This was a tough post to write. Not only because it is such a sensitive subject, but also because it is so personal to me. The reasons are complex and I won’t go into much detail, but by doing this I know I am exposing myself to a level of scrutiny I’m not entirely comfortable with. And I am fully aware that people who know me and read this post will see me differently–something I don’t particularly like. But I feel that this post will give my readers some insight into what severe depression is like. Especially for people who have never suffered from it.
I was in graduate school when I finally got treatment for my condition. By that time it had gotten so bad that I really had no choice. It was either get treatment or I would eventually kill myself. I ended up doing two semesters of one-on-one counseling and over the summer I did group therapy. I found the treatment to be helpful and worthwhile. It didn’t change my life in any dramatic way–at least not right away. But it was worthwhile and it helped me deal with some things that needed dealing with.
I remember one of the therapy group participants saying that no matter how bad things got he would never seriously consider killing himself. And I suppose that’s how it is for most people. It’s difficult to understand unless you’ve been there. And I suspect that for people who have not been there this could be a tough post to read. Continue reading