Several times, I’ve mentioned “my illness” on this blog. I never said what it was. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to. But the more I think about it, the more I realize I have nothing to fear, and perhaps something to gain. I’ve decided to stop hiding it.
So yes, it’s true. For the past two and a half years, I have had clinical depression.
If you’re wondering what it’s like, the short answer is: it sucks. You’re tired, you don’t care about anything, your brain feels like a lump of clay. And it hurts – not as a physical pain, but in a way that’s very difficult to describe.
Yes, I am being treated. I’m currently on my fourth therapist, my second doctor, and medication number I’ve-lost-count. It turns out that the process for discovering the right depression medication is akin to opening random presents on Christmas morning, one after another, except the presents each take three months to open and most of them have clinical depression inside them.
Fortunately, I’ve discovered Abilify, which – alone of the drugs I’ve tried – actually does help. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help 100% (for me), and it has side effects (for me). So there’s that.
I’ve also missed plenty of work: two large multi-week blocks, and many individual days here and there. And I’ve missed plenty of blog posts, and failed to meet various other obligations. C’est la vie. I don’t feel too guilty about it at the moment, which I suppose is rational.
If it sounds bad, well, it is. But I have never been suicidal, and I have never had anyone tell me it wasn’t a real problem, so those are two things I’m very grateful for. My family, friends, and wife have been nothing but supportive, and I’m very lucky to have that.
Anyway, y’all are a smart group, and I don’t mind talking about it with you. So if you have any questions, now is the time to ask. Don’t be shy, you won’t offend me. What do you want to know about depression? (In general, or mine specifically.) Ask away.