway.” Also I think that’s a little bit unfair and I’ll tell you why. I don’t mean to like put you on the spot, I’m not like doing anything like that. I think it’s totally fare for people not to accept you immediately, not you specifically but anybody, because you didn’t accept you immediately either. I think it’s expecting far too much from somebody to just outright accept you when it took you that long…

Emily: Okay arguably, though a large part of me not accepting me is other people not accepting me. Really it’s a cycle so, if people would just accept me to begin with, I would have had an easier time accepting myself.

Kyle: Maybe.

Emily: I think definitely.

Kyle: I don’t know, but you might be right, you are probably right.

Emily: Again, a lot of what we’ve been pointing to is that depression has social causes and reasons that cause it to manifest in our heads and I just don’t want to misrepresent that I am only depressed in connection with my disability, which we literally made obvious at the beginning of the episode but I think…

Kyle: Well it’s 30 minutes in you never know who’s just tuned in yeah but no it’s true. Although, like we’ve tried to highlight areas where it was directly influenced by disability because I think that’s just frankly more interesting because otherwise we would just be two disabled people talking about depression, as two separate entities I think it’s much more fun when it’s together but, yes.

Emily: This is so fun.

Kyle: Disability absolutely does not imply depression or any other mental health issues. It’s very acceptable and common to have a physical disability and no mental health issues whatsoever.

Emily: What really gets to me is, when the two are conflated by various medical professionals and or general human beings who seem to…

Kyle: That’s true, that is annoying.

Emily: It’s so frustrating. If I’m sad or if I’m and I mean sad in the sense that like people can clearly see that I am not having a good mental health day.

Kyle: You dropped your ice cream cone on the sidewalk as soon as you walked out of the Carvel.

Emily: It’s always going to be about my disability. I swear that is what people assume.

Kyle: It’s terrible isn’t it?

Emily: Yeah and then also various mental health professionals as well, it just seems I’ll go back to the disability, and as much of yes it does, it also doesn’t because a lot of the reasons I experience depression are completely psychological and you know chemical imbalances and…

Kyle: The same as anyone else and I think that’s sort of a place where the world needs to improve you know a lot because although having a disability sort of feeds into depression a lot of the time, the times when it doesn’t, are also the times when you are like you as a mental health professional need to know most of all because it’s not always a disability, it’s not, it’s just not. Sometimes we are just as depressed as anyone else for reasons like anyone else.

Emily: Yeah and you know what this is sort of reminding me of?

Kyle: What’s that?

Emily: There’s often the assumption when you see a medical professional that if you are overweight or not stick figure skinny that all of your health problems are rooted in being heavier. I find that to be somewhat connected to just this general idea of pigeon holing so it’s like there is this one aspect about you therefore it affects all other aspects about you. That’s what happens to me a lot of times.

Kyle: See that’s the thing. That is a grain of truth. That’s true but the problem is in that, the problem is when it therefore then snowballs into influencing everything else that’s said afterwards. Do you know what I mean? Like take obesity for the example, because you used it, if you are obese you are far more likely to be less healthy and more you know susceptible to x, y, z. Just because doesn’t mean that like one doesn’t necessarily imply the other unless it’s already true then it does, but until it is then it’s not you know what I mean?

Emily: Yeah, I followed. That was a whole lot of words, but it’s absolutely true.

Kyle: It’s the same with disability, in fact, I would argue that it’s more true with disability because with obesity, you have like science proving that those two things actually have a correlation where, disability is so unknown that that relationship is not even studied in most cases.

Emily: Yeah, so it’s essentially an assumption and I’ve heard this mean over and over again that my disability somehow has something to do with every single other mental health issue or physical health issue that I have. Which on the one hand sometimes it’s like convenient to be able to peg things on my disability.

Kyle: Oh my God. Well, we talked about in the last episode, I learned that the sensory issues I have was actually directly caused by my CP and I never

knew. That was actually like super cool to know because I thought it was something else and it was cool to know that it wasn’t.

Emily: Yeah and for me there are various aspects of my health that people try to explain in a way as being connected to my disability, but I know that it’s not. At this point, it’s just like, “All right, let’s just use it as a convenient excuse.”

Kyle: I sort of want to talk about coping too because you sort of have two extremes when you try to cope with depression and you are disabled at the same time. You have the “Debbie Downer” type that’s all like it’s a cloudy day and it’s always raining in their world and it’s like you are never happy. Or you are this happy go lucky energizer bunny type of person who couldn’t see a bad day if there was one right in their face. I really… there’s issues with both of them, but I was more of the Debbie Downer right, I feel like and I don’t know because I’m not one of this people but I feel like the pressure is really on the people that are happy all the time.

They get screwed twice because if they are not happy then they are letting themselves down right? And everyone around them and if they are genuinely happy not as a cover for the depression, then no one believes them because you are actually just doing this because you are depressed and you are not actually happy. It’s like, “No, can’t you see it?” like you are just caught in this loop, I don’t know though.

Emily: I’m always in this weird spot where I experience depression and then also can sometimes be very happy and optimistic and outgoing and that’s generally not a fake thing. For some reason people don’t seem to think that being this happy go lucky person can coexist with depression.

Kyle: That’s sort of what I’m talking about.

Emily: Then I end up having to keep up appearances.

Kyle: Well, I think that’s another upset too because I don’t think that’s just depression either, but I think that that sort of… I think that that puts unnecessary pressure on you if it’s not genuine. If it is, it’s one thing it’s a real feeling that’s not pressured. If when you are not that way people wonder why you are not that way instead of just accepting that you are having a day today. Then you force yourself to act that way, that’s when the pressure is like on your shoulders and that’s when it’s not cool.

Emily: It’s utterly exhausting, is what it is.

Kyle: Well you know to me, like I’m an insider in your life and I know how miserable you are. I think the fact that people think you are happy all the time is like hilarious.

Emily: How nice of you.

Kyle: No, I don’t mean that in like a bad way although I seem positive that’s how it came across to everyone who’s just listening. I just mean like if I can tell somebody you know like, “Emily? God, she’s the worst,” they won’t believe me, not that I ever would.

Emily: Kyle is being mean right now.

Kyle: Yes I am, I’m sorry but it’s also it is proving a point though because I don’t mean to say you are miserable obviously, you are not but your public self is very optimistic except when you are arguing for accessibility somewhere then you are angry, but otherwise you are a very happy public person.

Emily: Can’t win for losing.

Kyle: Because I’ve seen you like other ways, it’s an interesting dichotomy from somebody who’s on the inside is all I’m saying.

Emily: I remember you once posted this picture of me and I would also like to defend myself because I’m not a miserable person.

Kyle: No, she’s not I’m being hyperbolic.

Emily: You once posted this picture of me on like your personal Facebook of me with a dog, yes and, “[crosstalk 0:36:48] you’ll ever see Emily or something like that.”

Kyle: Well, to be fair it was.

Emily: Its true, but it’s just funny because everyone else I feel like was like, “Oh my God Emily is happy all the time,” and you are like, “No.”

Kyle: “What are you talking about?” I mean look when you are disabled right, which is literally every episode of the show …

Emily: Tell me more about being disabled Kyle.

Kyle: Yeah right? You’d do the same, but when you are disabled everything that you do and most things that you are sort of just have this lens attached to it that is your disability. You know, I don’t sort of blame anyone for assuming that depression is caused by the disability. But what I do start blaming people for is, after you tell them that no it’s not always the case that that’s true, they don’t listen. It’s very easy to see why somebody would think that because in this world, disability’s seen as something nobody wants and you know it’s a bad thing always, which is not true and something that…

Emily: Here’s a more accurate statement; if I’m miserable, there’s a pretty good chance that it actually has nothing to do with my disability and I’m just generally salty about something. People automatically think that like, if I’m

being salty, it must be disability related but the reality is I’m usually complaining about things that are…

Kyle: That is not true at all you…

Emily: No, I don’t think that’s the case because like but I’m talking about my disability.

Kyle: I know, not disability, your disability that’s an important distinction. That is a very important distinction. When you are talking about disability, it’s a lot different than when you are talking about your disability.

Emily: When I’m being cranky about something, it’s rarely my disability. When we are being cranky about something, it has to do with this disability.

Kyle: Yes that’s just who she is.

Emily: There’s the distinction.

Kyle: Yes that’s just who Emily is. She is the saltiest person on earth when it comes to disability but you don’t like…

Emily: I don’t like salt, salt is disgusting.

Kyle: Weirdo. Look if any of you say that there are some people who can’t eat salt for dietary reasons, I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about the people that don’t like salt, weird.

Emily: I don’t like salt you know those street pretzels in New York City?

Kyle: You scrape off the salt.

Emily: Onto the street.

Kyle: You are a salt hater and a litterer. God you are the worst.

Emily: Salt is biodegradable, isn’t it?

Kyle: I don’t know actually, probably comes from the ocean of course it is.

Emily: Oh, my God this is devolving.

Kyle: We went to school. Anyway, mental health disability get used to it, yeah, no. On a serious note, the things that are most important to know.

Emily: Are we doing our key take away?

Kyle: Yeah, I think so. For me the things that are most important to know is; depression can affect everyone, depression affects some people with disabilities at a higher rate than others, not all. If you meet a person with a disability who also is depressed, the odds of it having to do directly with their disability are about as much as it has to do with anything else; it’s a crap shoot. There’s no way to tell unless they tell you. Don’t assume, that’s stupid, and if somebody’s coming to you to confide in you about their depression, the best thing you can do is listen.

Emily: I totally echo everything you are saying and would also add as my key take away, that if your depression does in fact have to do with your disability…

Kyle: That’s okay too.

Emily: You do not owe an explanation about that to anyone, but also know that that is legitimate and does not in any way delegitimize what you are feeling.

Kyle: Absolutely not and in fact, I don’t want to speak for everyone with a disability but nearly everyone I know… no, well I’m only going to speak for the people I know. I can’t speak for everyone that’s ridiculous. Everyone I know has gone through that. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t like looked in the mirror and said about their disability, and had it bringing them down. I don’t know about always smiling into depression but everyone’s had that moment and that is a totally normal moment that happens.

It’s a part of self acceptance and the sooner you get there hopefully the better you’ll be and if you are depressed right now we are here for you and you can always email us and talk because we are The Accessible Stall and that’s what we do, we talk.

Emily: Okay, we are not trained mental health professionals, but we are happy to lend an ear.

Kyle: Yeah, that’s much better but…

Emily: Kyle, let me handle the PR.

Kyle: Oh gosh, no.

Emily: Yeah, I’m way better than you are.

Kyle: Anyway.

Emily: This has been another episode of The Accessible Stall and also I feel like we genuinely owe an apology to everyone who we probably just brought down with us.

Kyle: Yeah, if this were to reignite your depression look, I’m sorry if you are still here if you didn’t shut it off at the first inkling of that, more power to you I appreciate it, we appreciate it but genuine apologies. Hopefully, it didn’t though. Hopefully, you got something from this.

Emily: At the very least, if you are experiencing depression you are not alone, and I mean that with all sincerity.

Kyle: Yes, I know absolutely not. It’s okay. I feel weird saying that because that’s usually like the cheesiest thing that the commercials on TV say, but I do mean it. Depression shouldn’t have the stigma that it does [00:42:26 crosstalk] and the fact that… well, because we want to know who’s listening all the way through. The fact that it has a stigma only feeds into that sigma, which is sort of almost unique to depression in a weird way. I mean I’m sure other things have that too but…

Emily: Stigma perpetuates stigma, that’s just how it is with everything.

Kyle: Yeah, but with depression it’s like it’s taboo to talk about it, which is like the thing you are supposed to do to start getting it in check.

Emily: Yeah I hear that but I mean…

Kyle: If you can’t even do that, then like how are you supposed to get better? That’s what I mean it’s just a… it’s an odd thing that we deem as a society to be taboo and I don’t think that’s right.

Emily: We here at The Accessible Stall are here to tackle those taboos.

Kyle: Anyway, thanks for listening, we’ll see you next time. Our next episode will be on bananas.

Emily: Bananas?

Kyle: Bananas.

Emily: This is bananas b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

Kyle: Why’d you screw that up?

Emily: What happened?

Kyle: You didn’t spell bananas right.

Emily: B-a-n-a-n-a-s.

Kyle: Well then I [0:43:36 crosstalk] good night everybody.

Emily: Bye.

Kyle: See ya.