The Longing to be Close – 1

In reading over the many responses to The Longing to Leave series, I realize those stories only get at part of the picture. Like many in the midst of depression, I wanted to blame my marriage for what I was going through and fantasized about leaving. But at the core of that fantasy was an almost miraculous closeness and intimacy. What is deeper than that longing to be close, to […] Read the rest»

Depression and Stress

Part of my recovery consists of putting two and two together. I’ve learned to see links between things I’ve done and felt that I never knew were connected to depression. Blowing up in rage, feeling extreme anxiety, even panic at meeting a group of new people, deep fears and fantasies, memory loss – understanding that all of those problems fitted in with depression was surprising but also comforting. That painful […] Read the rest»

Hope, Love, Depression and House Repair

A four-word comment from Stephany has set my mind going. “Hope is not love.” she writes in reference to my last post on the difficulty of sustaining a marriage in the midst of major depression. At the end of that brief story I used a house-building image in talking about hope, and I think that’s what she’s responding to. “Hope” and “love” are such big words, I’d better get clear […] Read the rest»

Depressed Partner – Disappearing

I went to a wedding once, and the pastor had a simple message for the young couple before him as well as the rest of us packed into a beautiful church. “Marriage is survival,” he began, and the crowd of two hundred answered back in laughing groans of recognition. That statement is true of any marriage that lasts, and how much harder it is when one of the partners is […] Read the rest»

Caution: Raging Man in Residence

An active and aggressive side of depression, especially painful to recall, is the rage that used to blast through me at my wife and three boys. There are few things to equal the power for healing of the connection and love of your own family, and it’s a sign of the depth of isolation and emotional distortion that accompanies depression when that very connection is abused and threatened. But so […] Read the rest»

Working in the Dark

Photo Credit: JesterArts – Stockxpert If you’re dealing with depression and you realize it’s affecting your work, who should you tell? Your employer or supervisor? – or your clients if your self-employed? Why might you need to do that, and how might they react? Would they be understanding and helpful? Or would they no longer trust your abilities because they thought you were “crazy?” And if you tell someone, when […] Read the rest»

Treatment: The Depression Policy

Photo Credit – JesterArts – Stockxpert One of my wake-up moments arrived decades ago when I read a New York Review of Books essay on a government practice known as “channeling.” This was during the Vietnam draft era, and the term referred to the decisions that young men were forced to make about their lives because of the prospect of compulsory military service. There was plenty of stress to go […] Read the rest»