It has taken me this long and a dream Ph.D. separation just to get to a conjecture, but at least reasonable conjectures breed solutions, whatever they turn out to be. I already feel less depressed because I am finally taking action. I can almost hear silence again. The road back is less noisy as a result. This in itself makes all the trying and failing, and trying again worthwhile.
My desire is to never lose that ability, that I never admit defeat, or become another name on the list of those who've lost the war on their minds. I hope that, as time goes on, and if the setbacks continue to occur, I seek not an exit but a welcome embrace. Until it is over, for better or worse, I will continue to chronicle my struggles, making them public in an effort to let you know you are not alone.
Onset of serious mental illness in late teens and early twenties is very common and often shocking to the families that experience it. The medical community knows this; researchers know this; millions of families know this and yet we wait for the topic to find its time while millions try to cope. Surely we can do better.
Six months ago I published a book about depression. In addition to describing my own battles with the beast, I spent a great deal of time explaining in layperson's terms the diagnoses for different mental illnesses as well as the theoretical bases behind prescription drugs, counseling, herbs, supplements, and various "natural" therapies.