Rather than join the anonymization bandwagon (the answer author community here is generally of the "it's terrible out there - people are horrible! Protect yourself!" bent) I would propose the following more nuanced and step-by-step approach:
By all means write the essay! It brings good in several different forms
- It can be therapeutic, at least in a palliative care sort of way. I don't think it will provide rapid relief from clinical depression, but it does offer one a window on what's going on that may be helpful. But do it with the help of a mental health professional or counselor so that they can step in if it spirals out of control and you start focusing on those sneaky, nasty destructive or hopeless thoughts that the "depression monster" likes to generate to make us feel even worse.
- If the time to publish comes, you've got your writings. You may be in a different state by then and want to add some further perspectives to it, but you've got the contemporaneously written material recorded forever.
- Speaking of contemporaneously written material, if ever something happens and you are harassed or discriminated against by your environment, you have this as additional documentation that something is really going on and there's a reason you might be performing differently at the moment.
But continue to question if this is the right time to actually publish
That decision is easier if you fully anonymize, but in the 21st century with the internet, writing style analysis, nosy people who spend lots of time online, etc. is it ever foolproof?
Publishing under your name could potentially have positive benefits. More enlightened coworkers and supervisors, realizing that something powerful was happening without them realizing it may really reach out and be supportive. Of course exactly the opposite may happen as well. Life is full of choices (or a box of chocolates as Forest Gump explains)
My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
Future readers may be future employers and if they are like-minded or enlightened might really see "extra value" in you. (As you can tell, I'm not of the "everyone is horrible" bent). This could become a lifelong filter that steers you away from employers who are unenlightened when it comes to mental health, and towards people who are. Who would you rather work for, anyway?
But yes, it could blow up in your face as well. Life really is like a box of chocolates and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
You can also ask yourself if depression is the best time to make impacting decision
The fog of clinical depression also makes it really hard to make this kind of decision. I mean it can make it really hard to decide to even stand up and walk across the room to feed ourselves or take some medicine!
Bottom line: By all means write it! But work with friends and mental health professionals you get along with well on the question of publishing right away vs later.
P.S. To anyone else struggling you are not alone ♡
Indeed! After my first (of several) bouts with clinical depression that didn't respond much to medication subsided, I was able to "write in stone" a messages to myself that I could use in the subsequent bouts.
It gets better. This too shall pass. It's not real even though it feels so real. It's temporary.