Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ant3109

Should I Tell The World I Suffer From Depression?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone. I wondered if anyone could give me a bit of advice please?

1 of the things I want to do is become a fulltime freelance writer. When I had my "good spells" I managed to write things from blender articles to my own e-books, sort out a website and even get a business advisor. But theres 1 toipic I want to write about and that is depression and the way it has ruled/ruined my life.

I wrote 2 small articles a while back about how I felt at different times in my life from 2007 onwards. I would really like to put them out there on the net but what's stopping me is the fact that if I do people will think I am not worth hiring as a writer as I suffer from depression.

Should I just "stuff it" and put them out there for all and sundry to view or should I just keep them to myself?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ant3109, I'd be a bit more cautious about posting stuff on the internet versus in print but overall I think it would be a good thing. There are many people who suffer from depression and your works may help them in some way. As for getting hired I'm not sure how depression would affect your chances. I think as long as they see that you can continue to meet the deadline and put out quality stuff there shouldn't be a problem. Of course, people could always be discriminating but don't worry about that too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply DarkRain.

I had thought of starting a blod anonymously and writing down my past and present experiences etc. My GP, Armed Forces advisor and even the local pharmacist told me to keep a diary of how I feel etc, so this could be one way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Should I Tell The World I Suffer From Depression?"

i think you just did :P

or do public forums not count : )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think being a writer and being depressed go hand in hand.

I'd kind of wonder, however, about being totally open before you are established. People still stigmatize these things, sadly. Some publisher, editor might have a bias.

Unless you want to self-publish, in that case shout it from a mountaintop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think being a writer and being depressed go hand in hand.

I'd kind of wonder, however, about being totally open before you are established. People still stigmatize these things, sadly. Some publisher, editor might have a bias.

Unless you want to self-publish, in that case shout it from a mountaintop.

You are right they do seem to go hand in hand AND there is still a stigma where depression is concerned. I know the British Government have recently put out adverts on the TV, radio and online about depression and in particular in the workplace. Whether it's worked I have no idea as I work from home!

What I did yesterday was start a blog. I haven't added a picture and I used a different name so we will see how it goes. It has started showing up as I had a comment 5 minutes after writing the intro.

I am not an established writer/author yet but I have self published a number of e-books, handbooks and articles. I am now writing some short stories, thats when I wrote the one's about my depression.

Edited by Ant3109

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see nothing wrong in you doing an autobiography about your depression. It would be a means of educationg people about depression and mental illness. It could help break the stigma.

Patty Duke, an actress from the 60's, published an autobiography about her life and experiences with Bipolar. It sold a ton of copies. It was very discriptive and informative. I'm Bipolar and her book described my life.

Sheepwoman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there,

You want to hear something disgusting? (I am also in this industry.) In the case of books, Publishers are in love (for money-driven reasons) with those OMG "depression" memoirs/stories (I'm mocking the general audience, not you; I write about the topic as well). The fact is, if you try to publish a nonfiction piece about a deeply personal experience, especially if you've been hospitalized (books that have "a look inside!" element, like one regarding "life in prison" something sell like hotcakes. And that is NOT to say there have no been incredibly brilliant prose and poetry that have publicly discussed depression; there are SO many.

Would it be plausible to use a pen name? (Is this the type of stuff your family or friends would organically pick up to read? I have used pen names and believe me, it's totally embarrassing if someone does find what you wrote and then be like, "Hmm, this is you...", so beware, especially for magazine copywriting.) Is it important to you to have your name attached to it since it is your experience? Why are really writing this? I guess that's a few things I think about. (Sorry, I taught for three years. That sounded disgustingly workshop-like, but I hope it helps.)

And hey! Not all writers have depression!

Like...

Ummm...

Well, Annie Dillard seems, like, okay-happy.

"Writer with depression," :)

Liliah

Edited by Liliah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see nothing wrong in you doing an autobiography about your depression. It would be a means of educationg people about depression and mental illness. It could help break the stigma.

Patty Duke, an actress from the 60's, published an autobiography about her life and experiences with Bipolar. It sold a ton of copies. It was very discriptive and informative. I'm Bipolar and her book described my life.

Sheepwoman

Back in 2008 I started to write my Autobiography but quit after a few chapters as it left me in a worse state. I have just found it so might give it another go, maybe this time I can complete it.

Hey there,

You want to hear something disgusting? (I am also in this industry.) In the case of books, Publishers are in love (for money-driven reasons) with those OMG "depression" memoirs/stories (I'm mocking the general audience, not you; I write about the topic as well). The fact is, if you try to publish a nonfiction piece about a deeply personal experience, especially if you've been hospitalized (books that have "a look inside!" element, like one regarding "life in prison" something sell like hotcakes. And that is NOT to say there have no been incredibly brilliant prose and poetry that have publicly discussed depression; there are SO many.

Would it be plausible to use a pen name? (Is this the type of stuff your family or friends would organically pick up to read? I have used pen names and believe me, it's totally embarrassing if someone does find what you wrote and then be like, "Hmm, this is you...", so beware, especially for magazine copywriting.) Is it important to you to have your name attached to it since it is your experience? Why are really writing this? I guess that's a few things I think about. (Sorry, I taught for three years. That sounded disgustingly workshop-like, but I hope it helps.)

And hey! Not all writers have depression!

Like...

Ummm...

Well, Annie Dillard seems, like, okay-happy.

"Writer with depression," :)

Liliah

I do use a pen name when I write but in this case with the Autobiography I was going to use my own name. You are right, if people you know or family pickup a copy it could get embarrassing although my kids do know about me and depression, in fact it was my 2 daughters who rang the cops when I tried...Well anyway, I am going to take a look at the few chapters I have written already and see how I feel. I am thinking about incorporating my book with the new blog I started and maybe add a few lines from it to the blog etc, so people are aware of the book.

Thanks for the help and guidance everyone

Anthony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ant3109

I have suffered most my life with depression I have found out about 4months ago and what a relief it was it was like having an exorsism or some thing any way I am as honest as I can be with people and if it affects them I tell them the score and they all have supported me .depression is not what you are it's what you got well that's what I think anyway

Cheers phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ant3109, viewed most cynically, life is a series of value judgements.

Why would you do this?

What would you stand to gain?

What would you stand to lose?

How would it impact your relationships, your vocation?

I personally am pretty comfortable with myself; as well those where I work [who are in any position to impact my job] are well aware of my condition - the ups and downs, the moods, and the reasons. Ditto my few really good friends. Many people have been touched by depression or ADD or bipolar, and can appreciate the struggle. I've only met one person who truly didn't "get it". And that's her problem, not mine. I never liked her anyway!!! :biglaugh:

Sorry if this is no advice at all... I think you have to look within and decide how wide to open the door.

Best regards!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ant3109,

I feel much the same as you. As a fellow writer, how much of ourselves do we put out there, what do we leave hidden and do we announce ourselves when we do "let it all hang out?" I have considered using a pen name for different types of writing (I'm trying to be a speculative fiction author - though that hasn't been going well of late).

So I guess the big question is - How do you feel about putting your story out there and attaching your name to it?

Regardless or whether you use your real name or not, your story may help someone else somewhere down the line. That has value.

Best,

Serenity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey!

I think it's awesome that you want to share your experience with others! But I have to agree with most others, putting your name to it may impact on your image/reputation as a writer. Loved the idea of a pen name. I have also thought of sharing my story but it exposes us to criticisms etc. and if you are going to do it just make sure your self esteem can take it if there is any feedback. There are lots of depression forums out there that you can anonymously share your story though.

I admire your courage to share your story but I just know that some of us are still a bit fragile and we need to be careful what we expose ourselves to. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ant3109,

I think you amazing courage to do what you are doing. As I started my recovery I found a book that helped me hugely, I found reading about someone who was going through the same as me a massive help as all the therapists and GPS told me this and that about my illness I thought what do you really know? Have you been through this?

To read in print that someone else is going through provides a sense of I am not alone. Now adays I am proud to tell people I suffered from depression, I still do to a much lesser extent and might always will but it is an illness and makes me no less of a person.

In a nutshell I think it is a great idea to put your story in print, but be true to yourself and use a pen name if you have the doubt about how it might affect those around you.

What you are doing has enourmous value :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks for all your replies and words of encouragement, I really do appreciate them.

I have started the book and blogged about some things but today I don't feel to good so will give it a break for a few days. I think re-running the last 10 or so years through my mind is getting to me, maybe i'm not as strong yet as I would like to believe. Still i'm not in a rush, I am still waiting to be assessed for PTSD (i'm a veteran) and want to include this in the book as so many veterans don't know about this service in the UK. I know I didn't until last October and I had left the Army in 1990.

As for a pen name, well I already use one when I write and have thought about using it or my own name when writing. Basically I haven't made my mind up yet. Yes there are people out there who think depression is a taboo subject and would rather not talk about it. I know others who don't believe me either and now stay away. I remember when I fell off the planet big style back in 2007 a lot of my so called friends disappeared. I haven't seen or spoke to them since.

I have even toyed with the idea of another pen name just for this book.

I am not after fame or fortune. (although fortune would be nice) All I want is to tell my little story and hopefully help people cope with and understand depression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all honesty, I would be more concerned with other issues pertaining to a memoir/creative nonfiction work. I am a writer as well, freelance; there are more things to keep in mind than non-writers could possibly imagine. There is a stigma attached to mental illness, this fact is irrefutable. However, it has been getting better, and there are many writers, as well as professionals, who have written about themselves. Psychiatry is exceedingly concerned with the mental health of its professionals, and yet people like Kay Redfield Jamison have written in great depth about their struggles with mental illness. As I'm sure you know, memoirs are not complete without a look at how the author affected others - this is where an issue arises. Though we may be willing to share our lives with others, that does not give us the right to air the dirty laundry of others. This seems to be the greatest difficulty is writing an effective memoir. Even if information such as names, places, et al are changed, those who are a part of your life will be able to connect the dots. Again, as a writer, I am sure you are well aware of this. Therefore, in my opinion, allowing yourself to be seen as a person struggling with depression is not a terrible idea. Further, it is not even , in general, a bold or unique idea. Depression is a disease one has no control over, and many writers have used this topic in their own writing. I'm sure your life story is unique, and would benefit many people. Your writing will reach others who struggle with similar issues, and reaching that demographic should be your priority. Hope this helps. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Hi everyone. I wondered if anyone could give me a bit of advice please?

1 of the things I want to do is become a fulltime freelance writer. When I had my "good spells" I managed to write things from blender articles to my own e-books, sort out a website and even get a business advisor. But theres 1 toipic I want to write about and that is depression and the way it has ruled/ruined my life.

I wrote 2 small articles a while back about how I felt at different times in my life from 2007 onwards. I would really like to put them out there on the net but what's stopping me is the fact that if I do people will think I am not worth hiring as a writer as I suffer from depression.

Should I just "stuff it" and put them out there for all and sundry to view or should I just keep them to myself?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

***Regarding the idea of a pen name: be cognizant of the statement that may make. In fiction, it is one thing; in nonfiction and memoir work, it is quite another. The authors you will find among this genre have made the competent decision to share their stories, to reach those who may not have another medium through which to vent, and to single-handedly prove that we are not our diseases. A pen name may indirectly show your unwillingness to be seen as someone with depression. And further, what does that say about your view of the illness itself? Should people with depression keep it inside and avoid others finding out about it, or should they be open and seek the medical attention they need? I believe a pen name will send a message that counters the one you wish to present.

In all honesty, I would be more concerned with other issues pertaining to a memoir/creative nonfiction work. I am a writer as well, freelance; there are more things to keep in mind than non-writers could possibly imagine. There is a stigma attached to mental illness, this fact is irrefutable. However, it has been getting better, and there are many writers, as well as professionals, who have written about themselves. Psychiatry is exceedingly concerned with the mental health of its professionals, and yet people like Kay Redfield Jamison have written in great depth about their struggles with mental illness. As I'm sure you know, memoirs are not complete without a look at how the author affected others - this is where an issue arises. Though we may be willing to share our lives with others, that does not give us the right to air the dirty laundry of others. This seems to be the greatest difficulty is writing an effective memoir. Even if information such as names, places, et al are changed, those who are a part of your life will be able to connect the dots. Again, as a writer, I am sure you are well aware of this. Therefore, in my opinion, allowing yourself to be seen as a person struggling with depression is not a terrible idea. Further, it is not even , in general, a bold or unique idea. Depression is a disease one has no control over, and many writers have used this topic in their own writing. I'm sure your life story is unique, and would benefit many people. Your writing will reach others who struggle with similar issues, and reaching that demographic should be your priority. Hope this helps. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Hi everyone. I wondered if anyone could give me a bit of advice please?

1 of the things I want to do is become a fulltime freelance writer. When I had my "good spells" I managed to write things from blender articles to my own e-books, sort out a website and even get a business advisor. But theres 1 toipic I want to write about and that is depression and the way it has ruled/ruined my life.

I wrote 2 small articles a while back about how I felt at different times in my life from 2007 onwards. I would really like to put them out there on the net but what's stopping me is the fact that if I do people will think I am not worth hiring as a writer as I suffer from depression.

Should I just "stuff it" and put them out there for all and sundry to view or should I just keep them to myself?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many, many thanks for all your replies and input, it has been really useful and I do appreciate it.

@Libby:

Wow I am really pleased for you and want to wish you all the luck in the world. Would it be possible to have the link to your blog in a PM please? If you want mine in return I will oblige.

Regards,

Anthony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...