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1: Some Background

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Like I said in the introduction, I was first diagnosed as depressed when I was around 17, so far as I remember.  However, my mother had suspicions before then about my mental state; often, when asked how I was, I would reply ďtiredĒ since to me thatís more or less what it felt like.  Itís kind of an apt description of low grade depression - an all pervading sense of lethargy, an unwillingness to get up and do something (or indeed anything), and at that age I didnít actually understand what depression was.

Depression does run in my family to an extent. My mother is also depressed (Iíll use that term to describe an actual person as well as a description of the mental state; so far as I know there isnít a particular label like ďschitzophrenicĒ or ďbipolarĒ to describe the person suffering from the ďnormalĒ type of depression), and I understand itís affected many of my ancestors on her side of the family.  Conversely, my father never fully understood depression until he retired (within the last few years at time of writing), and even now heís only experienced it infrequently and nowhere near the level requiring medication.  Iím not going to claim that itís entirely hereditory - I donít believe thereís a particular gene sequence that will make you depressed - but I do believe that those who do suffer will tend to lean towards the side of the family with a larger proportion of depressed ancestors (by which I mean have a personality more like that parent, or get on better with that parent). If it does turn out to be genetic, then perhaps in the future there will be some form of cure for it. I personally doubt it though.

So then, to myself.  Iíve apparently grown up with depression, and have certainly lived with it to varying degrees over the last seventeen years or so. Iíve been at times suicidal, and at others fairly manic. Most of my current life is spent with that little inner voice telling me that thereís nothing left in life for me, that I might as well just give in now, that whatever comes after death is most likely better than what my life is like now.  And then there are the days that seem like nothing could go wrong.

Itís a shame there arenít more like those.

Anyways, Iíll be expanding on this and other topics later on.  Hope you keep reading...

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