No Right Answer: Living with Depression

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Maybe I'm overgeneralizing, but I think a big cause of depression in the geek culture for males is not having a girlfriend or something similar.

I'm sure all of us have been in the friendzone at some point in our life and have felt forever alone. There is a reason why these concepts are so well known.

Personally, I have been going though bouts of depression since Jr. High up until very recently when I got my first girlfriend at 31. Unfortunately I was only with her for six months, we broke up for reasons not related to my depression but it was the first time in my life that I actually felt happy.

I think you are overgeneralizing, though a lot of guys undoubtedly feel that way.
I've been in three relationships(3-1-1 years) and a bunch of smaller ones lasting a season or less. I've been head over heels for two of them and these were people I would be happy to spend the rest of my life with.
However, you can't just substitute feelings with a relationship, even if they do make you happy. Since there's a variety of depressions, it is possible to overcome it in a relationship, but if you're chronicly depressed as Chris pranger seems to be(or as I am), it's not a solution.

He did mention this in the vid; Getting the perfect job, getting the girl or moving on from one goal to the next is not something that fixes a depression.

I'm sorry to say that even a one night stand can elate you for a while and trick you into thinking that you're happy, because our bodies and biology betray us in that way.

You mentioned geek culture, but I think the truth lies closer to being an introvert or socially secluded in some ways (I'm not saying you are, just that it's a common truth to a lot of people in our circles). A lot of us don't feel comfortable with who we are and that's a horrible way to live, so when someone does fall for you or gets into a relationship with you, that person legitimizes who you are and that's part of what makes you feel better. I'm sure a lot of depressions are connected with some measure of selfloathing or lack of confidence.

Please, don't take what I'm writing as any kind of analysis of you. If anything, it's something I relate to and might explain why some feel just getting a girl is a solution for them. I can tell you first hand that it doesn't work like that, though it can help. Maybe you can recognize some of what I'm saying or maybe you don't relate at all, either way I think it explains some of what many think.

<--Curious Non-Depressed Person Here:
Is a depressed person sad about something? Or are they sad for no discernible reason?

Also, I've heard that those suffering may appear to be happy on the outside; Is it a constant sadness, and happiness is almost like a mask, or does it come and go?

It feels as if your own mind turns on itself. You can't see beyond doubt, every way looks like a dead end, and hope feels nonexistent. Your thoughts often can't stop spinning in a rut of negativity. Physical symptoms such as a strong level of fatigue and difficulty sleeping/waking up aren't uncommon either.

Depression symptoms can come and go. Some days can be worse, and other days you might feel normal, chipper and ready to take on the world. Other days you might have serious mood swings: constant irritability and outbursts of anger, for example. Sometimes you do put on a mask, if only to get through the day. Sometimes the smiles are genuine.

It really depends. Depression is complicated. All I can say is don't make the mistake of trivializing it as just "sadness", it's a mental illness and it should be taken seriously.

<--Curious Non-Depressed Person Here:
Is a depressed person sad about something? Or are they sad for no discernible reason?

Also, I've heard that those suffering may appear to be happy on the outside; Is it a constant sadness, and happiness is almost like a mask, or does it come and go?

Well, for me it's been like this;

every negative thing hits you much harder than it should; dropping a piece of bread can feel like the end of the world, someone saying something negative feels like a confirmation that everyone hates you, failing in an exam feels like you cannot succeed in anything.

On the other hand, anything positive just feels like nothing. There have been times when I have been unable to feel joy.
I became depressed when I was a teenager, and didn't know I was depressed for years, because I just thought it was a part of growing up, stopping to enjoy things.

And whether a depressed person is constantly sad, depends on the person. Some people can be bipolar, going from depressed to manic and back.

There have been times when I've been more happy, and capable of interacting with people, but it's draining, and then followed by a period of depression.
If I go out with friends to a convention and have fun, I'll be completely fatiqued and tired at least the next day.

I managed to study normally last fall, but then totally crashed when it was all over and spent Christmas-season just unable to do anything productive.

<--Curious Non-Depressed Person Here:
Is a depressed person sad about something? Or are they sad for no discernible reason?

First off, depression's not all about "sadness." Some people describe it that way, but a lot of people describe it as a complete inability to feel any emotional, including sadness.

But to answer your question, some are, some aren't. Depression can be triggered by a traumatic event, like a bereavement for example, or it can strike you down in your prime for no reason at all. Tread carefully when broaching this subject with a depressed person. When I first became depressed, I was constantly bombarded with questions from well-meaning (initially, at least, later frustrated) people wanting to know why I was depressed. The fact that honestly had no answer, that there was no reason (well actually it would later turn out to be because I have bipolar disorder, but at the time I didn't know that), and that everyone expected me to have a reason and seemed unable to accept the reality of my situation, made me feel so, so much worse.

Also, I've heard that those suffering may appear to be happy on the outside; Is it a constant sadness, and happiness is almost like a mask, or does it come and go?

It's certainly true that a lot of mentally ill people (not just those with depression) can do a spectacularly good job of hiding their condition. It can be that the happiness is a mask, it can be that certain people or activities temporarily alleviate the depression but as soon as you're away from them it comes crashing back, or it could be that the person isn't depressed all the time, but rather goes through periods of depression and periods of normal or, in the case of bipolar, manic moods.

Chris Pranger:
Hopelessness and doom

Dirty Cop James funs:
Complicated mixture

Illogical negativity

If 10=0, then i=depressed

A or B? Yes

The range of responses just goes to show... There *is* No Right Answer
Joking aside, this whole thing is huge and very interesting. Makes you rethink the world and human interaction, really.
An unknown area of science to be sure, unexplored and wild. Makes you wonder if we'll ever learn the secrets within our skulls.

Best wishes to all of you, I hope your depression comes down upon you rarely and leaves with quick haste.

While depression is real and going to a therapist can help a lot, I do -NOT- recommend taking prescription drugs. I've studied Psychology and had a few internship courses in a mental institute. Most depressives were prescribed Prozac . Maybe you fellas have some better pills in the States, but I wouldn't wager on it. Check the side effects.

This is just an opinion, take it as you will; if you do take the medication, however, and experience anything unusual, think about stopping.

Thank you so much for this video. I know a few people who could do with watching it.

The amount of ignorance you face as a person with depression is sickening and infuriating. One I get regularly from people is "Cheer up, it might never happen!" and "can't you just feel happy?"
It's that easy, is it?

Another recent one after suffering a fit of rage and taking it out on someone when they tried antagonizing me was "maybe you should just not go near people and step away from the keyboard when you get like that" which just made my mood increasingly worse. I explained that was the wrong thing to say to someone which fell upon death ears because the guy in question is a terrible human.

If you have never suffered from depression, you should probably shut your mouth when it comes to others if you're going to say bullshit like that. Just because you can't wrap your head around the fact some people have different emotional ranges to you, you should probably stay quiet and let that person know you're not very good at dealing with depression.

Dealing with people can be difficult for some, but if you just let them know you won't be much help then we won't waste any more of your time.

People do need to be better educated on mental illness, right now in the UK at least, it's shocking.

As for my advice, go to the doctors to get an appointment with a specialist who is trained in mental illness. GPs more often than not aren't the best option to go to when you need help.

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