Wil Wheaton Gets Reals About Depression

A friend shared something useful to TwoFacebook: an article in Medium written by Wil Wheaton (of Star Trek fame).

Two of my favorite passages are:

“At that moment, I realized that I had lived my life in a room that was so loud, all I could do every day was deal with how loud it was. But with the help of my wife, my doctor, and medical science, I found a doorway out of that room.”


“One of the many delightful things about having Depression and Anxiety is occasionally and unexpectedly feeling like the whole goddamn world is a heavy lead blanket, like that thing they put on your chest at the dentist when you get x-rays, and it’s been dropped around your entire existence without your consent.

“Physically, it weighs heavier on me in some places than it does in others. I feel it tugging at the corners of my eyes, and pressing down on the center of my chest. When it’s really bad, it can feel like one of those dreams where you try to move, but every step and every motion feels like you’re struggling to move through something heavy and viscous. Emotionally, it covers me completely, separating me from my motivation, my focus, and everything that brings me joy in my life.

“When it drops that lead apron over us, we have to remind ourselves that one of the things Depression does, to keep itself strong and in charge, is tell us lies, like: I am the worst at everything. Nobody really likes me. I don’t deserve to be happy. This will never end. And so on and so on. We can know, in our rational minds, that this is a giant bunch of bullshit (and we can look at all these times in our lives when were WERE good at a thing, when we genuinely felt happy, when we felt awful but got through it, etc.) but in the moment, it can be a serious challenge to wait for Depression to lift the roadblock that’s keeping us from moving those facts from our rational mind to our emotional selves.

“And that’s the thing about Depression: we can’t force it to go away. As I’ve said, if I could just ‘stop feeling sad’ I WOULD. (And, also, Depression isn’t just feeling sad, right? It’s a lot of things together than can manifest themselves into something that is most easily simplified into ‘I feel sad.’)”

Go and read the full article, though. It is fantastic.

18 thoughts on “Wil Wheaton Gets Reals About Depression

  1. Wow.. It’s amazing how little an outsider can understand.. You give me glimpses of what it’s like to have depression. My colleague at work suffers a lot and sometimes I just want to shake her and say ‘think about something else’. I feel very guilty afterwards as I know it’s not something you can wish away.. ;-(

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  2. Thanks for sharing that. This was the “wow” moment for me: “I have to tell you a painful truth: I missed out on a lot of things, during what are supposed to be the best years of my life, because I was paralyzed by What If-ing anxiety. All the things that people do when they are living their lives … all those experiences that make up a life, my anxiety got in between me and doing them.”

    40 million Americans have an anxiety disorder. I look around me all the time trying to figure out who might be one of those 40 million who share that with me and I never find them.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. For many years my depression went untreated because many well-intentioned people told me to “just get over it”. If they only knew, right? When I finally surrendered to the idea of treatment, things changed for the better. I have my “bad” days but I am aware of my illness and they don’t last or come as often as they used to. Thank you for your openness and transparency with depression. I hope others don’t have to walk the same path I did.

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