Storied Mind has changed a lot. Whether you’re new to the site or a long-time visitor, you might need some orientation. To begin with, the Recover Life from Depression site has been folded into this one. You can now find all the posts, comments and links from both sites in one place.

To make it easier to find what you’re looking for, we’ve added several permanent sections to the regular flow of posts on the blog. Each section features one of the major topics and the latest posts on each.

A Story of Depression and Recovery

While putting this new format together, I realized that the site is organized a little bit like a story. It’s a very long story about finding a way to live well with depression. There are four basic phases, and each has its own section on the site.

  1. Living Depressed: Becoming aware of depression and how it’s crippling your life

  2. Choices in Healing: Finding the most effective therapies and actively applying them in you life.

  3. Relationships: Trying to hold onto close relationships while working to get better.

  4. Living Well: Adapting to depression over the long-term and learning to live as well as possible

Core Posts

To help you get an overview of what Storied Mind covers, I’ve organized some of the key posts here under popular topics. These posts are a good starting place since they go to the core purpose of Storied Mind – to help you find your own way to deal with depression.


  1. The Gift of Belief
  2. Getting Ready to Recover
  3. The Risk of Change in Recovery

Men & Depression

  1. Men, Depression and Sexual Addiction
  2. Why Depressed Men Leave-1
  3. Real’s Men and Depression

Marriage, Relationships & Depression

  1. The Longing to Leave – 2
  2. How to Work Together to Save Your Relationship from Depression
  3. Talking to Depression – 1

Work & Depression

  1. Depression at Work-3: Should You Change Your Job or Your Life?
  2. Work and Depression
  3. Work, Identity and Recovery – 1

Depression Symptoms

  1. Facing My Double in Depression
  2. Masks of Depression
  3. Guilt, Grief and Regeneration

Depression & Children

  1. Growing Up with Fear and Depression
  2. Shame and Family Violence
  3. Growing Up Blue – Is Mom Dead?

Depression Treatments

  1. Fighting Back – 2: Becoming an Activist
  2. Feeling Fine on Prozac
  3. Meditating Through Depression

77 Responses to “START HERE”

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  1. Donna says:

    I been dating this guy for 3 months. We had fun times, he met my family over thd holidays, I met his one son. He was so inti me right away and said he loved me in a month planned the future with us. A month ago his Dr.owered his meds in which he told me he was on meds from a ex girlfriend of 9 yrs left and he was heartbroken with no closure or reason and don’t know where she is. Apparently she got hooked on Heroin and he dealt with it for the last 4 years. So during the holidays he can became distant. Now Dr. put him back on reg dosege to help him deal with issues from holidays and him packing up her stuff. From a yr ago. I have reached out to him since he explained the situation and called. I got one text back after he told his kids whats going on and told them Im giving him space to work through it. I’ve been so upset not knowing are we over or once his meds work again and he is back to loving self will he want to see me again or his he wanting to be left alone cause thinking of his ex and until he’s bettet. I don’t know what to do and can’t believe he is doing this to me after two years ago I went through a break-up I’m living with someone and dating for 6 years I feel he shouldn’t be doing this to me again but I know it’s not his fault

  2. Lisa says:

    Thank you first of all. John, sounds like me and your living with depression story. 1982 is when it started for me and I heard same things, if you just exercise, if you “any number” of suggestions…They don’t help.
    I beat myself up after making errors at work, then get dumped on by coworker for same mistake. No end to the negative thoughts, it only makes me feel worse than I already do. I wake up, drag myself out of bed, down my 5 second walk of hallway to work from home.. rinse and repeat almost 5 days a week. I have been fighting it everyday, can’t “just snap out of it” to some people’s requests. Doesn’t work that way.

  3. Kris says:

    I need some advice. That I am sure I know the answer to but I don’t want to face it because one I’m afraid maybe I am making the wrong choice and 2 I have a son who I don’t want to hate me. I’ve been with this guy for over 14 yrs we have an 12 yr old son who is my life. When I first met his father my fiance I thought I was the luckiest person to have met such a great guy I mean he treated me like a princess there were no issued with affection, no.sexual issues he was just amazing and when I became pregnant with our son he did everything from rub my feet anything for me loved me was very romantic I could go on. After our son was born he still helped he changed diapers he worked.we.were a team like it should be. We then had some issues I don’t know if I was going thru post partom depression but he slept on the couch for sometime and my son slept in the bed. All in all things changed sex was not an interest as it wAs just things I.guess.u go thru. We stayed together and I had told him that we needed to work on things between us I missed the person.I fell in love with and I’m sure likewise for him. I’ve put forth.effort in to reconnect in every way possible. And things would be fine but then not. Then he started doing things as the relationship progressed he would get nasty.if.I woke him.up in the morning he sleeps.til all hours of the dAy most of the time he has no longer been able to.hold a.job sex is almost never maybe once every 2.months if that.and that’s on him. I feel as I have to sort of always be the one to.go.up and show affection I’m feeling like I’m begging for.attention. I mean sleeping in the same bed is just sleeping I have to roll over and put my arm around him to cuddle I would fall over if i.ever woke up and it was him holding me. He is just a miserable person and takes no responsibility for any of his actions I don’t know how I let this happen. It’s making me so miserable that I’m finding myself sleeping until ,,mid.afternoon. I know life is not a movie and everything is not perfect but I just want happiness son and and a partner/ best friend that I can laugh with feel secure with and have goals with someone who is in it together. And I don’t feel that and I.dont feel.its ever going to change. He is.a.38.,,yr old and is like a child he walks around when.he does wake up with a phone or iPad in.his hand.most.of.thr day playing games When I say I am going to.leave.he makes me.the bad guy and I know.that is a narcissist behavior by him and turns me into.the bad guy with my son. I do love him.with all my heart and I want the person back who was the amazing person I fell in love with back but I’ve tried And tried Nd I cannot go.on feeling like this not wanted sexually Having all the financial burden on me feeling I am begging for his affection . I should not have to I am worth more than that and I know that . I told him to.go.get help if he is.depressed and I would.stick by his side to help him with whatever he needs but.he then says he had no problem and am the crazy one. I don’t want my son to think this is an acceptable way of living and him treating someone.he loves like this. Please any advice would be appreciated.

    • kal says:

      Hi, I have been in a similar situation after 25 years of good marriage . My husband suddenly left me and now I know he has been having affair for nearly a year . My only regret is in letting him slip through without realising how bad the situation was for him.

      You need to work together with his behaviour, be the better person and help him get through his difficult period together.

  4. Michael says:

    Hello everyone my name’s Michael I’m in Arizona
    Lonely 52 year old male.
    Well the holidays are just around the corner I dread it.
    My ex and I separated 4 years ago she lives now in P.A
    my father past away in 2009 and when I met my ex now was in 2000. I explained at the time I met her that when my dad died or my mother that the servivor would be Comming to live with me I promised both I would be there for them. At the time she didn’t mind that I had made those commiments, but when I came that time she turned into a whole different person. After my dad died I had to go take care of getting my mother life combined with mine. Well as the years went by she resented me with each passing year as if I was cheating her out of some time spent with her. Well my mother passed away last year in October. I had prepared myself and could feel it Comming . I’m the type of nurturing kind of man. I’m not happy unless all are happy. I’m 5″7 very stocky 200 lb I have worked hard my intire life. I have a homestead with two homes on 3 1/2 Acer’s . I graduated from college in 1996 . I have one son that I’m not close to we don’t talk and that’s really not me he was raised with his mother telling him she didn’t want him in my life because we seperated. And because she was to jellouse to share him. So here I set my familys all gone it’s just me and my dog I raised from a pup bottle feeding him his mother didn’t produce milk. So he was Fed by hand. I’m not a drinking type I never aquierd the taste for it. And I don’t care for bars. I see myself as a very educated type of man. I can repair anything. I have a very quite mind with no triggers that set me off because I worked thru my childhood tramas . I’m goal oriented setting my goals each day. There’s just no where to meet a woman I have tried the date sites. They don’t work for me. I think it’s because I was never the type of man to keep hitting on a woman. I have always felt that when it was right she would show up and let me know shes interested. I’m a good looking guy. I just don’t put myself out there. I guess I don’t like rejection. So the holidays are around the corner and I get real down. You know for myself the woman in my life always was my reason to get up everyday . I injoy being in a relationship it compleats me as a person. My only problem is I spoil them. My relationships that I have had all were long ones and after 10 years people start growing apart. And I feel like I have never had the opportunity to meet the right one. I know if I could just find the right one I would compleat her life as much as she mine. I don’t think date sites are good for people to meet. Any way I will welcome any input from anyone Thank you for your time. Sincerely Michael

  5. Fiona says:

    Hi all.

    I am so glad to have found this page as i was starting to think i was going mad. I’ve been with my husband for the last 18 years with 2 children. My husband lost his mum just over 17 years ago but i don’t think he ever grieved properly. About 5 years ago he had a complete breakdown. He eventually was put on medication and went to counselling. He is very reluctant to open up to anyone. I asked him when he is going back now that some things are returning to normal and he said he doesnt think he is. I think he is trying to pretend its not happening and i am getting so angry with him and on a emotional rollercoster. I’ve tried my very best trying to discuss help even . A life couch, PT just to motivate him and everything is no. Now i know hes ill but when you are trying to keep everything going for the sake of the kids and are emotionally and physically drained is ot normal to feel anger, and to start asking is my marriage over as what do you do if he just wont reach out and get help and you dont feel gulity but dont want to be living like this forever and feel like you have just had enough..

  6. Andrew says:

    I met who I believe is the love of my life 2 years ago online (I’ll call her M). At that time, I was recently married and going through a depression. I decided to separate from my wife, focus on getting better, and maintaining relationship with M. She knew I was married, she never insisted on me leaving her, and up until I left my wife, she didn’t really believe in our relationship. Basically, I gave up my current life so that I could have a chance with M. In the following year and half, I visited her three times, grew fond of each other, and talk about being a proper couple in the future and loving one another. We spoke very often, even at mornings before leaving for work, made time for each other. The last time I visited her she introduced me to her family. She had partner before for 5 years, and she never introduced him. This was a major milestone, and I knew I was important to her. She’ve told me secrets and traumas she had not shared with anybody before. I know I meant a lot to her and she wanted to do things the right way, and I respected that. She comes from a less financially well status, but she has always manage. About a month and half ago she disappeared and I was unable to reach her. I knew she was struggling, and when she needed me the most she didn’t want me to help her. When she reappeared she told me via text she had several problems and that she felt she needed to get away from her world and forget about everyone, and that she traveled somewhere (she haven’t traveled anywhere since she was 13 and is now 25). I told her I didn’t understand why she also had to forget about me. She told me she does not want to, but needs time to be alone and figure herself out and there is no need for me to worry. Despite that, a week has passed and she still hasn’t called me or told me the whole story nor she seems interested in calling me. I don’t understand why. A month before, she wanted to be with me, she called me all the time, and now its like I don’t matter anymore. She comes from a broken family, her father is an alcoholic, she’s the whole provider for her house, she left a well paying job for a less stable, and has been struggling with money for a year. She had plans to move out and live on her on, she had even bought furniture and appliances and had to sell them. Her twin tried to commit suicide and that twin has always used M into taking care of her niece. I know M is a person that almost all of the time took care of everyone else without asking for anything back, or a just a little. I know that it got to a point where all of this was too much and broke her. But in that time, why didn’t she need my help? I’ve always been there for her, always supported her and help her. There was even a natural disaster where she lives and I went to see if I could be of any help to her or her family. And all of this is even harder because it’s all online, when she wants to disappear, she’s is completely off the grid. I want to be supportive of her and she told me not to worry. I think that she still cares about me, and thinks about me for the future, but I went through a depression (but with less stressful and scaring traumas) and ended up leaving my wife for someone I met online. Though, M is if the first woman in my life I’ve felt like I can be my true self, and I feel more comfortable with her than I ever felt with my wife. She wants to move to the US where I live, and she said we will be probably be close, but I’m worried she’ll end up wanting to forget about me and start new. I want to be supportive of her, but it doesn’t seem she needs me or wants my help. And I want to tell her how she hurt me, but I don’t want to push her away. Sometimes I think this is karma, and that what I did to my wife is coming for me, though I never had any bad intentions and I married her for the right reasons. I believe God or something put M in my life for a reason. I don’t know what to do. Any insights or advice would be appreciated.

  7. Emma says:


    I’m 40, as is my husband. We have been together 22 years and married for 7. The last 25 months have been awful, he had an online affair that ended last August, a lie I told many years ago came rushing out as he hadn’t dealt with, we lost our first baby and had a funeral etc for her, his business partner became toxic, and he’s lost his business, he has been suicidal, we also lost a second pregnancy, he turned to sex outside the marriage as a response to the affair ending. I can see the depression and have got him to take omega 3, zinc and vitamin D. He won’t go to the GP. I’ve just read about Safron being as good as Prozac, so will get him some of that.
    Anyway we were ticking along fine then he had a massive collapse mid January and announced he wants to separate for awhile as the pain is too much it never goes. I’m devastated and at a loss. I know the pain won’t go when he leaves. He’s still not left as he has no fixed income (another of his issues), I have to release equity from our home so he can go rent somewhere c he has a fantasy life planned ( I don’t mean that rudely, but it sounds like it), his self worth is at rock bottom description of himself include he’s a gargoyle meaning he’s ugly inside and out.
    I listen and rarely argue back with him. I validate and acknowledge his feelings.
    What am I meant to do? Just let him go? He had no idea how long or if he’ll want to come back. He says he loves me, fancies me, isn’t bored but is in pain.

    Please help I’m lost

    • Ryan says:

      He may very well be telling the truth; he probably is in a lot of pain, but you have to take care of yourself too. You can’t have a guy stringing you along like that saying, “Oh I would be attracted to you but I’m in too much pain!” I mean, really? You do what you want, but if you want to be with someone who wants you for you, I’m sure you can find that person (again, if that’s what you want). And you can always help this guy from afar. Sounds like he just needs some help from a professional, and unless you’re trained, that’s not really your job frankly. One thing would be that he really wants to be with you and is apologetic for his depression and wants your help. Another is, “I’m so depressed I have to fuck other women!” I mean, sorry to put it so bluntly but as a guy who has been depressed for a long time I can’t see how these two things are related. I mean, I sorta can see, but as I said your first priority is to YOU and YOUR health. He needs to help himself.

  8. Mary says:

    Yes”” I have had enough tried every antidepressant.they have thrown at me.
    .also .got hooked on diazipan & zapain as well….along the way…i can’t remember what’s normal
    or who I was before all this..maryann

  9. Tamara says:

    I’m a 56 year old female, with borderline personality disorder, acute anxiety, clinical depression. I’m unemployed past 5 years; I had a stroke last year, & lost my mother 4 months ago. I have no friends, I’m afraid of everything. I feel guilty about my mom’s passing, am constantly crying, miserable, & physically hurt myself when hysterical, which is daily. Can’t handle adversity or conflict, can’t talk to anyone, too scared. Tell myself daily what a failure I am, the world is better off without me. Homeless & dejected, frustrated, confused, unwilling to seek treatment due to prior problems with treatment & counseling. I just want to quit life, I’m useless & worthless anyway

    • Addie says:


      I need some advice from others that may have walked the path im currently in .myself and father of my children have been living together for 7 years. I must say that in the beginning like most relationships it was fine until he started not looking after himself like bathing, or brushing teeth even. Obviously i started to pull away and just continue living and over time it has become like living with a friend. Only Platonic. We have 2 small kids together. At this present time, he is NOT going to work in 2 weeks complaining that he is sick and has now been given antidepressants. I am afraid for my kids. his not very helpful around the house and i do mostly everything. How do i get this better or should i just carry on alone

  10. Vickyyy says:

    I need some advice before I go stir crazy .
    I meet this amazing guy just over a year ago , on date three he confined in me he gets that sad that he thinks about hanging himself but because of his son he doesn’t . I was so upset I couldn’t go to my work the next day . So over the year it developed as well as having major depression he also has bdd and survives on liquidised oats and cream . There was outbursts . Me ending it with him and vise versa. We’d plan outings he’d cancel within hours of meaning to go regardless of how much money it had cost me . Three weeks ago I managed to get him to register with a Doctor which I done all the work and took him to register . We’d planned our first wknd away he cancelled , and I snapped . Called him everything under the son . I ended up going to my doctor and been prescribed antidepressants . We had another fight over message . I started drinking which I hardly drink and sent the message saying well done you’ve finally broke me like you I may as well take all the antidepressants . He’s blocked me . I emailed a few days later apologising saying I was emotional angry he replied but said if I messaged once more he’d block me . It’s been a week , I sit and worry every second . Checking to see if he’s unblocked me . He doesn’t have any family or friends , his work environment is terrible and he’s self employed and hadn’t any appointments so I know he will be worrying about his rent . I can’t risk contacting by a new number I don’t want to push him further away if that’s possible .

  11. Cherie says:

    My situation is a bit different than most here, but I am looking for some solid advice for my parents. My Dad has been through cancer and treatment last 7 years. His cancer is in remission and one would think that would make him happier, but instead he is very depressed.

    My parents have been married over 50 years and are in their early 70’s. My mother is a rock and has always been the strongest, hardest working woman I have ever met. I am quite concerned about her lately as I see she is very frustrated, mad really, and falling onto depression herself trying to help my Dad. She feels so helpless. Nothing she tries helps him and honestly I don’t feel like he tries to help himself. He talks doom and gloom all the time. He talks about suicide at times or about how she would be better off without him. I think she is scared to death to leave him alone and he refuses to do anything except sleep, smoke and sit around the house talking doom and gloom.

    My Dad has always been a bit selfish, putting his needs first. My mother, in my opinion, has always been an enabler…she has always done everything for him. It is her partly due to her old school raising. She does everything for him, and more so since he became sick. My dad seems to thrive on attention from her and others. I don’t think their problems are entirely cancer or depression related….but she was alright until the depression magnified the situation. Now I think she feels very trapped, stuck at home with him and nobody to talk to. She wears herself out working and keeping physically busy…I think to try and escape the boredom and hell of living with him. I have heard him say some harsh words to her and wonder what he says when I am not present.

    I do my best to see them when I can. They live over an hour’s drive one way, so if I go to visit I try to stay all day. I also call or email often, try talking with her. I don’t know what to do to try to help them. He has refused to see a talk therapist when I have suggested it in the past. They live in a remote, rural area, so support groups for him or her don’t exist locally. Mum has made good friends in a garden club….it helps a little.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I believe my dad needs to take responsibility for his own health and get help, but he keeps refusing to do so. When Mum leaves and tries to live her life by going to family events, garden club…she feels guilty (and scared) about leaving him alone. What advice should I give her? She needs to do something as I see her slipping away now as well. She is so sad all the time.

    I would like to see him transferred to a facility until he gets his depression under control and then for him to continue therapy and have his depression meds and symptoms carefully monitored by a doctor. This should not be falling on my Mum to fix. It is his issue and she is not a doctor. She desperately needs help and guidance. It is one thing to be supportive, and she has been, and an entirely different thing to be expected to cure him. What advice do you have?

  12. Chacorta says:

    Hello everyone? I don’t know where to start really.
    My wife found out that My ex had a baby while we were married “me&wife”.
    8 days ago she stop all communications and block me from everything “calls, txts, social media”
    But when she left me she didn’t say a word to me so idk anything if she even found out, last txt from her was I love u babe xoxox. After that she stop all communication with me.
    Now we are still married and i don’t even know if she wants a divorce. Am currently deployed so there is no much I can do from out here.
    I hope anyone can tell me what’s going on or something to make me feel better. Am lost in the dark.
    Thank you all.

  13. KT.J says:

    Can somebody give me some insight, something, anything at this point will do. I was with my boyfriend for almost a year. He ended things a month ago
    Long story short, I met him when I wasn’t looking for anybody. We feel in love with each other and connected from the start. What we had was beautiful and it was pure. Obvious we had times where I would loose my temper, or we would have arguments but we always worked through them. I recently left for university and I didn’t get to see him as much. I have suffered from depression myself, and I am familiar with the signs. I started to realize that something was going on with my boyfriend back in September and I asked him about it. He said it was just a funk and that he gets like that sometimes. He shut his friends out and I tried to get one of his good friends to come and see him. He didn’t acknowledge the effort and didn’t respond to this friend. That’s when I really knew. I never brought it up again because he doesn’t like to talk about his feelings. We continued to see each other and for me things were good. I could see all of my friends could see that he was in love with me. I couldn’t help but feel inside that this man was hurting. I was waiting for him to admit it to let me in. We fought one weekend in November because I was so angry that I couldn’t come home. 8 took it out on him and I fully regret that. A couple days after that argument he asked for a break. Said it would be good for us. I came home a week later and we hung out and that seemed to be good. Everything seemed to be normal and that we were being all lovey. I really got my hopes up. He let me in a little bit when he cried to me about feeling so lost and low about himself and depressed. I thought this is it this is our break through. I now know this is for sure and we can get him help. Ea few days later after giving me reassurance that he still saw a future with me he ended things. He is a sensitive man. I have seen him cry numerous of times and comfort me when things are tough. This time around he was cold and stern and distant. Not a single tear which is not normal for him. He blamed it on us said it wasn’t the same and it never will be. I couldn’t believe it I didn’t see it coming. I fought so hard for a good month and it got me no where his responses were cold and short. He is now seeing my therapist and I’m hoping and praying that this will help and that this good honest man finds himself. I recently saw him and he said sorry for blaming us. It was the things that were going on with him. He asked to kiss me and I let him. It was like seeing that he was still there that his flame inside was still burning and hanging on. I know this man like a book. I could see that he enjoyed talking to me. A week later he was cold with me again. He wants to be alone he wants nothing to do with me. It hurts because I have been through depression I know that what he is doing are some things I did to my loved ones. I don’t want to give up on him because this isn’t who he is. But I have put myself in my own depression because I feel guilty and I constantly think I have caused this and want to go back in time and change my actions. I am praying to god that with space and time and him continuing to see a therapist he realizes that I was good for him. I want to be with him because I have nothing but love for this man and I know I’m my heart in my gut this is my person. We both knew that and we both felt that. I’m fully aware what depression can do to your mind and soul and change the way you think. I know that this is the root cause but I can’t help but think the absolute worse. If anyone is going through the same thing your thoughts your experience would be so helpful. And men if you have ever done this to a loved one and been the one with the depression then please help me to understand what is going through this mans mind. Why push me away when I have nothing but love and support to offer?

    • Tiens says:

      KT.J, my ex and I had quite a tumultuous relationship, when it was good it was amazing, when it was bad it was awful, but I thought we agreed that we would always try to fix things rather than just give up. After a huge fight my ex left me and went back to stay with her parents. She told me she needed to stay away to work on herself and us. She told me she would come back. I didn’t cope with her leaving very well at all (I also have depression, anxiety and OCD) as I had become very dependent on her, and I made the situation worse by not just supporting her, although I think it was unfair of her to expect me to just deal with her leaving me instantly. I kept trying to get her to care about how I was, which she was only partly able to do, she was also quite cold and rude. One day we talked for 3 hours, just sending each other cute emoji’s and chatting about lighthearted things and I know she enjoyed that conversation. Unfortunately, I then tried to get her to care about me again and she abruptly ended the conversation. I went to her parents house, they ended up throwing me out even though I was not doing anything bad. That was a week after she left and two days later she stopped talking to me altogether. It’s been over 2 months now. Her parents already didn’t like me and I feel like they have poisoned her against me. We were so close, I know her so well, I’ve seen her at her best and her absolute worst, but when someone becomes so adamant they want nothing more to do with you, you begin to question what you had with them. It seems that she is now blaming me for everything that went wrong in our relationship. I am willing to accept a large amount of the blame, but there were many times when she hurt me terribly. She once told me we belonged together and I still believe that. We had something very special. I know she believed that too. I can’t believe she’s thrown all that away for things that could be worked through. I want to help her but she refuses to let me.

  14. Travis says:

    Hi guys. I don’t know where to start or how. My ex girlfriend has been diginosed with post partum depression and anxiety with the past 3month. We been seeing each other for the past four years were separated for the past 2 months. Our life’s has been great together had it up and downs as any relationship would have, she the she is my soul mate and she told me the same. I’ve been struggling to get a grip on this hole thing about depression been reading a lot on it, research on depression and relationships. She has left with me the kids and I had to quit my job in order to look after them. How could someone so caring, affectionate, kind, warm hearted, intelligent, be the opposite now? She is getting help seeing thriapist, on meds and seeing pycitrist also she been staying with her sister who like 15minutes away. She told me she no longer happy with the relationship any more. She doesn’t care about me anymore also told me that. I do want to support her and want to to get better for her sakes and as us as a family. The kids do miss her every day youngest is 2 oldest is 7. How does one cope with all these feeling I have and I do want her back and would love her back. I know all the matter is she gets help first. any advice and how I should support her? How to get reconnect with her even though she doesn’t want to?

    • Cherie says:

      I am not a doctor, but I do think post part up depression is quite different than other types of depression. You are fortunate she is seeking help, taking meds and therapist. Right now that is what is going to help her get better. I would give her space, have patience and let her work on healing herself first. Let her get stable emotionally and don’t overwhelm her with questions about your relatio ship.

      I am sure she cares about her children. She just cannot handle taking care of them right now. Let her know that you support her and are glad she is taking care of herself. Also, let her know that you will take care of the kids, not to worry about them, while she is recovering. I think if she knows that you are being supportive and will be there if and when SHE is ready to see or talk to you and the kids, it will help her to focus on herself right now. Explain to the kids that Mommy is sick and they won’t see her as much for a while, but they can also be supportive of her by sending her paintings or cards they make. It will keep them connected.

      Biggest thing here….to put it bluntly, don’t push right now. Just be the rock holding down the fort while she gets herself back to normal. When she is ready to deal with more, she will realize you have been there for her all along. Best of luck to you both. I hope it all works out.

  15. steve says:

    Thi site has opened my eyes , I am feeling very deprssed I have my own buisness and work is very slow infact nearly none existan, I have been slowly getting worse, no self belief no drive feeling totally useless and a total waste of space. I feel that I am not even worth having about, and people would be better off if I wasnt around. The sleeping and hiding fron the world hoping the next day will bring the answer it doesnt. My wife has made an apointment with the doctor but I dont hold out that this will help, my family know how im feeling we have a grandchild who is nearly one and my daughter is know pregnant and moving closer to us , none of this seems to mean anything to me we own our own home but have little savings, I know our finatial situation has a lot to do with my depession, I cant see acway forward, getting older knoe 58 and no qualifications as such . Who wants a burnt òut handyman its sleeples nights and long days , a tiny glimpse of hope some afternoons for a very short time .

    • Cherie says:

      I think your family is right. See the doctor. Situational depression, due to a specific situation–in your case you are worried about finances– can be greatly improved with depression meds for a while. My daughter went through something similar.
      Just remember, the situation won’t last forever and you can and will find a way to make things work. Life throws us curves. This is normal. Sometimes we have a hard time working through them and need a little help or boost. No shame in that. We all go through rough times.

      Hope you get it sorted out soon and back to smiling, working and enjoying those grand babies!

  16. James says:


    Like many of you here I have a similar story related to depression and relationships. I guess it has been nice to find a community that understands. I am 26 and I have been in a relationship lasting just under 8 years, but I am not married. I have a major health issue and walk with a limp. My youth was spent in and out of hospitals and moving to different towns. I have struggled with what I can only imagine is depression (I have never formally been diagnosed) due to this and my parents, who are split. In the past they have been verbally abusive (both).

    I met my GF online where I knew her for 3 years in story telling forums before we met and began to date when we did. We were an instant pair, doing everything together and our infatuation lasted for a long time – over 2 years. We had arguments but rarely.

    Life tends to throw challenges at you so due to financial troubles we lived with her family for a time while finishing college. This put a lot of strain on our relationship due to a rift between her parents and myself. This caused me a lot of stress and during this time I was defensive and became easily irritable or violent. This went on for 3 years because we did not see another valid option at the time.

    We graduated from school and I quit my job to live with my mother for a month in another state. I couldn’t find steady work there and returned to my college state. We got an apartment and moved out of her parents house, which eased some tension, but some lingering blame remained and we would fight at times. We felt a need to remind ourselves that things were looking up.

    At this point it has been another 3 years of living in an apartment and maintaining a status quo. I think maybe we are both depressed. We are both able to acknowledge and understand our own depression and shortcomings. We both can talk and express with each other honestly, even if we do not always agree. But we are generally isolated from others. We have work friends but not close friends. Our apartment is messy and neither of us feels energy to complete chores or plan events. We go out for dinner every now and then.

    I think she is probably more “in love” with me than I am her, now. We make love often enough but at times it feels rehearsed to me.

    I have never taken medication but through meditation and routine I have learned some inner peace and returned some self blame to self identity – but I am not healed.

    Sometimes I do feel like I need a change or a fresh start. I know that having crushes on other people is natural, and though I’ve never cheated I have had brief moments where I feel the rush of passion for another and it reminds me of when we were young and I wish I could have that back.

    I feel like we have talked and read books together and sought help and we agree but lack motivation or desire to fix ourselves for ourselves or each other. Can we grow any more together? How could I cultivate that desire? I can’t even find it within myself.

  17. Dharmimder says:

    My story goes like this ….a beautiful relation of 6 years entering into 7th but tragedy struck me ..suffered from depression and dont know where it ia him very much but not able to do justice…both of us being doctors…he understands ..staying in a long distanece…no boy in the whole world cud b as beautiful as him…has been supportive to me…has been there and asking me to get treatment….I dont know whether my life wud b same…in any relation theres no surity that we can be together for lifetime but at least till we can…but my illness spoiled everything…hoping for the day when things go normal..remebering all the worst days of my life..not remembering beautiful ones..I can truely understand what people with depression feel like…exactly a year back I told myself y do people even et depressed..sometimes time teaches us that there mit not b any reason as with me coz like any other illness it is too an illness….that needs to b treated like any other illnesses..coz it happened to me wen everything was on rit track wen I had graduated…so people lets raise an awareness regarding it,…its an illness can happento u , me any1 in our family friends…lets all come forward

  18. Amelia says:

    Hi – I have been married 6 years and we have had a few normal ups and downs just like anyother marriage. Last year my husband lost his mother whom he was very very close to and that left him very upset. In a year we have moved to a new city for his work, bought a house and are well settled. Since 2-3 months my husband has been going into a shell, disinterested and bored, he still goes to work and goes out with his mates. However, he doesn’t want to be around anyone he is close to, his father or me. Now since the past 2 weeks he keeps telling me he wants a break and wants to be alone for sometime. He does not seem happy, doesn’t sleep or eat properly. We are living like strangers in the same house and don’t even sleep in the same bed. He doesn’t want me to be around him at all and keeps saying I want to be alone. He is obviously not happy being alone and doesn’t know what he wants. He did tell me he is going to a counsellor and had a few sessions but I am not sure and he won’t share anything further besides the counsellor asked him to take medication which he does not want.
    I am just so confused by everything and don’t know if I should leave for 2-3 weeks and give him the break he wants or continue to live here and provide support, which really annoys him. I am just so confused because I want him to get better and don’t know if going away will help him or destroy him further?
    Please help me understand the situation better and what should I do. I did ask him for a timeframe for the break but he just says I don’t know!

    • James says:

      Hi I don’t really have any answers but I sympathize with you and I hope all is well. I don’t know what you decided to do but I wouldn’t take a break. I would ask him to keep going to therapy and say you understand if he needs time, and then hopefully you can start to talk more from there. From being depressed I have told my girlfriend to leave but I almost always changed my mind if she actually did because what I really wanted was to be understood.

  19. Jane says:

    I am a 43 year old woman living with a partner that has depression. We have lived together for 7 years. The hardest part is dealing with the lack of intimacy and communication. I have discovered within myself a power I would not have seen had I not learned about depression. I thank my partner for not meeting my needs because I was forced to see the beauty in myself. If we look at it with that perspective you can learn about yourself. I will leave and I will feel better knowing I did work on myself throughout our relationship and I will seek a partner better suited for me as I have become more mature with myself.

  20. Christina says:

    Hi John

    I’ve Been reading through all the posts for the last week. Trying to find some answers….

    My boyfriend of 3 years, we always said we didn’t need the marriage certificate, we were as committed as two people that were married, had a heart attack and Quadruple bypass surgery in October. During that time, I had to deal w the exwife because of his kids. I noticed things in the hospital, that he wasn’t treating me like he usually did. I got him home, took care of him the entire time, but he started hiding things, text messages and phone calls. He started being nasty to me, and I finally got him to get on some meds. The only thing I saw that the meds did was increase his appetite. He still slept 14 to 18 hours a day, he totally withdrew from me and became this man that I didn’t even know.

    In February, we split up. I had kept telling him that he needed to get some more help, that I would do whatever I could, but it didn’t do any good. His mind has always been his worst enemy even before the depression. I found myself withdrawing from everything. I didn’t want to go home. It was like two strangers in a house. He had no problem telling his kids that he loved them, but he couldn’t tell me anymore. I still love him, and he says he loves me, but he can’t even talk to me on the phone or see me in person. He says it’s too hard because I am the one he hurt the most. We text a little, but I can’t get a response from him most of the time, especially if it has to do with emotions. He told me that he keeps seeing me standing outside the ambulance looking in at him. He did finally say that he would get w me so we could talk, but that he needed more time.

    I just don’t understand why I became his stress…. Why I became the problem…

    • hindibuff says:

      I am sorry you are dealing with a tough situation. I have been on the same side as your partner and maybe can tell you how I felt if that would help. Men don’t deal with emotions too well. Heart surgery has a bad side effect of crash of our egos. We go so low that we want to cry and we hate ourselves for it. He probably is still dealing with his heart attack related issues and needs more time to heal internally and externally. Get counseling for him if you can.

      Here is what I would wish for you:

      Peace and calm demeanor around him. Don’t ask but offer, dont question but answer, dont seek but provide. In no time, you will see him drop his guard with you. Or I sure as hell hope so.

      Happy times!!

  21. Claire says:

    Dear John,

    I’ve been reading your posts for over a year now, maybe longer, though I have remained quiet. I visit when I feel I need to remind myself I am not alone. That I am not the cause of my husband’s pain. First, thank you so much for all that you do in this community. For speaking openly about mental illness, for sharing your personal stories, struggles and insights. For making me feel as though I am not alone. Or crazy. Thank you.

    My husband struggles with Depression, and I feel that you reflect so much of what he has experienced and your relationship struggles mirror ours. The anhedonia (which no one talks about!), the blaming, the longing to escape, loss of feeling/love, and so much more. He even went through cancer as well, and like you, it also brought us closer than ever, though, it was only time before The Depression came back and took over our relationship.

    Like you, he has also done a lot of inner work, and realizes now (for the most part) that his emptiness comes from the inside, and unlike the first couple years of our relationship, I am confident now he will never stray. However, there are times it feels as though The Depression tricks and persuades him again. He will think that it is our relationship that is wrong (our “lack of connection” etc.), and will convince himself that it isn’t the Depression talking -this- time, but that we’re just simply incompatible. He will eventually snap out of it, however, and apologize and tell me that he can’t see clearly when he’s in the thick of it. That he realizes he can’t possibly feel connected to anyone when he is so disconnected from himself and everything around him. That he “knows” it was the Depression distorting his reality, and that I need to “stop feeling so insecure about us and trust him.” And then just like that, I warmly console him and invite him back to me with open arms, and we’re back to us again. But, as you have mentioned here, it is so hurtful and damaging. Even though I am aware of what is happening in the moment, he is not. And if he is not aware, it doesn’t seem to matter what is really true. It doesn’t even matter when he comes around and realizes it was the Depression again, because I know it will only be a matter of time before it comes back to fool him. I am just simply so hurt and affected by his distorted perceptions. My self-esteem and insecurity about myself as well as my part in the relationship have been severely affected. I worry I am not enough, even though I probably over-function in order to make up for his lack of warmth and affection. I worry all of the time about how -he- is feeling…how he really sees and interprets us. Objectively, I know none of that matters. That it isn’t about me and most importantly, that I should be taking care of myself. But it is so hard to practice this day in and day out. I am still so hung up on the way I think he sees us rather than what is actually true. And I let it hurt me. I let it take me down toward Depression, too.

    He is finally now looking for support, though, I am concerned he is hoping for a cure or magic solution that he will likely not find. Like you were, he is still looking toward external sources of remedies and is too overwhelmed to think there is no perfect cure.

    In the mean time, I am reading many books and articles on the subject and continuously work to grow my differentiation and learn ways to self-soothe. But it is still so hard and so very painful.

    I am just here to vent, I suppose. To finally speak. I am hurt and often feel hopeless, but I am grateful again for this community that you have created.

    • rachel says:

      Hey Claire,
      I can completely relate to what you are saying. My partner of ten years has always struggled with depression and a breakdown a few years ago has changed everything, and I feel as you do. I know his actions, his distance, his withdrawal is his illness but I miss him so much. I am working so hard on looking objectively at the causes and not taking it personally but its hard not to. And almost impossible to consider the rest of my life without his touch. I want to support him, be patient and loving, but I hurt so much and am desperate to have our connection back .Its a sad emotion. I would love for you to vent at me. It’s a lonely place but we aren’t alone, so many partners are going through this. Strength and positivity to you Claire .

  22. Liz says:

    Hi, my husband has been depressed for almost a year now and I’m afraid I’m falling into a depressed state myself. We have been married for 14 years and although he’s had things that troubled him in the past it has never manifested to the point of being depressed. He transitioned into a new job 2 years ago and as recently as November of 2015 has had to travel every other week for his job but he had already transitioned into depression prior to this. We thought at the time it would be best for him to leave since all we did was fight. I love him and we are committed to our 11 year old boys but I’m not sure this is enough. We have not sexual interactions in the last 8 months or so, he has withdrawn completely from all family activities and we are more like roommates than husband and wife. He’s seeing someone about his problems but they have not offered any medication which I think he desperately needs. I’m afraid that I’m losing him to this disease that he has expressed feeling of suicide. On his last visit home he went and got his ears pierced and a huge tattoo on his side that’s completely out of charcter. I think he did it to feel some sort of pain. I don’t know what to do!!!! I have expressed my support without being smothering, I love him but I’m so lost. I cry every chance I get. Please help me!! Do I pray, do I force him to go to the hospital? I don’t know what to do to help!!!

  23. Pat says:

    Great writing…helpful as the noonday demon had been wrestling with me for the last week…unable to do anything…but broke through this morning and booked a vacation to Hawaii…definitely helps lift the spirit…been a depressive since my teens (64 years old) but have pretty much kept depression manageable…long story, of course…your writing is very authentic about the struggle…thanks

  24. David says:

    Just started my journey on this site. I am not ill my partner is and as I start reading I thought I would simply write a thank you to everyone and ask for a bit of best wishes or something like this.
    I have refused her illness for a couple of years at least but I had to do the reality check recently. I am sure that my will force and some material from the site will help both of us.
    A big hug to everyone. Keep up the amazing work.

  25. cathy says:

    Hi, my fiancé fucked me off because he was/is depressed.
    I can’t move on. He isn’t the same person.I can’t get back with him because he emotionally hurts me.
    I can’t help him, because I am so angry at him for leaving me and destroying our future.We can’t move forward together and I am mortified. I know the only way to save him is to keep away, and yet he thinks I am avoiding him.

  26. Sue says:

    Recently my love of 5 years told me he no longer felt he was in love with me. He told me he has been feeling this way for a long time but it has been back and forth, he loves me one day then feels nothing the next day. I have noticed a change in him but I believe it is due to his mother’s crippling anxiety that she developed last year. She wouldn’t work, she wouldn’t leave the house and refused to get help. His siblings are away at college and his father works and tries to keep himself busy. So the burden of his mother has been on him, since he is hone with her the most. Up until then, he has had a pretty stress free life. But now all of a sudden at 24 he has the constant worry of if his mother is okay, will his parents be able to pay the bills, will they get a divorce will they lose their home because his mother won’t get help and start working normally. All while in his life he switched positions at a job and has terrible hours, he wants a good job but has yet to find one and he barely sees his family friends or me due to his hours. So for about a year this has all been on his mind constantly and he cannot focus on anything else. At first it was anxiety, but now I believe it to be depression. He has realized something is not right and he is seeking help from a psychiatrist, but this depression cloud just clouds his mind 24/7. So as hard as it is, I am trying to give him his space. He keeps telling me that once he is better we will be better, but for now he needs to be alone because he feels terrible that he can’t focus on me or our relationship. I understand that, he can’t fix us until he fixes himself and loves himself, but I don’t want him to end us because we didn’t even have a chance yet. I hope he realizes he can’t do this alone because he has pushed his mother away and friends too. I pray he will be happy again and love himself because he is amazing and I love him so dearly

  27. Rocky Ra says:

    I’m going thru the same thing, glad I’m not alone.

  28. will says:

    Hello.thank good ness i found this site.fin.of
    3 yrs brook off again.she in dep.way again an this time. I believe it will beat me.readi g your sites to help me tru get handle on myself an that this is the end.

  29. Amy says:

    Hello John and everyone. I’m happy to have found this site. As I read through the many stories and prepare to share my own, I notice the deep urge I have to respond to every single person. It’s hard for me to see that some people seem to be calling out for help or simply honestly posting that they are ready and hope to/are planning to die.

    This is painful to read when there is no direct response to people’s sincere requests for specific help, even for some bit of information.

    John,I certainly don’t expect you to answer everyone, nor do I think anyone can. I just have to understand that this may be a venting place, unless someone chooses to answer. I can deal with that, I guess!

    Thank you for providing this place for us. God bless everyone here.

  30. Bill says:

    My depression ruined my marriage. I know it did. She was kind enough to let me know that fact.
    And as I sit here signing papers for our dissolution of marriage, I can’t help but think about how right she is. It did. And now it’s taking me down a road of monitored time with my two daughters. She knows I wouldn’t hurt them. Yet she doesn’t trust me enough to leave me alone with them. I also get to watch my x wife’s life improve as she moves along in life, away from me. All the while I’m still madly in love with her. And always have been.
    I never thought I would post anything like this for strangers to read. But what’s the worst that could happen? Nothing. So there ya go.
    As for life, I’m f’d. Oh well.

  31. Peter says:

    I feel helpless all the time. Lonely and full of despair.

    • Amy says:

      Dear Peter, I wish I could make those times go away for you. I have many many days where I feel the same way that you are describing. It is astonishingly, horribly painful.

      Please try to learn some coping strategies so that you can begin to believe there is some hope, even if for one minute at a time.

      Here are some things that I do:
      Get alone where I can cry or stop trying to hide the pain. I just sit and breathe in and out slowly : inhale for a count of 4, stop for a count of four, exhale for a count of 4, stop for a count of four, repeat as needed.

      My therapist calls this 4×4 breathing. It’s a type of breathing also used in yoga. This helps me stop focusing on the despair. Sometimes the awful “silent wailing” (as I call it) that I feel deep in my soul will go away as I breathe. Other times it doesn’t, but the breathing helps me to observe myself trying to live through a painful moment. And you know what? I am really proud of myself for getting through those horrible times of despair! I pray as I breathe sometimes and that helps me to not feel so alone.

      Maybe I was supposed to learn that so I could share it with you. It helps me and I hope you will be helped too. I will be thinking of you and wishing you well.

  32. Barbara says:

    I believe that at birth I was totally normal in every respect, with good prospects for a healthy life. Then by teen age I was like a bonsai tree. That is my life’s experiences meant that emotionally and mentally I was twisted, neglected stunted and deformed with poor social and practical skills. This, because for much of my life from the earliest years, I had been frozen with anxiety.

    Can a human bonsai tree ever grow into a normal tree? No but instead of being given ECT and huge doses of ineffective drugs I could have been encouraged to learn, grow, understand and develop the skills I needed. In other words, do all the things I was at the time of being misdiagnosed in my mid 30s desperate to achieve. Even diet (consult the web) and exercise make a difference as do lifestyle and social contacts. Despite being recently severely traumatised I was misdiagnosed with bipolar and mistreated accordingly. I was very unhappy with the drugs and believed they were not working but was told I had to take them
    I studied introductory Psychology and realised anxiety was the real issue (doctors agreed with me), and abandoned drugs and looked for practical solutions and consulted only those professionals who couldn’t reach for a prescription pad. Island hopping is what I call it. Always put islands of good things into your life. Swimming through the depression in between is hard but it works with the goal of good things ahead. Discipline is my key.

    I am so proud of myself for what I have achieved but now in my late 60s another blow. I have to come to terms with the fact that my memory is badly damaged. Who do I turn to? Those people who with drugs and ECT caused much of the damage? I am so angry with myself for being stupid enough to trust these people. (I believe the main reason I was given ECT was to give the registrars the experience needed for them to complete their training). I must just keep on Island hopping.

    Over time I have made huge advances in dealing with this without medication. In the process the depression has diminished, but now in my late 60s I find that my memory is failing me.

  33. misi says:

    Hello. I find much of what is written here very helpful and strikes a chord with my search for discovery by sharing with others of like minds.

    I am wondering though, if this site is still active as most posts are old and unanswered.

    I don’t want to write a long deep thoughts post if there is no longer anyone out there


    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Even though I am no longer responding to comments on older posts (see Commenting Guidelines), thousands of readers visit the site and often respond. Visitors do read comments even if they don’t reply. I hope you will share your thoughts.


  34. David says:

    I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for 3.5 months. Our relationship was going well. She has two children from a previous marriage. She had introduced me to her children, and we were in the process of finding an apartment for me, closer to her, so that we could spend more time together. Everything had been going up and up. She would tell me, how amazing I was. The best thing that has ever happened to her, realized true happiness was with me, etc… I should also, state that my GF was diagnosed with Anxiety issues, and taking medication for it. She was having difficulties with her son, he was acting up in school and was asked to see a therapist. So she and her ex, brought him to the therapist, where he was diagnosed with bi polar disorder. My GF was devastated. She didn’t want to talk to her mother or anyone else. She had texted me and told me what was going on. I told her I was so sorry, and that I was there if she needed me. She told me, she knew I was and that she felt she needed to back off of a relationship to deal with her son. That she wasn’t right or good, if she wasn’t good with her son. I asked her if she was breaking up, she said she had to for her son. I called her, she told me it wasn’t about me it was about her son. I told her I loved her and said goodbye, she never responded, just sounded distant. The following morning, I received a text from her, saying she was so sorry for everything that has happened and that she loves me and misses me but is scared she can’t give a relationship 100% right now. I told her I love her too, and that I understand, take all the time you need and I am here for you. About two weeks later, she updated me with what was going on with her son, about the second oppinions and treatments, and how he was doing. She also told me she had sunk into depression and felt guilt for her son, and was trying to climb out of it. She told me she was sorry for bring me into this. I texted back, told her again I am here for you, and take the time you need. A few days later, she texted me, asked how I was doing and told me she always thinks about me. I responded a while later, much in kind. She also told me she missed me. The following day, she texted me asking how work was and how I was doing? We ended up talking on the phone for a few mins and that was it. Later that evening, she texted me telling me she tried to make a relationship work and couldn’t that she wasn’t ready and needed to focus on her kids. She was sorry and wished me the best. I tried to call, but she wouldn’t answer. Said she couldn’t talk to me, and that I deserved better and that I should move on. She said that new stuff I didn’t know about was happening. Later that night, she texted me and told me stuff had happened with her daughter, and it caught her off guard. WHen I later pressed she said her daughter was self harming. I told her, I was sorry and again here if she needed me. She said thank you. I feel she is going through depression and that her childrens lives are the stresses triggering it. I don’t know how to help or what to do. She knows I am her for her, as I always say, but I just feel hurt and confused. I can’t imagine what she is going through but I know it’s probably worse. I made an appointment to talk to a therapist for my own well being. Any help or insight would be appreciated.

  35. Louis says:


    I am not sure in which section this post will wind up in, whether or not it will be in the correct spot, but I only wanted to write a little bit about my depression; at very least, hopefully it will make someone feel better about their own depression. I am a 36 year-old male who has had co-morbid treatment resistant chronic major depression with mixed anxiety (social phobia) my entire life. The specific names of my diagnoses have changed so many times that I actually have no idea, technically what it is or should be called, anyway the precise name is not the important thing it’s only a road sign. I have not experienced even a brief moment of relief, the symptoms of depression have formed the basis of who I am, who I know myself to be, it is my identity.

    I have been living with my poor mother for the last 5 or 6 years now doing absolutely nothing with my life, no friends, no job, no purpose to even get out of bed anymore. My mother came and rescued me for the umpteenth time 6 years ago, I was homeless and smoking crack getting ready to put end to my wretched life once and for all. I am very grateful she left her job, drive the 9 hours, 532 miles to come pick me up and bring me back with her, but I think in a way I am still pissed off she came at all and didn’t just let me go. The only reason I continue living is because I know doing myself in would put her through more grief than she deserves, not that she deserves any, even though my warped way of thinking tells me she has have more grief now dealing with me being alive.

    I read in someone’s posting that they used to spend all their time looking into new therapies such as TMS and Deep Brain Stimulation hoping one of these would get them out of the stronghold of depression but since, has learned to just adapt living with depression and possibly never being able to get rid of it. This confuses me because on the one hand there are so many new therapies that could help, accepting you may never get rid of depression is fine but to go ahead with a defective (way-of) life not having hope in my opinion is worse than being able to concentrate only on finding something that helps. It’s as if you have caved in and decide to keep rebuilding on top of the same shoddy foundation every time it falls apart rather than looking into rebuilding the foundation itself, making it sturdier so it is not as susceptible to failure in the future. But then again with my level of depression and anxiety (lack of enough neurons firing?), I have not been able to really survive as a person maintaining responsibility, setting goals and having a sufficient amount of drive to follow through without giving up prematurely, and so on and so forth.

    Sorry to make this so long, I merely needed to write something about myself in a forum where there are people who can understand where I am coming from and where I don’t feel like an alien, even if it is just verbal vomit, sorry to waste your time if you have read this, you are now more stupid having read this.

    • Kim says:

      Hi Louis,
      Wow, I read your post and thought that is exactly how I feel. Your post wasn’t stupid or a waste of time, so stop thinking that. I think we beat the heck out of ourselves, more than anything. At least I know I do. Even if no one gets anything from your post, which is not the case because I have, just knowing there are people out there that are (unfortunately) going through the same thing is something. I feel the same way with the inability and lack of motivation to follow through on goals. The depression and anxiety gets to the point where all I wanna do is stay in bed and hide under the covers. I’ve felt like committing suicide many times. The only thing that stops me from doing it is my 9 year old son, but I think the same way. That maybe he would be better off without me. Just the guilt and shame of feeling like a terrible mother and the fact that he deserves so much better than what I am capable of giving him makes me feel like shit. When I am feeling a bit more positive, which isn’t often, I see the change in him. He’s happier! But then I sink back into a deep depression and can also see the effects it has on him. I’m so inconsistent and the poor kid must be so confused. Anyway, I don’t really know what I’m trying to get at here, but after reading your post and being able to relate in so many ways, it prompted me to write. If you ever feel like emailing me or just writing to get your feelings out I will definitely listen. And I won’t think you are stupid or a waste of time because believe me, anything that you have to say, I’m sure either I or somebody else has experienced it, so don’t let that keep you from writing. I will NOT judge you in any way, because who am I to judge anyone. I judge myself enough as it is! Well, let me end here before this turns into a novel. Hope to hear from you! Kim

  36. I have just started writing about my depression and I think it helps when we engage with the condition. Write about it, sing about it, paint it and so on.
    Hope we find the light. 🙂

  37. Lynda says:

    Hi John and everyone, I’m 40 years old female, my last bout of depression was 10 years ago and I’ve been on medication ever since (lexapro and wellbutrin). My bouts of depression tend to start with changes in my life-moving to a new town, new relationships, etc. The fear of the unknown makes me question my choice to a maddening degree (causing severe anxiety sometimes). In June I began communicating frequently with an old childhood friend who is serving in the Armed Services in the middle east. I’ve always thought there might be a connection with us and always wanted to meet again to start a romance. We began talking on the internet daily, actually alot, to the point where it was clear very strong feelings were developing. We were able to actually skype with eachother as well. He is scheduled to come home in early fall and we were very much looking forward to finally meeting and starting something together. I was very happy, excited, told my mom I hadn’t felt this way in a very long time about a guy. Very hopeful. Then out of the blue one day, this little doubt about him pops into my mind and a full blown anxiety attack ensues. I began to obsess immediately if I was doing the right thing, if this wonderful guy was right for me. I went to see my psychiatrist immediately who chalked it up to an anxiety attack and that she thought it was temporary and would go away quickly-she gave me some Xanax. I told my new guy about what was going on and asked him to back off a bit and give me my space, kind of thought as little stimulation as possible would be best. I’d have good days and bad days. On multiple occassions I would use the technique “Fake it till you make it” actually while chatting with him and by the end of our conversation I was feeling 100% better. A constant obsessive theme in my head was, was he the right guy for me, then I would come up with every reason why he wasn’t. Don’t forget, he and I haven’t even seen eachother in 30 years. I would have to pick myself up and constantly remind myself how wonderful this man is, how kind and loving he is and not to worry about the future, take it one day at a time. Well anxiety turned to depression, meds have been changed. I have this overwhelming feeling like I need to do something, John has described that feeling (The Longing to Leave) on this website and I so get it, I just want it to stop, feeling so disconnected from the happiness I once felt for him makes me draw the conclusion that I don’t like him anymore. What is most painful is my lack of connection to everyone, especially my new guy, being new we think about eachother a lot and all my thoughts are negative-I constantly have to remind myself that none of it is real, its just my warped depressed reality. My psychiatrist thinks my Lexapro has stopped working (seeing as I’ve been on it for 10 years) and we have just begun to wean it off and start effexor. A week into this process (decreasing the lexapro by 25%) I’m much more depressed, feel very stuck, and effexor side effects are kicking in (nausea, dizziness, fuzzy feeling). My soldier is meeting me next saturday for the first time, I don’t want to be in the midst of all this. I think I need to increase the lexapro back to before, calling my doctor tomorrow. Any thoughts are much appreciated.

  38. Tracyb says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever gone on a forum for depression but I have reached the end of my tether. I’m 25 and live away from home, half way across the world. I moved here for a job which I needed to take, I needed to feel I could be successful and achieve great things despite how stupid I really feel about myself. I proved it, I made the move and have been out here for 4 years.
    These last 2 years have been very hard though, I’ve always been able to push away my feeling of depression by going to sleep (I know sleep at 9pm every night, I’m only 25!) or by watching tv and disappearing into that.

    But finally it’s got really bad, and reports at work have pushed me over the edge. The job I took to make me feel smart and intellectually satisfied, also to ‘show’ everyone I could achieve great things is not longer doing that it should. Instead I’m embarrassed at my negative report from work, I constantly compare myself to my colleagues as does my boss, and see how they are coping fine with the work load but I can’t. I feel like an utter failure.

    As bad as I’ve always felt I’ve always been able to get myself out of bed, I put the feelings down to hormone imbalance associated with my period but as the feelings are much worse than they used to be and are more frequent I can no longer blame being an ’emotional girl’. I cry easily and like I said have o energy so end up in bed at 9pm. I don’t like socializing and have feelings of guilt when I eat, like I don’t deserve to eat.

    I miss my friends and family who are back home and no longer call to them when I have these bouts if depression. They give great advice but I feel I go round in circles and contact them only when im down, I don’t want to bring them down anymore. I’ll deal with this myself.

    My bf who I met out here is supportive and loving, yet at the same time I have feelings of despair and just giving up. I push him away because I really just want to move home and crawl into bed and cry and have my parents tell me everything is going to be ok. But he’s my tie to being out here, he’s the reason I can’t do that and just up and leave. Maybe that’s a good thing,but I don’t really understand why I want to break up with him. I thought you’d meet someone who could solve all your problems and my depression problems were the ones I was hoping would be solved. They haven’t been.

    I feel like I could go on for ages, about my exhaustion, anxiety at going to work and being embarrassed in front of colleagues as I can’t do my job, confusion about what I’m supposed to do. Therapist and psychologists dont help and im sick of them just telling me to go on medication.

    I don’t know what to do anymore which I is why I came on these forums. It helps knowing others are going through it too, bit at the same time I want to be normal again, happy and bitter. Now I am always on th look out for friends lives going badly because it makes me feel better about my own. I don’t want to be that person, j want to be happy and appreciate what I have.

    • Andrea says:

      Tracyb, I’ve been in your shoes…calling friends who have cruddy times so I feel better…pushing away the folks that care the most…lashing out and being too negative for no real reason…it is a tough place to be. I am here to say that medication helps you get to a place where you can be in a good enough state of mind to actual start unraveling the knots that keep your self-esteem low and keep you depressed. It is always going to be work, you will have good times and bad, but as long as you allow a support system of positive folks to be present in your life, you will get through the bad…just don’t forget them when you are in the good times.. I was on Wellbutrin for years, but am no longer on that. Now I am on birth control because it seems to help my hormone induced depression. To be clear, I have depression, and my hormones were making it something I was unable to control. Now that that is in check with The Pill, the cognitive therapy work I’ve been doing for years helps..I still slip into sad moments, but they are neither as dark nor as long lasting as they once were. I hope my story can help you find the hope and help you need to balance your depression with positive people, therapy and medication. You are never alone.. so don’t isolate. It does get better… trust me.

  39. Rebecca says:

    I knew something was wrong early on in our relationship. I had no idea what i was dealing with. I foolishly thought that by being patient, empathetic, loving, kind and understanding he would see the light…and realize his behavior, his moodiness, his horrible temper were all unacceptable. And it would all go away. Like I said…..I was foolish. I know. When he gets angry he blames me for everything under the sun. He gets so angry he becomes completely belligerent and irrational. I dont know what to do. If i am not the most unhappily married person in the world I dont know who is. Could someone out there…someone who has depression…tell me PLEASE…how do i deal with someone like him? When he goes off on one of his rants…how do I quiet him? In other words…how does one communicate with a belligerent, irrational mind? Maybe it can’t be done?!? I’m at the end of my rope….

    • Kaye says:

      Dear Rebecca

      I foolishly believed the same but my relationship just continues to get worse. Now not only do I have the moods and temper but I am also being pushed away. I am almost crippled by anxiety.

      I am afraid I have no answers but wanted to let you know that I understand and you are not alone.

    • Kathy says:

      You are not alone my husband suffers from depression as well and some days we cope better than others. I try not to take things personally, I don’t try to argue with him when he’s in the state and just let him be – this is very hard- my husband will sometimes respond to humour but if he’s really ranting I just hear him out in silence. Often he will end up going to bed very early – like 6pm but he’s not ranting. Then in the calm I try to talk to him about how he wants me to respond – that’s where I have learned to just let him be – the hardest thing in the world. When he has a calm moment ask him what will work for him. Has he been to a doctor? This is another way to get support – I am going with my husband to his next dr appt so I can make sure they know just how dark our dark days are…..

  40. deniseheikka says:

    Am victim of domestic violence,struggle everyday with it, also have physical problems, i struggle with,,.

  41. James Robin says:

    HI all,

    I am 27 years old & I need help & guidance below is my story till date I could not help myself to come out from these negative thoughts & deep pain inside me
    Actually I even don’t remember when I was happy from starting of my life I m suffering from diff diff health issue not any major health problem but like stomach pain, sinus, migraine, cervical, body pain,morning weakness,nausea etc.
    I was good in study in starting but due to some family problem parents sent me to non quality school from that time I had infearity complex in me & from that time till graduation I passed my academic on point marks & I have social anxiety like someone will ask me from where I did my schooling what will I reply & if they will ask about my marks I won’t be able to reply & I stopped attending social parties.
    Now from last 6 years I am doing some contractual job & now m fed up with my current job & m getting irritate for small small work daily thinking to quit my job & not able to change job because I don’t have good qualification & poor marks & at the time of interview I have to mention my marks at interview form have some physical & mental health issues also, depression, anxiety, body numbness, not able to think clearly, I am not able to decide what should I do now.
    Sometimes I feel m not happy because of my health issue, some time thinking it’s all because of my poor grades, sometimes thinking its all because of my current job, sometimes thinking because of my family. All of my friend circle studied in good school but I studied in non quality school & all these things making me negative person. I had been to so many psycatriest but they also could not solve my issue , I was on heavy dose of antidepressant but I got bad side effects of those antidepressant.
    Currently m having below symptoms & thoughts
    Body pain, body numbness & foggy & irritated mind always,
    Always thinking about my poor marks which I got some 12 years back
    Guilt feeling because I studied in non quality school

    Please help me what should I do to get rid of all above negativity.

  42. Tony says:

    Dear John,
    I have been battling depression, mood swings, feelings of being inadequate for 39 years now and can honestly say that this site has been a termedous awakening for me. I’ve read the all the core posts and it’s as if it were my life story. It’s such a relief to have someone that’s able to put the way you feel into words. I talked to my wife this morning before she went to work and asked her if she would read it, not for me but for her and she agreed too. I to have been on many meds but never recieved any long term professional therapy. Just recently I had an episode and am in the process of trying to climb out of a deep depression. It seems that each time this happens it’s harder to pull myself out of it. I’m at my wits end and so is my wife. I do believe that my line of work has contributed to depession. I’ve been in sales for 16years (multiple jobs) and can truely say I don’t enjoy it. Sometime’s I feel like an introvert rather than an extrovent. I’m in a position now that is very demanding both physically and mentally. I too just like everyone else has to be on call 24/7, meet deadlines, quota’s and budget. My supervisor is a very remarkable person. He noticed some time ago that I was withdrawing for my co-workers and that I just didn’t seem to be the person he first met. About two weeks ago I finally gave up and told him I couldn’t handle things anymore. I’m now on short term disability. I have sought out a psychiatrist, seen him once and will most likely see him a lot. He adjusted my meds and added another med. I really like him and hope he can give me the coping skills I never learned. I have always been told that I’m a quality person and good worker but that doesn’t seem resonate with my thinking. I grew up in a very hostile and drug infested neighborhood, had a brother that was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I was twelve at the time and had to endure watching him get tormented and abused by others. I was constantly fighting, getting into trouble and had a very unstable home life. I look at the past and wondering how I ever made it out of there alive. I had so many bad things happen in the past that I never seem to let go. Partly, I’m to blame due to the wrong choices I made. Depression has ruled my life all my life and I’m greatful I found this site. I due have a glimmer of hope that I can deal with this but also doubt myself. I do want to get better for myself and family and will put my best foot forward. For now, I’m very greatful for all the reseach that you have done and shared. God bless you and everyone that that is dealing with depression.

  43. Nitousia says:

    Hello John,
    I am a 38 mother of a two year old and a fifteen year old. My recent bout with depression is like nothing I could imagine . I lose a kidney about nine months ago due to hydronephises ,the pain I had before is ten time worst than before the surgery. My doctors can’t seem to find what is causing my pain. After a number of steroid injection I was told there is nothing else to be done. I have not work since my surgery and had to move in with my parents who are great. My question is lately I am having feelings of happiness but then I can be so depress and feeling of hopelessness ,anger ,fear and even death . Could I be experiencing signs of bipolar?

  44. Scott says:

    I just stumbled across this website, I have been fighting depression for 30+ years, had a really bad episode a couple of years ago and was finally winning the fight. Just recently heard some disturbing news at work and noticed I was good at work but would come home and almost be looking for a reason to get angry with the family. I did a search based on anger and depression and came across this site. I had recently been noticing even though I thought I had my depression under control it seemed to have changed games, more anger vs nothingness. Anyway I find just doing the reading here (and I am going to pick up the book “I don’t want to talk about as well) has helped open my eyes to the other side of depression I wasn’t looking for.

  45. Jenny says:

    I have been with my partner for almost 16 months. He has a history of depression, plus suffers chronic back pain due to a work injury a few years ago.

    We had a “break” from the relationship for a couple of months until recently. When we got back together we seriously discussed the depression and my partner explained how he feels when in that deep dark hole.

    Recently his back gave way to the point where he could hardly walk – as a result he has to have tests carried out to see what can be done – he is extremely worried about what the future holds.

    Alas he has gone in to a might deep depression.

    I had not annoyed him in any way for the first couple of weeks – I would simply text him once a day. I would not ask him questions, because I knew that he would not feel like answering. I would simply be short and sweet, let him know that I was thinking of him and always here for him. One of the messages I even reassured him that I was OK with everything and that he didn’t need to worry about me at all. Plus I let him know that when he did not reply to texts, I did not take that personally.

    Yesterday I mentioned to him that I would really like to have a quick chat, only a minute or two if he wanted, just to hear his voice and hear hour he is. Again he said that he did not want to talk, he was sorry as it was unfair to me, and though he cared for me every so deeply, the relationship would not work.
    I know that he wants it to work, but with his condition, he doesn’t have the ability to do make any effort.
    We are in a long distance relationship and I have a week free from my children shortly.
    My question is, should I just go and seem him. I will not pressure him to talk, though I would like to try and convince him to see a therapist as he has been suffering from depression for many years and hasn’t done that yet. I simply just want to be there for him. And it won’t be 24/7 as he has family around and friends that I know that i can spend time with also.
    Is this putting too much pressure on him. Could the company be something that will be good for him, even though he does not think so at the moment.

  46. Galen says:

    Hi John,

    About a year ago I was having a painful bout of depression and in the middle of it I wrote down a few guidelines I was trying to follow so that I might do so better and more intentionally. Recently I talked to a friend who is in a bad way and passed them along to him. They helped him with his morale, if nothing else, and I thought you might be interested in seeing them.

    • Accept it; don’t fight it. Fight creates battle and battle arouses the enemy. Acceptance lulls him into friendliness.

    • Use the depression to explore parts of yourself and your soul that you seldom visit or perhaps didn’t know existed.

    • Look through depression as lens that clarifies the changes you can make in your life when you are not depressed. Not to avoid depression but to lead a fully and better life. These enhancements in integrity and well-being help close the gap between one’s values and ideals and our actual behavior. When we speak of stress, it is this gap we primarily speak of. This gap as the single most potent ally of depression we own.

    • When you experience self-pity indulge it for a minute or two and then think about a person you know or know about who would gladly change places with you.

    • Make sure that there is at least one person with whom you are sharing the messy details of your feelings, however despairing they may be at any one time. Keeping depression secret generates shame and the depressed person is already stumbling under its weight. This is one reason why depression loves to get you alone and in the dark.

    • Stay moving. Get up, get showered and at some point in each day get out of the house, if only to pick up a loaf of bread or walk the block. If any kind of work is feasible at however halting a pace, do it. You may not end up with much usable “product” but the effort will boost your self-respect.

    • In contacts with others give the benefit of the doubt to self-disclosure over donning a disguise of equanimity. But the following proviso is essential. Expect only the rare individual, typically somebody who has stood in your shoes or in another pair equally painful, to respond genuinely and sympathetically. The majority of people will be alarmed and uncomprehending. Don’t be daunted. It is the coming out of hiding, not the response you receive, that helps.

    • Try your best to extend small acts of kindness to others. This alarms depression because one of its first victims is the capacity for compassion. And that person, unbeknownst to you, may feel even worse.

    • Don’t take any of the above measures with an angry or defiant attitude. Adopt a light-hearted manner, as though you are casually giving a gift to an acquaintance when they least expect it.

    • Depression is an opportunistic entity. If you are condemning the shortcomings
    of others, depression will turn your judgmental attitude on yourself.

    • Finally, never focus on the results of these or other efforts. This will breed impatience and impatience will lead to anger and despair. Instead, to the extent possible, focus on hope. Without hope these provisions cannot be put into place. None of them will produce the instant results we crave but they will build hope and hope will see us through. Hope and integrity.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Thank you, Galen –

      This is a wonderful set of reminders and guidance. Like many, I have a long way to go before I achieve the level of calm acceptance you describe, but there is much wisdom in what you say to help us get there.


      • Galen says:


        I, too, have a long way to go in embracing these ideals. To whatever extent I can, it helps me to avoid excacerbating my condition and seems, on occasion, to lessen the severity and length of my episodes.


    • Victoria says:

      This is up my alley. I’m fighting to keep my head above water lately and some of these are really registering with me. Some of them I’ve written down for myself on my ER Steps for Down Days, just in different words. Thanks for sharing.

      • John Folk-Williams says:

        Hi, Victoria –

        That’s a great idea – ER steps. Sometimes I write down reminders on post-it notes and stick them where I can’t miss them.

        Thanks for the idea.


    • Kelly says:

      This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  47. Wendy says:

    I got online tonight in hopes of finding help. I’m 38 and have suffered from depression for over 30 years that I can remember. I have had my 3rd nervous breakdown and surely my last has been the worst. At the age of 30 I had finally found a great job, and was able to take care of me and my kids. On March 14th of last year I got married like a fool to someone I had thought loved me. In August 2 days to our anniversary he called it quits. It wasn’t me or my depression that had taken over and ruined the relationship, it was between the two of us our 8 children and his ex-wife. We each have four kids. Anyways, my husband and I split up and I went right down the toilet. I lost it to but it short. By October I walked out of my job, come january I sold and donated everything and moved out of state. I feared that I would start stalking my ex because I just wanted to see him again. Well I went from a bad situation to an even worser situation, and I am so disgusted with myself for losing everything that had taken me so many years to achieve. No career, no home, I lost two kids, really what else is left. I’m trying so hard know to pick myself up and move on but I find it very difficult as the living situation for me and my two younger kids that are with me still is very difficult to deal with. It seems that as soon as I get positive some one around me slashes me right back down again. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive myself for losing everything, the rage in me over takes me at times. I want to forget my husband yet I can not. I miss my two older kids. I hate the state in which I live now, but I can’t go back to where I’m from. I have no one to help me. The economy is so poor that I can’t save up enough to get me and my two kids our own place. I know things will get better but I just pray I can last long enough to get there. I have no insurance so I can not get any of my medications. This makes things even more unbearable. I have no family left, mom just passed two months ago, no one to talk to. I just wish I had a friend that understood and could support me emotionally.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Wendy –

      I’m so sorry that everything has come crashing down this way, but I think you should be able to get at least some help, even without insurance. There are many antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications available generically for a few dollars per prescription, and there may be community or county health clinics where you could get a consultation. It does seem from what you say that cognitive or other type of therapy could help relieve the obsessive thinking about your ex and the general anguish of what you’re going through. One place to check for help of that sort is a community college or university with a training program and associated psychotherapy clinic. You could check the website of the DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance - to find a local chapter or support group. They would have information about the availability of services in your new community. There are also “warm” lines, on the model of suicide hotlines, for people needing advice and direction to local resources – DBSA contacts would also know about those.

      I hope you get some support soon.


  48. Jennifer says:

    Hi John,

    I’m so pleased I stumbled across this – I’m 24 and have left my boyfriend of 5 years since I can’t take being blocked out and ignored and disrespected anymore. I do feel that I should continue supporting him however I don’t think that should include taking any rudeness he throws at me. I guess I don’t understand why he’s still functioning at work and still goes out with his friends yet I’m the one that gets cut out? I’m the only person who is aware of & that he’s told about what hes going through and the only person he’s told about the help he’s getting however after already leaving me once, he seemed keen to keep me on the back burner during this episode after regretting leaving last time yet won’t see or speak to me and isn’t sure AGAIN if this is what he wants.I had to walk away, some call me selfish but he was bringing me down too. Why is it thought that they appear to function fine in other aspects of their life, just not their relationships?


    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Jennifer –

      I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself – nothing selfish in that at all. The reason he can function, apparently, well in the rest of his life is that everything else is much easier to navigate emotionally than a close relationship. There’s no comparison. He can present the face he wants to present at work and with his friends and has a lot of ways to control those encounters, but those methods are useless when it comes to intimacy. Whatever his depression is like it’s not friendly to openness and vulnerability and love. Depression is tense and defensive around love and wants to shut it off. I know it’s hard not to feel terrible if he appears to be having a great time with his friends but not with you, but those relationships just don’t go as deep as the one he has had with you. In a sense, depression really is contagious – it’s not that he would want to bring you down too but that the illness draws you in over time. Most people who have been with depressed partners for long periods of time need their own support to stay healthy. A couple can survive together, but it takes a lot of help for both of them.


  49. Gina says:

    If he’s “out of love” with me why does he avoid his son? He has no contact with him for the two weeks
    he doesn’t “have” to see him until the divorce papers say so.

    Do they really “check out” of the lives of the innocent ones? He will not text, call, come by, etc out of
    the court ordered visitation.

    How do they just “shut down” on the kids. He told me it was “me” he was out of love with….why is his
    son suffering.

    It’s as if he needed the divorce decree to tell him when and then only to be involved with our son.

    I guess I should be happy that it’s what it is if he’s not in a good place emotionally.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Gina –

      This is a terrible thing, but there’s no fixed rule about why he acts this way. If it’s a deep depressive episode, everything and everyone is shut out – it’s hardly a choice. Or it could be a combination of depression and character traits that were always there. Whatever might be going on, the suffering he causes is a hard fact. Hopefully, he’ll try to look for forgiveness in the future as part of an effort to restore the bond.


  50. Robert says:

    How can reading a book help me. I’ve read so many things and nothing helped. And anything the book told me to do did not work.


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