How did you realize you were depressed? What were the signs?

'Depression' has been a buzzword for most of my life. My mother had severe depression and anxiety and was hospitalized for it multiple times when I was growing up. I remember visiting her in the hospital for the first time when I was 4 and knowing it was a different kind of hospital.

When my mother was 'well', she was the one who cared for me while my dad worked full-time on varying shifts and, as people will do when they've been very ill, she often looked for her illness in me and other people. So I grew up hearing that I was 'depressed' for one reason or another. I also grew up hearing a lot of her other ideas, some of which were the product of her illness.

So depression has always been an issue for me in one way or another even though I've never been 'diagnosed' with it. It's hard to know how much comes from the environment I was raised in and how much might be somehow genetic as my mother also had a number of physical problems. I have a somewhat pessimistic view of things, I deal with a lot of anger and trust issues, I've had a lot of suicidal thoughts - usually over career issues. The Holidays are rough and sometimes, lately, I get into moods where I just can't see the point in anything. I tried medication once, years ago, and it made the problem worse to where I was actually thinking of ways to end it all.

I don't think people really 'break out of it'. For me, it just seems to go in waves and cycles. I've done okay in life and knowing what suicide would do to the people around me has kept me from ever really getting serious about it. Most of the time, I go day to day and find ways to be happy. When it gets bad, I tough it out and it passes. It's just one more part of my life that I struggle to make sense out of and fit into the grand scheme of things.

/r/AskMen Thread