I have clinical depression.
I was diagnosed with it in 2003. For all I know, I’ve had it for much longer.
It often leaves me irritated, angry, impatient, indifferent, unmotivated and, definitely, depressed. It leaves me with feelings of guilt and hopelessness.
It steals my concentration, paralyzing me to the point of straining to write every word on the page.
Or do anything else, for that matter. I just mostly don’t care.
I don’t care about taking care of myself. I know I should eat better and exercise, but meh. My therapist has offered me some practical things to apply toward improving my mental health, but who wants to do that?
That’s probably what I experience, more than anything: just a whole bunch of whatever.
I’m not always like this, you know. I have my good days, where everything’s generally cool, and I’m doing okay, and life feels good.
But then, there are those other days. And sometimes, those days get pretty dark.
And, if it gets bad enough, my depression will get me thinking, maybe I just don’t belong here, anymore.
Maybe I should rid everybody of me.
Men, does this sound like you?
Okay, well here’s the part that probably doesn’t.
I’m talking to someone about it.
I’m getting help for it.
It took some time for me to get to that, mind you. I thought psychiatric treatment was for crazy people, not me.
Maybe you think so, too. Maybe you think you’re weak if you’re depressed, or if you have anxiety. Maybe you’re embarrassed to tell anyone what’s going on with you. Maybe you think you can snap out of it, or you can overcome it by yourself.
The truth is, guys, you can’t. Ask Michael Phelps. Ask Kevin Love. Ask Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Ask me. You need to talk to someone. You need help. And the sooner you face up to that, the better.
I know that, based on what I’ve said here, it doesn’t seem like I’m any better. Unfortunately, this is something that takes time to treat; there is no quick fix. And I readily admit, I have a ways to go.
But, I also know, just the act of talking about it with someone brings great relief. It’s a good first step.
Fellas, I’m pleading with you; too many of us are killing ourselves because we wait to ask for help until it’s too late.
Please, don’t let that be you.