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June 17, 2014

My not so beautiful, seemingly endless depression: is it over?


In December of last year (2013, for cryin' out loud, six months ago but who's counting?) — me, minute by minute, if truth be told — I noticed the all too familiar signs and symptoms of clinical depression, a very bad place I last visited in 2001 and before that in 1991 and 1977, each episode lasting three to six months by the objective calendar but, as they happened, made up of days and in fact hours and minutes which seemed frozen, as if the clock had stopped, carrriers of nearly unbearable emotional pain and misery.

Every time depression struck, I hoped it would be the last time but so far no such luck.

Anyway, constant readers will know that things got so bad that I suspended bookofjoe in December 2013 after over nine years of daily posting, returning last month, on May 1 to be exact.

So far I've been able to keep to my daily posting schedule but I will admit that it's been difficult.

Though I'm not pretty much nonfunctional as I was in January and February of this year, I'm certainly not back to my usual and customary cheerful, positive self.

At least, I wasn't until this morning, when I woke up not feeling miserable for the first time since late last year.

I'm writing these words at 12:25 p.m. today: whether my improved mood will hold up through the day, I'll know by the time you read these words.

Sure hope so.

June 17, 2014 at 08:01 PM | Permalink


I appreciate what you're going through, as I've seen it in my family too. I just wanted to share my thanks for the work you put into this site. I'll continue to enjoy the site when you can post, and remain grateful and patient if you need a break. Thanks Joe.

Posted by: Nate | Jun 24, 2014 10:32:05 PM

Yes, I hope it is over, Joe. I, too, have been in what I call "a funk" a few times. But you can determine to prevail over it and know that each new day truly is a gift and focus on the good things for which you're grateful. And BOJ is one of those good things for so many of us. Thanks for not letting it get the best of you and for coming back!

Posted by: Lorelei | Jun 23, 2014 6:21:22 AM

My day wasn't quite the same without your postings. Glad you're back, and hit the streets with those special fleet of feet running shoes.

Posted by: mango mike | Jun 21, 2014 8:09:43 AM

When you are going through hell, keep going! Wishing you all the best Joe.

Posted by: John Blenkinsopp | Jun 20, 2014 7:35:47 AM

It is good to hear that and wish you the best of well

Posted by: Mohd | Jun 19, 2014 1:08:28 PM

Depression is a heavy weight that crushes the soul.
I'm glad to hear that things are looking up. Even though
I don't know you IRL, because I have read you daily for
several years, I sometimes feel as if we are friends.
Well my friend- I am proud of you. I am proud to know
someone with the strength to fight such a powerful
disease and win.

Posted by: Lampoilman | Jun 19, 2014 3:23:53 AM

Opps.. missed the link to the lecture:


Posted by: Chip | Jun 18, 2014 11:14:19 PM

This is a brilliant lecture on depression.. not sure where I found it, but you may find it of interest..

During one of my bouts (certainly a bad name.. it makes it sound like I was fighting it when it was actually five minutes between putting on each sock,) a friend recommended this book:


which did provide an answer to a question I had..

but.. to the point..do not forget you are a valued contributor to the quality of life on earth.

Posted by: Chip | Jun 18, 2014 11:13:37 PM

Haven't heard any running stories lately, get out and run a race! Hang in there buddy!

Posted by: Greg | Jun 18, 2014 8:51:33 PM

So very happy for you - and thank you for your courage.

Posted by: PamelaK | Jun 18, 2014 8:46:13 PM

Another thing that helps me stay away from the blues is to live with someone or in a community where someone visits at least once or twice a day...

Posted by: Paul D Pruitt | Jun 18, 2014 7:27:50 PM

Hope you're getting better every hour, Joe.

Posted by: John Englert | Jun 18, 2014 5:02:03 PM

I'm glad you're around! I've been through the depression gauntlet as well; those first rays of sunshine are very memorable. Hope you see more and more of them soon.

Posted by: Dee | Jun 18, 2014 3:30:13 PM

my thoughts and prayers go your way doc; I've had the condition (continuous) for nearly 25 years - be well!

Posted by: brian | Jun 18, 2014 12:55:19 PM

the only thing that I can pass along is what helped me though the darkness

extreme physical exertion, it worked for me but of course mileage may vary from person to person

Posted by: Fritz | Jun 18, 2014 12:54:44 PM

If you look back how much stirrt (typo intended) you had made by your sudden disappearance back in December you'll see how many people showed you their caring.

Be well - cheers from Kraków!

Posted by: Tomasso | Jun 18, 2014 12:32:35 PM

Remarkably courageous post.

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jun 18, 2014 12:09:17 PM

Have u considered psychotherapy+medication, as u know, it's brain driven + and can b moderated. Don't b one of those docs who won't consider healing one's self :-)
good luck

Posted by: larry ziegler | Jun 18, 2014 11:58:55 AM

1. As I wrote you before: (Maybe some Comment readers might be helped by this...)


Dr. Stirt—

Eight minutes into this video I suddenly thought of you.

I have read Dr. Nuland's book twice ("How We Die"). I have also read Styron on his depression, although I have no significant history of depression myself.

If you haven't seen this video, I think you'll agree it's pretty dramatic.



BTW, I liked the video more than the book.

2. I find comfort in aphorisms: "It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis." -- Margaret Bonnano

3. For many years I kept journals. In the end, they weren't much help. However, I think blogging has helped preserve my sanity. Hope it will do as much for you. There's the added benefit that you know at least SOMEBODY is reading it.

3. Missed you. Again, Welcome Back.

== PT

Posted by: PT | Jun 18, 2014 11:33:41 AM

hydroxynorketamine - check out the article today on Science Digest

Posted by: John | Jun 18, 2014 10:57:22 AM

"I woke up not feeling miserable for the first time since late last year." What a blessed relief that realization can be. My hope and prayer is that each day has you feeling better. This sounds very formal, but I have been there too.

Posted by: Norma | Jun 18, 2014 8:29:45 AM

One day at a time my friend! I hope it is at all easier now that it is out there. We look up to you in so many ways.

Posted by: Jon Tanz | Jun 18, 2014 6:47:35 AM

I know the proverb says 'Physician, heal thyself', but it doesn't mean what it sounds like. I hope you are working with other health professionals (at least as talented as yourself) to find the combination of therapies (counseling and drugs)to get you back on an even keel.

Wishing you only good things.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 18, 2014 3:27:17 AM

I was cheered up by the recent reappearance of my favorite phrase: "But I digress"

I had hoped that your intermission was just that, a needed break of your choosing not one imposed upon you by your body. Part of my hope during that period was of seeing your first post entitled "But I digress" but twas not to be.

I am so very glad for you, if your depression has lifted and departed.

Posted by: Matt Penning | Jun 18, 2014 12:30:59 AM

Hoping you've turned the corner and your mood continues to improve! So glad to have you and BOJ back!

Posted by: tracy hartley | Jun 18, 2014 12:08:28 AM

Beat this worthless piece of shit condition to the grave with exercise. Allow the body to heal the mind.Turn on the endorphins. They are there to help you.

Posted by: steven frisk | Jun 17, 2014 11:53:31 PM

Welcome back. We missed you stay well.

Posted by: Richard Utt | Jun 17, 2014 11:06:09 PM

My heart goes out to you for your challenge to achieve balance mentally and physically.

Posted by: Kay | Jun 17, 2014 10:58:57 PM

My thoughts are with you. Get well soon !

Posted by: Bushido | Jun 17, 2014 10:53:23 PM

I am so very glad to have bookofjoe back in my daily routine! :)

Posted by: MXS | Jun 17, 2014 9:45:50 PM

Your on my daily visit routine as you are for many I think. I had depression too for several years when I was younger. If it helps, you should know you are making a difference every day.

Posted by: Paul D Pruitt | Jun 17, 2014 9:13:16 PM

I hope you feel and remain better, and can understand and appreciate where you are coming from Joe :)

Posted by: Robbie | Jun 17, 2014 8:55:24 PM

So very hopeful. I’ve seen gleams of your old (young!) self shining through in more of your posts, and I’m happy that energy is returning to where you can feel it yourself, maybe not all day every day, but a better trend. Thank you for hanging in there, for all of us, and for yourself.

Posted by: Marianne | Jun 17, 2014 8:51:55 PM

We hope so too. Be well Joe.

Posted by: mk | Jun 17, 2014 8:20:50 PM

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