I was turned onto the podcast “The Hilarious World of Depression” (Apple Podcasts, apm podcasts) when Wil Wheaton announced he was going to be a guest on the show – back on September 24th. I wasn’t really interested in the “depression” side of things – mostly I am a big fan of Wil Wheaton and like to hear him speak.
To be brutally honest, the interview wasn’t all that special for me. I’ve heard and read Wheaton’s thoughts on depression and what he deals with on a day-to-day basis – that wasn’t new. But I thought I’d give the show a chance, because the host (John Moe) is charismatic and despite hearing some familiar stories, the conversation was frank, honest, and true to the name of the show, funny.
I’ve been listening constantly since then – Margaret Cho, Neal Brennan, and John Green – and hearing about new people I’d never heard before and hearing about their struggles with depression. I think it’s important to note that despite coming from different backgrounds, their stories are all strikingly similar in terms of how depression affects them and how they cope with it.
I say that it’s important to note this because I think a lot of people suffering from depression feel that they are alone. I don’t know this for a fact, but that seems to be a common thread in all of the stories I read and hear about depression (and surprise, it’s a common thread in THWOD [excellent acronym for a show, by the way]).
It’s also important to note that it got me thinking about myself. Am I experiencing symptoms of depression? Am I depressed? A cursory self-diagnosis says no; but it’s not something I’ve really thought about addressing before. In high school, I think I remember feeling like I was depressed. I don’t think I really was, but with less than 18 years of life experience it can be hard to tell.
The last thing that I want to do with this post is play down the seriousness of depression. We’ve all seen the cause gaining traction in media – I even wrote about the coverage this past year. What I’m trying to do is highlight the fact that it’s important to accept that depression affects a lot of people – often people whom you don’t expect. It’s a silent illness that is hard to diagnose and treat.
I’m glad that I don’t feel like I’m suffering from any form of depression. But I know some people aren’t so lucky. I’m also glad to know about this website through THWOD: Makeitok.org.
I haven’t fully taken the time to look through the website, but it looks like a very comprehensive place full of lots of knowledge about mental illness. I think it’s worth combing through, whether you feel like you need to for yourself, or to find out how to better talk about it with other people who might need help.
Thanks for reading.