My Lost Decade in Depression
While there are universal symptoms, depression affects everyone differently. I am not talking about the momentary feelings of blue every gets. No, I am talking about spells of depression that can last for days, months, and even years. It took 10 years to discover I had it, and by then the damage was done.
It all started in high school.
While at high school in the early 1990s, between over-protective parents and my own shyness, I didn’t have many friends. I didn’t hang out with anyone, and those I knew was then just acquaintances. The world wide web as we know it today was still in its infancy, and without that safety net of friendship or an outlet for my thoughts and emotions, there was nothing there to prevent me from degrading into depression.
My Lost Decade
While the seeds of depression may have been planted in high school, they didn’t blossom until college. Chronic depression is a self-fulfilling prophecy. While you suffer from it, you instinctively look ways to reinforce the general feelings of worthlessness and failure. During my first attempt at college in the late 1990s, I often felt sluggish, and there were days I didn’t feeling like getting out of bed. I rarely felt like interacting with others, and there were even days I felt like ending it right there and then. It may have been my depression, combined with the Asperger’s Syndrome that fueled it, that caused me to fail out of college by the end of the decade.
The last decade didn’t start out any differently. Still feeling the sting of failing college, my 10-year long bout of depression continued well into the decade. This time, it affected my productivity at work at a local supermarket. It didn’t help that I also suffered from stroke and fell victim to a hit and run accident at time as well. The ensuing depression and fear may have led to me losing the job.
The Light at the end of the tunnel
Fortunately, everything changed about the time I started Toon Radio. It wasn’t Toon Radio itself that saved me. It was everything that came with it. It was the sense of accomplishment that comes with people enjoying the fruits of my labor. Seeing people all over the world listening to my playlists, introducing their friends to Toon Radio, and generally socializing in my chat rooms was what I needed.
It wouldn’t be until 2006 that I learned of the depression from a chance visit to a psychologist, but by then the depression had long since ended. I still get the occasional relapse, but depression has no hold on me. If you find yourself dealing with the worthlessness and self-doubt, I say find yourself an outlet, and use it. It doesn’t matter what it is: a blog, internet radio, or simply the Yahoo Contributor Network; but that outlet may just save your life.