Bookmarked My name is Wil Wheaton. I Live With Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety. I Am Not Ashamed. by Wil Wheaton (Medium)

So another step in our self care is to be gentle with ourselves. Depression is beating up on us already, and we don’t need to help it out. Give yourself permission to acknowledge that you’re feeling terrible (or bad, or whatever it is you are feeling), and then do a little thing, just one single thing, that you probably don’t feel like doing, and I PROMISE you it will help. Some of those things are:

  • Take a shower.
  • Eat a nutritious meal.
  • Take a walk outside (even if it’s literally to the corner and back).
  • Do something — throw a ball, play tug of war, give belly rubs — with a dog. Just about any activity with my dogs, even if it’s just a snuggle on the couch for a few minutes, helps me.
  • Do five minutes of yoga stretching.
  • Listen to a guided meditation and follow along as best as you can.

Finally, please trust me and know that this shitty, awful, overwhelming, terrible way you feel IS NOT FOREVER. It will get better. It always gets better. You are not alone in this fight, and you are OK.

In this address to the American National Alliance on Mental Illness, Wil Wheaton reflects on his experience with chronic depression. This includes accounts of living through years of anxiety until he admitted it in his thirties and did something about it. There has been a bit written about depression lately, especially with the suicide of Anthony Bourdain. Kin Lane credits Bourdain with providing him the confidence to be open about his own struggles with drugs and mental illness. I was also reminded of the suicide a few years ago of Aaron Swartz. A recent report suggested that depression is on the rise across all age groups in America. Responding to Wheaton’s post, Doug Belshaw suggests that in 2018, we need to open up about these things.
Liked HEWN, No. 269 by Audrey Watters (Hack Education Weekly Newsletter)
I’m not ashamed to admit that I can be struck – deeply struck – by the loss of a celebrity. Like the loss of Carrie Fisher and Prince in 2016, this one hit me hard. We tend to attach a lot of meaning to stars – and not just the meaning that Hollywood star systems and the like hope we will. Stars matter because they are inspirational and aspirational, and even when they are larger-than-life, they are, in the end, fragile and human. They live and breathe and love and suffer and die like the rest of us.
Replied to Too Long; Didn’t Read #150 (W. Ian O'Byrne)

Major depression is on the rise among Americans from all age groups, but is rising fastest among teens and young adults, new health insurance data shows.

So what is possibly behind the data? Possibly a mix of “how busy people are” in addition to time spent in front of screens, lack of community, isolation, and sleep disruption.

I am really interested in the posts of ‘friends’ and ‘depression’. I was really taken by Sarah Jeong’s recent reflection on leaving Facebook. One of the things that stood out from her discussion was the habits that we have lost or forgotten.

I sometimes feel bad about letting relationships lapse, but then I think that it takes two to tango. Really not sure. I think that the “True friends will stay in contact if you leave ” is an interesting one. Having wiped my Facebook content, I don’t agree. It can be easy to assume that others are still there, listening, watching, following, lurking. The irony with this is that even if we are active in such spaces, we are often at the whim of the algorithm.

It will be interesting to look back at the influence of technology on the current society. That is, to look at all the parts, such as change in work habits, family, society. Time will tell.

Bookmarked Is everything you think you know about depression wrong? by Johann Hari (the Guardian)
It turns out if you have no control over your work, you are far more likely to become stressed – and, crucially, depressed. Humans have an innate need to feel that what we are doing, day-to-day, is meaningful. When you are controlled, you can’t create meaning out of your work. Suddenly, the depression of many of my friends, even those in fancy jobs – who spend most of their waking hours feeling controlled and unappreciated – started to look not like a problem with their brains, but a problem with their environments.
In this extract from Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions, Johann Hari, who took antidepressants for 14 years, calls for a new approach.