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About Jack Smith, Author of Coping with Depression Blog

Hi, my name is Jack, and I suffer from depression.

I was first diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder about seven years ago, but I’ve been waging war on this brain disease for a long time. And it is a disease. It is not a character flaw. It is not an excuse for my shortcomings. It is not a spiritual defect. It is not a case of the occasional blues. It is real, and it is painful — physically painful. It is maddening and it can be gut wrenching. It is an illness just as diabetes is an illness.

I call it a war because war is hell, and so is clinical depression.

I’m Coping With Depression: I Know You Can Relate

jack-smith-150x150I started an anonymous blog not long ago as an outlet to talk about how I feel. So I did it for selfish reasons. Yet I’ve since found out that others can relate. Many of them are men who, just like me, feel overwhelmed in this Age of Anxiety. They say depression occurs twice as much in women as in men, but I don’t believe it. Men just have a harder time asking for help. I hope men and women who suffer from depression find help here, but especially men.

One of the conditions of writing this depression blog for HealthyPlace.com is that it be written under my real name. (No, Jack Smith is not an unimaginative alias). To write it anonymously would only perpetuate the stigma of mental illness and depression. So here goes nothing…this is my coming out party. If there are consequences for honesty, then so be it.

My hope and prayer is this blog will help others. I write not as an expert on the disease of depression. I write as one who suffers from it, one who can relate to others waging this awful war that sometimes seems unwinnable.

The good news is we can get better. I can get better. After a near nervous breakdown this summer, I am in recovery. There are setbacks—lots of them, but I have an incredible support team of doctors who care for me and a family that loves me unconditionally.

So that’s why I’m here. To give others hope.

I look forward to sharing my story, which may sound a lot like yours, each and every Friday.

You can also follow Jack’s blog at www.onemanswar.blogspot.com

Jack Smith’s Coping with Depression Blog – Welcome Video

21 thoughts on “About Jack Smith, Author of Coping with Depression Blog”

  1. Welcome to HealthyPlace! I am the author of Surviving ED, HealthyPlace’s eating disorders recovery blog. I have struggled with anorexia, and mixed in with that is anxiety and depression. I actually have struggled with depression since I was a child and was diagnosed when I was a teenager after several suicide attempts, so I definitely am interested in what you have to say about depression.

    I know what you mean about hiding it. I have tried to hide both my anxiety and depression, and my eating disorder, for years. But with anorexia, at some point it becomes obvious and I finally decided to start writing a personal blog using my own name. I have to admit I did think for a second Jack Smith was an alias…I think it is very brave for you to come out in the open, and I’m sure your words will help many people.

    Thank you for joining HealthyPlace!!!

  2. Thank you and welcome. I, too, live with depression. I’ve lived with for most of my life…I am 49 year old. It’s good to read such honesty and I wish you success in your blog.

    1. David,
      Thanks so much for the kind words. Keep up the good fight against depression. I know it’s a daily battle sometimes.

  3. Congratulations Jack on your new blog. I’ve been trying to do the same thing however I haven’t had the courage to use my own name because I feel as if many people who know me have bought into the stigma and would not appreciate being associated with me. So I guess I am perpetuating the stigma in a way. My depression played a major role in my divorce and I almost lost all contact with my three children. Luckily the court was more open-minded than my former family. I hope you have good luck finding your voice because I’m finding it quite difficult to write when I’m depressed which is more often than not. I look forward to reading what you have to say and maybe it will inspire me to use my own name in the future.
    All the best, Max

    1. Max,
      I can certainly relate to what you’ve been dealing with. My depression played a major role in a career change. I am so glad that you didn’t lose contact with your three children. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come again. I wish you well in your battle with depression.

  4. Hi Jack, Glad you are writing this blog. I suffer from anxiety/depression and symptoms of agoraphobia. The anxiety part is so bad that I don’t even work. I did for a long time but it just became not worth it at some point. As for coming out, mine was two summers ago. All my friends know and have known, but I’ve always hidden it from my parents so they wouldn’t worry or judge. That summer I had a breakdown and the agoraphobia got the worst it’s ever been. Things got so bad that I had no choice but to tell them. It wasn’t easy, but what I’ve found is that it’s actually brought us closer together. They treat me with more care and I can tell them when something is up. In retrospect I’m glad it all had to come out. Of course, I’m not saying this is best for everyone. If I had told them a few years ago, the reaction might have been totally different.

    1. Christy,
      Thanks for sharing those very personal details of what I can only imagine is a very difficult battle. Telling my parents about my struggles was incredibly hard also, but like you it has made dealing with my issues easier knowing I no longer have to hide my mental illness issues. Take care of yourself and please come back.

  5. Hi Jack,

    Congratulations on your coming out party! 🙂

    I also wrote anonymously about my mental illness until I started writing for HealthyPlace. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

    I’m so glad you’re writing this blog. We need more honest voices speaking out about the realities of clinical depression. I struggled with Major Depressive Disorder for years before being properly diagnosed. And it wasn’t for lack of trying to get help. On the contrary, I’ve been in and out of the mental health system since I was 14 years old. Not one clinician recognized that I had an illness. They told me to get some exercise, which I did. They told me to think positively, which I also did. Nothing helped. And I blamed myself, confused about why I had such a “bad attitude.” I had no idea something might genuinely be wrong with me until I saw a documentary on depression and realized that my experiences were symptoms of a real problem. Only then, when I *knew* something was truly wrong, would anyone listen to me.

    Over 10 years later, I still live with severe depression. And I still have advocate for myself in treatment. I have an excellent psychiatrist and a wonderful therapist, but I’ve found that I have to take charge of my treatment, not them. When I can’t or don’t, I get worse.

    I’m glad you’re here. Looking forward to more of your work.

    Holly Gray

    1. Holly,
      Thanks for the warm welcome and for sharing your story. We have nothing to be ashamed of and noting to hide. Thanks again and please come back.

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