Eventually he is persuaded to take medication. "You have done all the right things," says his doctor. "It is not you, there is no shame, you are not wrong, it is your body which is malfunctioning." Somehow there is a great relief in making this decision, an immediate lightening of the burden. Little white pills appear, one for each morning, after breakfast.
"You will need to take these for a couple of years, maybe forever."
He is dizzy by the end of the first day, and needing to walk carefully. Then there is nausea and retching, and an absurd day and a half of constant yawning... long two and three minute yawns... unable to stop.
And after a week or so he wakes up one morning and the world is in colour again.
"I can describe it in no other way. It was just like someone had turned up the colour switch on a TV. Every thing was different. More energy, lightness of body, health. It was like a new world. Everything was lighter. I still can hardly believe the change... or the gloom from which I had suddenly emerged. I don't know what is different."
There are ups and downs, but life is changed. Life is worth living again. Life is alive, not a burden to endure.
And somewhere, somehow, there is a loss of shame. He is fragile and cautious, but he is a new person, too. Not ashamed of who he is. As though the burden of this acute depression has been dragging at him forever and is finally lifted.