Mental illnesses are as colorful as they are dark and as deep as those uneducated about them seem shallow. Too often, they remain faceless, minimized, stereotyped, and overwhelming.
This could help people decide whether or not to stay on antidepressants.
Clinical depression is brutal and unrelenting. It's like holding 50-pound weights over your head while standing in quicksand during a thunderstorm. You're stuck. You're weighted down.
It has taken me this long and a dream Ph.D. separation just to get to a conjecture, but at least reasonable conjectures breed solutions, whatever they turn out to be. I already feel less depressed because I am finally taking action. I can almost hear silence again. The road back is less noisy as a result. This in itself makes all the trying and failing, and trying again worthwhile.
Yet as Dr. Richard Byng, a psychologist at the U.K.'s Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and
I have come to hate depression as fervently as anyone has ever hated cancer, or AIDS, or any of the other scourges that take our loved ones from us. Over the five years I knew her, I watched it slowly devour my friend.
My desire is to never lose that ability, that I never admit defeat, or become another name on the list of those who've lost the war on their minds. I hope that, as time goes on, and if the setbacks continue to occur, I seek not an exit but a welcome embrace. Until it is over, for better or worse, I will continue to chronicle my struggles, making them public in an effort to let you know you are not alone.
A Butterfly Effect of the Life and Death of Robin Williams: Compassion as a New Christian Response to Suicide
The butterfly effect here is that this later-life suicide of one struggling person set in motion a public response including character attacks that, in turn, by extension, feel like an attack on all of us who struggle to stay sober and alive each day.
Until some years ago, there was a common understanding that when people talked about depression or anxiety, they were talking about exclusively Western problems. Unsurprisingly, in recent years, this myth has been seriously debunked.
In an era of tight budgets, supporters of depression research argue that more funding is needed to find a cure. That's logical-sounding but may be totally wrong. Depression's toll has risen even as more research and treatment resources have been poured into combating it.
Do not allow "shame" to hold you back. You have nothing to be ashamed about. Depression affects millions of people each year and is treatable. But you must be willing to ask and accept help.
Onset of serious mental illness in late teens and early twenties is very common and often shocking to the families that experience it. The medical community knows this; researchers know this; millions of families know this and yet we wait for the topic to find its time while millions try to cope. Surely we can do better.
Six months ago I published a book about depression. In addition to describing my own battles with the beast, I spent a great deal of time explaining in layperson's terms the diagnoses for different mental illnesses as well as the theoretical bases behind prescription drugs, counseling, herbs, supplements, and various "natural" therapies.