I`m interested to know what people say in response to the questions `how are you?` `are you alright?`, whilst in the throes of crippling depression. When a stranger or relative says to me `how are you?` and I feel mentally ill (which is nearly always to some extent) I just say `oh fine`, reluctant to bring up the whole mental illness thing, yet if I have flu and someone asks me the same question I have no qualms about telling them what is ailing me. The irony about it all is that physical illness has probably accounted for less than 1% of illness suffered throughout my life, yet I`ve talked more openly about that than the torturous mental burdens I suffer on daily, and sometimes hourly basis. I wonder if we will ever get to a stage where people can say to each other `are you alright?` `no, I`m suffering from crippling mental illness` without giving it a second thought. Will the stigma/embarrassment/awkwardness of having mental problems ever be fully removed or will it just get worse?