I’ve been searching the web and the Twitterverse for the phrase “Male Depression”. In my recent search, I found a blog – www.depressionInMen.net – a new blog which started after the sudden suicide of the German Goalkeeper, on the 10/11/09 – Robert Enke.
A couple of days ago I contacted the blogger – Carl Golin, and this is his reply, his story:
Hi Raz, thanks so much for contacting me! Coincidentally I had just been looking at riding4acause.
First, let me out myself: “Carl Golin” is a pen name. My real name is B*** *****, but I don’t want potential customers (I’m an independent computer programmer) doing web searches on my name having the depression blog pop to the top of their results. If you decide to write about me anywhere, you’re more than welcome to indicate that Carl Golin is a pen name (nom de web, as I call it) and that my real name is “B**”, but please do not include the “******”.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area (California, USA) but I currently live abroad in Europe (since 2000). As a teenager, it was clear to me that something wasn’t quite right with the way I felt, and the depression that ensued held me back from accomplishing a lot of what I had hoped for in my early adult life, and brought me very close to suicide. Of course, I was terrified to admit this to anyone. I preferred to suffer in silence, with only a few people really knowing what was going on with me. Those people did not include my family because there was already a family history of deep depression and I did not want to be perceived as contributing to that unfortunate legacy.
But in my late 20s, there was no more holding it back. I had an incident whereby I had a very public panic attack, replete with ambulance and paramedics and the whole nine yards. It was time to seek treatment!
In retrospect, that panic attack was the best thing that has ever happened to me. The “great flowering” — as I call it — ensued. I’ve had plenty of relapses since then, two of them quite bad, and in general, I can say that at age 41 I don’t feel quite as good as I did during the Great Flowering, but compared to pre-treatment days I’m king of the hill.
I’ve always thought about doing a depression blog. Robert Enke’s suicide — and really his wife’s press conference (I’m fluent in German) — finally pushed me to it. It was absolutely gut-wrenching to hear her describe his struggles, and of course, it was clear that he had bottled a lot of it up because of his stature and the masculinity of his sport. I wanted the subject to be talked about more openly, though – in my case – anonymously as well because, being a programmer, the web is a very natural place for prospective clients to find out about me, and unfortunately there is some truth to the idea that depressed people can be unreliable. I did not want that association being made with me.
So I wanted two things: to be one more voice addressing the subject of male depression and to have a personal outlet for myself. I’m an expert at setting up blogs and such, so I really had no excuse but to finally begin.
So that’s his story. What’s yours?