Monday, January 16, 2012

Here comes the downer...

This blog is called Brain Heal for two reasons.

The first is a reference to the nickname of a healing spell in World of Warcraft that doesn’t require a lot of thought to use. I was planning on posting a lot about WoW, so having a reference to it would be relevant.

Every picture of "depression" on the internet is of a
person in this pose.
The second is a reference to my own mental health, which is not always good. I was also planning to post about my experiences, my challenges, and the treatments that have worked for me. I put it off for a long time – in part because it’s kind of a downer for me to think about, as well as for anyone to read. I’d much rather be sarcastic about people on the internet – that lets me feel like I’m better than them.

But then I saw this video, and read the accompanying post. It’s focused on people in the skeptic/atheist communities, but the call for people who have struggled with mental illness to speak out and let others know that they aren’t alone is universal. It's the only way we can change the culture that believes that the only cure for depression is to "just get over it."

I'm still going to post more about what I've been through, but I want to get this out there while I'm stalling:

I have suffered from depression off and on for much of my childhood, and my entire adult life. I am on a drug regime that is keeping me functional. And it's time for me to start talking about it.

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  1. I have also suffered from depression for about 2 years now. My family has a history of clinical depression, and it is possible/likely that I will be on antidepressants for a long time to come.

    Kudos to you for having the courage to say this in a public space. It's a hard thing to do but also a very healthy thing.

  2. Thanks for speaking up, Xander.

    It took me a while to come to terms with the idea that I'm probably going to be on medication for the rest of my life. Before, I'd seen the antidepressants as a stopgap to keep me going until I used talking therapy methods to solve the underlying problems.

    And that's not how it's going to be. You can work on a problem like "I'm painfully shy around stenographers;" you can't work on a problem like "I'm exercising and eating right and sleeping 8 hours and I'm still SO TIRED ALL THE TIME" by identifying the negative thoughts and finding ways to answer them. So, there will be meds forever.

  3. *hug*

    Congrats, sir. It takes a lot of strength to talk about this.

    1. Thanks mate. :) As I said, it was your talk that finally pushed me from "I really ought to write about depression" to actually doing it, and I'm very grateful for that.

  4. A friend of mine told me about this site, where the author speaks openly about his experiences with depression.

    I notice a lot of simmilarities. I've had a lot of depressions since I was 14 years old, and right now I'm depressed again (27 years old).

    I went on constultations when I was 15, followed with some stays at a mental hospital.
    They tried a lot of different medication but like you told in a more recent post, they wear off.

    But after 12 years of almost nonstop treatment I'm not even close to the finishing line. I've been heavily bullied as a child and young adult. I've been abused when I was 13-14.
    So I have a lot of thraumatic experiences.
    I've been absent from work since june 2011.
    Right now I'm waiting for a phone call to know when I'll be able to return to a mental hopsital.

    It's really hard for me to survive real life. People just don't understand what a depression is. They tell me I should make a click, get a girlfriend, stop thinking about the past,...
    it's easily said.

    I can't forgive/forget/ignore/... what has happened to me in my youth. If I could it would be cool, but I'm a realist. There's too much anger still residing in me about what happened.

    Hope to read more,

    Gent, Belgium