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"Depressives can fake it better than Meg Ryan"

Broadway's Patrick Page Shares His Personal Struggle with Depression The night I heard that Robin Williams died, I slept very little. And it wasn't just grief keeping me awake. It was fear. I know my depression is lurking just around the corner-waiting. As Harvey Fierstein says, "All it wants to do is get you alone in a room and kill you."
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Aug 19, 2014 - 21 comments

Depression is like being forced to wear a cloak made of lead

Depression is like being forced to wear a cloak made of lead. You don’t get to choose when to put it on and take it off. It is a second skin which gradually seeps into your own real skin and poisons it until you are a walking, toxic, corrosive bundle of infectious awfulness. The thought of suicide is the only real respite and the only chink of light at the end of the tunnel. You can "pull yourself together" only inasmuch as you can make yourself three feet taller. [more inside]
posted by guster4lovers on Aug 12, 2014 - 108 comments

Last Call

A Buddhist monk confronts Japan’s suicide culture. A profile of a monk who provides therapy to suicidal and depressed people in Japan, but is not himself suicidal.
posted by viggorlijah on Aug 6, 2014 - 26 comments

Fascinating Articles About Mental Illness With Misleading Titles

MIT Technology Review summarizes new directions in medical research, while a Pacific Standard writer experiments with Botox to treat depression.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jul 12, 2014 - 4 comments

AND ON THIS DAY, I WILL GIVE THE FISH A WALK AND A BATH

Breaking The Low Mood Cycle - a guest post at Captain Awkward discusses how to change your behavior to feel good about yourself and be better at doing you. The post has a humorous tone, reminiscent of Allie Brosh.
posted by desjardins on Jun 30, 2014 - 32 comments

PPD

"Postpartum depression isn’t always postpartum. It isn’t even always depression. A fast-growing body of research is changing the very definition of maternal mental illness, showing that it is more common and varied than previously thought." ‘Thinking of Ways to Harm Her’ and "After Baby, an Unraveling". [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 18, 2014 - 60 comments

"It will ache in my chest the rest of my life."

On May 13th, the film world was shocked and saddened by the tragic death of documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul, who had won an Oscar just last year for the documentary "Searching for Sugar Man". In the month that has passed since then, more details have emerged of the months and days that led up to his suicide. The Hollywood Reporter profiles the life and death of Bendjelloul and takes a look at how sudden success can bring about even more sudden depression.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 11, 2014 - 16 comments

Ketamine vs Depression

Short BBC report about a small study where people with depression were given small doses of ketamine: "A team at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust gave patients doses of ketamine over 40 minutes on up to six occasions. Eight showed improvements in reported levels of depression, with four of them improving so much they were no longer classed as depressed. Some responded within six hours of the first infusion of ketamine. Lead researcher Dr Rupert McShane said: "It really is dramatic for some people, it's the sort of thing really that makes it worth doing psychiatry, it's a really wonderful thing to see. He added: "[The patients] say 'ah this is how I used to think' and the relatives say 'we've got x back'.""
posted by marienbad on Apr 3, 2014 - 33 comments

found mike

A videoblogger from the U.K. named Jonny Benjamin started a social media campaign called #FindMike to track down the stranger who convinced him not to end his life in 2008.

Earlier this year, Benjamin found "Mike" (whose real name is Neil Laybourn) with help of Rethink Mental Illness, the organization that helped launch Benjamin's search. In the video, you can watch their heartwarming reunion.
posted by yeoz on Mar 13, 2014 - 6 comments

Miles and Miles of No-Man's Land

"Certainly, there appears to be a large correlation between artists and depression. But I would argue that artistic expression is not a symptom of depression so much as a response to it. I see writing as an act of resistance against an occupying enemy who means to kill me. It’s why I’m writing this now." YA author Libba Bray on living with depression.
posted by changeling on Mar 6, 2014 - 15 comments

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."

Sherwin Nuland, surgeon and award-winning author who challenged idea of dignified death, has died at age 83. The son of first generation immigrants, Nuland survived a troubled childhood and succeeded in medical school only to face near-paralyzing depression, for which he was successfully treated with electroconvulsive therapy (first-person TED talk). His award-winning book, "How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter", included realistic descriptions of the process of death and helped to frame the national debate on assisted suicide. [more inside]
posted by warm_planet on Mar 6, 2014 - 13 comments

My mental popcorn kernel of depression

Coming to terms with depression and needing "the little blue pill."
posted by rcraniac on Mar 5, 2014 - 31 comments

What fire dies when you feed it?

Game of the Year. Some words and a comic on success, depression, insecurities and validations by the writer of The Stanley Parable
posted by yellowbinder on Feb 21, 2014 - 9 comments

I waited for the gush of joy, and I felt blank.

P is for postpartum depression.
posted by spamandkimchi on Jan 28, 2014 - 29 comments

The Fart Party Really Stinks

Cartoonist Julia Wertz reflects on the years she spent consumed by alcoholism and depression, via comics and prose. [Previously] [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities on Jan 15, 2014 - 12 comments

"James Tiptree, Jr.: two decades of new wave science fiction (1968-88)

"We can go to science fiction for its sense of wonder, its power to take us to far-off places and future times. We can go to political fiction to understand injustice in our own time, to see what should change. We may go to poetry — epic or lyric, old or new — for what cannot change, for a sense of human limits, as well as for the music in its words. And if we want all those things at once — a sense of escape, a sense of injustice, a sense of mortality and an ear for language — we can read the stories of James Tiptree, Jr.," the reclusive, award-winning author whose vague biography started out in the Congo, routed through a period as a painter, then service as a photo intelligence officer in WWII, and finally a researcher and teacher of "soft" sciences before getting to writing science fiction. There was another facet that was only guessed at by some, dismissed by others: the fact that "Uncle Tip," and his reclusive friend, the former school teacher Racoona Sheldon, were the same person. And they were Alice Bradley Sheldon. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 20, 2013 - 31 comments

I Remember It Well

Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s is very nearly literal in its title—its author, Harper's editor Frederick Lewis Allen, published it in 1931. Writing before popular memory of the decade had solidified, Allen chronicles the Scopes Trial and the Harding scandals, radio and the Red Scare; but he ignores jazz for the mahjong craze and devotes an entire chapter to the real estate boom in Florida. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Dec 9, 2013 - 33 comments

Which Came First, the Depression or the Insomnia?

Insomnia causes depression as much as depression causes insomnia: Three surprising points from a fascinating episode of KQED Forum [audio, no transcript] with guest Dr. Michelle Primeau of the Stanford School of Medicine. For those averse to audio (like me, normally), the NYT also covered the research in print:
  • First story: Treating Insomnia to Heal Depression,
  • Follow up a couple of days later: Double Effectiveness of Depression Treatment by Treating Insomnia,
  • Two readers (both psychiatrists) respond, and
  • A NYT editorial.
  • [more inside]
    posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail on Dec 5, 2013 - 22 comments

    Railway Mania

    "Railway Mania was an economic bubble in the United Kingdom in the 1840s that involved a railroad development frenzy and a speculative bubble in the shares of railroad companies. ... [T]he British Railway Mania was the result of overexuberance toward the business prospects of a disruptive innovation; though railroads are now a part of everyday life, they were once every bit as revolutionary as the internet was when it was first introduced."
    posted by frimble on Nov 12, 2013 - 8 comments

    Replace at least one soda a day with a cup of coffee

    The bad news? Inflammatory dietary pattern is linked to depression among women. The good news: Drinking two-four cups of caffeinated coffee a day reduces the risk of suicide for adults by about half.
    posted by stoneweaver on Nov 8, 2013 - 184 comments

    and if you stare long enough i swear to god it’s pointing to up

    Comics writer Matt Fraction writes a heartfelt honest blog entry to a suicidal fan telling them what saved him and what could possibly save them too. [more inside]
    posted by Kitteh on Oct 16, 2013 - 32 comments

    Give me a stick and I can stay alive!

    Discover how to get out of bed and do things again with these spiffy new tips from 21 Comics That Capture the Frustrations of Depression! Or pull a blanket over your head and pretend you're the last person on earth curled up in a nice, warm cave. Whatever.
    posted by byanyothername on Sep 22, 2013 - 89 comments

    The Real Monsters

    Artist Toby Allen has created fantastic faces for monsters which many are all too familiar with: Anxiety, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Depression, Paranoia, Dissociative Identity Disorder, And Social Anxiety. [via]
    posted by quin on Sep 20, 2013 - 18 comments

    Herein lies the peace of God.

    It was Ben who introduced me to A Course In Miracles. He was part of a self-help group that ran workshops based on a couple of popular New Age spiritual philosophies. Ben credited this group with his ongoing recovery from a mysterious undiagnosed chronic pain and illness, and he encouraged me to embrace it as a cure for whatever it was that caused me to spend so many of my days unable to get out of bed.
    "Failing a Course in Miracles," Anne Ouellette, The Toast
    posted by Rustic Etruscan on Sep 17, 2013 - 17 comments

    One of the saddest situations that I've seen

    After a fight with a former friend, reportedly over a "boyfriend situation", Rebecca Sedwick was suspended. When Rebecca reported she was being bullied, the school worked with Tricia, Rebecca's mother, to change Rebecca's schedule. Tricia had her daughter close her Facebook account, too. [more inside]
    posted by misha on Sep 12, 2013 - 223 comments

    Rocky's Road

    "Life is so difficult," reads one reply. "It breaks us down, challenges us, pushes us to the very depths of desperation and darkness. These are the times when we need each other the most." Via. [more inside]
    posted by zarq on Aug 26, 2013 - 5 comments

    "I will take the ADD and you can keep the bipolar"

    Developers and Depression, a talk by Greg Baugues, co-founder of forum Devpressed.
    posted by Memo on Aug 21, 2013 - 10 comments

    "You are NOT alone"

    "Depression comix are simply a graphical representation of how depression and other related illnesses feel from a personal perspective." (about)
    posted by Memo on Aug 10, 2013 - 22 comments

    Red Before Bed: Better for Your Head

    The night shift is a reality for about 10% of the American labor force, offering both opportunity for rumination and a panoply of health problems. One of them may be easily mitigated, though: new research indicates that the color of light one is exposed to at night can affect one's mood.
    posted by psoas on Aug 7, 2013 - 26 comments

    The Benefits of Nostalgia

    Home Sweet Home "'I told him I did live my life forward, but sometimes I couldn’t help thinking about the past, and it was rewarding,' he says. 'Nostalgia made me feel that my life had roots and continuity. It made me feel good about myself and my relationships. It provided a texture to my life and gave me strength to move forward.' The colleague remained skeptical, but ultimately Dr. Sedikides prevailed. That lunch in 1999 inspired him to pioneer a field that today includes dozens of researchers around the world using tools developed at his social-psychology laboratory, including a questionnaire called the Southampton Nostalgia Scale. After a decade of study, nostalgia isn’t what it used to be — it’s looking a lot better."
    posted by bookman117 on Jul 9, 2013 - 13 comments

    There is no "Why?"

    Stephen Fry: I tried to kill myself last year
    posted by Artw on Jun 5, 2013 - 115 comments

    The Suicide Epidemic

    Self-harm now takes more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. Why are we killing ourselves, and how can we stop it?
    Over the last five decades, millions of lives have been remade for the better. Yet within this brighter tomorrow, we suffer unprecedented despair. In a time defined by ever more social progress and astounding innovations, we have never been more burdened by sadness or more consumed by self-harm. And this may be only the beginning. If Joiner and others are right—and a landmark collection of studies suggests they are—we’ve reached the end of one order of human history and are at the beginning of a new order entirely, one beset by a whole lot of self-inflicted bloodshed, and a whole lot more to come.

    posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 3, 2013 - 129 comments

    Here is a picture of an airplane.

    Hyperbole and a Half is back. After a long hiatus due to depression, which she memorably wrote about in her last strip in October 2011, Allie Brosh has returned to posting.
    posted by jokeefe on May 8, 2013 - 276 comments

    How I Met My Dead Parents

    Going through my parents' stuff didn't make me suddenly miss them, but I became more intrigued by them every day. I wanted to know more and more about them, to solve their mysteries. At the same time, I felt a corresponding, if conflicting, urge to speak, or write, about what many people seemed to think was unspeakable: my ever-present lack of grief. So I decided to combine these seemingly divergent impulses into an Tumblr blog called My Dead Parents, which I kept anonymous both out of respect for my family and because, after years of writing fiction, I wasn't sure if I could handle revealing so much about myself in writing.
    Anya Yurchyshyn writes about rediscovering her parents through their letters, after their deaths.
    posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 20, 2013 - 12 comments

    The Missing Boy

    An extraordinarily raw interview with Vini Reilly, guitarist with the Durutti Column. Recorded at the Manchester Town Hall on Sunday, March 3rd 2013, he discusses his violent upbringing, his lifelong struggle with depression, his friendship with Ian Curtis, and his determination to continue playing music despite suffering a series of debilitating strokes. The recording culminates with his first public performance in two years. Previously in MeFi
    posted by misterbee on Apr 18, 2013 - 10 comments

    Probiotics...better than valium?

    Why the bacteria in food like yogurt may be the answer to anxiety and depression. Probiotic-rich food is good for your gut, but it may also be good for your brain, say researchers.
    posted by cherrybounce on Mar 21, 2013 - 51 comments

    Noise Kills: When Everyday Sound Becomes Torture

    Hyperacusis is a condition where the slightest noise causes unbearable pain. It can result in phonophobia (fear of noise) and sometimes lead to suicide. Tinnitus is a far more common sound processing disorder, but severe cases can also lead to depression [autoplaying video] and suicide. The most serious threat to hearing comes from prolonged exposures to amplified live music (concerts). [more inside]
    posted by desjardins on Mar 15, 2013 - 81 comments

    there was seldom a point when he wasn't drinking

    "Dan hates himself; he also worships himself, and the fact that 90 people will come to every show that we do, and they'll love him — I think it's an experiment in finding out whether or not those people are being sincere. 'Do they really like me, or do they like the idea of me? Am I good person? What if I came out onstage and didn't do a show? What if I just rapped about fucking your mother? What if I didn't do anything? What if I took my shirt off, and I'm fat? What if I go off my diet? What if my girlfriend came out and told you I called her a c---? Would you still like me?'" Dan Harmon and Life After 'Community'
    posted by Rory Marinich on Feb 28, 2013 - 52 comments

    Depression Quest

    Depression Quest is an interactive fiction game about living with depression. Pay what you want, or play for free. A portion of the proceeds go to http://iFred.org. Here's a rather perfect trailer for the game. [more inside]
    posted by naju on Feb 14, 2013 - 60 comments

    Shall the artist survive?

    In 1934, the Public Works of Art Project was born. It served to offer employment to many artists, and produced thousands of works of art, including 2000 posters and 1100 murals, primarily in post offices, across the United States. [more inside]
    posted by frimble on Feb 7, 2013 - 15 comments

    Gaming the black dog

    Toward the end of 2008 my own sister Christina, who has suffered depression from a young age, experienced a particularly low period. “I began playing Fallout 3 because I needed a distraction. I didn’t think it would help because I was having trouble focusing on anything for very long. I ended up playing it for 14 hours a day for about 3 weeks.” This might be considered unhealthy – some might want to categorise it as “pathological gaming” – but for Christina it was crucial for getting through the day. “It got me out of bed in the morning. Becoming so involved in the storyline and the tasks gave me a reason to keep on going, and it was so far removed from real life that it made me feel better.” -- Over at Rock Paper Shotgun, David Owen takes a look at the link between clinical depression and gaming, if any and if they might help people cope with it.
    posted by MartinWisse on Jan 25, 2013 - 36 comments

    In a quiet room with a blade, it's only ever yourself you're trying to beat.

    Press X not to Die - one woman's story of self-harm and videogaming
    posted by mippy on Dec 12, 2012 - 17 comments

    "Look At Me Now"

    American paratrooper Arthur Boorman suffered debilitating injuries during the first Gulf War. Doctors told him he'd never walk unassisted again. 15 years later.... [more inside]
    posted by zarq on Nov 27, 2012 - 16 comments

    Coronet Instructional Films

    From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2012 - 41 comments

    Bankster Rap

    Once the financial sector achieves a certain size, its continued expansion reduces economic growth, according to a new study by two senior economists at the Bank for International Settlements, Stephen Cecchetti and Enisse Kharroubi, using a large international data base stretching back more than 30 years.
    posted by unSane on Oct 26, 2012 - 10 comments

    “It wasn’t your time.”

    The Jumper Squad. "Each year, the New York City Police Department receives hundreds of 911 calls for so-called jumper jobs, or reports of people on bridges and rooftops threatening to jump. The department’s Emergency Service Unit responds to those calls. Roughly 300 officers in the unit are specially trained in suicide rescue, the delicate art of saving people from themselves; they know just what to say and, perhaps more important, what not to say."
    posted by zarq on Oct 9, 2012 - 39 comments

    "There’s happiness and love and life all around you. Right now you can’t see it."

    "Always remember that beautiful experiences and massive amounts of love are on their way. If you are able to feel pain and sadness this profoundly, more than most people can ever imagine, remind yourself that you can feel happiness and joy and love this profoundly as well, and that’s our little reward as depressed people. We feel things harder than other people do, and when those things are negative they are complete and total torture. But while we feel pain harder than other people have to, we feel beauty and joy and love harder than anyone else gets to, and that’s the victory that’s waiting on the other side of this pain for you. Hang on. Be tough. Better times are coming. Beautiful things and loving people are already out there, and when this cloud passes you get to experience them all so, so deeply." -Comedian Chris Gethard addresses an anonymous fan contemplating suicide (Trigger warning: discussion of suicide) [more inside]
    posted by inturnaround on Sep 13, 2012 - 27 comments

    You must always keep an open mind, in this business.

    "How, I wonder, can a young woman who has grown up in this harsh environment, waking up early to fetch water, cook, clean, farm till late in the day, be suffering from depression? ... People don't get depressed in Nigeria."
    posted by ChuraChura on Sep 5, 2012 - 71 comments

    The Curious Case of the Missing Congressman

    Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., son of revered civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, Sr., has been missing from the public eye since June 10th, failing to cast votes and making no public appearances. After weeks of vague statements raising more questions than answers about his mystery illness, Jackson's office has stated that he is seeking treatment for "debilitating" depression at the Mayo Clinic. Jackson's office denies alcoholism or drug addiction. [more inside]
    posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College on Aug 7, 2012 - 39 comments

    "If I had my own .45 'matic, I'd be dangerous too."

    Dangerous Blues sung by Mr. Joe Savage (SLYT)
    posted by jason's_planet on Jul 7, 2012 - 5 comments

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