"Why can't you just tell yourself to be happy?"

"Why are you so gloomy all the time?"

" You just need to cheer up"

These are things I hear daily when I am struggling with my depression. When I am doing well and the meds are working no seems to notice, but watch out if I have an off day, suddenly Im king jerk, and just being moody, gloomy,have the blues, etc.

For those who don't know depression is a legit disease, it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, while mostly associated with women, it is suggested that the number of men suffering from depression is lower due to the stigma and lack of self reporting.

I have been dealing with this for fourteen years and just diagnosed 4 years ago, why so long? See the above reasons mens numbers are lower. I felt as if I was alone in group of people, I was always the first to arrive and first to leave a function so I could say I was there, even though I wanted nothing more than to stay home. I missed kids games, school plays, family get togethers and just sat and drank.

Did the drinking lead to the depression or depression lead to drinking to me its a chicken/egg thing doesnt matter to me.

Finally I got to the point were my job was sucking the life out of me and I was conteplating ending it, when I looked at the glass of scotch and bottle of vicodin I realized somthing wasn't right, I called the VA suicide line and went to the local hospital and spent the next ten days there. Got put on meds after about four days there I attempted to hang myself with bed sheets knoted over the bathroom door, to the them it was a good sign the meds were making me more enrgetic? (Have to add WTH?) It was a stablize and release me sititation, did ok for a while and then in August of that same year I lost it again, when my VA counselor asked if I was ok and I answered I dont know, I was taken down to the local va hospital and spent another week in the hospital, more meds a little one on one but once again get me in stable and out.

Know we are up to last April, I was out of my mind telling my wife stuff that I would never say in a normal state of mind, and was taken to the VA hospital once again. Once again I was stablized and released.

Finally I got tired of the cycle and started asking around and heard about a inpaitent treatment in MN, there it was a seven week program and they treated not only the depression but diagnosed me with PTSD which explained a lot about my behavior that we though was just part of my anxiety and depression disorder. Well been home for a while and over all things are all right not perfect but alright, still suffer from the bouts of depression now and then but nearly as severe as  in the past, meds are stable and I have a few good friends that I can know talk to when things arent going well.

Thats my story I dont expect sympathy or anything like that I just hope it helps someone to realize there not alone.



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Comment by Adam Bauer on October 10, 2011 at 4:36am

DLB and to everyone else, I thank you for the words of encouragement and thoughts on my posting, the main reason I wrote this is to let other men know they are not alone, and it don't have to get to the extreme that it did with me to discover there is  a problem.

"Let us speak
courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."

 T.R. San Francisco, CA, May 13, 1903

That is all I try to do.

Comment by DLB on October 9, 2011 at 11:26pm
Thanks for sharing. I think there are a lot of men in your situation who never get the help they need.  Your post is a great encouragement for others to seek help.  

I agree that someone who has not suffered from depression can really understand the depths of despair that a depressed person experiences. "Why can't you just be happy?" is a pretty good indication that a person doesn't understand the issues of depression.

I am glad you got help and I hope you continue to do well. Three years ago, at the age of 65, I was struck with severe Psoriatic Arthritis that is proving very difficult to control, leading me in and out of hopeless depression. After days and sometimes weeks of unrelenting severe pain, there seems to be no point in getting out of bed and no hope for the future in sight. My depression is triggered by these periods of unrelenting pain.  Fortunately, although depression doesn't instantly disappear, there is help available.  I really appreciate your post.

Wishing you well!
Comment by Adam Bauer on October 8, 2011 at 11:02pm

I used that example the other day.


Comment by Kodanshi Helcarver on October 8, 2011 at 9:41pm
Thanks for that, Adam. I too have suffered from depression for a long time (coming up to 18 years now). The chemical imbalance means that telling someone to pull themselves out of depression is like telling someone having a heart attack to just stop having the attack!
Comment by Adam Bauer on October 8, 2011 at 9:40pm
I hope it helps
Comment by Stein on October 8, 2011 at 5:41pm

That was very brave,Adam. I bet it helps a lot of men here.



Comment by Sir on October 8, 2011 at 3:22pm

Sometimes it's chemical causing the thoughts (your story); sometimes it's thoughts causing the chemical (my story).  Maybe it's always a combo, too.

Yours does sound like your mind was changed *for* you by the depression.  Glad it was changed back.

For how it is for those whose thoughts affected the chemistry more, please see my blog posts.

Comment by Søren Dam Pedersen on October 8, 2011 at 1:58pm
Thanks for sharing. Your story is relevant for me in a couple of ways. I hope things work out for you.

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