[CR]Depression (sorry it's off-topic)

Example: History

Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 21:39:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dennis Johnson <shakyoten@yahoo.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Depression (sorry it's off-topic)

To All:

This hits hard to all concerned, partially because it occurred during and at an event that Mike evidently and particularly loved. How can a person take that course of action at a time and place that should be one of the happiest, most engaged activities?

Depression is real. It is (most frequently) a REAL PHYSICAl ILLNESS. Something causes an imbalance in Brain Chemistry and nothing, nothing you think you can do by yourself is likely to fix it.

When you're down in that black hole, you know intellectually that everything is alright. Good job, nice house, good family, wonderful kids... So how come you can't enjoy them? Why do you have such wonderful, beautiful, joyous children but YOU don't enjoy them? Why can't you make a simple decision? Because you tell yourself and you believe that it doesn't matter. No matter what you decide it will be wrong, or right, oh hell! It just doesn't matter. Sleep is good. Drinking too much is good. Being by yourself is good. Ultimately, dying is good, because in the bigger scheme of things.. it doesn't matter.

Mike should have been in his element. He was around caring friends, surrounded by beautiful and unique bikes, and talking about subjects he loved. No idiots at work with whom he didn't share one interest. But, you know what? Mike still could not enjoy the Cirque, or the company, because (I suspect) his illness didn't allow it. That led to a decision.

I carry around a list in my briefcase.

1. Be around positive people 2. Keep a regular sleep schedule 3. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs 4. Exercise regularly 5. Do something New every once in a while 6. Express yourself.. 7. Be good to yourself.

I should add number 8 which is to take my medicine. With its help to rebalance the brain chemistry I find that the world really is a much better place. I can make decisions (even if just to spite my wonderful wife). The kids are great. I recently took up horse riding lessons to do something new and be with the kids. I rejuventated my love of classic bicycles.

There is likely nothing that anyone could have done for Mike. However, please know that Depression is an illness that can be treated. Furthermore, those who are afflicted often do not (cannot) recognize it and ask for help.

Dale, my best wishes go out to the family and friends. And sincere condolences to you.


Dennis Johnson
Visalia CA