Tag Archives: depression

How Jon Hamm Battled Depression

“I struggled with chronic depression. I was in bad shape. I knew I had to get back in school and back in some kind of structured environment and… continue. [...] I did do therapy and antidepressants for a brief period, which helped me. Which is what therapy does: it gives you another perspective when you are so lost in your own spiral, your own bulls**t. It helps. And honestly? Antidepressants help! If you can change your brain chemistry enough to think: ‘I want to get up in the morning; I don’t want to sleep until four in the afternoon. I want to get up and go do my s**t and go to work and…’ Reset the auto-meter, kick-start the engine!”

Jon Hamm, whose mother died when he was 10, discusses with The Guardian how school, therapy and antidepressants helped him cope with the death of his father when he was 20. I know it happened a long time ago, but I’d still be happy to lend a shoulder to cry on anytime Mr. Hamm might need one. Call me. [via The Guardian] Keep reading »

Girl Talk: In Praise Of Mental Health Days

When I was growing up I had a friend who was as aloof as she was glamorous. She had a way of holding the cutest and most charming boys in her thrall and all the girls wanted her to like them. Whenever she had problems with her romances, her schoolwork, her friends or her family, she was very mysterious about it. Her glass facade never shattered in public and very seldom would she even admit to having problems at all. Some days, random Tuesdays or Thursdays, she wouldn’t be in school, even though she hadn’t looked sick the day before. She would call them her “mental health days.”

She seemed very melodramatic to me, as if this were all just part of her act. But it was also exciting. My mother is a lot like Betty Draper and she would say to me when I was growing up that if I was not bleeding, I was fine. That kind of mothering doesn’t exactly teach someone self-care: if I didn’t want to go to school, I would lock myself in my bedroom and shriek at my mother through the door that I wanted to be left alone. A “mental health day,” on the other hand, sounded so grown-up, like she was taking a “personal day” at the office and we weren’t just a couple of 10th graders. I could imagine my friend calm and collected, attending to her own needs like a cat licking his paws. Maybe it was melodramatic, but it still sounded nice. Keep reading »

Tips For Dealing With Your First Semester Of College

Going away to college is scary — don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. When I left my little, rural town in upstate New York and came to the big city for college at NYU, I was terrified. All of the sudden I had to live on my own with people I barely knew, cook for myself, and (gasp!) learn how to do laundry. An A+ student my whole life, I had to learn to live with B’s and professors who graded like they had a personal vendetta against me. The whole experience of being a first semester freshman at college sucked. It didn’t help that, before classes began, someone in my grade jumped out of the window of a neighboring dorm and killed himself. Within a week, I decided I wanted to change schools. But my parents convinced me to stick it out a bit longer and, eventually, I began to like my new life and surroundings.

Anyone who tells you the transition to college is easy is a straight-up liar. And while I’m not saying I can ease all the pain and stress of adjusting, I can share a few things I learned from my experience that may help you out. Keep reading »

Dear Wendy: “I’m Depressed, So I Want To Cheat On My Wife”

I am a 41-year-old professional man married to a beautiful woman. For the past few years I have felt that there has to be more to life than what I’ve been living as it’s been the same thing day in and day out for the past 10 years. I’ve never cheated on my wife, but I just need something more, and I think that could be it. My wife doesn’t like to have sex that often, but I need it every day, and although I would love to talk to her, I’m the type of person who doesn’t speak up or say anything. I have just been so depressed and I feel like I have given up on things. I did take medication, but it made me feel empty and very tired every day, so I gave it up and now I’m so depressed I’m not sure what to do. I just feel like if I could have another woman just one time that I would feel better, but the guilt would eat me up. Not sure why I feel like another woman would help, but I’m just drawn in that direction. I know you would say don’t do it—even though I feel like I need to—but what if I don’t do it, what can I do to feel better? — Married and Unhappy

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Men Also Feel The Emotional Pain Of A Miscarriage

New research has dispelled the assumption that men don’t bond with an unborn child as much as women do and, therefore, don’t feel as depressed after a miscarriage. According to a study conducted in Hong Kong, men feel the same emotional pain as women, but are able to heal faster. Researchers followed 83 couples for one year after a miscarriage and found that 40 percent of the men suffered significant psychological distress immediately after the loss of their unborn child, but after a year, only five percent felt the same distress. Fifty-two percent of women, on the other hand, suffered significant psychological distress immediately after the miscarriage, and eight percent reported distress after a year. Men who had helped plan the pregnancy were more likely to experience high levels of depression after the miscarriage. So researchers conclude that the psychological impact of miscarriages is “less intense and enduring” for men, but since both sexes are distressed after the loss of pregnancy, help for the couple should be offered soon after the pregnancy loss. Are these findings surprising to you? Do you think a study of 83 couples is enough research to accurately come to these conclusions? [Reuters] Keep reading »

Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Dumped Me Because I’m Depressed”

I’m one year out of college and really struggling with anxiety. It recently got to a point where I would talk about suicide with my (now ex) boyfriend and my mother, and I felt I couldn’t function in daily life as far as doing my work or waking up at a decent hour. My boyfriend moved away for a new job, and told me he wanted us to break up for awhile until I got better. We were still talking on the phone, but I told him it was too hard for me — not knowing where we stood — to be talking and that we should just completely breakup. In my head he was still my boyfriend, and it was hard hearing him talk about us “not being together” that way. A few weeks before he left, when things were better, we’d talked about moving in together. Is it right, in a relationship, for one person to tell the other to sort of “go off and get better”? Aren’t you supposed to stick together through hard times? We had been together for about a year. Also, I’m seeing a therapist and working hard on improving and being positive about the future, but when we did talk about it he wasn’t very encouraging and didn’t seem to want to know what I was going through or whether I was feeling better. He’s been too busy settling into his new life, and it’s just been so hard. What should I do? — Left Behind

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How To Deal With Depression When You’re Trying To Get Pregnant

I try to divorce Michael at least once a month. I blame this on my PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or what I like to call “PMS on crack”), though I’ve also been diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety and, once, a psychopharmacologist told me I had obvious bipolar tendencies. Either way, I’m not the easiest person to live with (as if you didn’t already feel bad enough for my husband, due to my sexual issues). Sometimes, I fling my wedding band across the room, or lock myself into the bathroom, or scream myself raw. And once, I dumped a freshly-baked pan of cookies on top of his freshly-cleaned clothes and stomped up and down on them. Keep reading »

Dear Wendy: “I Can’t Climax On My Meds”

I’m a 25-year-old single woman with diagnosed clinical depression. I received this diagnosis about five years ago and have been on the same medication off and on since. It has many side effects, but one of the most frustrating is that it kills my ability to orgasm. I still have a healthy libido and enjoy sex, but the big finish just doesn’t happen. Obviously that’s a medical issue, not a relationship issue, but my question is: how do I handle this when I’m with a new guy? For most of the last five years I was in a long relationship, so he knew about it when I did. But now I’m interested in someone new and don’t know what to do. Should I fake it? I don’t want to mislead anyone but I worry that if I disclose the situation he won’t be interested in me. Maybe he’ll think, “What’s the fun in getting off with someone who can’t get off at all?” Also, I don’t necessarily want to discuss my illness with someone I’m only seeing casually. FYI: I’ve considered switching meds, but I don’t want to change something that works very well for me, and the medication I’m on actually has the lowest instance of sexual side effects of any on the market; I’m just part of the very unlucky 0 percent of the population. — No O

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I Have Depression

We tend to think of the concept of “pain” as something physical—something that involves blood, bruises or casts. But people with mental illnesses struggle with this entirely other debilitating concept of pain, one that literally saps the life out of them. I have struggled with depression, or unipolar depression. The National Institute of Health says major depression is when a person has five or more symptoms for at least two weeks. Symptoms include: fatigue or lack of energy; feelings of hopelessness or helplessness; feelings of worthlessness, self-hate or guilt; inactivity or withdrawal from activities that used to be pleasurable; trouble sleeping or sleeping too much; loss of appetite or dramatic gain in appetite; agitation; difficulty concentrating; and thoughts of death or suicide.

For me, depression has manifested itself in all these ways. Sometimes I can sleep for 12 hours straight and still want to spend the rest of the day in bed. Other times, I can’t sleep and seem to be living on my own anxiety-fueled adrenaline. The only common thread is feeling like a human being with all the joyful parts of humanity leeched out of her. Keep reading »

14 Things I’m Done Being Afraid Of

Years ago, I used to have this mantra: “The things you worry about usually don’t happen.” It was true. The fears never, ever materialized: I was never fired from a job; a roommate never kicked me out of my apartment; no one ever climbed up my fire escape in the middle of the night and broke in. Instead, of course, an entirely different set of bad things happened to me, stuff that I hadn’t anticipated or prepared for. And you know what? Everything turned out OK. More than OK, really: I love my job; I met my partner for life; I earn enough money to live on; and everyone I care about is healthy. I’m so OK it’s boring — and all the time I spent worrying about the now ex-bosses and ex-roommates seems, well, wasted. Keep reading »

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