on a long run, on a long run

I went to my doctor yesterday, and told him how crummy I’ve been feeling. We talked about a lot of different things, and ultimately decided that it was probably a good idea to change up my brain pills. This morning, I started something new, and I really feel a lot better. I honestly don’t care if it’s a placebo effect at this point, but the end result is the same: I don’t feel despondent, depressed, and shitty about myself.

“You are very hard on yourself,” he told me yesterday.

“I know,” I said, “I just have really high expectations that I want to meet, and with all these incredibly successful friends …” I trailed off because I felt like I was starting to feel sorry for myself.

“Being judgmental about what you make or don’t make doesn’t help you at all,” he said, “you have to do your best every day, even if your best isn’t what you want it to be.”

I knew he was right, and I knew that it was my depression getting in between me knowing that was right, and accepting that it was right. That’s one of the incredibly frustrating things about depression: I can know that the way I feel is just my brain chemicals being messed up, but whether I accept it or not, the end result is the same: I feel awful. It’s a little unfair that it doesn’t work in both directions, but after living with it for my whole life, I can tell you that depression doesn’t care about being fair; it’s really a dick that way.

My doctor said that I was very clear-eyed about my mental illness (psychologists call people like me “the identified patient”), and because I could be rational even when I was feeling irrational, he wanted me to try some cognitive therapy. “When you feel bad, when you are thinking and feeling that you’re worthless or anything like that, I want you to recognize it, and then make an effort to replace those bad feelings with good ones.

“When you are feeling bad about a job you didn’t get, think about a job that you did get, that you feel good about. When you feel bad about not finishing a story, recognize that feeling, and remember how you felt when you published something you’re proud of.”

“That sounds like something I can do,” I said, “and it sounds like it may help me break out of the cycle of depression telling me a suck, then making me feel terrible because I believe that I suck, which makes me depressed, which lets depression tell me that I suck.” I imagined a particularly ugly ouroboros wrapping itself around me.

I don’t think this means that I don’t allow myself to feel disappointment, or frustration, or any of the other emotions that I think we all need to feel to be a fully-functional human. I think this means that I don’t let my mental illness take something like feeling unsure about where a story goes next and turning it into the Very Certain And Unshakable Belief That I Am A Worthless And Stupid And Idiotic Loser Who Everyone Knows Really Sucks. Not, um, that I’ve felt like that a whole lot lately, or anything like that. Um. Right.


Let’s get started, shall we? This weekend, Anne and I went to the mall to pick up some fancy pants I had tailored. While we were there, we noticed that the big old men’s clothing sale was happening, yadda yadda yadda I got three awesome suits for less than the cost of one, if they weren’t on sale.

Guys: it turns out that your beautiful wife telling you, “WOW, you look great in that suit,” is a powerful motivator for buying that suit. And two others. Because reasons.

After we were finished getting them tailored, Anne had to get on the phone to handle a bunch of #VandalEyes business, so I went into the bookstore until she was done. On my way to the Science Fiction section, I stopped to take this picture of their Tabletop game section:


While I was taking this picture, a young man cautiously approached me. “Mister … Mister Wheaton?” He said.

“That’s me!” I said.

“I love your show Tabletop! You are the reason my friends and I play games, and I’m actually here today to find something for one of them.”

I put my phone into my pocket. “That is really awesome,” I said. “The main reason I make Tabletop is to inspire other people to play games.”

He swallowed, nodded, and said, “um, would you, uh … would you help me pick out a game for my friend?”

My heart grew three sizes. “I would love to do that!”

I asked him a bunch of questions about the games they like to play together, his friend’s level of experience, and how much he wanted to spend. Ultimately, he settled on Ticket To Ride. He shook my hand, thanked me several times, and walked away, happily.

“I’m so sorry to bother you,” a voice said behind me. I turned and saw a young woman with a nametag that indicated she worked in the store.

“Yes?” I said.

“This is my section,” she said, pointing to the games, “and it’s here because of your show, Tabletop.”

My heart grew another three sizes.

“We order all the games you play on your show, and we usually sell out of whatever you’ve just played right away.”

“That’s really cool!” I said.

We talked about the games that she had in the section, and I recommended a few new ones for her, including Hive, Love Letter, and Coup.

“I’ll see if I can convince my manager to let me order those,” she said. “Anyway, I don’t want to take up any more of your time. I just wanted to thank you for your show, and for everything you do.”

“It’s my pleasure,” I said, “and it really means a lot to me that you took the time to tell me that.” I started to walk back to the Sci-Fi Books, and stopped. I turned back. “If your distributor doesn’t know what’s coming up on Tabletop — and they should, but if they don’t — please e-mail me and I’ll give you the release schedule, so you can know what to order.”

“That would be great,” she said.

“Awesome.” We shook hands, and I walked back to the Sci-Fi books. Before I could really figure out if I was going to get anything, my phone chirped in my pocket. It was Anne. She was off the phone, and didn’t want to go on a quest to find me in the store. “I’ll be right out,” I replied.

I walked past that Tabletop game section, which was absolutely huge — even bigger than the entire Sci-Fi and Fantasy book section, combined, and a little voice in my head said, “it’s okay to feel a little proud about this.” I listened to it.

I’m still frustrated and disappointed when I see a character on a TV show or in a film that I clearly could have played, but didn’t even get to audition for (a casting director recently told my agent that they would not even see me for a role, because “Wil Wheaton can’t play someone in his late 30s,” even though I’m 41, with two children in their 20s, and just letting me spend thirty fucking seconds in their goddamn office to see how I look now and how I interpret the role may change their mind). I’m still frustrated and disappointed that I haven’t produced any original work of fiction of any consequence in a year, and that I haven’t finished Memories of the Future Volume 2.

BUT — and it’s a big but* — instead of focusing on those things, and feeling like I’m being crushed into a singularity by a black hole of depression, I can look at the show I created and brought to life with some very talented people, that is having a very real and lasting impact on a lot of people, in a very positive way.

When I look at the writing I haven’t finished, I can look at the calendar and see all the times I was working on a video game or an audiobook or an animated show, and was on the road to promote Tabletop, and honestly accept that there just wasn’t that much time to write the things I wanted to write, because I was busy working on other things.

I can stop being so hard on myself, and I can stop judging myself, and I can stop holding myself up to standards that are so high, even the people I’m comparing myself to every day would have a hard time reaching them.

Or, at least, I can try, and I can do my best, because that’s all I can do.

*hurr hurr hurr

500 thoughts on “on a long run, on a long run”

  1. Dear Wil, I’m currently struggling with depression and this blog post popped up on my FB newsfeed. I had such a crush on you back in my late teens! We are both 41. Just wanted to say there is a great book that has helped me a LOT with mental health issues, its The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. She has great suggestions, and the piece I’ve learned that she doesn’t emphasize enough is that eating meat, fat and dairy products from pastured animals is key, because of the high Omega 3s in pastured animals (and wild game.) Avoiding Omega 6s helps with depression. I’m currently depressed because I was trying to please my partner by living with him in a vegetarian community, and at the end was only getting food from restaurants. I don’t have a lot of financial resources, so I ate fairly crappy foods for two months. I’ve now spent about two weeks housesitting with my partner, and my mental health is much better- though I’m still working on it. Vit D can also have a huge impact on mental health, that inner critic you were talking about, it goes away for me when I take plenty of Vit D. Like 1000 ius for every 25lbs you weigh. Trying some kind of traditional diet of nutritionally dense food, staying away from carbs, eating lots and lots of healthy fats (including grass fed butter)…well it could change your life. Sorry you’ve been feeling so down, hope this posts helps. Sincerely, Mary

  2. Why not make a show based on you. A spin off from Big Bang Theory. You play you and get some supporting friends. The character Stewart can be one and you can have Star Trek friends as guests plus other stars from time to time. Even have some shows from comic con and other conventions.

  3. Thanks for this articale Mister Weaton. The big black dog named depression has followed me for many many years now, and I am going to look into cognitive therapy. Hopefully it will help.

  4. Will, you are awesome, and I so hope you find a way to feel good and strong! My world is definitely a better place with you in it, even if you never accomplish another damn thing ever.

  5. I suppose I *could* have spelled your name correctly, too, but, well, clicked “submit” without reading, you know how that goes. :)

  6. the fact that you verbalize all your trials and tribulations in such an eloquent manner speaks volumes of your literary abilities. most importantly though is that you do it in such a fashion so as to present your issues as human frailties we all can identify with. with such a following as yours it is very evident you will NOT fall into the dangerous downward spiral that has swallowed up countless others in you profession. their support is there for you but you are also there for them. these missives can be the lifeline keeping some not so steady folks stable and not so isolated. you are their hope as much a they are yours. as one disappointed perfectionist to another i applaud your continued efforts to both defeat and share your demons. i am sure you’ve already been told countless times how much good your efforts do. i am not a fan of you as an actor. i am a fan of your being human.

  7. I’m so glad I found this blog. Wil.
    Reading about your struggles is both disheartening and inspiring and I am grateful for the opportunity to see a different side of you.

    And I like the “real-life” Wil Wheaton I’ve gotten to know here. That’s why I’ve been so persistent about my “interview” request.
    You’re eternal optimism and childlike sense of wonder would be a perfect fit for my blog. I want to send positive vibes out to the world and that’s your goal as well, of this I am certain.

  8. Hi Will. I happened across your blog by accident, I had no idea that my hero (and crush) from 25 years ago has this extra layer. There comes a time in adult life where you get to realise that YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE who feels so rubbish. If you’re lucky. I have just reached that point myself. You managed to capture the feelings in just a few paragraphs. So best wishes and I hope any myopic producers realise just how much depth AND HEIGHT that you have. Now to continue reading….

  9. This is very inspiring to me, having depression myself your post hit it right on the head for me. Thank you for showing me a different way of thinking of things.
    Much love.

  10. Thank you so much for this post, Will. As someone who suffers from a combo of OCD, depression, and social anxiety, this helps me a great deal. Love tabletop, love you on BBT when you guest star, adored you on Leverage too and miss that show muchly.

  11. Thanks for sharing Will. I got a little teary eyed reading this. So easy to relate to. Being hard on oneself. Not feeling like we’ve accomplished enough. Such a good reminder to be grateful of what we have done. So easy to forget.

  12. I kind of doubt that you’re going to see this (there are upwards of 300 comments on this post at this point) but I wanted to say this anyway:

    Thank you. Thank you for being so open about your depression, and about your immune system wonkiness, because it helps. It helps me, and other people, to feel like they/we have the ability and permission to do what we need to do to take care of ourselves, and that means that there are a bunch of people out there getting their stuff taken care of because YOU were willing to talk about it yourself.

    And thank you, as well, for working so hard to do Shiny right. You’re a very shiny person, and it’s obvious that you are very conscious and deliberate about what you do with it… and that one of your biggest goals is to use it to help other people to know that THEY can be shiny too. I hope that someday you will get to see just how very huge this is, and how much better you, personally, have made the universe.

    And in the meantime, if you ever find yourself needing a little help to focus on the doughnut instead of the hole… just let us know.

  13. Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself. It’s a bit startling to hear that your life isn’t as perfect and dreamy as it looks from *out here*, but so very nice to hear that you are *one of us*. I find myself wishing (again) that you weren’t a celebrity, that I could buy you a drink and invite you to join us for Cards Against Humanity at the next Phoenix ComicCon. I run a private little consuite for my friends and loved ones with dietary restrictions or who just want to eat healthy while at the con. If you get tired of bland hotel food, look me up… :)

  14. Thanks so much for this. You describe the experience of depression very eloquently while at the same time offering hope and encouragement for others who struggle with the same beast. I particularly liked the following description:

    “That’s one of the incredibly frustrating things about depression: I can know that the way I feel is just my brain chemicals being messed up, but whether I accept it or not, the end result is the same: I feel awful.”

    I was lamenting just this concept earlier this week and its so encouraging and empowering to be reminded that other people have this experience and it’s not just me.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  15. Hi Will I follow your blog and have followed your career with interest. As a female who plays tabletop gaming as well as roleplaying games I love what you are doing with your show.
    I was also happy that you wrote about your depression, I have been on antidepressant med most of my life and yet there is so much stigma around them. I also get tired of those people who just say but you always seem so happy. We need more brave people like you who are wiling to talk about it. I have gone to classrooms and schools with my story, but then didn’t get a job as they had heard I have depression.
    I also like you see all the things I haven’t been able to accomplish yet and feel stuck sometimes. We have to just keep doing what we are doing though and work through the depression. Sometimes I even wonder if life is worth living.
    I hope that you don’t have it that bad, I find that cognitive therapy doesn’t work for me so I hope you have better luck.
    Thanks for posting and for being you
    A fan,
    Jennifer Jordan

  16. This is the first time I’ve commented on any of your posts, but this one really moved me. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety over the years and as an artist, I think it’s even harder to deal with because our work is truly an extension of ourselves, so it’s so personal when someone doesn’t like what we do. It’s so hard for me not to compare my life with others who are more successful and not feel resentful or jealous. Congrats on starting the cognitive therapy. It’s hard, but it really helps. I had to go off medication when I decided to become pregnant with my first child and have been able to stay off of it for over 5 years because of what I learned with therapy. I still have my down moments, but I recognize them for what they are and push through. On another note, I rediscovered you (I admit I had a crush on you when you were on Star Trek) on the Guild and have once again become a fan through your other shows and Tabletop and through reading your blog. I’m not a huge boardgame person, mostly because I never really had anyone around who played, and I hate losing, but watching your show has really got me wanting to play and we got a bunch of games for Christmas to play as a family (easy ones, since my daughter’s only 5). So thank you for giving me a new interest and hang in there.

  17. Goodness that’s a lot of comments. I hope you see this though. Dr. David Byrns, one of the fathers of cognitive behavioural therapy wrote a book called feeling good sometime in the 70s. It’s really wonderful. Ugly (I say this as a graphic designer) but really really helpful. I highly reccomend it to anyone struggling with depression. Especially those of us who are “identified” patients. Take care and I, for one, think you’re a wonderful person. And judging my the masses of people commenting here, I’m but a drop in the bucket!

  18. Wil,

    It’s a really positive thing to see you talking about your depression – in spite of how that might sound at first glance. It’s something many people deal with every day, and so many of them wrongly think it’s a weakness in their character.

    You’re pretty much one of the brightest, most awesome celebrities that exists in the nerdspace, so your frank discussion of this is incredibly appreciated. It might be hard to accept, but so MANY people look up to you, that simply talking about this could be changing the way they think about themselves. Thanks for taking the time.

  19. Wil, allow me to join in the group of people here to let you know just how wonderful we think that you are.

    I can tell you something that I feel to be true, from the bottom of my heart. The reason we all love you isn’t your celebrity status, but it’s the core of who you are. From the absolute joy we witness you having when doing Tabletop, to pouring out your heart and emotions here on your blog, to the love and care that you show your fans, like you did to that lovely woman in Calgary who asked you to say something to her daughter that was yet to be born. That made me cry. It made my friends cry, and it certainly earned you some more fans.

    I don’t have depression, but I was married to a woman for ten years who suffered from that dark beast, so I have an inkling of what you are dealing with. I know it’s so very hard when it’s got it’s claws into you, but when it does, just try to remember this. You have brought joy into the hearts of people across the world. You have an INTERNATIONAL DAY in your honour! How many of your colleagues do you know can actually say that?

    Tabletop is your baby, and as you have already experienced firsthand here, it’s brought joy and happiness through gaming around the globe. You have accomplished what is usually the pinnacle of someones life. You’ve created something that brings happiness to people. You’ve sparked a renaissance in gaming. Hell it’s probably not a stretch to say that there are going to be game designers that will get published solely because of the popularity in this hobby that has been incalculably increased due to you.

    Keep being Wil Wheaton. Keep being Awesome!!!!

  20. Wil, I have to say that I’m a lot like you, in that I have a million things I’m always working on, and I get depressed when I look at all the ones I haven’t finished. But I have found it important to look at the ones I have finished, and I’m always amazed.

    Every time you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything, tell yourself the story about the kid in the bookstore who said how much Tabletop meant to him. That’s important.

    BTW, my wife & I visited my son and his girlfriend, who are both in college, last weekend. We all played Ticket To Ride multiple times and had a blast! My son also hosts gaming nights with his friends. Tabletop rocks! Keep it up.

  21. As someone who has struggled with depression off and on for more years than I care to admit. I can’t count how many times I had family members, or well meaning friends telling me to “knock it off”, or “it can’t be that bad” or “stop being such a drama queen”, and othersuch ignorant statements.

    Kudos to you, young man (Hey, I’m 54, so you’re a young man to me). Stay well.

  22. Wil, I know you’ve got like almost 300 comments on this, and I’m sure a lot of people have said what I’m going to say, but I wanted to encourage you to take the cognitive-behavioral stuff seriously as a technique. I credit the techniques for being the thing that finally helped me get my anxiety and depression to a manageable point. It’s been especially helpful for anxiety. I feel like cognitive techniques are helpful because you’re basically learning new and more effective tools to deal with old issues. CBT taught me that while you can pound a nail in with the handle of a screwdriver, it’s a lot more effective to use a hammer. :)

    For me the techniques help me break the cycle of “oh god this sucks and because this moment sucks all other moments going forward will suck.” It’s been huge. I actually don’t need to take medication right now for any mental health issues, although I know there’s always a chance that my depression is just in remission.

    Thank you for writing about this stuff and sharing your experiences. You do good work, sir.

  23. I’ve been suffering from depression since I was 6(well its actual name is Dysthymia, read up on it you don’t know it) and its been hard. People who don’t suffer from it tend to shrug it off as a character flaw on your part. I find what helps me the most is to find the most amusing thing of every situation, that and music. Music, my husband and my 2 beautiful boys, 1 and 6, are my saviours.

    Wil, I love your show and growing up I had a HUGE crush on you, seeing as how I’m only 26, I was little young ;). I tell everyone I can about your show and all my gaming friends watch it regularly. You ARE successful, more then you realize and those directors that wouldn’t even let you audition, are poorer for their stupid assumptions.

    <3 Keep Strong <3

    P.S. I still have a little crush on you, LOL

  24. “I can stop being so hard on myself, and I can stop judging myself, and I can stop holding myself up to standards that are so high, even the people I’m comparing myself to every day would have a hard time reaching them.”

    Thank you.

  25. Dear Wil
    I think its a shame you’re not being offered challenging new roles. I hope you keep on being open to future roles whether they’re cameos or character bit parts. You have probably tried different looks without it seeming to make a difference but the next role may be the right one. Your mention of age reminds me of Australian actor Craig MacLachlan who was a surfer in a soap series but has recently welcomed wrinkles and an older look to take a lead role in a mystery series, The Doctor Blake Mysteries – http://tv.uk.msn.com/news/mclachlan-worked-at-being-haggard

  26. It’s a great thing to be able to talk about things that are personal and affecting you, if for no other reason than to get it out in the open and be able to deal with it. I’ve gone through bouts of depression myself, so I too know how it can be a slippery slope to climb, but you appear to be handling it very well! I just started watching Tabletop recently, but am already hooked on it. I think we need more tabletop games to encourage actual human interaction, rather than just chatting on screens or through servers – it’s becoming a lost art if something isn’t done about it. Bravo to you, good sir.

  27. Depression … just sucks. I confess I’ve seen people with a lot worse than I have, and am really glad I have a relatively minor case. I tend to bull my way through with a lot of automating things (Life is so much easier if the bills got paid while I was depressed rather than coming out to a *really* depressing state of affairs) and repeating “This too shall pass” a lot.

    Also, reasonably sure it’s impossible to stay depressed while listening to “The Blanks” singing the theme to “Underdog”, but I’m not sure that has been through trials, if only because of the difficulty in setting up the control group.

    Okay, actually had nothing useful to say, but I appreciated (started to type ‘enjoyed’ and went “Really Jonnan? Mmmmm nothing like hearing that acclaimed talent Wil Wheaton has thoughts about life sucking to perk you up? Mmmm – brain chemistry enabled misery!) the post.

    Hope Cognitive Therapy kills the monster for you.

  28. I know the point of this isn’t for the sympathy vote or to get people to tell you that you’re awesome (although, you kinda are by the way). It’s just nice to see someone who’s open and honest about depression. It’s so commonly misunderstood. I have anxiety (another commonly misunderstood problem) and like you, can be calm and rational about it, even on some bad days. It makes it hard for people to understand and can have physical effects that people think are weird or whatever.

    Anyway, the point is, I sort of understand where you’re coming from (not going to claim that I completely get it seeing as everyone’s journey is personal and unique). I hope you find a happy wave soon! :)

  29. Right there with you, man. No matter what cool things happen, or what I manage to accomplish, that monkey is always right there flinging poo. All we can do is look at what we’ve done honestly, approach every day the best we can, and keep dodging the mental monkey turds. You’re an inspiration, man. Thanks for everything.

  30. Dear Wil, I honestly never realized how close in age we were. After seeing you on “The Guild” and a few episodes of “Leverage”, I’m surprised screen work not coming your way. Perhaps you should try for stage? Just a thought.

    I also wrestle with depression, as I find it hard to hold a job in Corporate America, where faster is better and quality is accidental, which of course rubs my sense of standards totally raw, so I certainly emphasize with your sense of ‘high expectations’. It sometimes causes me social issues as folks see me as a high strung perfectionist.

    My secret to dealing with depression is this: When you wake up in the morning, you remind yourself of the person sleeping next to you and realize they wouldn’t be there if there wasn’t something wonderful about you. You have a home, you have family, there really isn’t anything else you need except to be your best and open minded. Be voracious in reading and learning. If reading isn’t your thing, just take the first topic that comes to mind and surf YOUTUBE. I cannot believe the amount of science that has already become possible to create. Look up “Gauss Guns” if you don’t believe me!

  31. I never knew about this show “TableTop” of yours, but then again I don’t watch tv. My wife and I decided its cheaper to cruise Netflix and Hulu for our screen vices. When my friends and my wife aren’t gaming On-line, we’re slinging dice on board games or hosting a Role-Playing session. Our latest new thing is the Pathfinder Rpg. If you happen to live in the eastern PA area, we’d be more then happy to have a chair open for you.In closing, I am laughing because my wife is complaining I’m taking too long in making this post. I replied “I’m posting to Wil Wheaton. I don’t want to come across sounding like an idiot.” Probably too late, but oh well. She says I should add that as well, so there you go! Take care, Wil. It was a pleasure growing up with you.

  32. Hi Will, I’ve never had depression but I am what Barbara Sher refers to as a “scanner”, or a person who starts many things and sets most of those half completed projects aside to start new things. I am very grateful for Barbara’s interpretation of this process, and of her conviction that no one needs to improve themselves or change their mood in order to accomplish great things. (She wasn’t referring to medical depression here and would never interfere in what you and your doctor are working on.) She reminds us that the big and time consuming things that we have accomplished in life such as getting a degree, holding down a job for more than a few months, raising kids, etc… we did in whatever mood we happened to wake up in day by day. She has several public television videos available and if you decide to watch the one about scanners, “Refuse to Choose”, I’d suggest watching “Creating Your Second Life After 40″ first so you’ll understand some of her references. “Refuse to Choose” was recorded at WMHT in Albany, NY and I was in the live audience for that one. Best wishes, Tricia

  33. Mr. Wheaton,

    Please check your email files as I sent a link that I believe will help your situation.

    Have a great day!

  34. I teach music for a living.

    I also happen to be almost completely deaf.

    I learned to play the guitar by literally biting the upper bout of my guitars body so that I could hear the instrument through bone conduction.

    I get students ranging in age from seven to seventy and just about everybody goes through a period where they hit this physical and emotional wall where, for a time, they hate music, their instruments and themselves. It’s always harrowing and it always gives me a headache, and I always tell them the same thing, “This is where you either give up or fight through and become and artist.”

    Some give up and some fight through.

    I love it when, a few years down the road, I get recordings from an old fighter’s students.

  35. I’d like to add my voice to those who have already thanked you, Will. I didn’t get into games through you. I started way back with Ogre/GEV, Car Wars and other games in the 80s. However, you are part of a very vocal and positive group of people making noise about board gaming.

    What you have inspired me to do is start my business. We are looking at opening up a gaming centre/coffee shop geared toward families playing together. More specifically we are targeting home educators and playing up the positive aspects of gaming. We home school our children and feel very strongly it.

    So once again, thanks for being a positive influence on people’s lives. Despite depression you have become a radiator and not a drain.

  36. Thank you. As someone who also has struggled with anxiety and depression for many years, and who is also very aware of what is going on, yet often unable to stop it, I appreciate your voice. So so much. And now, as a mother, who has a child with mental illness, I face a whole separate struggle, but I greatly appreciate your openness on the subject, as it means my daughter may have an easier and more open and accepting road.

  37. My friend sent this to me as I am going through a very tough time with my depression and cant seem to lift myself up even a little bit and all my efforts to do so seem futile! Ive read a few of your posts and although everyone has different experiences yours seem to resonate and match up with mine and hearing about how you get through it is helping me too – I respect your honesty as well it makes me realise that it is ok to admit that I am struggling

  38. Wil, thanks for speaking out so honestly about something so many people struggle with in secret. And thanks for making Table Top — my family watched many episodes over Christmas, when we weren’t playing games we’d been introduced to by the show. My son calls depression “The Internal Bully.” I hope cognitive therapy along with the new meds help you kick its ass. BTW, those casting directors obviously didn’t see you in Criminal Minds — genuinely terrifying!

  39. Just read this, as I’m sitting here contemplating all of the things that I’m currently failing to accomplish (TV writer) and it helped. Reminding me to take pride and find motivation in the things I have done. Thanks for this.

  40. You are such a wonderful caring fellow. I like that you take the time with fans. And love seeing you on screen, we just watched a Leverage episode with you in it :). <3

  41. I feel like I am being “that person” by commenting with a “but you need to try this!”, but my doctor started me on a new medication a couple of weeks ago for an autoimmune disorder, and it has done WONDERS for my depression and brain fog – I’ve seen bits of myself that I haven’t seen in years, plus this is my first winter off of all anti-depressants and I am doing ok. It’s called Low Dose Naltrexone – at the full dose, Naltrexone is a medication they give to opiate addicts to curb the euphoria of opiates. At tiny doses, it lets the body heal and can also really help depression and anxiety. Not all doctors prescribe it, but I feel so lucky that my doctor mentioned it. It’s freaking life changing. It still falls into the “crunchy dirty hippy” level of treatment, and it’s not completely accepted by all doctors yet, but it’s been used since 1985 with great results.

  42. Will, whenever I get into a funk (not often but sometimes), I do a little “Its a Wonderful Life” scenario in my mind. Its okay to occasionally remind ourselves of all of the good we’ve done in the world, the people we’ve helped or influenced, and the fact that it wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been you. You’re a good man, Will Wheaton. And I suspect that you probably do rock a suit. 😛

  43. Dear Wil,
    Thanks very much for your post and sharing your thoughts and innermost feelings on depression. I saw myself in so much of what you said, and it makes me feel less alone to know there are other people out there struggling with the same self-doubt and fighting off that lying, persistent bully known as depression. I have spent a lifetime fighting that bully, pushing myself beyond the confines it tries to bind me in. I’m trying to build a copywriting business and get my name out there so I can move to Europe, but depression keeps telling me I’m not going to make it, and I keep fighting back. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t. It’s an ongoing struggle. Anyway, I’m so glad to have found your blog. Oh, and I’m also pleased that you and Sheldon are no longer arch enemies. 😉 Hugs to you and your family.

  44. One of hundreds replying. You’ve done so much for people. You are an amazing person and it’s not because of your art, it’s the soul from which that art originates. I value you, not because of your finished products, but for your work, which seems to me to be true. Hang I there, Mr. Wheaton. Depression lies. Your heart is so good.



  45. for me, it’s always good to recognize where you are.

    Athletes can’t spend every waking hour doing sports- they have to rest, practice, take breaks, study new things… and sometimes the world just hands them some situation in which they cannot perform. The flu, family crisis, etc.

    As creative types, the same pattern applies, and I think it’s good to recognize when you are on the bench, or worn out from ten straight games, and give yourself a break.

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