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
I 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