Man Competitive About How Depressed He Is

COLUMBUS—Upon hearing his friends describing their struggles with the mental illness, self-employed graphic designer Jacob Carden, 42, evidently became competitive Wednesday about how depressed he is by rattling off a list of important life and career events the disorder has ruined for him or caused him to miss altogether. “Oh, you’ve been stuck in bed until noon? That sucks, I know, I’ve had trouble getting up for months. I’ll be in bed until 2 or even 3 p.m. sometimes. I’m envious, really, because I’ll be pretty much unable to leave my room for days on end,” said Carden, adding that while some people have seasonal affective disorder, his clinical depression effectively caused him to experience its effects year-round. “I’ve struggled with these feelings since I was super young, too—I remember feeling a profound sadness when I was, like, 5. My whole family has it, so it’s likely genetic and not merely a chemical thing. My shitty home situation forced me to develop self-destructive coping mechanisms growing up. Not that I’ve neglected the chemical side of things—I’ve tried Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lamictal, Abilify, Vivactil, Cymbalta, and a bunch of others. They work for some people, but not me, I guess, despite increasing therapy sessions to twice a week to deal with suicidal ideation. Your constant low-grade depression and dysthymia sounds great to me, especially in contrast to how my cycling thing makes it impossible to manage what with the panic attacks, which are especially troubling given my family’s history of bipolar disorder and stuff. You don’t struggle with anxiety, do you?” Carden was eventually forced to concede to an acquaintance, who recounted, at some length and with remarkable detail, her struggles with OCD.

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