This post contains minor spoilers for Star Trek Discovery Season 4 Episode 2, “Anomaly."

Near the end of the latest episode of Discovery, Lt. Tilly tells Dr. Culbert that something feels off about herself, and that she’d like to talk to him about it in a professional context sometime.

This feels to me like a clear indication that Tilly is dealing with depression, anxiety, or both, and I’m very interested in following where this goes, especially as I read Tilly as my own sort of Discovery-avatar.

Over at Keith R. A. DeCandido’s recap for, a commenter says,

The best thread for later is Tilly. Does she miss her mother? Is it about all the stress and loss and responsibility they’ve had? Mental health is an all too often ignored issue, so I hope they do it justice.

I, too, hope they do it justice, but what I don’t need is for there to be something Tilly’s depression is “about.” There certainly are things that can trigger depression, but the depression itself isn’t always a response to trauma. Sometimes it just happens because your body isn’t producing the chemicals it needs to.

I would love to see Tilly work through identifying how she’s feeling, struggling to decide between treatment options (or whether to go beyond talk therapy at all), and dealing with the consequences of whatever treatment she chooses. I’d also just love to see what mental health care looks like in the 32nd century.

But I don’t need there to be a reason she’s depressed.

Because depression doesn’t require a reason to appear.