No Right Answer: Living with Depression

Carl The Manicorn

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This is a great episode. I love you guys. I haven't watched an episode in a while, but good job.

I have depression as well. I have just reached a high point though. You know those. You feel good for a month, maybe longer, and then it all hits you at once for a long time. You guys took time out of your busy schedules of shenanigans to deliver a video with great meaning to a lot of people.

You gave the best advice to people: TALK ABOUT IT. Do it. It'll make you feel better. If that doesn't help, start writing about it. I did, it helped.

One of the best games I played last year dealt with all the problems I was having. Go and play Actual Sunlight. It is one of the best games (it's in beta though, but the story is amazing) dealing with this issue. I recommend this to people dealing with depression. Will O'Neil touches on thoughts of suicide, dealing with your depression, and coming to terms with it. I cried while playing it. That and The Walking Dead season 1 ending are the only games to make me do so (sue me).

Sometimes, it's nice to know that there are other people like you.

Free download for Actual Sunlight:
http://www.actualsunlight.com/

Thanks again guys. Great episode.
 

Eamar

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Agayek said:
There's a lot more people than I had expected dealing with depression here. It's... well, I'm not really sure. A thing, I guess?
One in four people is affected by a mental illness at some point in their lives, and depression is one of the more common ones, plus it's also a feature of several other illnesses (bipolar disorders being the most obvious).

This stuff is way more common than people think, which is why videos like this are important. People need to be made aware of this.
 

Mezahmay

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Wow. After watching the video and reading through the comments, I should feel rather blessed that I can still function through my chronic depression well enough as a college student. I'm sorry to say that I don't really, but it's comforting to know that there are others out there who know what it feels like, some even more so than myself.

I myself also have schizoid personality disorder, so it's very hard to talk seriously about depression in person when I just habitually put on my happy, normal personality to keep people from asking what's wrong and stuff. The internet lately has been very helpful in easing the feeling of deflating like an old balloon, and I can safely say I wouldn't be doing nearly as well as I am without my good ol' internet friends being there to help me out. It's very unfortunate that JewWario is no longer with us, but I for one am happy that we're having this serious topic discussion and letting each other know that it's okay to talk with friends about depression and that it's okay to seek help. Hope everyone has a good day. Peace.
 

marurder

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Great episode. I hope it takes hold on the community here. However there are always undesirable elements on the internet that take pleasure when some-one comes forward with a personal problem, and use this as an opportunity to attack for their own petty delights.
 

StriderShinryu

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Thanks for this video.

As someone who has been dealing with depression for quite some time now, I can certainly agree that it's not an easy thing to really explain. It's not, for me at least, a 100% thing. There are days when I'm perfectly "fine" and I don't even think about it, and then there are days when it's sort of all consuming and I can't think about anything else. This is largely what makes it difficult to really describe and for others to "get." It doesn't have to be this dark cloud hanging over your head every hour of every day. You're not the blatantly "depressed" freaky goth guy who mopes about wearing black all the time. It can easily come across as just "having a bad day" because there are times when a bad swing can be set off by things that either seem ultimately inconsequential or even completely immaterial like a bad memory or a bad dream. Yet, when on the inside, you know it's not just "having a bad day" and it's not just something you can just snap yourself out of by treating yourself to a bowl of ice cream.
 

theravensclaw

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Thank you for this. As someone who has had depression since she was 10 (Im 31 now) I find it empowering to hear people talk about their illness. More people need to do this. Sure sometimes you might get bad reactions but I know that in talking about my issues (I work in the health industry) it has not only given others hope (I was a suicidal shut in for several years and now work 2 jobs and can travel alone in strange places) but has let people open up about their issues. So thumbs up to everyone who gets the guts to talk about it. You help yourself but you might be helping others too.
 

Bbleds

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You made the most important points, and I hope anyone with the issue will watch if they are searching for help. I hope I can offer some help by expanding on the use of the medications that are generally prescribed to treat depression and related disorders. I work as a pharmacist and I see several people come through for these. First I would like to reiterate the most important point they mentioned. Talk to someone. Family and friends are important, but I would suggest a psychiatric professional. Simply meaning someone trained to do psych related disorder counseling, as a quick note generally psychologists can just counsel while psychiatrists are also physicians who can prescribe medicines. Now if you have a medication the most important thing I stress is make sure you are taking these as prescribed on the dot. It will take about 4-6 weeks for most of these to take full effect. In those first few weeks, studies generally report patients feeling worse during the time before full effect. A very important point you need to bring up to the one prescribing if not already addressed as there are shorter acting medicines that can help during that period. As far as side effects, there are several different classes of medicines each with their own side effect profile. Once again ask any healthcare professional involved with the medicine, and more importantly read about the medicines you are/may be taking. For what it is worth I will be open for anyone who has questions about these psych medicines, I assure my answers will be well informed and if it is something I don't know or can't find sound medical information, I will suggest the best type of healthcare professional for it.

EDIT: I re-read the post and just wanted to clarify that I suggest discussing with a professional in addition to your loved ones especially if you suspect your condition to be affecting your personal life.
 

Alar

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Dec 1, 2009
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I really can't believe he killed himself. That's just... I already knew he died, but suicide, really? He always seemed like such a happy, positive person. It's hard to believe someone living with depression could manage to do as much as he did.

I've said it before, but rest in piece, Justin. I wish your friends and family the best.
 

The Enquirer

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Thank you both for talking about this. Even though I'm not depressed, I have gone through a lot of rough stuff, and just talking helps. Even if it is just going out and doing something with other people. It gives you a distraction. My ex-girlfriend had given me a lot of crap for instead of just dealing with problems, going and playing video games (which is pretty ironic given all the issues she was having herself). She saw it as a mere distraction. And it is a distraction, but its also an escape from whatever is going on. You get to live in another world, be someone else and experience their problems, or joys, or whatever. Then when you come back to dealing with your own problems, you can look at it with more of a clear head. When we were breaking up, it was actually an extremely difficult process for me. I felt like I was going to throw up for hours. I played Portal for the first time and it gave me something else to think about so I wasn't so overwhelmed. There is a lot you can do to help with difficult situations, just at some point you need deal with them.
 

crimsonshrouds

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I too am depressed guys. I'm sitting here crying and i must say thank you for this video. I'm going to an appointment tomorrow. I never watch your show but i plan on watching you both from now on, thank you, just thank you!
 

sXeth

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One thing I'd share from my own experience is not to jump too fast at the medical diagnosis. If it doesn't fit you properly, go for second opinions or more detailed evaluations before getting stuck on meds. I got diagnosed and medicated for nearly three years before a severely bad reaction. Only to eventually come around to a new doctor and find out I had an austistic spectrum disorder, and my depression was significantly due to trying to force myself to act "normal" against it and failing.
 

Chris Pranger

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Zachary Amaranth said:
Chris, if you think Christian faith has stopped you from trying to kill yourself, that's fine, but it sounds like people who say they have prayed cancer away. I know you say that it's not a solution for everyone, but most suicides in the states are Christian. Pointing to Christianity as a resource here likely only serves to delay help (as your mom did by saying "pray."). Hell, it's one of the reasons I used to cut myself. This is something I'd rather not talk about normally, but if the video's intent is to start discussion, well, time to be frank. It's why I avoided help, avoided treatment, avoided talking to people about depression and other issues.

On that note, I doubt faith had anything to do with you not killing yourself. People often say that faith is the only reason they don't do X or Y, but when they leave their faith they find out they still don't do X or Y. I've been an atheist for the majority of my life now, and I'm yet to kill myself. Or kill anyone else, steal, cheat, whatever. I stopped self harma long time ago. This isn't to say post hoc, ergo propter hoc, but it was a contributing (specifically, aggravating) factor.

I don't say this to attack anyone's beliefs, but there are issues here at play that should be discussed.
I am happy that our video resonated with you as strongly as it did, and I also appreciate your open discussion. I would like to explain my remarks about my Christian faith a bit more though so as not to be confused or misunderstood.

In the video, I mentioned off-hand that part of what's helped me and ultimately kept me from going down a darker road is my faith in Jesus and His teachings, but I also tried to be careful to say that I wasn't suggesting it was the solution everyone should go to first or necessarily even at all for this particular issue. I actually tried not to make any sweeping solution statements at all if I could help it.

While I understand where you're coming from in regards to Christianity and faith, please understand that I gave a very short version of my faith here in this video. Explaining that aspect of my life would take much longer and wouldn't have fit well into this particular discussion. I purposefully withheld the majority of that back so as not to go on an unproductive tangent.

Needless to say, my reasoning for why my faith has been an anchor to keep my boat from drifting to darker waters (I've decided to go with a nautical analogy here) is another more personal matter that I'm not quite ready to share with The Escapist at large just yet. Maybe someday in the future, but for now, I wanted the focus on something different. I can assure you that nether I nor my family are of the belief that you can just "pray cancer away." We believe very strongly in modern medicine. Basically, I pray to God for strength, peace, and thanks, but not for magic cure-alls or quick-fixes. Again, I'm starting to travel down a more complicated road with this (now the analogy is on land again), so I'd better stop typing. :)
 

EightGaugeHippo

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Excellent episode guys, hit the nail on the head with the whole "depression is your identity" thing. That's how it felt, but on a more subconscious level. As soon as I realized that the problem was me and not some mysterious outside force, I was half way better already.
 

Strazdas

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May 28, 2011
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I have had depression some, heck, i guess i could call it long time ago now, that i managed to "get over" or "cure" or whatever term fits you better, what matters is that i no longer have it now. That being said iat first i thought this was totally unnecessary video. Yes, a person has died, people die every day, not going to make a video every time now are you guys.
But then i read the comments section, and understood why the video was well in order. so i tip my hats to you sirs, you knew your community and did what was appropriate. Well done.

P.S. i never realized just how many depressed people are on the escapist, this is truly an unique place.

Seth Carter said:
One thing I'd share from my own experience is not to jump too fast at the medical diagnosis. If it doesn't fit you properly, go for second opinions or more detailed evaluations before getting stuck on meds. I got diagnosed and medicated for nearly three years before a severely bad reaction. Only to eventually come around to a new doctor and find out I had an austistic spectrum disorder, and my depression was significantly due to trying to force myself to act "normal" against it and failing.
I never thought about it, but now that you say it it could be actually possible that this helped me without me even knowing it. I know its bad and shunned all around t self diagnose but sychological diagnostics are kinda poor thing in my country and the best i ever got from a doctor is "youll grow out of it", but i do believe i have what was used to be called aspergers syndrome, and realizing that and accepting that i am not like the others nor should i try to be seem to coincide with me getting out of depression.
 

TitanAura

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Thank you guys so much for doing this episode.

I also have a history with depression although interestingly I was one of those rare few who somehow didn't have it triggered until after I got out of high school because by some miracle High School was actually pretty chill for me. I seriously have no idea how it happened but I am someone who can definitely count their blessings. The long and short of it is that I come from a background of sexual abuse AND a biological link through my father's side to depression and suicidal tendencies (my dad's family history turned out to be pretty bloody when we started digging through it). Again, I have no idea how I remained mentally stable through high school. On the flip side, however, NOT confronting it for 20 years probably allowed a few things to rot in my brain during that time to the point that when memories of my sexual abuse resurfaced years later, I found out that I had repressed those memories so thoroughly that I had constructed an entirely fabricated version of events that made me believe that because I had gone to therapy, I had been "fixed." Obviously depression is not something you tighten a few loose bolts on and you're good to go for another 3000 miles.

When I learned I had rejected the therapy and refused to talk about what had happened, I was mortified. I had allowed it to fester and grow and when it was finally triggered by another emotionally traumatic moment in my life... let's just say the flood gates were opened and depression had free reign over my life for almost a year and a half where I was simply paralyzed into submission. Thankfully I had family and friends who helped me get professional help and medication which allowed me to normalize my situation and begin sorting through my emotional baggage. But as anyone who's suffered from depression can tell you, it is definitely an uphill battle on a very slippery slope and I myself have had relapses with the very real possibility of taking my own life but I'm still here and kicking so as long as I have two legs to stand on, I can kick my depression square in the nuts when it needs to be put in it's place!

For anyone wondering, I am no longer on medication because the side effects were becoming a little too difficult to manage (especially overwhelming drowsiness while at work) so I stopped taking them but after this past week I think I might actually get a refill and start using them again and see how I feel in a couple of weeks.
 

Zanderinfal

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It makes me happy that people are willing to make a good impact after what happened, you guys rule.

I've lived with issues myself. Depression, followed by anxiety, followed by anger issues, etc etc. Throughout my experience with it, I've heard alot of people saying alot of things about depression that are complete bullshit. For example; that people who seek suicide just want attention. That one really pisses me off because in the times of my life where I've attempted to hurt myself, it wasn't to get pity. I was taking my pent up emotions on myself - partly because of my anger and partly out of desperation to end the weight on my conscious.

There was a moment when I was talking to someone about things, and they said that I was going through had a reason to it and that life would naturally give something back later down the line. After some back and forth chatter I said that I didn't believe that to be true. People can have problems that never leave and sometimes people never recover from depression sadly. It isn't for any reason. She then replied by saying "But you have to believe there is something good coming don't you?" I had never thought about it before, and I never really intend to. I try to solve the problems I have at the time and not anticipate things, be it good OR bad. Whether that's for better or worse, I don't know. But I'm getting off topic...

Because I've felt that and experienced what it's like, I absolutely empathize with anyone who has to deal with anything like this. JewWario seemed like a very nice person and it's tragic he was going through what he was. I feel so sorry for his family and friends, it's so hard to lose someone in your life.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for making this video.
 

ExtraDebit

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I don't know if you and anybody is going to read this by the way escapist setup their comments but I really hope you do.

I was really depressed when I broke up with the love of my life but I also learn alot from it especially about people and about myself.
Most people will try to talk to you more but I figured most of them are just curious and don't really give a shit about you, they wanted to know that other people are more miserable than they are so they can feel less lonely of being depress.

But the best advice I got during the whole ordeal is by a friend, he just went through something similiar, he didn't asked for any details of my break up and just said "Try doing exercise espeically push ups, it really helps". With that, with out any long conversations, he help me more than anyone that talk to me about it for hours.

And it really did helped, exercising release endorphins in the body which makes you feel better and it also makes you look better and healthier. Two birds with one stone.

So if you are depressed, try doing exercise especially push ups.
 

Eamar

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Strazdas said:
P.S. i never realized just how many depressed people are on the escapist, this is truly an unique place.
It really isn't.

I've already said this in this thread, but 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health problem at some point in their life (or even in any given year, at least in the UK), and depression's one of the more common ones.

[link]http://www.who.int/whr/2001/media_centre/press_release/en/[/link]

[link]http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/[/link]

Given the number of users the Escapist has, the number of people in this thread is hardly surprising.

The fact that it still seems surprising and unusual just goes to show how much more work needs to be done to raise awareness.
 

Strazdas

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Eamar said:
Strazdas said:
P.S. i never realized just how many depressed people are on the escapist, this is truly an unique place.
It really isn't.

I've already said this in this thread, but 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health problem at some point in their life (or even in any given year, at least in the UK), and depression's one of the more common ones.

[link]http://www.who.int/whr/2001/media_centre/press_release/en/[/link]

[link]http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/[/link]

Given the number of users the Escapist has, the number of people in this thread is hardly surprising.

The fact that it still seems surprising and unusual just goes to show how much more work needs to be done to raise awareness.
Interesting, my nations statistics show 1 in 3 people, but i guess samples accuracy can be questioned. I am aware that a lot of people have mental problems however that does not mean they all suffer from depression or even are aware of it (there are plenty of people not aware of their own mental problems).
Considering the amount of comments this feature usually gathers this is already more than the average and almost every single one (myself included) seems to have suffered or are suffering depression. Granted, escapist population is pretty high so it may just be attracted by the crowd problem here, however it still seems rather strange.
Then again, its not the first time i notice that escapists are more likely to be not the "normal" stereotype (nothing wrong with that mind you). My theory is that there is higher density of such people here because they are not discriminated agiasnt here whereas many other websites i saw people making lynch mobs to hunt people for as little as homosexuality (in some cases even actually finding out their real life addresses, which is scary).

But yes, you do have a point with the common case. I wish we would find a more efficnet way to combat said problems, but i guess a lot can be furthered of said people would go to consult with professionals to begin with (dont know how it is in the rest of the world but here the general consensus sadly seems to be that only the loonies go to psychiatrists, which discourages a lot of people.)

P.S. capcha seems to be very keen on asking me to decribe brands lately. i always type "no.". seems to work.