Do you with to remain anon?

Yes

Are you suffereing from a mental illness or supporting someone who is?

Both

What is your gender?

Male

What is the nature of your illness?

I suffer from Dysthymic Depression, sometimes called Dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder. It is not as bad as major depression, because I can still function most times. I’ve learned to hide it. The worst part is that joy and elation are very rare feelings for me. When I do feel them, they last mere moments. I am also believed to be suffering from a form of PTSD related to childhood trauma and abuse.

What area of technology/security are you in?

Incident Response

Has your issue affected your work?

Yes

How has your illness/issue affected your work?

I have days where my depression gets so bad that all I want to do is go home and cry. You can’t do that in the middle of an incident. It makes me cranky and short tempered because I have an obligation to see this event through to the end, but I want to be anywhere but there. I just want it over.

Have any co-workers that were aware been generally supportive of you with this issue?

No. Usually, I only tell those who have to know, like my team lead or my boss. They usually don’t want to deal with me after that. I get treated like I am radioactive or about to snap and initiate some sort of violent response. The hypocracies are stunning, especially for a place that puts up posters that its ok to seek help.

Have your friends been generally supportive of you with this issue?

Yes

Has your family been generally supportive of you with this issue?

No. Most of my family no longer speaks to me.

How long have you had this issue?

More than 20 years

How long have you recognized that you were affected by this issue?

At least 15 years

Does your family have a history of being affected by this issue?

Not this per se, but other mental illness, yes.

Do you see a therapist?

Yes

If seeing a therapist, how long after you recognized you had an issue did you realize that you needed to seek professional help?

It took me at least 5 years to seek help. I had a lot of things going on that would be ruined because of a mental illness. I thought I could beat it by myself. I was wrong.

If you don’t have professional help, how do you cope?

I write fiction. I put my emotions into words and let my characters experience them. It is how I’ve learned to process them instead of bottling them up and hiding them somewhere.

Do you self medicate/use substances?

I used to.

What are you most afraid of?

I fear being viewed as a failure and dying alone. I deperately want to belong and be welcome. I am tired of being seen as a disease, not a person that is doing amazing things despite it. I am doing so much more than just coping.

What makes you hopeful?

Very little. There are a few people that I try to spend time with that understand and accept me.