A question from my Tumblr ask thingy:
I was just wondering, how did you feel when your doctor suggested going on anti-depressants? My therapist of several months suggested it to me today and while logically I know it’s probably a good idea, I can’t help but feel like I’m broken, you know? Like, I’m worse than I thought I was. Did you feel like this or know anyone who felt something similar?
First of all, Depression Lies. It tells you that you’re weak and unworthy and terrible and that you’re never going to be able to get out from under it.
Depression lies like that because it wants to protect itself and keep on controlling your life.
Depression is a dick, and I want to encourage you to listen to your therapist and let him or her help you.
Now I want you to imagine that you have a fever, and your whole body hurts, and you’ve been coughing up all sorts of awful gunk for days. You’re miserable, so you go to the doctor.
The doctor says, “oh, you have this terrible infection in your body, so I’m going to give you some medicine to help your body get better, and some other medicine to help you not suffer while your body works on that.”
Imagine that you then say, “I don’t want to do that, because I feel sort of broken if I take those medications. I feel like I’m weak or something, and if I take those medications that you know will help me feel better, I’m admitting that my body needs some help so I can stop suffering. I think I’ll keep on suffering and hope it gets better.”
Or you go to your doctor because you’ve been feeling crummy and she runs some tests and she says, “Well, it turns out that you have diabetes, but you’re in luck! You can take some medicine, and it’ll treat it. You’ll probably have to take it for a long time, maybe even your whole life, but you’ll get well and feel better!”
Do you say, “No, I think I’ll just deal with it,” and continue suffering?
Of course not! You would treat any illness with medication if you could, and you’d put a cast on a broken leg and walk with crutches if you needed to, because walking on a broken leg really really really hurts, and you don’t need to suffer through that pain!
Mental illness is exactly the same as a physical illness. Your body has something that’s out of whack – in our case, it’s how our brains handle neurochemicals and stuff – and there’s medication that can help us help ourselves feel better.
You’re not broken, and you’re not weak, and if you’re now thinking that you’re worse than you thought you were? Well, that’s really awesome, because it means that you recognize that your brain needs some help to get healthy, and your doctor is there to help you do that.
It takes courage to take the chance on medication, and the first one you try may not work, because brains are all different and incredibly complicated, but something will work, and you will feel better, and you will be so glad that you took the step to take care of yourself.
Please check in with me in a month or so, and let me know how you’re doing.
I answer a lot of questions about living with mental illness on my Tumblr thing, if you want to go take a look.
And please, remember, if you live with mental illness like I do: you are ok.
Post script: It’s been about 24 hours since I published this, and there are a lot of comments here, a lot of people sharing their own experiences and stories. That’s wonderful. Something that has come up a lot, which I know but failed to write here originally, is that medication for mental illness isn’t a magic wand. We live in a society that too frequently says, “here, take this pill” instead of “let’s look at what’s going on, and see how you can be helped, including but not limited to taking medication.” For me, personally, a combination of ongoing talk therapy plus medication gave me my life back. That may be different for you or someone you know. Brains are complicated, as I said, and what works for one person may not work for another. What works for you now may not be as effective at some point in the future. My goal in writing this post yesterday was to dispel the myth that says mental illness = weakness, because I believe that myth is demonstrably harmful to countless people. There are lots of ways to get help for Depression and Anxiety, and I hope to encourage anyone who is suffering to please seek help, because you don’t have to suffer. The comparison I made between physical illness and mental illness is one way I try to do that.
191 thoughts on “You’re not broken, and you’re not weak. Depression lies because Depression is a dick.”
My problem Wil is that I don’t have one anymore
I always explain it like this: If I had one leg shorter than the other, would you tell me to, “deal with it,” or would you encourage me to get the shoes which make my legs the same length? Mental Health is the same thing… It’s about quality of life, not a, “pill to fix it.” Meds are to help slow/improve/increase (depending) my brain so my quality of life is better.
That is brilliant and insightful, Wil. I often describe the trifecta (depression, anxiety, and bipolar) as dating three women at the same time….and all three of them are bat shit crazy. Medications are like the police, sitting on your doorstep, enforcing a restraining order. The girlfriends may try to come back to haunt you, but the police will hopefully find them hiding in the bushes and tell them to go away. That may be a clumsy metaphor, but that’s how it feels for me.
If taking medication will save my life, I will take it. As it happens, medication DID save my life. I saved my life by choosing medication offered, even demanding it. I have been on medication for 15 years. People tell me “that’s too long…”. Sorty… 30 years merely existing (and sometimes not) WITHOUT medication was too long. I don’t care if I have to be on it for the rest of my life. I would have died 15 years ago without it.
You do what you need to live.
Wil, Thanks I needed to hear this today! -Maika
Taking Wellbutrin to fix my brain chemistry isn’t any different from a diabetic taking insulin to fix blood sugar.
You are a very kind person and I appreciate you.
Sometimes medication really does help people. But there is too much emphasis on medication.
Just because something is based on chemistry doesn’t mean medication automatically has to be the solution. It’s not just the study I linked to that proves that talk therapy itself changes brain chemistry, study after study reveals that practically everything has a physical effect on the brain.
And we’ve been using methods like talking since as long as our species has had language, so there’s good reason to expect that talk therapy has less side effects. Studies also seem to indicate that on average people become depressed again faster after quitting medication than when they discontinue talk therapy.
I’m not saying that nobody should take medication. In fact one study showed that with brain scans they could predict whether a person would do better with talk therapy or with medication, so medication really does work better for some people. I am just pointing out that there is a heavy bias towards relying on medication when sometimes other treatments may work better.
Final note, I agree with the central message here. People should not be stigmatized for seeking treatment, whether that treatment is medication or talking to a therapist or both.
Thank you. I have read and reread this I watched your video on urok and it brought me to tears… So, Thank you.
Yep! Back at ya Wil!. I have depression and I fight it everyday. I am lucky to have a nurse practitioner aka (my psycho nurse), that has helped me and helped my manage my depression. I have had ups and downs but I am still here. I don’t let my depression define me. It’s not me, it’s just a medical condition that I can control with help.
P.S. I say psycho nurse as a joke we have together. She is the opposite of nurse Ratchet.
Shallow, my major depression is not like that, I only look at the facts, and the facts are that I don’t have the strength to help myself, and also that the doctors (multiple) have told me they don’t know what to do.
I wish I had known about all these celebrities who suffered mental illnesses like mine when I was struggling with it before I got treatment. Especially ones that are pretty close to my own age (Jared Padalecki and you, Mr. Wheaton). It’s not that I need a famous spokesperson, just that it helps to know that people from all walks of life can be fighting the same battles as I am. I wish more people were outspoken about their illnesses, because, as social primates, being able to bond with others that are similar to ourselves is quintessential for survival.
I’ve gotten close to giving in, but I have a strong will and always find something to cling to. However, dealing with a depressed spouse that self medicates and blames everything on you then turns around and professes total love; it makes you question everything.
Sarah, it took both my husband and I going to talk therapy separately AND both taking medication to save my marriage. We each thought the other was more the problem. In therapy we both unlearned some bad habits from growing up in families with unhealthy addiction dynamics.
My husband reads your blog, but somehow the post ended up on my Facebook feed tonight. Our daughter, now 15, is on the Autism spectrum and has several mental conditions including a mood disorder which we are hoping is depression only, for her sake. She has been close to suicidal more than once. As you wrote, we told her taking her meds, and she is on 8-10 per day, is like treating for any other condition like my migraines or her asthma. We are hoping by instilling this information now and getting her to understand that when she feels good the meds are doing their job it will keep her from stopping them when she leaves home like many college kids do because Mom and Dad aren’t there anymore. She has been on a med of some kind since she was 7. Thank you for being a voice for the community.
We’re on the other end of that journey with a kiddo on depression and anxiety meds on the Spectrum. Sending you thoughts of strength, Momma. You’re not alone either.
SMART.NOW I WISH ALL YOU WISE THINKERS WOULD WRAP YOUR MINDS ON THIS.. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN CHRONIC PAIN ALWAYS AT A 10 LEVEL MEANING IT IS ALWAYS LIKE BEING JUST INJURED. YOU EAT PAIN, YOU SLEEP PAIN, EVERY WAKING MOMENT YOUR HEAD BUZZES PAIN. WHEN YOU DO FINALLY COLLAPSE FROM NOT BEING ABLE TO SLEEP YOUR SCREAMS OF PAIN WAKE YOU UP. YOU CAN GO THROUGH EVERY PROGRAM THERE IS. BEING IN PAIN 24/7 MAKES YOU DEPRESSED, BUT YOU DON’T KNOW IT. YOU FEEL LIKE SHIT ALL THE TIME SO IF YOU GET SICK YOU DO NOT KNOW YOU ARE SICK. THE WORLD EXPECTS YOU TO SMILE. IF YOU ASK FOR DRUGS TO HAVE SOME COMFORT IN YOUR LIFE EVERYBODY SCREAMS ADDICT. THERE ARE DOCTORS HOWEVER THAT BELIEVE IN MERCY. THEY GIVE US DRUGS. I HAVE BEEN LIVING IN PAIN FOR OVER THIRTY-SIX YEARS. I HAVE BEEN ON DRUGS FOR TWENTY. I HAVE A LIFE. I AM FIGHTING FOR THOSE WHO NEED ONE TOO. SPREAD THE WORD. AND PLACE WIL’S WORDS IN YOUR MIND. IT IS THE SAME FOR US. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD AND HELP THOSE WHO NEEDS PAIN MEDS. IT IS NO DIFFERENT TREATING PAIN THAN ANY OTHER CHRONIC PROBLEM. THE RIGHT DRUG IN THE RIGHT AMOUNT GIVES SOMEONE A LIFE. THERE ARE WAYS TO HELP PAIN SUFFERS. THE ARMY PUT THROUGH THEM ALL AND IT WAS THE ARMY WHO MADE IT POSSIBLE TO BE WHERE I AM TODAY. THEY CAN TELL WHEN A PERSON REALLY NEEDS PAIN MEDS SO YOU WILL NOT BE MAKING ADDICTS. YOU WILL BE SAVING LIVES. I LIVE IN A STATE WHERE THEY WOULD RATHER KILL A PERSON THAN HELP THEM LIVE. WE HAVE A SUICIDE ASSIST LAW. SOCIETY NEEDS TO HELP CHANGE THE THOUGHT ON PAIN MEDS. FOR THOSE WHO NEED THEM FOR PAIN. PLEASE HELP.
For depression or pain relief, some people get relief from low carb, moderate protein, high fat diets. I am trying to follow the wheat belly diet. Here is one example http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/10/no-grain-no-pain/ Dr. Davis recommends no grains, no dairy (maybe bacteria processed cheese), low carb.
I have started getting people to remember a bad experience or when their adrenaline really kicked in the getting them to remember how long it took for them to calm down out of it, I’ve found that friends are understanding the depressive cycle off feeling broken from it which has really helped us all. After more than 10years I’m back on medication for that extra help and whilst I hate it (as I feel weak for going back on them after so long) even though I know its for the best not just for me but for my family especially my young daughter. Thank you for being open and hionest and making people feel like they are not so alone in the suffering which can mean so much to others who have few others around.
A year ago I hanged myself, survived (with brain damage), and ended up incarcerated in an asylum. Barely any days have gone by since then when the illness isn’t still trying to make me wish I hadn’t failed.
But it hasn’t yet taken away my capacity to read words like these without gratitude.
The brain is an organ, subject to disease and malfunction like any other. Muscles tear, joints give out, pancreases stop making insulin, and no one disputes this. Why do we treat things like happiness and willpower, which are brain functions, as if they’re limitless resources?
Part of our problem is mind/brain duality. People think of the brain as a middleman rather than the actual source of their minds, so they think that middleman can be cut out if he’s not doing his job. But that just ain’t so.
Very well put!
1996 was a turning point for me. Some things at home had driven me to the point of seriously considering leaving my husband of 25 years; taking the pets and moving in with my brother and sister-in-law temporarily until I could get re-established. Just to make sure this was a good decision, I saw a psychotherapist in the hope she would give me the name of a good lawyer! Instead, she listened while I spilled out my guts about my past and life in general; asked me things like “What’s your favourite movie?” in the middle of a serious discussion, making me wonder “Does she know what she’s doing?” (she did); and then halted me after taking many notes and circling various points on her paper. She said I was suffering from a classic case of clinical depression and had been since childhood. It seems inherent on both my mother’s and father’s side of the family and my two brothers have sought some professional help over the years. For me, it was a big “Hallelujah!” as I could now understand why I could swing through feelings of giddiness, sadness, fear, rage, and self loathing in a day; always trying to have things as perfect as possible, thinking that my roller coaster of a life would settle down and let me relax; and, most important, let me “forgive” myself for not being the person I always thought I should be. No one is perfect and I am actually much more fun and likeable just being myself, flaws and all. Being on medication for the rest of my days is not a big deal. It’s just two tablets a day to give me a much more balanced perspective on life. It doesn’t get rid of your problems but your frame of mind is much better able to cope and think clearly to sort them out. I truly think that even people who don’t think they need some type of psychiatric care should visit a therapist or a good listener once in a while just to dump some of the mental garbage they have been carrying around with them for a while. It feels like a spring clean-up for the mind!
I agree with this 100 percent agree with this. But I also wanted to share that research has shown that cardio excercise is AS EFFECTIVE as medication for depression. (Of course sometimes you need the medication to have enough energy to do any excercise!). So I would encourage anyone struggling with depression to encorporate some vigorous cardio into thier daily routine.
Awesome words Wil. Thanks for being so candid about your struggle, it’s an encouragement for the rest of us going through the same fight.
I suffer depression and anxiety. Have sever panic attacks. Yes, the medication helps, when I can afford it. But it also mixes with my heart , liver and bp meds causing major fatigue. And the options for treatment, for all of my issues (medical and mental), to keep this from happening are very minimal. I live in a never ending cycle. The antidepressants and anti anxiety meds help their intended problems and the main problem is my failing physical health, since the age of 24. I just wish that one day I can wake up and be normal. But I fight on. I am not weak, I am strong and if by taking the meds makes me weak, then I will be weak. Because my weakness is me being strong for way too long!
I suggest eliminating wheat, grains, and carbs from your diet. Helps with depression and many medical problems. http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/10/no-grain-no-pain/
I love you. That is all.
The analogy is apt; however, it is important to understand that the proof that some antidepressants prescribed by knowledgeable physicians actually work much better than placebo is sketchy, especially when one eliminates studies by biased parties (the pharma industry) from the pool. The proof for anti inflammatories and most diabetes meds is much better. Just like many type 2 diabetes cases can be managed by lifestyle changes, there is a lot of data that point to exercise, being in nature, good diet, relaxation, and meditation being just as good, if not better, than a lot of solutions that the pharma industry offers. Just because it is a valid disorder that we all need to treat seriously, doesn’t mean the answer to depression is always pills. The main thing that we all need to remember is that our mind is determined by our physical brain and vice versa. And the brain is an organ like any other. Solutions to fixing problems in it are as complex as those for fixing any other problem in our bodies.
Will, that was beautifully written & explained so well! Thank you for being so candid & helping to take the stigma away from depression.
For years, I’ve felt the same way about taking meds to help with anxiety attacks and depression. Until finally, I came to the same conclusions that you so very aptly describe herein. My thoughts were less candid and well formed but same effect. Thank you very much.
Thanks for pointing this person in the right direction. Depression doesn’t mean you’re broken, but it will sure try to convince you that you are.
Thank you for writing this. I work in Disability management and myself suffer from bipolar disorder. I tell my clients the same thing; you wouldn’t feel bad about taking cholesterol medicine or insulin for diabetes- don’t feel like mental illness is a bad thing. The more we are open and honest about it, the less we are going to feel shunned or broken about it.
Wil Wheaton! Thanks so much for raising awareness about this. People are getting help because of you.
This blog has helped me learn to lie with family members battling depression. So, Thank You Wil Wheaton, Thank you!
Thank you. I really needed something like this today. I suffer from depression due to ptsd, and it is very easy to forget that you are not alone.
I’ve just got to say “Thank you” for being so open about your experience with depression. Years ago, my wife forced me to see our doctor and I got the help that I truly needed. It is a wonderful thing that you are doing this and I have to say…
“I <3 Wil”
I really needed this. Through a variety of factors, I have ended up with only three friends in my town. All three have families and not much time to spend hanging out. I have never had great self-esteem or had really any social skills. I am very shy and usually pretty awkward. I also have battled depression and more of the alphabet of mental illness issues.
Yesterday, I got so lonely and distraught with low self-esteem that I started crying at my desk at work. Previously both my therapist and my older sister have encouraged me to go to the local game store to start playing games. This is going to sound awful. I love social games on tabletop, but I have only really gotten to play a handful of times. I know about a fair number of games solely from watching other people play on Tabletop and other YouTube programming. It was my sister who suggested I try DnD at the game store. I said that I was too old (36) to start learning, no one would have patience with me, and I would be awkward and humiliated.
But sitting at my desk, I decided that I would never be happy if I didn’t do something about it. Then, I spent 20 minutes outside the game store in my car trying to get the nerve to go in. Finally, I made it in. It turns out that last night was the first night for a new DnD group. We are going to be pretty small to start. The DM has tons of experience, but the other two players are older than me and complete DnD newbies. We spent four hours making our characters last night. It wouldn’t have taken so long if we hadn’t kept distracting each other with obscure film references and discussions of Tandy 1000 computers. Yeah, that’s pretty awesome.
So, that worked out. 🙂
Somedays it’s about kicking depression to the curb. Yes, I am scared, hurting, and want to sleep for hours. I will never get better in bed with the covers pulled over my head. Even if I don’t think I can do it or I am hearing the lies of depression and low self-esteem, I have to try. And every Wednesday, I get to be a gnome wizard at the end of day.
I too love Tabletop games, especially DnD, but can’t find a local group who meets at times that work for me. I suffer from severe chronic pain and bipolar disorder so I have almost isolated myself in my home talking to the friends I found online. I really need that social interaction in person because when I do I feel 9000% better about myself afterward. I have attended the Supernatural Convention in the L.A.. area for the past 3 years and love the friends I have made. Last year my pain was so great that I didn’t think I’d survive the weekend, but people literally bent over backwards to help me.
I will continue to search for a Tabletop group in my area so that I can have social interactions throughout the year rather than just one long weekend.
I would not be here if not for my medications. I survived multiple suicide attempts. I believe I failed so that I can help others by telling my story.
Thank you, Wil, for telling yours.
Thank you for sharing. It is really important.
My son suffered from it, and took his life. When I had to tell his grandmother, she asked sadly, ‘Why didn’t he call someone?’
If you are depressed…call someone, dammit! And don’t pussyfoot around, ‘Oh…I just wanted to hear how you are doing?’ No…straight up: ‘I feel like shit and need to know someone cares.’
And if you have friends that you have not heard from, make it a point, once a week, to reach out to touch base with those you love.
Thank you for this post. I went on an antidepressant for PPD/PPA and had amazing results. I was met with stigma and ultimately stopped telling people in my life about it. I eat well, exercise etc – do all of those things you try to do to fight depression but sometimes your brain doesn’t produce enough serotonin etc (especially after having a baby when your hormones are so off).
Be gentle on yourself. Treat yourself like a friend that you care for. It’s so hard to not let the negative self talk take over. <3
Thanks Will! A good reminder.
I’ve been dealing with bipolar disorder and major depression for most of my 60 years. I quit taking my prescribed meds 6 years ago and i’m doing much better. I am a chronic pain patient and I’ve found that natural herbs and a proper nutritional intake works much better for me than meds. I’ve also found that having loving relationships is imperative to most people. I had lost pretty much everyone that mattered to me, and that is enough to send anyone into depression. I use music and color therapy also and they both help.
ps…turn off the news and network television…it’s electronic rat poison…
This seems like a glib response on the face of it, but I’m going to agree. We are inundated with messages and influences which are profoundly at war with a healthy mental outlook.
Taking medication while continuing to eat poorly, remain sedentary, and allowing oneself to be alienated, shamed, and berated by an abusive society is not a total solution to depression.
I went on meds for depression and anxiety about 2 and a half-ish years ago because what I read from Wil and Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) finally clicked in my brain and I realized I needed help. I was having daily, multiple panic attacks and Depression was Lying to me and telling me that no one cared about me. I slept in until mid-afternoon and hardly ever left the apartment. It put a strain on my relationship too.
One day after reading something Wil wrote on depression and anxiety and talking things over with my best friend, I resolved to go get help. The doctor listened to me describe my situation, suggested medications and I agreed to give them a go. Apart from some mild side affects at first, I finally could get up and go places again. I got a job, I was smiling and laughing more and I could go to the stores and cafes that I loved. Since then, I’ve been doing really well and check in with the doctor every three or so months once I need my prescription refilled to make sure that I’m okay. And I know I’m not alone either; I have my partner, my best friend, my oldest brother (who also suffers from anxiety and depression), and my mom (who suffers from anxiety) to talk to.
So, thank you Wil, for helping me to finally realize that I needed help.
Bravo! Yes and as other people have said here – “if you had diabetes, you would take insulin wouldn’t you?!!!”
As someone who has been on Anti-Depressants for almost 40+ years and had to deal with the stigma, you gotta do what you gotta do. I have also learned my triggers to getting depressed when on reduced meds and I have really changed the way I eat (more good omega oils and less corn oils); more sleep; less stress… and you too can be happy and “normal” if being a weird punster geek is normal.
Allow me to HIGHLY recommend the new Louis CK series Horace and Pete, Wil and other peeps.
Steve Buscemi’s character is fascinating because, of course, Steve Buscemi, but also he has a mental illness that requires medication and the show really explores the process he wrestles with. And in recent episodes, Buscemi is possibly looking to date a woman with Tourette’s. It’s CK, so depression is always center stage, but overall it’s a really great, thoughtful, and funny look at mental illnesses, the human condition, tradition, and family.
Oh Wil… The problem is, we’re all a bit cracked to begin with. It all depends on how we handle it. We can put a piece of tape on it a hope it holds while we run around through life like ass holes or we can grab it by the neck and give it a good shake. Then find someone to help us fix it correctly the first time.. People are always looking for someone or something to make them happy… that’s not how it works. We have to make ourselves happy. You decide for yourself what it is you want out of life then you work to achieve it. That’s all there is to it. And yes sometimes we get pushed off track a bit. Those are the times we work a little harder or we find help to get us back where we need to be. I think one of the biggest problems these days is people want someone to hand happiness to them. They think they need another person to “complete ” them. It’s nice to have someone to share our life with but we don’t need anyone to “complete “. We are not broken…. Just a little off center.
Take care… hope you find your center….
Needed to hear this message yesterday and today. Thank you, Wil!
I’ve been meaning to let you (Wil) know this for a while, and this post prompted me to actually follow through. My story isn’t really different from those of others (many of whom have already commented here), but I want you to know that you, and your public discussions of mental illness and your own experiences have and do make a difference.
I’m 39, and I’ve been living with (and often struggling with) depression and anxiety since I was 13. I have worked with a number of therapists over the years, and I am incredibly grateful for the skills I’ve learned over the years (and will likely continue to learn in the future). I have always resisted adding medication into my treatment/coping plan, however.
The irony of this is that I am a psychology professor (albeit a researcher rather than a clinician), and I talk with students all the time about the need to destigmatize mental illness and treatments for these illnesses.
The past 2 years have been particularly challenging for me, and I finally opted to integrate medication into my life. It’s taken a while to find the right medication and dose, but it’s been life changing for me. I actually didn’t realize how long it had been since I’d been “me”.
You aren’t the only reason that I made this choice, but you were definitely a big part of it. Thank you for being so open. I know vulnerability is hard, but I am very thankful for it.
I am 46 years old and have lived with both depression and PTSD for over 25 years. In my 20s I went to see a therapist but she was absolutely horrible and ended up having to report her to the state board. I saw a few more that were just as bad and finally my last therapist who I got fired. I think there is a reason that therapist is sometimes spelled out as THE RAPIST!!! Each time I felt even worse about myself. They tried to make me think that I was a horrible person and that my disorders were my fault and not caused by those who had abused me emotionally and physically. Leaving therapy was the best thing I did and I should never have gone. They tried to beat me down by attacking my self-esteem in an attempt to brainwash me with a load of bull. The people I saw were basically incompetent both as therapists (maybe competent rapists lol) and as human beings. People should go to a therapist and get further abused. I still suffer to this day from the cruel and mean-spirited remarks and behavior from my therapy. With this said, I am glad that therapy has worked for you and hope your depression is no more! I am inspired by you and your story and wish you the best in love and life. Hugs
“My goal in writing this post yesterday was to dispel the myth that says mental illness = weakness,.” Yup. I lost my ex-husband to depression a year ago. The depression had ended our marriage and it finally ended his life. I am positive that when he made that choice he believed he was doing the best possible thing for me and the kids. I firmly believe it took great strength on his part…it’s just that depression was lying to him.
Hi Wil, thanks for writing this one. I’m a doddering boomer who just happens to have had a 30+year writing career (fiction, including the novelizations of several STAR TREK movies). I grew up with a lot of shame, because my two sisters were so desperately mentally ill and unable to get the proper help in the Before Time, and we lost them both to suicide. I’ve been ashamed of the fact that I suffer from severe cyclical depression and, if I indulge in speedy drugs that cause insomnia for a long enough period, I can go into a manic episode. (It’s happened twice, 30 years apart.) The degree of suffering I’ve experienced because I’ve been ASHAMED to have a mental disorder is pretty much equal (well, not quite) to the degree of suffering I’ve felt during suicidal depressions. It’s made me feel that I have a dirty secret, and that others wouldn’t want to get close to me if they knew that I was “crazy,” even though I’m pretty darned sane and downright agreeable 99% of the time. I just want to thank you for being straightforward about suffering from depression. You’re helping to disperse the stigma surrounding mental disorders, and for me, there’s nothing more precious than feeling like I’m not a freak–I’m just like everyone else dealing with these issues. LLAP, dude!
I wanted to add what has been most effective for me in terms of treatment: talk therapy, cognitive therapy (THIS daily practice helps tremendously, and the positive effects are cumulative over time), nutrition (protein, veggies, no sugar or alcohol), REGULAR EXERCISE, regular social interaction (I tend to isolate) and no psychoactive drugs beyond what my psychiatrist has prescribed for me. I’m lucky; I have a damned fine, intelligent, compassionate shrink. For me, the solution is multi-faceted. Mind is not separate from body.
I know you don’t like drugs but… I think if you were to smoke a small amount of Indica with a friend and say watch a movie or something you may enjoy it. Just sayin…
Hahaha… Indica or sativa, cannabis makes me anxious and paranoid. Dammit! Just can’t catch a break… 🙂
And trust me, it took me five years of smoking weed to verify that yup, it makes me feel not-good. I tried, man!!
One of the best things about these posts is that it reminds me that I am not weak, I am ok, and I’m not alone. Thank you.
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