After decades of struggling with his deep-rooted existential malaise, Mitchell Hartley, a writer living in New York City, finally sought professional help in dealing with the transience of everything and the inherently unsatisfactory nature of life, only to be disappointed when his therapist swiftly diagnosed his condition as standard, run-of-the-mill depression.
"Depression?" protested an underwhelmed Hartley, who had always considered his issues much more complex. "No, what's going on with me is that I really think about things - and I feel, so much more deeply than the average person. I'm sensitive in a way that is a gift artistically, but also makes life more of a challenge."
Unswayed by his protests, Hartley's therapist, Pat Cooper, remained steadfast in her diagnosis. "Depression - classic, textbook case. Next?"
Despite their fundamental differences in perspective, Hartley has decided to continue working with Cooper, for the experience of more deeply plumbing his own personal depths and delving headlong into the darkness in a way he's never before had the courage to do.
On her part, Cooper is optimistic about Hartley''s prospects for recovery. "I deal with guys like him all the time," she said. "We'll get him cheered up. No sweat."