Wil Wheaton on depression

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Thanks for sharing Wil!


That meant a lot to me right now. Thanks.


“I’m learning how to human.”
This line stuck with me.


Nice one Wil. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the noisy room comparison before but it’s apt. Finding a door out of that room is what’s important, and it’s not a weakness to seek help in getting through it. Whether that’s a prescription or therapy or whatever, seek out that assistance. The absence of noise is almost unimaginable beforehand but changes the game completely afterwards.

I knew I liked that guy.


I’ve found mindfulness and meditation to be a great way to quiet the room. Not sure I’d want a totally quiet room, there is plenty actually wrong in the world to notice, but I know of course that’s not quite what he was saying.

Being able to do something about the parts you can, because you can see them once your mind quiets a bit and you take care of yourself, that practice helps quite a bit when it comes time to smell the flowers and enjoy the sun.

Right on ya Wil


We really need to try and remove the stigma of medication and treating mental illnesses. First, “mental illness” is a very negative term for an incredibly broad area of symptoms and conditions, and people tend to jump straight to schizophrenia and psychosis and other extreme conditions. But there are far lesser extremes that most people deal with, and for the most part, that’s what they do, just deal with it.
I have the same anxiety disorder as Will. I use to just be completely stressed, and worry about too many trivial things. I just became very good about dealing with stress. Then I became a dad and got a more stressful job, and the unimportant worries were overflowing with the real stressful things you need to deal with, especially kids.Finally I decided to try medication, and man did it change everything! All the little stuff just fell away and important stuff became manageable again.
Unlike many common myths about meds, I didn’t loose my creativity, I didn’t become lethargic or stop feeling emotions, quite the opposite; the bad stuff faded away and all the good stuff blossomed.
Some things to know before going on meds:

  • It doesn’t start helping immediately, in fact, it might create some more anxiety at the beginning. Definitely be working with a doctor so things don’t get out of hand.
  • SSRIs can make you feel weird; I got totally jittery (kind of like being on acid), and that actually lasted quite a long time. This could be a side effect that can make someone stop, but it does go away.
  • Because of this, you might want to start things when things are less stressful, like a vacation or other time off from work or school. (Definately not during finals!)

You don’t need to be crazy to need meds, even a small dose of science can make your life 1000x times better.

Rock on Will!


I saw the new Pixar movie, Inside Out, yesterday, and there’s a (RATHER SPOILERY) moment in it that was really meaningful to me.

You probably know from the marketing that it’s about distinct emotions in an 11 year old girl’s head, including Sadness. At one point they depict depression, but depression isn’t just a whole lot of being sad. In the movie, depression is the absence of emotion – the inability to feel anything. And you know what emotion’s able to break through depression? Not a lot of happiness or anger… but Sadness.

Depression gets stereotyped as “just being really down in the dumps” and I think it gets marginalized because of that. Seeing a brilliant visual depiction of depression in a Pixar/Disney cartoon was surprising and impressive.


I will say this as someone in remission: Therapy helps, and it helps more if you let it. It’s work. Do the work. Meds will help get you to a place where it becomes possible. Don’t chase every new psych-study under the sun. Stick to the tried and tested.

More generally, talk about it, if you can. People who have had some form of mental illness are starting to form a very significant but altogether all too silent portion of society. Wheaton is fighting the good fight.


Wil has been pretty open about his anxiety and depression for quite a while now… It’s super helpful, for me, hearing him talk about it.

Edit: also, I can’t stop staring at his beard. It is hypnotizing…


Hopefully one of these days, it won’t be “courageous” to make a video like this. I think it still is.

Way to go, Wil. Thanks.

Edit: typo.



I told this anecdote awhile back, but it seems appropriate to repeat it.

I once told a former CEO I had mild anxiety and depression issues. Mild.

His response, ‘get a note from your doc and go on disability’.

I have never been so close to punching someone in their face than that day.


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