Scott Lynch on Success and Depression

barrett1987

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Yeah he's had some major issues finishing his book and got a lot of help from his editors i think. Its a terrible thing to go through because it kind of creeps up on you. You don't 'snap' but bend over a long period of time until you don't recognise the person you've become.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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You don't 'snap' but bend over a long period of time until you don't recognise the person you've become.
That's exactly it.

For me, it's like a brain fog, and I keep looking and looking for the person I used to be, but I can never find her. I look for the ideas I used to have, the things I used to enjoy ... nowhere to be found.
 

Jo Zebedee

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That's exactly it.

For me, it's like a brain fog, and I keep looking and looking for the person I used to be, but I can never find her. I look for the ideas I used to have, the things I used to enjoy ... nowhere to be found.
But, just in case anyone thinks this is the only way these things happen - in my case, twice, it was a snap. Overnight, and gone nearly as suddenly. (But I tend to anxiety driven leading to lowness than the other way round.) but it's good to remember it's a huge paradigm of effects, all different for each individual. :)
 

Teresa Edgerton

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I used to come out of it naturally. Not overnight, but it would happen by itself. I keep hoping that will be the case again, and that I'm simply in a longer cycle this time ... one that's going to end soon. Meanwhile, I've tried different ways to get past it on my own. None have been a success, but there are periods where I can cope with it better than others. At its worse, I lose track of the time.

There are some periods where this is what I consider a good day: I take all my pills (I'm not talking about the psychiatric drugs, but pills like the diabetes and blood pressure medications, all the things you end up taking because you're old and you hope to stick around to get older), I bathe, and I eat more than one meal. I consider that a good day, because on the days where I lose track of the time I may not manage to accomplish even one of them.

Some people think it's all in your head (well, yes, where else would it be?) and they seem to think you can just pull yourself together (like people with depression have never thought of trying that). For some people medication works, for others it doesn't. Therapy apparently helps for some, though I think that's just learning coping skills. I've tried everything but shock therapy, the thought of which is just too frightening, though I may come to it eventually.
 

Jo Zebedee

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Hugs. Tis awful.

I try not to live in fear of mine returning but life is a shivering, hellish, misery and fear scenario .i do dread it.

I so hope you come out of it.
 

Kerrybuchanan

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My heart goes out to anyone suffering any form of anxiety/depression or any other, similar illness. I have had episodes in the past that are probably quite mild compared to what many suffer, and that was bad enough. Both my daughter and my mother have long-term struggles. I feel helpless, with no idea how to help them through it.
Love and hugs x
 

Toby Frost

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I'm glad that Lynch is back again. It sounds like he's had a very tough time. (I also never knew that he was so into computer games).

From what I see on the internet on the whole, it makes me think that somehow people should be made more aware of how gruelling it is to get published. It seems that there are a lot of people in writing who are prone to depression and similar problems and, frankly, getting a load of rejection slips is hardly going to help. I don't know what can be done, but it is certainly a tough business.
 

Jo Zebedee

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And there are also huge highs, when dopamine goes nuts and facebook is busy and everything is chaotic - that can be just as challenging to those prone to hormone chaos as the challenges and the lows. It's certainly not the relaxing career people imagine writers have.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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I think the highs are more typical of bipolar, though.

I don't know whether authors are more prone to depression than other people or not. And as for rejection slips, some kinds of depression can even buffer you. Mine dumps mountains of apathy on me much of the time. I don't enjoy anything, I don't want to do anything, I don't care what happens to me. On the other hand, if you have the kind where you are on the verge of hurting yourself, I don't doubt that rejection can make things worse.

But if people are depressed in other professions, I think it is easier to hide the symptoms. If you're in a management position you can pass all the work off on subordinates. If you have a mindless, repetitive job that requires no concentration or initiative, nobody notices because you can just plod on for a long time -- until and unless it gets so bad that you either withdraw from life entirely, or you do something desperate.

In writing, as in other arts, it can be more obvious. Usually, there is no one else to do your work for you if you can't concentrate, if the creative part of your brain has gone dull, if you can't even remember what day it is and what you planned to do. And you can't just plod along with your brain in a fog without a clear drop in the quality. Which only makes the lack of initiative worse if you know that nothing you do is any good. Although depression can also prevent you from realizing when it is good.

So perhaps it is more common with writers, or perhaps it's that the symptoms take a greater toll professionally than in other professions, so that people are more aware that something is wrong. It's hard to know, since even though there is more awareness now than there was in the past, depression is still widely misunderstood.
 

Jo Zebedee

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Anxiety disorders tend to be a little like bipolar (or so a friend with bipolar told me) in the sense you get manic highs and adrenaline surges, but people with anxiety don't get the huge lows of bipolar - unless they have anxiety with depression.
 

Shams

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Though I loved his Gentlemen Bastards series, I've never really looked into the author as a man. I think I've lost us really. He sounds like an inspiration.
 
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