November 09, 2005

Depression, part n+1

Real Live Preacher had a great blog about depression-- some excerpts:

Okay, this is the important part. This is why there are no heroes with depression. On the day you snap, you are just a guy who snapped. You get no credit for the weeks or months or years that you were being heroic. No one knew that you were holding all that inside. Sorry buddy, there are no bonus points for being a hero. When you snap and start yelling at your kids for no good reason, you are just a guy who yells at his kids for no good reason.

Of course, you don't want to be a guy who yells at his kids, so you start avoiding them and everyone else if you can get away with it. You begin to isolate yourself. By the time you get home from a long day of pretending that you care about things, you don't want to talk to anyone.

Your whole life becomes centered around trying not to feel bad. You will do whatever it takes to get a little relief from despair, anxiety, self-loathing, and all the other horrible things you feel. Hell yes, you'll do it. You'll do anything to feel a little better or at least to feel nothing at all.

For me, the only way to stop feeling bad was to lose myself in a movie, or a book, or the computer. So I spent less and less time with my wife and children. I was home, but I really wasn't home. I knew that they needed me, but I was willing to sacrifice my long-term happiness for short-term relief.

Here is a checklist where you can find out if you are depressed.


At November 09, 2005 7:43 PM , Blogger Chaz said...

Matt, thank you for that post.

At November 09, 2005 9:23 PM , Blogger Kate said...

Thanks for the uplifting post!

I scored 30, but I've been in the 90s so life is good right now.

At November 10, 2005 10:00 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

I was up to 37 about a week+ ago but then I took a few days off from work and spent time with my family. Helped quite a bit to realize that I need to do things to maintain myself (e.g. have fun), and I can't do it all.

At November 10, 2005 3:22 PM , Blogger Chaz said...

RLP clarified many things for me in his post. Like why I find myself up at 2AM watching crap TV when I KNOW I should be sleeping.

At November 10, 2005 6:46 PM , Blogger Kate said...

Hey guys. Do you think it's time for you to seek some help?

At November 11, 2005 9:43 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

(Just look at us. And winter hasn't even started!)
Congratulations Kate on your progress, it is a wonderful achievement.
My plan is to keep an eye on myself and when I see warning signs (muscle tics, negative thoughts, snappyness), to look after myself. If you are going to cut wood you have to take time to sharpen the saw. For now my therapy will be friends and family and healthy food and exercise. Some professions (e.g. teaching, ministry) lead to depression-- to do them well takes a huge personal investment and they can be a black hole for energy. No matter how much you do, you could always have done more.

At November 11, 2005 11:35 AM , Blogger Kate said...

the professions don't lead to the disease unless you are predisposed. I wonder if "mother" should be on that list of potential energy sucking black holes?

I'm glad that you are learning to look after your health. That is a skill that many people nearing 40 seem to be learning right now.


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