I’m Joel and I have Major Depressive Disorder, with suicidal ideation. This short About Me video gives a snapshot of where I was and where I am.
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Coping With Depression
My blog is giving me a chance to share my day-to-day thoughts. My intentions, my struggles, and triumphs as I learn to live with and learn more about depression.
Even I am curious about how I got to this point. My hope is that I can be completely honest as I work through issues in public, on my blog. I see many benefits from this openness and reality check.
I have lied to myself about living with depression for all my adult life.
Am I depressed? YES.
Am I always depressed? NO.
Do I always have Depression? YES.
Masking it, concealing it, never saying its name. This avoidance has created episodes that have led me to where I am now.
The Internet and Modern Depression Support Groups
Coping with depression has been a struggle for so many because finding great, local support isn’t as easy as many make it out to be. Thanks to the Internet, we can now come together and share our depression stories, work together toward self-improvement, and help another through the thick and thin.
Telling my story may help others see this before they hit the wall, too.
While in the hospital, I read Meditation for the fidgety skeptic, by ABC News Anchor Dan Harris. The author suffered a panic attack on air and was diagnosed with depression. His journey forward, living with depression, is shared, in part, on the pages of his book. This was incredibly helpful to me. Just knowing that there are other people who have had major depression, survived, and thrived, gives me hope.
I can think of four major events in my life where living with depression has challenged me, and I have fought.
And in three of the four, I was able to beat back depression without having to admit I had it. Or even tell others I had it. But all of this is from the vantage point of time. I am not sure what people saw or how they remember those episodes.
Now I am facing depression a fourth time. But this time, I choose to fight. I choose to call it by name, depression, and to say, “I have depression, depression does not have me.”
The truth is I do not only have depression when I can’t see the way forward. I have depression when things are going great. This has been lost on me in the past.
There is no turning back. “Depression is not my boss.”
Recent update: I have completed the SMART Recovery Basic Host Training Program from SMART Recovery. This includes training in the origins of and the program ideals, plus the basic tools to host or assist in hosting a SMART Meeting.