“I’m back!” That was the phrase I’d said to myself starting in middle school when my malaise lifted and a cycle of joy came around. I seemed to live in a world moving in slow motion. It was only when “I was back” that I returned to normal life speed. This slow-to-normal oscillation went on well into my thirties. But I had no idea I was depressed.
At 28, I married a woman 7 years older and gained two stepdaughters. Two years later we had a son. Adjusting to an instant family and working in a high-pressure job editing programs for the Discovery Channel made life at home and work extremely stressful. There were days at work when I just could not function. I just closed the door and sat there. And there were nights after work when I had to psyche myself up to go in the house and deal with “the family.” But I never thought I had a problem. I never considered that an underlying condition was hampering my ability to handle the stress. I thought, “this is just how life is.”
I endured the stress for 15 years, but then I suddenly started to sweat and shake at night. But I just dealt with it until one day when I couldn’t walk down the front steps to get in the car. I just sat down and started crying. I couldn’t function. I went for a physical. My health factors were good, and I passed the stress test without a problem. So physically I was fine.
I saw a therapist who diagnosed depression right away. I started on a drug therapy, and a few weeks later I was a completely different person. I was living at the speed of life all the time now! I couldn’t believe the feeling: “This is how normal people feel every day?” I loved my newfound life; I had more passion, creativity, drive, enthusiasm…every day! I enjoyed going to work, being with my family, and I easily coped with stressful situations. I couldn’t believe the impact of the pill. I became one of those annoyingly happy people. I thanked God for the scientist who developed the medication I took each morning.
I went from being a shy editor to the director of post-production, sponsoring a weekly employee gathering of over 150 coworkers. I started inventing products and had the courage to leave my job after 18 years to follow a dream and start my own company. My sports-fan and health products are now very much in demand.
A few years ago, stupidly, I decided to see if I could live without the pill. I weaned off the drug and I did fine for a while. But then I started to feel like the old me, the one who was living in slow motion. I got deeply depressed and tried to commit suicide. But I was lucky to survive. I went back on my medication and have never looked back. I wish all those suffering with anxiety and depression Godspeed in getting help.
Marc Kohn, the founder of Kohnetics, is the inventor of Fan Handz and the P2 Towel.