Are you a fan of Mad Men? This season, lead character Don Draper has been on something of a bender. Adrift in a sea of women, booze, and loss, Don has become unmoored from the things that helped him control and hold in his fears, secrets, and anxieties.
And “unmoored” is how actor Jon Hamm, who portrays Don, described himself at age 20 after his father died. “I struggled with chronic depression,” the actor explained to Polly Vernon of The Observer. “I was in bad shape. I knew I had to get back in school and back in some kind of structured environment and… continue.”
A traumatic event, like the loss of a loved one, can be a strong trigger of depression. Once it has taken hold, depression can be an overwhelming combination of symptoms like sapped energy, diminished hopes, and changes in brain chemistry.
And so it makes sense that Hamm, and others who’ve gone through it, credit their recovery to a combination of approaches to treatment.
via The Observer: What helped? “Work.” Therapy? “I did do therapy and antidepressants for a brief period, which helped me. Which is what therapy does: it gives you another perspective when you are so lost in your own spiral, your own bull****. It helps. And honestly? Antidepressants help! If you can change your brain chemistry enough to think: ‘I want to get up in the morning; I don’t want to sleep until four in the afternoon. I want to get up and go do my s*** and go to work and…’ Reset the auto-meter, kick-start the engine!”
What has worked for you in dealing with depression? Was therapy key for you - or were antidepressants - as Hamm describes it - like a reset button? You can share anonymously in the comments below.
For more information about depression, including symptoms to watch for and treatment options to explore, keep reading here. And this brief but descriptive video explains some of the underlying chemical changes that happen in a brain going experiencing depression.