1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Depression, Part II

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by hockeybeat, Jan 24, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. westcoastvol

    westcoastvol Active Member

    If you think you're going through hell, keep going.
    -Winston Churchill
  2. Dirk Legume

    Dirk Legume Active Member

    This thread is a fantastic example of why I keep coming back to this board. No bs. Just suggestions and a real effort being made to help someone out.


    If this thread shows you nothing else, it should show you that you are not alone. And sometimes that's half the battle, knowing that other people are going through it as well. Take care of yourself.
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    HB - the other thing it shows you it that there is people out there who care for you -- even if they only know you through a message board. You see that you are not alone in your struggle.

    Don't be afraid to reach out to those even closer to you. In the end people want to help each other .

    Does your company have an EAP program? ( employee assistance program) . If so its worth taking advantage of.
  4. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Well-Known Member

    We're kind of like a family. Most of the time we screw around and fight with each other, but when push comes to shove and somebody needs help, we are all there for you.

    That's why in this thread everybody is willing to do whatever they can to help you, but if you wander over to the "Obama Comes Out Swinging" thread, you might be referred to as a Ftard.

    This is truly a special place.
  5. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    As someone who has gone through this consistently from my teen-age years onward, I think it's really vital first of all to recognize the problem, which you seem to have done, and perhaps even more importantly, to locate the roots of your depression.

    For me, there have been a few. First of all, I suffer from perfectionism, something I was actually diagnosed for when I was in high school and attended a few counseling sessions that I should have stuck with. And a lot of that was driven, accidentally, by my parents. They just didn't know any better. I'd bring home a 98 on a test and I would invariably be quizzed about the two questions I got wrong. That wears on a child after a while. Again, I'm sure that they just felt they were trying to encourage their intelligent son to strive for excellence. But it's unhealthy to grow up getting a predominance of negative reinforcement.

    I know there has been a backlash against "blaming your parents," but I don't think that finding roots of a troubled adulthood in one's childhood is necessarily shunning responsibility for your present-day moods and actions. The world isn't that black and white.

    Anyway ... the perfectionism definitely has manifested itself into my career, and from the time I got out of college - hell, from the time I entered college in the mid '90s - I've been so focused on this career track that I invented for myself that every little setback, every day that went by when I wasn't closer to the New York Times or Sports Illustrated, felt like another day wasted in a short life, and another day when I allowed uncertainty to just scare the living hell out of me. Until I finally placed in APSE last year, every year that the awards were announced and I wasn't named was a blow that would bring me down for months and toss me into self-loathing and doubt. I had earmarked myself for greatness, and anything short of that was devastating.

    Over the last few weeks and months, I feel like I've really turned things around after kind of hitting rock bottom in November and maybe early December of last year. For one thing, I've tried to begin to open some other options for myself. I've realized that in a life as short as this one, only giving ourselves one path to happiness can result in a life wasted, which is a tragedy. In the last few weeks I've interviewed for a better-paying, higher-profile news-side job (I'm a finalist), something I would have never, ever considered in the past, I've written a short story and sent it off to 20 literary magazines (I eagerly await even the rejections), and, motivated by this site, have begun doing some prep work for the LSAT and GMAT exams. Again, I may never go to law or business school, but the key is opening up options. And when I didn't give myself any, that's when the perfectionist tendencies would just choke my spirit.

    Our culture celebrates savants, not renaissance men. We celebrate the Peyton Mannings and Jimi Hendrixes of the world for focusing on one talent and nurturing it to greatness. And I think sometimes we all feel that we must do the same - pick one thing out and throw our eggs into that basket. I have no idea if that affects you at all, but it has affected me. And when one doesn't achieve greatness or perfection, which is unattainable by definition, it leaves that awful feeling of having failed.

    I've also kind of been looking into philosophy a little bit, in order to kind of figure out some meaning and direction. I don't want to get to the top of the sports writing mountain and experience the, "Is this all there is?" disillusionment. Ultimately, life is like one big fantasy football game - no one but you gives a shit if you accomplish your goals. So I now get the most meaning and fulfillment out of knowing that I'm going to try to live a life that enriches everyone around me, not just my own ego.

    Anyway, hope I don't sound too Pollyanna and as if this is something that anyone can just snap out of. It's horrible. I sometimes hate myself for what I've put my wife through while she sticks by me through this, particularly when I couldn't really figure out what was wrong with me.
  6. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Minor threadjack, but that's also the gist of one of the best country songs released in the past year. :)
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Just wanted to bring this one to the surface here.

    I think it's something a lot of younger SJers should be aware of, because it's something that I know I've experienced: the "is that it?" feeling. That was the source of my last prolonged work-related funk about two years ago, and something it took me a while to get out of.

    I think if you took a poll, a lot of us would show those same signs of perfectionism, especially the one where you think that if you're not at the NY Times or ESPN or SI, that you haven't made it yet.

    What I found, and I think others have found, is that success is defined differently for everybody.

    Doesn't mean you should be happy at the Podunk Press or not try to move up, of course. But it does mean that just working for that 200K paper or working for ESPN is not the be-all, end-all, to your career that a lot of us were brought up to believe it would be. There is dysfunktion at every place of employment, it's just different the higher up the proverbial ladder you go.

    Pringle's right, in a sense: Yours is the only opinion that matters when it comes to evaluating your own life as a "success". Nobody else will do it for you -- but, more importantly, nobody else can do it for you. Meaning and fulfillment can only come from the person staring back at you in the mirror, not from anybody or anything else.
  8. JackS

    JackS Member

    That, my friend, is a tremendous point. And you see what poor people many of our savants turn out to be.
  9. Dirk Legume

    Dirk Legume Active Member

    Rodney Atkins

    Darn fine song

    We now return you to our regularly scheduled thread already in progress.
  10. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, but important to recognize that not everyone can get there on his or her own.

    There's a profound difference between unhappiness/discontent, and clinical depression. I know HB has struggled with this for many years, and he needs more than all the excellent advice we can offer him here. Just repeating what I've told him privately--if you had an ear infection, or kidney stones, or appendicitis, you'd see a doctor. See a doctor.....see more than one if you need to. It's your life--find the people who can help you live it.
  11. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    I hope that our responses don't come off as the more polite equivalent of, "Suck it up and pull yourself up by the bootstraps!"

    I think what we're all trying to say, in our own way, is that we empathize, and that there are always roots to this. With help and willingness, it's something you can beat, even if it feels hopeless. Or at least control.
  12. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    I rolled my eyes the first time a doctor suggested Lexapro to me.

    After a few months on it, at a 20 mg per day dose, I gotta tell ya: I'm done rolling my eyes.

    My anxiety's disappearing. I get less frustrated with shit. My little kids have noticed a difference in me. So has my wife.

    And the best part? It used to take me 90 minutes a night to fall asleep when I went to bed. Too much racing through my mind.

    I fall asleep in 5-10 minutes now, and I sleep better.

    It's odd, but I just don't worry and fret as much anymore. Used to be, I could take the smallest issue and worry about it until it became a mountain.

    It's even helped with my OCD tendencies.

    So don't do like I did — don't scoff at the thought of medications because you want to try to push through it on your own. If a trained professional thinks it could do you some good, by all means, give it a go.

    And hang in there, brother.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page