I hope the title of my opening thread is not seen as overtly optimistic - I know how it is to be down when someone is cheerful or worse, brimming over with the joys of life. I mean, I wish people like that well but when your down its maybe not the best company sometimes. As you can see by my age I'm not a young chap. Hopefully that experience will help others as depression was something I was in denial of for many years. Even now there are few people who I will talk to about depression. I guess my coping mechanism was not the best. Isolating yourself, leaving yourself to carry this burden alone is a dangerous thing. This forum has helped me in the past. I was researching depression and it kind of hit me that all of the various 'markers' one might use to diagnose depression - I scored highly on those charts. In fact, at the low ebbs I think I answered 'yes' to every negative. Yes, I feel worthless, yes, I find no joy in some things I love - and so on. Of course, I hide this away - try to overcome it by various well known methods. Fresh air and exercise seem to be the best and least harmful methods. At my worse I'll stay in but a nice walk generally makes me feel a bit better at least. In my teens, I read a lot but we were limited then to the library. Good as it was - you cannot walk into a library and find some discussion group and support group for depression. The internet has helped a lot of people avoid the curse of NOT KNOWING what is wrong with you - or worse; feeling that its all a weakness on your part - a 'fault' of your own making. This is wrong to think that way but if you do not know any different its all you will know. Depression is a burden and it can feel like a physical weight that slows you down. Unlike a broken leg or some physical disability it cannot simply be patched up or fixed with pins and staples and casts. Some medication works but I've never used any myself. Tell a lie I've used illegal ones but we'll come to that at some other point. Suffice to say, anyone guzzling class a drugs to cure depression, will cure it, until the initial 'high' simply becomes a means to its own ends. I abused speed in the 80s, for a couple of years. A lot of people in my pond went to heroin. Thankfully I've avoided that. I have a lot of interests and when I feel ok I can do a massive amount of work. Right now I'm feeling maybe 1.5 out of 10 on the Richter scale so to speak so all my tools of creativity are set aside. Guitars, artistic materials, various software projects or studies of various html coding and so on. My cameras not doing much (thankfully I captured the winter wonderland - before deciding I'd like to melt that damned stuff away - grrrr) As for suicide, I've known a few people who have taken their lives for various reasons. Sadly I never got the chance to sit on the ledge so to speak and chat with them. I've pondered it myself - more than pondered it but never got to the point whereby I've attempted it. As bad as my life might have been sometimes I'm still glad to be here. If I were not, a lot of people would miss acts of kindness and so on. I've always thought that the more you can live your life for others, the less time you have to maybe get the blues yourself. Of course, this depends from person to person but having interest in others generally helps. In an ideal world there would be no depression - but this is far from an ideal world. It's a beautiful world no doubt but the people that populate it can be cruel at times, almost casually so. They make the world seem a dark place for many, especially younger people who have to deal with peers whose bullying is hard to deal with. Just bear in mind a bully is a product of bullying - and the bullies I knew in school are pitiful souls now that we've grown up. The people you fear as kids you'll pity by the time your in your late teens. Trust me on that. Well, this is my first post so I don't want to go on too much. I hope I can help out on this forum and that in turn I might be helped. I may not seem it but I'm in the Depression Club and a fully paid up member with a gold account! To all fellow UK'ers, try not to let this damn weather get you down! Try to get out early to the shops tomorrow to stock up if you feel up to it. Thanks for reading this.