START HERE

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

Searching the Site

If you need to look for more specific subjects, you can use the accordion menu in the sidebar. Each category link on that menu takes you to a page with a selection of posts on that subject in reverse chronological order.

You can also use the search form at the top right corner of each page. We’re using a new search engine that gives results in order of relevance and highlights the words you’ve submitted.

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.

Recovery

  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

22 Responses to “START HERE”

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. deniseheikka says:

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

      John

      • Galen says:

        John,

        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.

        Galen

    • 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.

        John

  10. Wendy says:

    Hello,
    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 -http://www.dbsalliance.org/) 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.

      John

  11. 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?

    Thanks

    • 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.

      John

  12. 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.

      John

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