You Can’t Fight Depression on Your Own

Washing Line by John Singer Sargent

Two things happened today that made me want to pound my head against a wall, Charlie Brown-style. The first was that I got an email from a woman who said that she is suffering from severe depression, but that friends and family want her to try to “talk herself out of it”, and not get involved with medication and therapy. Now, it is not unusual for me to get an email from someone who either (1) feels they should be able to handle their own depression without treatment (2) feels that someone close to them should be able to handle their depression on their own, or (3) is being talked out of seeking treatment by family or friends. These emails never fail to raise my blood pressure a few notches.

The stress from this communication was doubled when the second thing happened, which is that I went to the Psychology/Self-help section at my local bookstore. It seems to be the largest section in the store. As I looked for legitimate books on depression and its treatment, I couldn’t help but see all the “help yourself” titles in that section, as well as what I call the “Thank God I’m here to tell you what to do, you pathetic loser” books. Dr. Laura Schlessinger was telling me that I do 10 stupid things to mess up my life (only 10, Dr. Laura?), John Roger and Peter McWilliams were telling me that I couldn’t afford the luxury of a negative thought (gee, and I was having so much fun spoiling myself with those negative thoughts), countless others were telling me that if I just bought their book and put some effort into it, I could be happier, sexier, smarter, successful and more fulfilled. When it came to depression, there was no shortage of advice. Apparently I can embrace depression, use it as a tool for self-discovery, and run it off (at the same time I’m running off those belgian waffles, I guess – how handy). By this time I was way past pounding my head against a wall, and into the Yosemite Sam stage, in which I want to jump up and down and swear uncontrollably.

Let me pause for a moment to explain exactly what I mean when I talk about depression. I’m not referring to the normal down periods that everyone goes through once in a while, that can be brought on by a rainy day, a broken heart, the flu or even for no particular reason. We mope around, listen to sad music and feel sorry for ourselves. These moods go away within a couple of days, and we can enjoy life again. Clinical depression is much more than that, and is comparable to a down mood as much as a sneeze is comparable to pneumonia. It is an illness that affects a person in many different ways. It can affect appetite, sleep patterns, powers of concentration, and even slow down movement and speech. While the predominant feeling depression brings is often sadness or a blue mood, it can also be a numb, empty feeling, anxiety, hopelessness, loss of self-esteem or self-worth, inability to make decisions or a combination of these. Unlike a passing mood, clinical depression dominates a person’s life and brings it to a screeching halt.

Back in the bookstore, I was relieved to see that there are also many books that address depression in a responsible manner, explaining that it is an illness and encouraging the sufferer to seek treatment from a physician. It seems, however, that too often the influence of these books and other educational material about depression is drowned out by the belief that depression is simply a down mood or negative attitude that any self-respecting person should be able to overcome. I read recently of a study in which 75% of adults said that someone with depression could get better just by being more positive. Can you imagine the same 75% saying that someone who is paralyzed just needs to work out more, or that someone who is mentally challenged just needs to think “power thoughts”?

This attitude is dangerous for a couple of reasons. First, the number one cause of suicide is untreated depression. Why don’t people get treatment for depression? Probably because they are being told by society, well-meaning family and friends and their own misconceptions of mental illness that depression is just a mood that they should be able to control. They believe that a life-threatening illness can be managed by happy talk and an upbeat demeanor. I know what I’m talking about. I tried for years to defeat my (undiagnosed) depression by thinking of reasons I was lucky and telling myself that that cold empty feeling had no cause and therefore didn’t have any validity. It’s like trying to treat diabetes by skipping dessert. It doesn’t work, and it’s dangerous to your health.

The second reason this “talk yourself out of it” attitude is dangerous is that depression can be caused by an undiagnosed illness such as heart disease, thyroid dysfunction, cancer, infectious diseases and immune/autoimmune disorders. Depression can even be brought on by vitamin or mineral deficiencies or prescription and over-the-counter drugs. If you don’t treat depression as an illness and get yourself checked out by a physician or psychiatrist, you run the risk of leaving a serious illness undiagnosed.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of depression, make an appointment to see a doctor. If you know someone who seems to be showing the symptoms, encourage him or her to see a doctor. Don’t believe the myth that we can “handle” depression on our own.

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87 Comments

  1. For the comments about the difference between sadness and depression, I think about it like this… Sadness is like grief, that feeling you get when you loss something or someone or something really bad happens.. sadness is an emotion you get in response to a pain. Depression however is a disease, its the pain by itself. The only way I can describe depression is by the way it feels to me. First, I feel its a curse because depression makes you not want to become happy which makes you want to become happy because in your head you think that you should want to be happy but you just can’t. It’s like being locked in a really small glass box where it’s raining and you’re only wearing a sweatsuit, which just expresses the misery. On the outside, the sun is shinning and there’s green grass and about 100 miles away everyone is playing and happy, yet even though the door is open and happiness is just inches away, your depression forces you to just shut and lock the door. Then, the next part, is like when you think about how you’re friends just want the best for you and you don’t care about that, because it doesn’t really matter because the world is hopeless and pointless, and even though you know you should want faith, you just can’t have it or believe in anything good because it’s all worthless and meaningless. It’s like putting up a chalkboard on your wall and writing goals at the top, and the goal is the blank dead black chalkboard. Depression is an absolute hell that you know you should want to ride yourself from, but keeps you from doing anything about it. The instead of actually reaching out for help, you just wait for a day that is slightly less painful and just a tad bit more bearable, to finally leave your dark bedroom with a fake half smile and act like nothing is wrong, because you’re depression doesn’t even matter, nothing does, so why care enough to try and change it, because your depression leads you to believe that you’re more content with being depressed then you are with becoming content or happy. Depression is a wild beast that can’t be tamed, because it convinces you that you don’t want to tame it.

    Also, for all those saying you’re strong enough to fight it on your own, I promise you I’m not and for all the others who say that you hope I can tell someone, I promise you I can’t. I’m not trying to be rude about it but fact is fact and I am not as strong as this god awful beast inside of me.

  2. Someone said everyone’s life is precious and we all have something to offer. I cannot understand how I have anything to offer by sitting on the couch in constant agony and its over things I don’t even “know” to be true. Most of my negative thoughts revolve around my husband and how he is and how he makes me feel and how I can’t stand anything he does nor can I look at him the way I used to. Then I think of how much I hate him and want to get away from him only to fear my thoughts will still haunt me and follow me anywhere I go and everyone else I encounter will be just like him. I feel like I do have alot to offer, but I have nothing to give. I don’t drive so Im stuck at home. Home isn’t nice. It just isn’t. Life isn’t fun. I don’t do anything I used to enjoy. My husband doesn’t seem to like doing things I enjoy. He has his things that he enjoys and thats good enough for him. I don’t even know why he wants to be with me anymore, I know he can feel my resentment towards him all the time. I’m up there in age, we have been together for a very long time. I feel like if I don’t move on I will never feel happiness ever again. But I don’t want to leave my dogs, My son is still home and it’s really scary. I have no friends and barely any family. I feel so locked down and stupid and just like a waste of space. My husband made sure years ago that I wouldnt have any friends (he didnt like any of them or at least me going out with them without him). I feel like years of emotional abuse have really finally taken their toll on me. Is it depression? Yes it is! I was dx’d with major depression and told that I needed to think about making life changes in addition to medication and therapy. I’ve tried meds, ah, they helped but I don’t get the therapy helping. The only thing I have not tried is changing my life, which means leaving this house and my husband because thats all my life consists of.

  3. I’m just so depressed I have no family no friends divorced 3 years I had A girlfriend for about a year 2 years after the divorce I just don’t have anybody but my dog and cat I’m just so lonely don’t know what to do

  4. I really dnt know how i should share about my condition.. i lost my best friendship.. only because of me.. how i return back her.. i m jst shame on myself6

  5. I’m 22 years old,and i think I’m severly depressed,as my results of “online test for depression” says. My life was more than beautiful till 2010, till my 10th. But in 2011 some changes occured in my life. I’s an ambitious student, and I’d nothing to do with the girls, but then I fallen in love with one of my classmates. She too loved me but she ditched me. It’s very difficult for me handle this. Now I’m not able to concentrate on my studies, and more than that I’m not happy. Please help me if you can……

  6. Hello,
    I am wondering why depression is seen as pathetic when it is such a battle? I’m not saying people who have depression are pathetic, nor am I insulting anyone. I just want to know why it is so hard, and why people don’t seem to understand?
    Sometimes I feel like I have such a bright future and that I am capable of anything, and other times I feel like I don’t know how its possible for me to exists when I feel like I’m disintegrating or dissolving. I get so paranoid it’s physically painful, and the social anxiety is torture. When I am forced to interact (my mother makes me because she says I need practice) I stay up all night remembering and regretting every stupid thing I said and did groaning because I can’t help but vocalize my discomfort. Because of my physical appearance people expect me to be and act a certain way, however I do not appeal to these stereotypes. I am a blonde girl, and almost everyone I meet tells me how surprised they are by my personality. I don’t know how relevant this is but I don’t seem to find relationships of any sort appealing. In fact when I have participated in such activities that constitute a “typical teenage relationship” I am extremely dissatisfied resulting in an abrupt and inexplicable end. I have no feeling toward the people I have hurt except total disgust. This is frightening, yet comfortably so because I wish to never feel anything that would put me at the risk of being hurt. People tell me I analyze too much and that I am very complicated yet I feel that this may simply be a mirage as to dissuade interaction. Like a defense mechanism that keeps others at a comfortable distance. I feel like I cannot trust a single person, and that I am completely alone. Concerning suicide- yes I have thought about it, and tried. I think that’s okay, if I want to end my life I should have that decision, yet at the same time I want there to be a reason to live. Of course I’m scared of what comes after life, but its probably nothing. My mother is forcing my to work as well as go to college (I graduated early, yet I must make all A’s if I want her to continue to pay for my classes. I’m taking biology, chemistry, psychology, and English)I understand that this is a “happy problem,” and I only mention it because it is so difficult for me to focus on my school work and I want to find some advise to help me. The material is not difficult to understand, its the hours of studying. I need to be able to focus, if started drinking caffeine but it makes me very anxious, and sometimes I have anxiety fits. I am unable to tell my mother of any of these issues because she is my adoptive parent, is a very busy women(it would be impossible for her to help me because all her energy is expended for work and her friends), and because our relationship is not like that at all.

  7. I don’t know what’s really wrong with me. I think I’m depressed. No. I know I am depressed, but I don’t want anyone to know so I’ve just kept it to myself for so long. But now I think that it’s getting worse so I wanted to talk to someone, someone who doesn’t know me. Everyone who knows me will say I have the perfect life. Perfect school, perfect family, perfect friends. But they don’t know that my life is no where near perfect. When I was in high school my older sister used to tease me that I am ugly and too fat, which is true. And that has been my insecurity until now, and I’m already 21. Every time I look in the mirror I want to just cut that skin off my face. I dream of hurting myself, of dying, I just want to know if that hurts more than what I am feeling right now. There are times that I want to cry when I don’t even know the reason, times when I pray to god that I won’t wake up the next day. I know that’s bad and I may go to hell for thinking those things, but I just can’t help it! I don’t know what to do anymore. Can you please just talk to me?

  8. I have been married to my husband for three years, but we’ve been together for eight. We have three kids and I believe that my husband has had such deep depression and anger(from seeing his dad act that way)for so long that he takes all of his anger out on our boys. I have sunk into a hopelessness that things will never change. He refuses to get help for his depression or his anger and acts as if he doesn’t care if I leave him, as long as he doesn’t have to see any “quack”. But I am also afraid that if I seek help for my depression and my kids behavior that they will be taken from me for “predictive neglect”. I have read a lot about it. Too many children have been taken from their parents because the parents seeked help for depression. I feel like I would be better off just leaving him but I’m afraid I may do more harm than good. I have been with him so long and told myself he could change, but now I know he won’t. But he won’t get help and he has said before that if I ever left, he would probably just off himself. I am so lost. I’m staying for his sake, but at what cost? I and so lost

  9. Hi
    I’m going through serious depression right now ive tried to fix things by going a gym, getting a jogging partner, listening to music but trust me its not helping.
    Just keeps getting worse now i can barely smile for real. I am not happy i try suicide so many times whenever it pops up in my head but im never able to go through it. I cut myself just to feel that pain to make me cry for a reason i barely know. I’m a student and i haven’t been to class for two months because i prefer to be alone in my room. I live alone. I dont care about anything anymore. What do i do i just need someone to say something. i live alone my family are in another town and its not like i miss them cos its only war when i go home mostly. i really dont know whats happening. Im lost. i have started drinking just to be drunk to sleep. i can intentionally overeat so much that i want to throw up just bcos..

    i must add that in my country hardly do we hear of psychological medical help.

    just say something.

  10. Thank you for mentioning physical causes for depression – too bad it may take several docs to acknowledge. Having a bad episode now – made worse – as probably many here are – I am the go to shoulder/caregiver to the world… I’m tapped out – and along w/sorrow strangely I’m so freaking angry – but too tired to care. If this makes since… I feel like everything is my fault – I would like to hide – but too many people depend on me – even though I feel like such a failure. I feel like everyone is clowning on me – like I’m a joke or shadow of something or a utility bucket… I never tell anyone but my doctor about my autoimmune or depression/anxiety b/c I don’t want to be judged – or burden – and it always seems to make it worse. Breathing in and out or letting it go – ain’t gonna fix this one – and well intended advise has only hurt me (I think)… About to start back on welbutrin – but not happy – so weird feeling at first and causes sinus troubles – but better than most for me. 50 is not what I had hoped. My advise take your meds!! Hope you feel better! Sincerely!!

  11. I have seen a doctor. In the past I have been helped by medication but now all the medications I’ve tried have made it worse, lowered my sodium levels and/or given me debilitating side effects.

  12. I relate so much to this post. I feel helpless and suicidal because antidepressants and therapy and jogging hasn’t helped me. I haven’t actually been officially diagnosed and dont know what is wrong with me but because I dont have medical aid doctors dont recommend/refer me to a psychiatrist. I believe I have an ongoing clinical depression combined with major depressive episodes. When I have them I cant eat/get out of bed/stop crying. Family and friends ask me whats wrong and I cant even explain because “I just get like this some days”.

    I feel that if my condition was treated more like a medical illness that I would understand what im going through right now and wouldn’t feel so hopeless. You cant be blamed for the state of our public health systems and the way it does very little for the poor

  13. I wish “seeing a DOCTOR” really was the answer to help with my depression. Unfortunately, it seems I am becoming at least more angry, if not more depressed at the hopelessness I have had in the decades of searching for a DR. To ‘save’ me or at the very least treat my depression. Starting in 1990 up until now July of 2015. I’ve been on countless prescribed medications I’ve been ‘clean and sober for 20 of those years and I’ve self-medicated for maybe 7 off and on at the beginning and at the end of those years until recently. ..nothing works. Absolutely nothing. I’ve read tons of books including many mentioned, many scholarly articles in attempts to help myself and attended groups and individual counseling more than I can count. I have prayed, meditated and philosophised. I’m depressed…glued to my bed with hopelessness and no energy or motivation to live. And guilt about it all yet I keep waking up wishing it would change. Maybe someday. But I don’t think a doctor is going to be the answer. Not at this point. No more like a miracle.

  14. I have everything i could have wished for in terms of material life and opportunities, Im educated, bright and funny….The only thing that is missing is the love and respect for myself. I absolutely hate myself beyond measure, every day i wake up and the negative dialog starts. Usually with oh no i fucking woke up….then as i go through the motions i catch a glimpse of my bloated fat disgusting vein ridden legs in the mirror and of course the voice gets louder…look at how disgusting you look! look how fat and disgusting you are!….thing is i go to the gym i do yoga 3 times a week, i walk every day….but NOTHING absolutely NOTHING seems to lift my mood….it all feels grey like swimming in treacle…..the dialogue continues……you aint got a job you useless piece of shit…wha ta fucking burden you are!!! why don’t you do everyone a favour and just drive into a wall?…all the time the physical sensations like the tightening of the throat, the aches and tears are getting worse and even worse than that is the physical sensations of trying to STOP it!!! and so as you go on through the day avoiding taking phone calls pleading with your husband to go to the shops alone because you can’t face it…..feelings of tiredness and exhaustion are with you constantntly….and the voice gets louder….so…hanging…thats quick…..followed by immense feelings of guilt and more self loathing….having found a suicide myself i should know better…..catch another look in the mirror and see the deep lines of misery etched into my face the tear stained face and the red rimmed eyes staring desperately back at me……yes I’ve been to the doctor ,,,,,HRT, Antideresants, levothyroxin at ridiculously high levels……my cupboards are FULL of supplements and snake oil salesmen’s antidotes to my dilemma….and so i go on……ive stopped everything now…im going it alone I’m running on empty I’m struggling every fucking day to get out of bed to face another day…..the things that used to bring me joy are now a chore to be endured….my scuba diving, my art and my walking…….my cats and chooks….to me are now all a chore to be endured….IF i can be bothered anymore…..with animals i know that they have my husband….my poor buddy keeps dragging me out for the odd dive to try and rekindle the passion………….all the while the voice tells me you really are shit do you know that?…YES I KNOW NOW WILL YOU PLEASE STOP IT STOP TELLING ME THAT I KNOW I KNOW !!!!! its not until i lie in a bed exhausted from crying that the voice might subside for a bit….but only a while……as soon as i move again it starts…..that ache ha ha ha ha its because you are getting old you stupid bitch! old and wasted! you’ve wasted your life you useless fucking cunt! that dry hair! ha ha ha still trying hard to hang onto your lovely curly hair eh? well its too late now! you’re getting old you are out of time…might as well take an early exit as it all gets worse from now on……..and as i try and continue with daily life as normal as possible i scream at my husband and kids because they annoy the fuck out of me…………if they weren’t here i could step off the planet without guilt!!!!! i drop a spoon as i was about to put it into the dishwasher and I’m in floods of tears….the voice laughing and ridiculing me WHY DONT YOU JUST KILL ME!!! WHY CANT I JUST DIE AND GET OFF THIS FUCKING PLANET i simply don’t belong here……..yeah…..those thoughts are getting more and more frequent….but its compounded by guilt. the voice gets louder and louder and louder everyday……as does the self loathing the unmeasurable self hatred……..Depression is something I’ve tried to get help for….and now I’m battling on my own because doctors don’t care….stupid bits of paper stupid tablets…i was on them for over 20 years! i was beginning to feel the same on them as off…..and so it took 6 months of UTTER HELL to get off them they are so addictive!!!! the withdrawals just went on and on and on !!!! worse than quitting smoking or drinking because the physical sensations went on and on …..and now the bastards want me back on them>??????????WTF?????? there MUST be something i can do? something i can do to stop this fucking madness?????????

  15. I can think of maybe only one person I’ve known my entirevlife who’s ever taken my depression serioysly–and most Haven’t even thought depression was a real thing,mlike it was a choice or something, or a some selfish play for attention or whatever. Even the doctors I’ve had never took it seriously, or the one therapist I (briefly) had who regarded me as though I were simply being melodramatic and wasting his time. The most I’ve ever gotten from a doc is a prescription, and when that one didn’t work, there came another, and so on from there. I’ve dealt with depression in one form or another since I was a kid (which makes it about 40 years, give or take), and the most I’ve ever really gotten from anyone other than a doc is some lecture about behavior and attitude and all that–the equivalent of “get OVER yourself.” Add the fact I’m male and males aren’t even supposed to GET depressed, and that’s made it even worse. I still know I need help–and I want help–but there IS no help, not in the middle of the Bible Belt in a military town in a backward state where the biggest concerns seems to be how quickly buisness owners can fleece GI pockets and how loud and long you can rev your engine and going to HS football games even when you don’t have kids and how ghetto you can make things and making sure you’ve plowed your rows straight. Add that to the expense of treatment and how it’s all about profit and business, and I hold little hope.

  16. I’m 17 and i don’t know anyone who can help me, i think i may have mild depression or at least i can relate. I feel helpless and hopeless and i don’t know what to do my family says that i think myself into sad thoughts, but i cant help it, i’m so used to feeling empty that i don’t feel safe being happy.My mind always wanders to bad places, what am i supposed to do to feel less lost ?

    1. I’m 17 and I couldn’t relate more to how you’re feeling, scouring the Internet doesn’t seem to help and can make me feel worse… it’d be great if we could talk about it somehow.

  17. For once, I feel like I can relate to the feelings of some people who have posted on here, at the the end of their mental ropes. It’s a silent battle, and never with any other issue in my life have I felt more alone than being depressed. My step mom doesn’t believe in mental illness much and just told me I was feeling sorry for myself as a depressed and very withdrawn youth. Im now 22 and I learn the more you ignore your depression and tell yourself and others you’re “fine” and “life is great,” little by little the depression monster slowly takes over your brain. Society wants us to be perfect happy working and functional members of society so when I go to my job and im in school I have to put up a front or be high on opiates or benzos lately just to even want to talk to my grandma. I feel the same frustration alot of others do with seeking help from my doc, just shoves me a years worth of citalopram which does little, and shooes me out 15 mins on the dot so she can make money off her next client, as she explained. I come home and cry, and when girls talk about coming home from school for the summmer at my work to thir loving fam, I get sercretly upset because my mom has been a heroin and crack addict since I was 5 and left me for the fast gang life in calgary, down south from where I live. I guess feeling abandoned and motherless has something to do with my depression, and depression runs deep in my moms side, im falling in her footsteps. All I want to do now is be high, opiates numb emotional as well as physical pain. Anyways, I started crying reading some of these posts, knowing exactly how all you depressed folks feel, Im not alone in this world, maybe just this town. Its hard getting help when you dont trust those who get paid to help you, ive had bad experiences w/ counselors in the past, but if I dont keep trying, Im just getting closer to downing a whole bottle of oxy and xanax together, suicide sounds nice when you’re depressed and in constant pain. Its never easy and everyone has a story, but thanks everybody for at least making me feel not as alone. My best friend gave his life to this illness last year, I refuse to let depression take over my life. Fight the fight everybody, life is beautiful and its possible to see it that way again.

  18. Ok, I’m 23 years old. I constantly swap from utterly depressed to completely outraged with everyone. I get anxious to the point of wanting to run till I can’t feel my legs, but when I stop I always realize I can’t out run it. My Fiancé try’s talk to me about it, but it’s always me agreeing with what she says, like I don’t already know I’m being irrational. We have started calling it my “funk”, and I can just tell her I’m in my “funk” and she’ll leave me alone because I’m either going to yell at her for something retarded or I’ll sit there quietly trying to cap my anxiety. I’ve felt this way since I was about 14. My parents have always said “mental problems” and “depression” are other words for being to weak to cope with reality. My mother has told me I’m depressed and need to “snap out of it”. My mom has been diagnosed with severe Bipolar Depression, but she threw away the meds and said they “changed her”. Which they did, but it was a good change, lol. Idk, I just feel like I can’t be alone in always wanting to be alone, and yet comforted. I don’t even know if I’m depressed or just to emotional and attached to the past. I’m a very annalitical person, breaking down everyone’s motives for every action. Yet, I seldomly know why I’m doing or thinking whatever it is that’s occupying my time and thoughts. I don’t even know why I’m writing this comment. If you read it, cool, if it’s lost on the Internet forever, that’s fine too, idk….shit

    1. From what you’ve shared, you have a similar history like me. I don’t know why I posted my comment either, I get in what I call a ‘Funk” too and sit by myself trying to calm my anxiety and overanalyze everything over and over, my mind just wont shut off my negative thoughts and I just withdraw or snap at my love, and then he thinks I dont love him anymore which is not true. Its so hard explaining to others about depression when they dont understand anything or remain stuck in their ignorant thoughts about it. My mom has bipolar too. Everyone around me seems better than me. Ugh. All I wanted to say is I read your comment that helped me, and it didnt get lost on the net. I never ever share to anyone how I really feel… this is the first time ive opened up about my anxiety/depression. My step mom would just say to go for a walk, and stop feeling sorry for myself as a depressed teen. So much compassion. (Not)

  19. I wonder what use it is even typing this message up. Why I searched google for answers and what I think it will accomplish, because the truth is I already know what the responses will be. It’s always just some variation of the same concepts/strategies to change who someone is and how they think. And make no mistake, I’m on 40 mg of Celexa and I’ve been on just about every type of medication money can buy, and the plain and simple truth is that it is meant to change the chemistry of who you are because who you are is broken.

    It’s hard for me to remember a time when I truly felt happy. Don’t get me wrong, I have happy moments, but for the most part I could consider my life inverse to that of others. Others feel content or at least some form of normal with occasional bouts of sadness. I, on the other hand, feel numb and broken with occasional bouts of happiness.

    These delusions and irrational feelings of emptiness are just a trait my family members manage to stay alive just long enough to pass it off before offing themselves. My Great Grandpa shot his wife before turning the gun on himself. Then my Grandma, who married my Great Grandpa’s son, spent years in and out of mental hospitals before she turned the car on in the garage and never opened the garage door. My father seemed to come out of that family normal, of course it’s easier when you’re a borderline sociopath. If I’m the eternal pessimist then he is the eternal optimist, nothing can ever go wrong. Of course he hated his mother so he couldn’t care less when she killed her self and has even said as much to just about everyone.

    My mother is the exact opposite of him, constant panic attacks and anxiety, she was infatuated with my father. My dad has that affect on people, they just want to be around him. Of course her world was shattered when he had an affair and then divorced her. Since then I can’t really remember a time when she wasn’t a nervous depressed wreck. It’s hard for me to tell sometimes if my father didn’t care about the pain he caused people or was just legitimately unaware. All I know is that he relishes being looked up to by people, in his eyes he can do no wrong.

    That being said my father and I are on good terms now, he has done so much for me it’s easy to forget the first 10 years of my life when he was hardly there. He was too busy focusing on himself, of course now that he’s rich and successful he has time to be a good father I guess. It’s weird, he’s friends with everyone and every time I would meet one of his friends they would treat my siblings and I as if we were just ungrateful little shits. He has the whole world buying in.

    (My siblings by the way – sister clinical depression and frequent severe panic attacks. Brother asbergers and clinically sever anxiety.)

    If you’re still reading this I’d assume you’re curious as to whether I’m trying to make a point. Here it is, every day I think about killing myself. Even on good days there is at least one fleeting moment where I think about ending it all. Every day I weigh the pros and cons..”pro, no more pain”…”con, I love my mother so much it’s agonizing to think of the pain it would cause her”.

    The whole world is like an open wound to me, I feel everyone’s pain all the time. I over analyze every minute detail and the conclusions I draw are maddening.

    I often times wonder if intelligence is a burden more than a gift. Everyone in my family is incredibly intelligent, my father is grooming me to take over his businesses. But at the same time I feel like I see every insignificant detail, I see every reality of the world that people who just don’t “think” as much as I do don’t see. Ignorance IS bliss.

    Then I think, maybe I’m just self-aggrandizing. Maybe my intelligence is just another one of the delusions caused by the chemical imbalances in my brain. Plenty of intelligent people live long happy lives. Of course it is also noted that suicide rates tend to increase in correlation with I.Q. Just another maddening dissonance in my brain. The question rages, “maybe I’m just crazy”. But crazy people don’t know I’m crazy.

    Then my final point. My final…realization. How do I end this? I’ve heard suicide is selfish and I agree, I don’t want to hurt my family and truthfully it is the only reason I haven’t. But what about my kids?

    If someone acknowledges the existence of natural selection which everyone should because natural selection has been proven. Then my genes are genes that should not be handed down. Do I really want to pass down the agony of what is my neurological illnesses to my children? Will it become worse with each generation? In a time before medication would I even still be around?

    I just don’t know anymore, there is too much. Too much rattling around my brain, too much information swirling around every sickening insignificant moment. There is no way to turn it off, just numb it with chemicals and a man in chair telling me that maybe a change of scenery would do me some good, maybe a hobby could give me more of a reason to live. It won’t.

    It’s apparent to me that it’s only a matter of time before I pull the trigger on myself. All of the medications and therapies just feel like a holding pattern before the inevitable. Before natural selection runs its due course, I’m just not meant to be.

    1. Hi Travis,

      I’ve read my fair share of comments on various websites; it’s a way to cope for me. I know when I’m not feeling well, I’m on one these sites or I’m listening to someone elses experience with depression on a Youtube video or some other video site.

      I must say, I found your claims interesting albeit a little scary to agree with. I’d like to think depression can be beaten, even if it’s not true. I’d hope there is some combination of exercise, pills, healthy food..etc, that will set me on a more balanced,cognitive course.

      You mentioned it would be a shame to pass on these genes to your kids. I have kids. I can not agree more with you; it would be awful if they go through what I’m going through. I honestly never thought of that possibility before having kids. I’ll make sure to make them happy now while they are young. It wasn’t until I was in my early teenage years that I started feeling the lows of depression on a regular basis. I have time to prepare them, if that’s possible.

      I really enjoyed your take on things but I disagree with your conclusions. There was a time when people died of polio, small pocks or TB; now they live long, healthy lives. I think that will be the case with depression. Somebody will find a cure or at least a more effective way to fight it.

      Hang in there and I hope you find the peace you are seeking.

    2. Hi Travis

      You make some inarguable points. We both get it that what we truly feel is made more difficult by others who live in “their ” world.

      Since no one is in our head, I know I could handle some smooth sailing, we can intensify or de-escalate.

      Example : bird flies above in a blue sky.

      Is that bird thinking of how fucked up we humans treat each other ?

      How many birds shit on our heads ?

      How we humans talk large and live so throttled in fear.

      Money. We place value of anything often from the person who taught us.

      People talk of Jesus and talk is like vapor when you are in psychic pain and are alone or feel you are.

      We are alone until someone actually comes alongside us and LISTENS .
      People kill each other wih emotional bullets of
      artificial exchange. That
      is not how we are wired.

      So we threaten their Jesus world by the truth of real pain. Just say no. Support the troops.

      Fluff that sells All things Kardashian. Many hear Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

      I had John Lennon and Joni Mitchel. Love, hate and all in between.

      If the river you swim in
      is killing you, try spending more time on the shore.

      Though most embrace lies and illusion, truth is inside some of us.

      We just don’t sell as many papers as they do.

      Then again true friendship and love flow in the river of healing.

      It ‘s lonely in that river tonight.

      But loving the pain and
      understanding it’s chemicals in your brain keeps you from taking others out. it shall never be perhaps accepted,

      so listen to the song by Cat Stevens, “Dying to Live.”

      it helps me…..Hatred bus is already full
      my Brother Travis, I wish you peace and comfort

      You

  20. I go through Ups and Downs all the time. I’m in my teens and I’ve been told that it’s all normal and part of life. But I don’t think it’s normal because I’ve had some suicidal thought lately. I feel that I’m a lame person because I see people around me all talking, laughing, making jokes, and then I see me and the couple of friends I have, and I see myself as the most boring person on earth ever. I had a couple days last week where I was happy for a little while, ok with myself. But then some comments towards me made me feel down again.

    I haven’t decided to kill myself yet because I don’t want to put my family and the few friends I have through the pain of losing me, but I often feel like I’m just worthless. I’m in an advanced learning program, I’m considered very smart, but I get snide comments of being very boring. I feel like a silent apparition or shadow everyone steps on without a second thought. I’ve mentioned to my parents that I feel like this, along to some teachers, but I’m too scared to tell them everything because it makes me feel like things will get worse.

    What’s worse, people make fun of me for being non-athletic, and I seem to feel even MORE inadequate from this… I want people to know I have a busy life and I do want to socialize, but I’m rejected. Figures society rejects people who are different. I often feel like maybe if society doesn’t like who I am, then I don’t like them, and I want to leave it all behind.

  21. Hello I am writing because I honestly don’t know what to do I have no insurance no money no job and live in my mothers basement I have been n contemplating suicide since 2009 I am 31 and do have dreams for a future but do not believe I have any chance for one I have waited because I gave my word to my mother I would not hurt myself as long as she is alive she has already lost one child but every day that promise gets harder to keep but I cannot afford to get help any advice would be great I just don’t want to hurt anymore I want to be good enough for someone or something if you have any advice please email me at michaelpotter84@gmail.com I don’t know how much longer I can wait I am begging because I don’t have anyone I can talk to about what’s in my head thank you

  22. I recently tried to end my life and was diagnosed with MDD Severe label. It has cost me my wife and life beyond the disorder because she does not understand. Hell I didnt understand what was wrong with me either. I was completely beyond my self almost to a point where I was separate just kind of watching a horrible movie of my life spinning out of control. I felt as if I was in control but I realized that it was something else…the depression. I was doing things I would have never even thought, if I was in my right mind but there I was living in hell and wondering what was going on with me because I just could not stop it. MDD is a monster and sucks something awful.

  23. Hello, My name is Paige and I’m from NY. I’ve been battling severe depression for a very long time… Too long to even remember. I’ve been in and out of Jones Hill, which is a mental health facility in NY 3 times, and I find it very difficult to anything anymore. I cant sleep, eat, talk normally.. I cant focus on anything. Which makes my situation so much more difficult. Reaching out for help was honestly my last resort… I never wanted it to be this way. I read all the symptoms for severe depression. I checked off every single one, and began to hysterically cry. I have no idea what to do… Please give me advice…?

    1. Paige, It sounds like it has been such a struggle for you and you’re really feeling lost and alone right now. I’d like to invite you to reach out to our hotline Response at 631-751-7500, while we are located in Suffolk County NY we are here to listen and support you however we can and do not place limits on who can call our hotline. Our hotline counselors are there to listen and perhaps together we can explore your options and search out resources for you for additional support services. Response is 24/7, and if you’re unable to call long distance you’re welcome to call on our chat line Hear2Help open 7-11pm Mon-Fri http://www.responsehotline.org another option for local resources is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800-273-8255. They’ll connect you to the closest crisis center based on the area code you’re calling from. Take care Paige, I hope you’re able to find the support you need.

  24. There are options available. Schools and colleges often offer mental health aid.

    State mental health websites will have crisis lines you can call or walk in clinics you can drop in on.

    They may even have stabilization units you can use for those times you cannot cope on your own.

    Often yoy can find sliding scale fees arr available to help financially.

    Look into these options because there are lots of people will and available to help you. Do it because you deserve a better life without suffering.

  25. Im not sure what exatly is wrong with me. I cant sleep cause most of the time i just lay there over thinking of every single thing that could possibly go wrong. I worry all the time about everything. I made myself cry the other night cause i worried too much. Any idea on what could possibly be wrong?

    1. Cati, I’m older (60) and everyone I’ve ever known, including me, does that thing at night where we replay all the wrongs done to us…or by us over the years. I’m certain this is why sleeping pills are so popular, they numb the brain so we can get to sleep.
      Knowing you suffer the same pain as most others do probably doesn’t help much. But maybe some people you talk to have figured a way to stop themselves from doing at least this one thing. (I use cannabis because sleeping pills damage an older brain).

  26. I’ve been feeling down for a long time, went through other things and just blocked everyone out that tried to help me.I went to the doctors and was tested for depression and anxiety because I have days where I don’t even want to leave my room. They told I was fine and to just get counseling, that knocked me a bit. I need a way of getting help without my parents knowing and easy way of not getting nervous when trying to get the help I might need. I scored quite high on the tests (a few higher than what my friend got who has depression) but was just told I’m okay, can anyone help me with advice?

  27. I need help! Just to give you some background I’ve tried to end life on 3 different occasions. The last time I checked myself in to the psyche ward after 3 long days(it was a holiday wknd) they let me out. It was more depressing inside. I feel like I can’t find peace in life as if my mission is to remain broken. I am a burden on others but they fail to realize I am already a burden to self. My thoughts race when I’m in this mode. And to be honest I don’t want to die but I’m honestly tired of feeling it’s overwhelming

    1. iknow all too well those feelings as i have suffered with this for too many years to count. i dont talk about it with anyone because of the stigma that goes with it, drs are no help and i cannot afford treatment, but if you can i urge you to do so.

  28. I don’t know what to do. I feel stuck. Why does it always seem to happen that everything goes bad at the same time. Me and my boyfriend just split up and my friends have moved on to new friendships. When something annoys me, which is basically everything, I get this pain in my heart that makes me feel numb that makes me angry. I cry all the time and shout and all I want to do is stop having this feeling and just be happy but I can’t. No one wants to listen to what I say anymore so I can’t speak to anyone about it. Please help.

  29. Hello.I’m a 15 year old girl.I’ve been suffering of sever depression for 5 years.It started when my dad had a secret (sexual) affair with a divorced woman who has a kid from her old husband.My mom was pregnant in the hospital with my sister.He was preparing for his “secret marriage”,he didn’t come to see my newborn sister he just picked me and my brother from home and dropped us at the hospital.He got that woman a new home with all the machines she needs and even more.while my mom was still in the hospital.He never treated us nicely.He got that woman better home supplies than his family’s home.He even got her a new phone.Then he divorced her but that wasn’t it.She went on a dating website ,put me and moms name there and got the number of my dads phone on both profiles and added a sexual bio for both of us.People called on my dads phone and sent messages to him he thought it was weird but then this one guy messaged him “your daughter is on a sexual dating website I just thought I would tell you” my dad then lost trust in me.My mom knew it was that ugly woman playing.The second day a guy called on our home phone my brother answered and that guy said “Hey give me your mother”My brother thought it was someone from our family so he said Who are you and why?”your mom is on a dating website so I just thought I would make her happy today”my brother cursed him and then the guy immediately hung up.She did a lot of stuff but enough about it.My grades then started decreasing I used to always get straight A’s in every subject.My class started bullying me and then my school.Just then I knew that I completely lost my feelings and I became numb I thought I was getting strong but then when I’m alone I can’t stop myself from shedding a tear.My mom now is in really bad terms with my dad ,my little sister hates me so much I have no idea why just one day she’s good and we are playing together all of a sudden the next day she spit on my face and tells me to go away and to not appear infront of her(she is 5 years old) my family talks about me behind my back.Like my dad,mom,bro keep saying while I’m near them “ugh she is discussing””a failure” “not my perfect daughter” now my only friend that I wanted to spend one hour with her after school or hangout to the club with she keeps telling me “she wants to control you””she is really talkative and childish” “So you chose her ugly ass over me!I’ll make you pay!” I never was a showoff or a famouse type of girl in school.What I was famouse of is being strong and fierce for no reason.When they hit me,hate on me,call me names I laugh and I try to never take it to my heart.But I’m a human even though I hate the fact I am one.I feel like I’m in a test that I have failed since a long time and I’m just waiting for the mark to show me my failure.I just want to end that wait now.I lost everything my grandma who i loved more than my mom my 2 precious uncles ,my feelings and happiness.Whenever I try to solve my home work I feel like an idiot who lost their mind and can’t solve simple stuff.I can’t decide on my future I’m just waiting here for it to pass by.The only thing that i haven’t lost my pleasure in yet is reading novels and wattpad stories and bla.The only thing that gets me to my sences is talking to myself and singing my sadness out.When I was younger my mom always told me that love is a fictional thing its never real.No one loves the other really its all lies.People only want money and pleasure.I don’t even know what to believe anymore but I will never believe her statement.I told my mom that I need a doctor I really am depressed and i’mnot acting.She tells me I’m more sick than you and I feel more bad than you and you don’t have the right to even cry.Then she curses me out.Also I forgot yo say that my mom and dad are both smokers 24\7 they also smoke in the house next to my room immediately because basically my room is next to the balcony and that’s where they smoke to keep my 21 year old brother and little sister safe.I was born with an allergy to dust but now I basicly have 4 allergies and anemia.I had anemia when I was 4 years old.No one wants to take me to the doctor and I don’t have money to go and have an appointment with a doctor because they refused about me going to a doctor at all.They think its just “teenager hormones” They don’t realize how they are treating me.When I ask my mom for a private talk she refuses.She never hugs me when I ask for one.Never.I just wrote a suicidal note and i don’t know if i should just end it all now.Well I have more than that and I’m sorry about that long comment thanks for reading.Please help thanks.

    1. I just want you to know I relate to a lot of things in your comment. Your feelings not being acknowledged, your needs being ignored and trivialised and not having a solid relationship with your mother. It is beyond sick that people can have children and hurt them in these immeasurable ways. I especially relate to you saying it has negatively affected your studies and you feel like your in a test that you have failed and you just want to end. You’ve described the experience I’ve been having for almost 7 years, literally and figuratively. Anyway I felt compelled to respond to your comment because I know that feeling of no one has compassion and feeling alone and lost because of it, but I feel compassion for your story and you should definitely feel compassion for yourself, of course in an ideal world other people would help build up your esteem and self-respect with compassion, but for people who are hurt like you describe you have to value your own ability to be compassionate to yourself.

  30. I think I may be depressed. I’m pretty introverted and I don’t want to burden my parents with anything. Is there some kind of website I can get on to talk to someone anonymously? I’m not even a teen yet and I have no reason to be depressed but it’s affecting my life so much since I can barely force myself out of bed in the morning and I have so much trouble paying attention during class. I don’t really enjoy anything anymore that I used to do all of the time.

  31. Kind of need some help..

    I broke up with my boyfriend who I really love since a month ago, he was my first love and since I’m lack of experience I gave him like 100% love (my mother said that I shouldn’t did that when I told her). I’m happy the way he treated me, I love to heard all of his words, I really like to see him when he do anything (even when he’s just writing), he gave me a lot of promises which sometimes he break but he said that there’re 4 promises he’ll never break (he’ll love me forever, never leave me, never give up on me, and never cheated on another girls) stupidly I believe him even now when he leaves me.
    2-3 months before the broke up happened, he changes. He really changes into someone else I didn’t know (email me if you want the detail), but I still love him that much. When we broke up, he left me without a single word and even the reason is unidentified. He just said that he wants to be single and focus on his study, games, and his relationship with God.
    The most confusing part is sometimes he gives me kind of ‘signal’ that he still keep his attention to me even sometimes with the negative way, maybe (when he broke up with a person, he’ll never pay ANY attention to his ex). And he plays everytime, everyday, every second..his grade are decreasing, he even got the low mark on his test even for the subject he really loves.
    And maybe he chased for a girl that already have a crush (?) by sending her a mysterious chocolate and a message “Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you” the I love you part is written in Korean and I hate it because I’m the one who gave him the knowledge of Korean words.
    Now I’m suffering. I’m in a deep depression and I already got to see a psychologic but I got nothing. I thought I change a lot because of this break up (already ask some of my friends and they confirming it). It affect my appetite, sleep patterns, and powers of concentration–it even slow down my speech. I can feel sadness or a blue mood, or that numb, empty feeling, anxiety, hopelessness, loss of self-esteem or self-worth like everytime even when I do something that can make me stop worrying about life.

    What should I do?

    1. I’m sorry you went through that. It sounds like your boyfriend has issues that have changed him, so it’s him, not you. (Maybe he fell into drug use.)

      Personally I think it’s OK to love someone 100%. Even if you get burned in the end, I think it’s better than holding back and always living afraid.

      The depression should be temporary. Two weeks at most. (I’m guessing it’s just built into our DNA to have this reaction, which somehow was useful millennia ago so evolution included it. Maybe it keeps us from wildly rebounding uncontrollably.)

      During that time, find friends or people to be around. Whatever comforts you.

  32. I have had episodes of depression for almost 50 years, and severe intractable depression for the past 13 years. I have tried everything, and can honestly say that going to doctors has not been helpful at all. I have tried twelve different anti-depressants. None of them helped, all of them had nasty side-effects, and the last one I tried made things immeasurably worse, triggering mania and psychosis which my GP then diagnosed as “bipolar disorder” despite my never having once experienced mania during my 50 years on the planet. Withdrawal from that drug was incredibly brutal and left me seriously suicidal. When I refused to go on anti-psychotic medications (prescribed by a GP, NOT a psychiatrist) my doctor terminated my care and left me to cope alone with no replacement doctor or therapist.

    And speaking of therapy – what a joke if you don’t have the money to pay for a decent therapist. The very few sliding-scale services available in my area are ‘one size fits all’, have waiting lists 6 to 9 months long, and feature counselors who stick around for a few months before leaving for decent-paying positions in the private arena. So one is constantly starting all over again with a new counselor.

    I’ve tried meditation, yoga, exercise, vitamin therapies, diet modifications, journaling, affirmations, prayer (even though I’m not religious!), self-help books and groups … you name it, I’ve tried it. And still I am so paralyzed with depression that I can’t work, socialize or do much of anything except white-knuckle my way through endless days of gloom and suicidal ideation.

    The mantra of “seek help from a doctor” is constantly repeated in our culture but the reality is that too many of us go to doctors and either receive ineffective treatment or treatment that actually exacerbates the condition. Anti-depressant medications DON’T always work for all patients, but the public perception is that all one needs to do is take medication and the depression will be resolved.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but I will keep looking for answers and fighting this. But seriously – your advice here is as simplistic as the self-help books you deride.

    1. I came across to your (pl.) posts to find… a better understanding of my own plight with depression. It can be a very real presence of pain and loneliness within our lives. However, I can’t help to find that the posting is missing responses or replies (few) and that alone is reason enough for my own transparency.

      I am so sorry to read your post related to your sense of depression. Though, very real- I find it interesting that you don’t recognize how many people have depression at one point or another. Furthermore, I am happy you have posted. Perhaps when others read your story they can find peace, like myself, in knowing the journey in which we walk is not a less traveled route.

      First let me say, depression is normal. Please don’t feel this reference to be belittling, as it is transparent and sincere. All of life is unique to the one who is experiencing it. No one can know how you ought to feel as your perception, your volition, and your inner most person is really known only to you (and God). Even Jesus experienced great sadness which withdrew him from the moment of joy and community at the last supper (sounds like depression to me). No one can ever really understand your walk, your triumph, your pain, your loss, or your anxiety/fear… On the other hand, having the mastery of all things is not really your responsibility either, as that would make you as the great creator of all things.
      No one is capable in living a life alone. It requires many, near and far, to lift just one person up. Yet, more importantly, as I have discovered in my own experiences – God never leaves you alone.
      Now that’s the most significant element of all things. God is in all things. Though it does not mean we don’t long for community, understanding, insight, forgiveness, and our own personal deliverance from our present state- a depressive state at times. Often when a person cares- genuinely, they naturally take on a more depressive life. Yes, I said it- life. Hence the reason why you have trouble with depression or are prone to it… personality plays a large part in that equation. Traumatic events often are situational and those experiencing related to this is shorter lived than those to have a ‘tendency to it’. Not all things are equal, either.
      If you are the person who suffers long standing depression, know that God made you just as you are. There is nothing wrong with you. I recall my first depressive and even suicidal thought before the age of six. My life was far from perfect. I don’t dwell on this as I often reflect on how worse it could have been. Now an adult, I often have to withdraw and seek my inner peace. If I’m not successful then I do seek someone to talk to regarding my feelings, thoughts, and internal conflicts. Yet, I also fast and pray about the depressive state as well (this truly is an important concept, please don’t disregard it’s importance).
      My advice, don’t give up and find the strength if you can. We are all called to persevere- what ever we find ourselves facing. If the fight isn’t in you- asked to be carried. There is no shame in an honest spoken or written word. Everyone matters- you matter. It’s important that you understand that. God’s love is unconditional; find refuge in it. Know you have been wonderfully made and we need you here- open and transparent. Micha

  33. I don’t know what to do because when I’m with my friends I have great fun and life is fine but when I’m alone in my room I don’t cry but I just feel a pang of pain and uselessness like theres no need to be here anymore please help me because i just listen to depressing songs on my own and i know i can do great things if i wasn’t feeling like this

    1. Dante,
      What you are describing is what I call a persona. That person you are in front of everyone else (most anyway)- is not uncommon. Who you are is not always about how you feel. It is important to acknowledge it, though. Talk to someone about how you feel. Online support is good, but there is no comparison to having the support of others around you. Don’t be ashamed. Keep your head up; I’m proud of you for posting.

  34. im at the end of my life, have suffered with functional depression all my life. my husband is dying, not all have the good life. when life hands you difficult things no pill will take the pain away. life has its ups and down but the struggles smashed me down, among other things. depression is an illness don’t let anyone tell you its not. suicide is not the answer, everyones life is precious, there is not one person who doesn’t have something to contribute. its just finding it takes hard work. everyones depression is different but the key is to take a good look at yourself early on at any age. I just swept everything under the rug and got caught up with life. society has changed even mental professionals have issues.I’ve done the route, medicine, therapy, etc. family failed, isolated myself which is the worst thing anyone can do.! self help books are just money makers for the authors, know yourself, your background, etc find help of some kind, but be keen to professionals that are just pill pushers and others who just take your money. there are people out there that will help you just have to find it. where there is a will there is a way. find someone you can trust! ( very hard these days). start today living your life with no regrets. look up find peace in the sky and the beauty of nature, stay away from the depressing tv. news, negatively in any form. etc. difficult people. I know these words are cheap when us all are suffering. love and caring for all!

    1. i feel you comments really ring out to me. I feel lost sometimes and so defeated by the choices i made in life, to losing the man of my dreams because i was married already, to mydaughers renal failure at the age of 23. I cry every day. I think about wanting to leave this world. I want to be strong for my baby. She is so brave and I just cry. I wanted to beable to donate a kidney, went through all the tests inc cat scan only to find i was not able to. It is one smash over the head after another. I feel i cant take it any longer. I have suffered through short term depression onand off but all these things are getting so over welming. I cant even begin to talk about other personal issues that have ripped the life out of me.

  35. What about the people that can’t afford to see a doctor for depression? I have decent insurance, but to be on an antidepressant is an ongoing expense. My husband makes too much money for us to qualify for government assistance, but not enough for me to be able to go to the doctor regularly and pay for antidepressants for an extended period of time. I know I’m severely depressed, I know I need help, and I know that help should be in the form of medication…. But how do I work out the rest of it?

    1. Try searching for sliding scale mental health services in your town, county or nearby city.

      There are many generic antidepressants that are affordable. Telling your doctor about the financial concerns you have, that should be enough to get one perscribed. If not, demand a generic.

      1. I’m sorry but although you make some valid points, your article is very dangerous. You write on the assumption that everyone lives in an organised country that has an at least basic Health System. You also assume that the basic reason for not getting therapy is not wanting one for various reason.

        What you forget is that your web page’s visitors can come for a country where they have NO Health System, and that they may not be able to afford therapy or reach a helpline where they live. So what are they to do after reading your article? Commit suicide because their case is helpless?

        This is a sensible issue, not a harmless topic like sports or clothes! Before submiting it to publish, either include a short aknowledgment that your advice is limited to the society YOU live in, or please make a better research to suggest additional solutions.

  36. I’ve been depressed for quite a bit now. It has actuay come back after I’ve gotten in a relationship with the woman of my dreams. It’s really been affecting our relationship because she can’t deal with us fighting all the time because of my irritability and hostility because of my depression. I have gone through depression before without a psychologist or medication. I have attempted suited but have since realized that dying isn’t worth it. I’ve been through it by myself before so I do think that someone can do self help for their depression because I had a good long think by myself and had many realizations about my life and about my depression. I’m happy to say that I have turned myself around and that I have gotten rid of depression by myself. I’m here to tell you that it is possible for some people. Not for everyone.

  37. Where do you get help, when you have no friends, family is ‘the meet at Xmas and have polite stilted meaningless conversation’ type, and the doctors route is to get u to fill in a pre printed form of boxes and then ask u to go away and write down your thoughts!! While they attempt to file the form in a bulging file which they then drop on the floor and all the papers drop out in a heap! And Like they have not listened to a word you have said in the previous twenty minutes! Really?? Really??? My depression is the result of having to take extremely strong (and addictive) painkillers for over three years – (due to a failed op etc)finally stopping them abruptly when I realised my personality was changing. It’s been two-3 years since then, two of severe depression, and one slightly less so. Not a clue what to do!!

    1. Hi, one place you might consider starting at is a crisis hotline. A lot of people mistakenly think they have to be in a high state of crisis or imminently suicidal in order to reach out to these lines. (sadly some lines do maintain themselves exclusively for that purpose but there are ones out there who WILL listen to you) A place to start might be the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255, (or check out their website http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ which has tons of resources)Lifeline will automatically direct your call to the closest crisis hotline based on the area code you’re calling from (don’t worry it is all still confidential it’s an automated process that the telephone counselors don’t see). And if you find that the crisis hotline they direct you to is one of those rare ones who will only give time to imminently suicidal people please feel free to call the hotline I volunteer at, Response of Suffolk County 631-751-7500, it is 24/7 and we will be there for anyone regardless of where they’re calling from. While it can’t replace therapy and/or medication, a telephone (or chat) crisis counselor can be another source of support for you as you work through the idiotic hoops our society makes us jump through in order to get treatment. Often crisis centers can provide referrals and other support services to help you navigate that maze. Take care :hugs:

  38. Hard to know what to do when doctors only make things worse. I’ve had 1 convinced that getting off Effexor would not have any side effects despite my proof otherwise. I was on my own. Another doc just refilled a Rx for yrs with no interest in when I said I was so much worse. I managed to discover (after far too long) that a particular generic of the drug I’d taken for years was causing the far more extreme version of depression bordering on suicidal thought. I know it’s a disease, but where do you go for help when the “help” is anything but? It seems we are on our own. I’m trying the tips in The Depression Cure. The science seems sound. Time will tell.

  39. Hi.

    I have been a patient at a clinic for 1.5 years now. They offer discounted rates for people like me who would otherwise not be able to afford treatment.

    My decision to finally seek help after 30 plus years of depression was not an easy one. Ultimately I was tired of moving through life not actually living it. I was cheating myself by ignoring the pain and the life situations that exacerbated that pain.

    I see a psychologist every two-three weeks, a psychiatrist every six weeks. Plus I have joined two groups, ACT and Mindfulness, that have helped as well. In fact those groups have provided a refuge to free myself when I otherwise would not have the opportunity. I feel more at peace going to that mental health center, than I do in “real life” and I am so grateful for it.

    Find the courage to give yourself the opportunity to address your depression and other mental health issues. Just don’t expect that a few sessions or a few pills will cure you. It is going to take hard work on your part to find your version of peace and happiness. But you will do it.

  40. I don’t know what to do. Am I depressed or not? I act happy around everyone but I haven’t told anyone how I really feel… Alone. Sad. Stressed. Anxious. There’s no way to describe it. I go into my room and I cry. I cry and cry And cry. I have no idea why. I know that if I tell anyone they won’t take me seriously because I always seem so happy but inside I’m broken. It seems as though there’s no reason to live. I just need someone to talk to. I’ve been feeling this way for about half a year and I need some advice. I’m a teenager. Please someone tell me what I should do.

    1. Please please tell a parent,or close rerelative. If you can’t do that, or feel to uncomfortable,call your dodoctor. Ask your school nurse what you can do

      1. Kimberly,
        Precious, I hope things have improved for you. Please know you are NOT alone. I know it can feel that way. If you haven’t done it already you should reach out and talk to someone about your feelings, your thoughts, and the conflict that you have or are experiencing. Preferably, someone close to you (And someone who is a counselor, a parent, a teacher, a pastor, a nurse, a doctor, or even an adult neighbor). You can also try a hotline which allows you to connect and talk without being troubled with locality to someone you can confide in.
        The way you are feeling or have felt is normal and quite common. You are brave to post this and I want you to know that even if you don’t feel like this right this moment, it’s important to acknowledge it with someone.
        Wishing you peace, Micha

        1. don’t be afraid I have a duel disese being treated with antidepressants and antipsychotic medicine has worked for several this phone is goofing up on the spelling sorry seek medical help please love you

      2. please seek a psychiatrist immediately don’t be afraid and if u don’t like the way it treated keep looking for one that u feel comfortable with

  41. Hello all. I am writing this on the heels of the death by suicide of Robin Williams. I am 46 yrs old, and have suffered with depression since I was a preteen. I am currently in a deep depression, for the last several months I have been suffering intensely. Death is always on my mind. I am only still here for the sake of my daughter, my only saving grace, but I am a disaster. I want to leave this place once and for all, I am tired of this constant, constant struggle. I started medications which ate not as effective as I had hoped, and I am still tortured. I am tired, exhausted and empty. I imagine what it will be like to leave this place, and each day I am working towards making peace with it. I can only handle each minute as it comes. I am doing the best I can. Best of luck to all the sufferers.

  42. If you can help please email me back. Idk what is wrong with me.. I’ve been this way for a long time and its not getting better. Nothing makes me happy. I fake being happy. I can’t have friends. I can’t talk to anyone. I cry all the time. And don’t wanna get out of bed. If it wasn’t for the ppl who love me. And the pain they feel. I would be dead. Idk wat to do. But I can’t live like this anymore

    1. I feel the same way..the only thing stopping me to kill myself I’d my 16 yr old son.my day ate empty, I don’t even go outside anymore..I’m hoping my new psych Dr. Will help cause its very hard to live this way

  43. Your story sounds like my story. Last Sunday I was getting stuff around for a Father’s Day picnic. Suddenly I realized I wasn’t feeling down and depressed. My energy was good and I was looking forward to company. It lasted about an hour, then the heaviness set back in. I started a new med abt 10 days ago and I am hoping that the good hour is a sign that it is starting to work. Today is a heavy day.

    Karen

  44. thanks for this article it made more sense than those self help sites i run into when i’m feeling this way. i’ll call a doctor first thing monday morning. again thanks.

  45. Where to start? I wasn’t always like this; I used to be generally quite an outgoing person, keeping fit and having a good time. These past two years (that have gone incredibly fast and almost emphasise the fact that another decade might as well occur) have been hell for me. Only up until recently have my parents been aware of the severity of this depression which just seems to shroud everything I do or anything I can so in negativity. I barely laugh anymore and I feel like I cannot enjoy the smallest thing I did before such as watching a film or just sitting there knowing that tomorrow I will get up and have a full day ahead of me. It may seem weird that I mention those things rather than say, going out clubbing with friends or getting that paycheck from work but those were always the times when I could genuinely feel happy about myself and not have to do something to drown out my negative emotions. I started university on the wrong note – I made some great friends, I am so close to them yet so distant. My relationship with my family has dimished to the point where I have not spoken to my mother for a year now and am on the verge of begrudging my father. I am coming to the end of my second year at university and feel that my future is bleak, that I have nothing. My friends just pass around me in their own worlds – or maybe it is I that is simply trapped in mine. I am sick of always seeing my friends genuinely happy with their lives, enjoying the small things that I once cherished. I am tired of having to act like my life is good whenever I am physically around them. Life these days is so painful, that gloom is always over my shoulder, even when I am preoccupied with something – sometimes, just sometimes I forget about my worries (no surprise usually when intoxicated) but this is rare these days.
    All I see, and have let my parents know, is that I can only get worse from here. My father actually made an effort to book me in with my GP to get me some help. I was supposed to hear back from the hospital about some kind of one on one therapy sessions which I am highly sceptical about.
    Regarding the point of the article above, I would have to say that self help is a short term fix – I can give myself positive thoughts or even comfort eat (and no, I am not in the slightest overweight) in order to heighten my mood but this is only temporary and unsustainable. I do agree with the author of this article that it does get to a point that you cannot help yourself but need external help. This is because the outlook of a person with depression is always negatively skewed, even when bright. I am in no way, shape or form qualified to give advice for depression, but as a sufferer I can give my experience.
    well this is the next step guys, whether I make it or break it so to speak. I didn’t write this post to gather any sympathy but rather as to use it as a temporary vessel to releave me and to anyone that may ever read this, it is kind of helping getting this off my chest, even if it is just a post on a website.
    I know this is said time and time again but if anyone else reads this and is also in a bad place, you are not alone. I put my mind and even heart out to those also in my position at the moment. My father, when I communicate with him, tells me that there is light at the end of the tunnel – and maybe there is, I just cannot see it yet. I should be more grateful for the fact people are trying to help me and I am aware that there are people out there with less than I. It is to those people that I think about from time to time, not necessarily praying for them as I am not exactly religious, but just hoping they gain strength in their lives and see hope.

    Well that is it from me guys, I wish myself luck and I wish everyone else out there strength, I really mean that.

    1. Remember hormone in balances ie low Thyroid can effect mood really badly. Go online for advice in want to ask for when getting this checked if not already done so. For me after years of depression found CBT the most helpful.

  46. Life sucks , nothing gets better and no one really cares or understands … Life is what it is … Its like having cancer or aids and asking why me ?? Wtf ! It just is … We are like cast aways of the world . No one cares !

    1. It can feel that way, but know that you aren’t alone. I’m sorry Jess, pulled a rather harsh pity bullshit card on you. Everyone is different. It can and often does get better. Please know that I’m thinking of you tonight.
      With prayer,
      Micha

  47. So sorry, but I have to call bullshit on you.

    I managed to live with depression for about a decade– found a spouse, had a couple of kids, built a pretty good life.

    Then I decided to seek treatment for my depression. Well. After eight months of antipsychotics and being told that I could not possibly have built this life for myself, I attempted suicide.

    Before, I had depression and Asperger’s. Now, I have depression, and Asperger’s, and GAD, and agoraphobia, and PTSD. I was a hell of a lot better off accepting depression as an inevitable consequence of Asperger’s and “fighting through it on my own.”

  48. How do you measure or better yet qualify being in a state of depression? There seems to be a thick margin of grey that represents the ups and downs in life. Is it when you’re down more than you’re up? Do we look for that quantifiable downward trend to declare one’s depressional state? If so, is it at this point of no return that we are then clinically identied as having the disease? I guess these are some of my first thoughts as I move forward in trying to self examine why I have lost most of my interest in life. I’m not at a dangerous point (suicide), but scared that I can not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything around me is in order, but can’t seem to appreciate all that I do have; health, family, job, etc. Perhaps it’s a mid life crisis I’m going through at age 57. In reading some of the advice, the one thing I’ll start working on is the appreciation of what I do have to be thankful for. The other, is my moral compass that can hopefully steer me in the right direction.

    1. Search your area for free groups. Library for books. Freecycle online groups to request books. CBT books to help change negative thought patterns.for example negative language “I should” negative language is a big barrier to self healing. Look for Dorothy Rowe books. Oliver James. A good friend whom you can read boops through with you and help you on CBT. I had severe depression I used many talking therapies however CBT was the only one that helped me move forwards out of my learned negative coping strategies and thoughts. It hard work but implementING it has become 2nd nature now. I still get low points but not deep deep low anymore.

  49. I have come to realize how real depression is as an illness as I’ve been going through my recent experience and realizing the thoughts that go on in my mind, particularly suicide which keeps me up for fear I will actually do something to myself, even though I really don’t. Along with my thoughts I have no appetite, I feel fatigued and sleepy all the time and have no interest in anything. And doing simple things like putting on my shirt feels like an arduous ordeal. It doesn’t help either when there are one or two people who I come across that react harshly when I share what I am going through despite the 10 or more positive people that really listen and share their support. It is from these people that I have come to realize that anyone suffering with depression should find trustworthy people they can turn to and talk with to help you in your time of need. Sometimes I feel like I don’t want to talk to anyone because I don’t want to burden them with MY problems. I have learned that talking things out with these people actually has helped me more than thinking I can deal with it myself. So I will agree that anyone suffering with depression in any shape or form, be it mild or severe, DO NOT deal with it or feel you have to fight it alone. Find the right people in your life that will help you even if all they do is listen. Thank You for reading and please know that you are NOT alone.

    1. Also do some CBT cognitive Behavioural Therapy. If low income this can be done by self with a good friends help. Our negative thought patterns can keep us in a state of depression and anxiety. As well as hormones, good healthy diet and exercise. This can eliminate or radically reduce depression over time. Learn Positive coping strategies. Learning about human developent and behaviour. Eg. Our early experiences, age birth to 3 yrs can effect us as adults if left unaddressed. Not easy but not impossible with help and suport

  50. Depression, I believe all my life has just been depression, Of course there are good points in your life but for me they were even a struggle marriage, children the family, I had it all but never happy, of course the past was always in the back of your mind, Therapy at 30, divorced and court cases to do with your childhood background to a not guilty, I lived on pulled my socks up and carried on to be socially okay,great job,I am an over achiever, did very well, I new everything experienced so to say in the crap life that was handed to me, I was grateful of the person I became, of my children life was good as I new it, though I never felt I was great, attractive, a good parent or for that matter a good person, but I tried my best, and low and behold 52years old and I am sitting with so much pain,lonely, ugly, self pity just no motivation to move or fix things, life has just taken its toll on me I am tired of feeling this way I was diagnosed with severe depression, I am not alone I have a loving husband, children and grandchildren, I am also on 3 different meds, I hear that depression is an illness compared to any other illness, I have sat for 5yrs hiding from everyone trying to keep it away from effecting everyone else around me, from my past experience with therapy,group therapy and reading everything I could get my hands on the overachiever that I was.. I thought I was healed so to say… Today I read with half interest, also now it is not as easy to read and concentrate, I don’t think I or anyone for that matter can help themselves isolated, I believe with depression I probably should look for help, the problem besides cost, so disappointing that all the work I have done was for what! to get me through 20yrs, I just not sure that same energy is there anymore, and I am constantly hearing wow I would never guess you as being depressed, because I can do everything in my power to mask it, my husband is away with work 2nights a week and those are the days I just die inside… I am just not sure anymore what is the best way anymore, chemical imbalance that is the answer today but it is still depression stuck in quick sand and too tired to find help.So long story short I know I can’t fix it alone, and I guess to each his own, but if you can look deep into yourself I think we all can see we need help, it is just how to go about it is the problem. That big grey world is so different today, everyone is just busy and depression can hide and so many people just can not see it anymore, so we live, or I live on in my own world of pain.Just the energy alone that it takes to seek help is enough to just bury your head under the blankets…

    1. Read,read,read and I don’t mean self help books. Read books on Human develop and behaviour. Learn why us humans can behave the way we do. Knowledge is power. Also CBT. Long road, hard work however it’s rewarding. Authors like James Oliver, Dorothy Rowe. Bowlby. etc. Also get hormone levels checked. T3 and T4 also Estrogen etc.

  51. hi, i think I’ve been feeling over stressed/depressed for years, or should i say all through my childhood to my adult years, its hurting me so badly. I don’t know how to deal with it anymore. somethings are bothering me that i never even talked about to anyone else. And i have been in a relationship with a guy for almost 3 years, and wants to know what’s been bothering me. And ever since i was a grown up, i was always afraid to talk to someone what I’m going through. I have 2 kids with the same guy I’m with for 3 years . I feel like he’s almost leaving me because of my anger and frustration. All i want for someone or anyone to ask me is that, what’s wrong with me? or what’s been happening through your childhood, no one never asked me that, not even my own mother or father, or even a friend of mine. So now , I’m really desperate to let some things out that i kept for a very long time, some are recently. I’m desperate for help.

  52. Hi,

    You may not be able to heal depression but you can fight it.

    I am French and first I do apologize for my mistakes.

    I was looking for some advices about ‘how to fight depression’ when I found your site.
    I have been looking for 10 years and I must say that if some advices look very tempting, good and easy, none of them really worked for me yet.
    However they helped out for a while, and gave me some good tips to cope with my every day life.

    I agree with you that depression is an illness and needs to be taken seriously.
    But I strongly disagree with the fact that if we are depressed we hopeless on our own. I am not against getting help at all, I think that is good choice. But if you cannot or don’t want to they are ways to deal with it on you own.

    Of course the book solution is not perfect but psychology has its downsides as well.

    1- What happends to people who can’t afford it?
    Are they cursed for the rest of their life?
    The help you are talking about is a long process of many years.
    It is very costly.

    2-It is also a great emotional investment and an early separation with the psychologist can be extremely hard and painful.

    3- Lots of psychologists repeat the exact same things as those books(and not the best). I heard so many horrifying things by people talking about their psychologist and I also experienced it. They can really do damaged.
    So it needs to be recommended by a trustworthy person who knows about this area.

    4- A Psychologist is not for everybody.
    Back in France I saw one for 2 years and a half. Recommended by her peers and who had a good reputation.
    I also saw one for 6 years when I was a teenager.
    It didn’t help much and costed a ludicrous amount of money.

    5-A psychotherapy is never 100% sure. People commit suicide even during or after a treatment.

    Those books you ‘re talking about,they are not all good I agree but some are if you look long enough.
    they don’t heal depression(neither will anti-depressant) but they help, they diminish the despair, .

    I do think it is possible to fight depression on your own if you want, or if you have no other choices. Maybe not heal it that ‘s true but definitely fight it.

    Marie

    1. If u can fight on your own then you must be suffering from sadness,which is not atall a clinical condition.so please dont make someone,who really have a medical condition- feel weakminded by indirectly saying that he is not strong enough to help himself.

      1. Hi.

        Until now, it is still unclear to me on what truly constitutes as depression. Sadness is one of the symptoms of depression, and the list of symptoms goes on.

        For three years, I’m constantly attacked with “depression symptoms,” even in the lines of suicide contemplation (until now). Of course, I can’t officially call this “depression”, as I am not yet diagnosed by a “professional” due to financial constraints and stigmatization of depression. Due to the stigmatization, I acknowledge the need of destigmatization of depression so that it would be easier for people to go to doctors and get diagnosed.

        But not all depression stories are the same. I cannot deny the stories of people still “committing” suicide (the stigma of suicide would be for another topic) even under or after treatment.

        (Nitpicking comments)
        **
        The statement “the number one cause of suicide is untreated depression” is actually problematic for this article (and other articles who copy-paste this statement). First of all, what does it mean by “untreated?” Does this mean that the patient is diagnosed with depression but doesn’t go with the supposed treatment? If this is the case, then why advocate for going to the doctor, if the patient himself/herself wouldn’t go with the treatment? This means that the problem with depression is far deeper than simply going to the doctor.

        But if it means “untreated” the same as “undiagnosed”, I need to request the source of this statistic because no one could come up with a valid statistic about depression if there’s no way for them to count “undiagnosed” depression cases. This would be plain wrong.
        **
        (end of nitpicking comments)

        Nitpicking comments aside, not everyone can afford diagnosis, and these people aren’t a minority. To these people, their choices include asking others for help or fight it on their own. But because of the stigma, some of these people don’t have any choice but to fight it on their own. And please take note that “fighting” is not the same as “curing.” This is a response to your comment about fighting it on their own equates to sadness, because it’s not sadness. For them, it is their only choice, and luckily these survivors shared their ongoing struggles, for others to look at them as hope. The worst thing your comment could do to them is to dismiss their experiences (assuming if the person is still alive).

        And yes, I do have a lot of free time.

    2. Hello excuse me for my bad writing skills.
      I am 12 and I have many almost all the symptoms for depression…I don’t know what to do…I feel bad because I sometimes just snap at my mom and it hurts after I do…I cry a lot and I just want to die but Im not gonna kill myself because I don’t want to leave my mom. I hate my appearance and I can never be happy. I was always smiling when I was younger from birth-4 years old I was happy. Then at the age of 5 I was being bullied… It affected me big time I nearly killed myself in 3rd grade but failed I sat in my restroom crying with my dog.I have been staying strong but Its hard now… Its harder because I have problems with my dad and My heart was broken by a guy who I love and I know Im young Too young to love but I know for a fact that I love him.I am a fighting soul for jesus. I just wanted to ask how can I be my happy self again :'(

      1. Omg I’ve been fighting this disease most of my 42 years I can emphasise how you feel. Are you able to talk to your mom? I’m afraid I’m not and never have been. I hope you are you never know she could be the starting point towards beating this please open up to her you must be so sad I wish I could hug you.

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