Do men cause clinical depression?

I went to a shrink yesterday. The real kind with an M.D. after his name. He looked like John McEnroe. Or maybe I had John McEnroe on my mind because he was on the cover of the Men’s Journal I was perusing in the waiting room. The cover also contained the headline: How Antidepressants Ruined My Life. I couldn’t read it without my glasses and I didn’t have the energy to take them out of my handbag and put them on. But I’m guessing the guy was whining about the limpness of his member or the weakness of his orgasms. Frankly, when I’m depressed, I’ve got more important things on my mind than hard dicks and orgasms; things like getting out of bed in the morning and going to work.

I’ve noticed a steady decline over the past year in my general well-being. I thought it was just overwork, stress, fatigue or even flat-out laziness. I knew a contributing factor was the absolutely asinine relationship I was in with Mack that I’d allowed to continue well past its shelf life. Actually, the fucking thing had expired before it ever left the shelf. Whatever it was, I found it harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning, I didn’t want to be around people, and I couldn’t muster up the energy to get consistent exercise, which I knew would help. When I started wearing workout clothes to the office every day, I should have been suspicious. When I found myself putting off getting a fresh pedicure for two months, I should have known something was terribly wrong. Last weekend, I didn’t leave the house except for a quick trip to the grocery store. I didn’t leave my bed until after 11:00 a.m. And that was only to move to the sofa. I was tearful. I felt weighted down. I made excuses to not attend a single holiday party to which I’d been invited. I just wanted to be alone in my home with the shades drawn.

On Sunday evening a bit of clarity seeped in through the fog. I recalled a conversation with my office manager the Monday before.

“I need to leave early and get some rest. I’m just so tired.”

“But you just told me you didn’t do anything but sleep all weekend. How could you still be tired?”

How could I still be tired? It finally dawned on me that I don’t sleep ten hours a day. I don’t stay at home in bed all weekend. I love holiday parties and being social with my friends. I love getting pedicures. Getting outside on the weekends and getting fresh air and working up a sweat is one of my favorite things. What was going on? I knew what was going on. I’d been there before. It had just been a while. I’d forgotten how depression feels.

John McEnroe, M.D. listened to me tearfully attempt to convey my situation over the phone and decided it was best to get me in right away. I saw him yesterday. I told him of my family history, their current health issues, and the details of my relationship with Mack. I tried to read him as I told him of my life, which is worse than any stupid, overly-dramatic, maudlin movie I can come up with. It’s got everything: alcoholism going back generations on my father’s side, which gave me an alcoholic abusive father, alcoholic brothers (one functional, one who’s been institutionalized more than once), alcoholic (but functional) sister who’s married to a man (still) who sexually abused their youngest daughter (my niece) and who was inappropriate with me when I was 15 and he was 29. So you’ve got alcoholism, pedophilia, incest, and an abusive father (both physical and verbal). I watched him for a reaction as I went through my history. He raised an eyebrow here and there but mostly kept his poker face. I watched him closely as I told him about Mack being broke and expecting me to support him, about him living with Corinne and bouncing back and forth between us. About Mack telling me it didn’t work because I was afraid to be close. He looked up then and snorted. Biggest reaction of the day. He followed the snort with, “Well, he wasn’t ‘the one’.” Thank you, Dr. McEnroe.

After John McEnroe, M.D. and I had talked for about an hour and a half, with me wiping away my tears with the backs of my hands the whole time (what kind of shrink doesn’t have a box of tissues on his desk, for fuck’s sake?), he said he was putting me on Wellbutrin and Deplin. I’d never heard of Deplin. It’s a medical food; apparently a super-dose of folate that helps the absorption of the Wellbutrin. He sent the prescription to the pharmacy electronically and suggested I pick it up straight away. He wanted me to start immediately, and not wait until this morning. I went straight from his office to the pharmacy and picked it up. I took my first dose yesterday around noon, and another this morning. As with all antidepressants, it’s going to take a few weeks to work, but the Deplin is supposed to speed the process. Let’s hope so.

So back to the title of this blog. I don’t know if my stupid farce of a relationship with Mack is entirely responsible for triggering the depression, but I do know it at least is a contributing factor. Now that I’ve put that behind me, I need to focus on getting back to normal; whatever that is. And once I’m there, when it comes to men, I vow to use better judgment. Lest I find myself in this vat of quicksand yet again.

Ella a/k/a unConfirmed Bachelorette

Ella a/k/a Confirmed Bachelorette (f/k/a Unconfirmed Bachelorette) is a 50-something recovered lawyer who left the practice of law to embrace a full-time writing life. Never-married, child-free Ella resides in Austin, Texas and Ontario, Canada with her four bad cats.


  • You are not only suffering from clinical depression but I suspect PTSD as well. Don’t fool with the meds take them exactly as prescribed and get rid of lousy boyfriend. Kids who were abused tend to end up with abusive significant others. Realize this and truly use better judgement. You need to ditch the boyfriend and not look to replace him until your meds start working and you are back to normal.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder


    • Thanks for weighing in, John. I shall take the meds exactly as prescribed, and do whatever else he recommends to get back to “normal.” I ditched the lousy boyfriend back in September and definitely am not inclined to look for a replacement any time soon. Maybe I’ll just stick with cats, and not risk it again.


  • Well that is the depression talking. We all want and need to be loved by a significant other. I don’t recommend entering into a new relationship until you get over the depression but after that, you need a GOOD man in your life. It is so very hard to cuddle yourself.

    Blessings on you and yours


  • Did they describe how Deplin works in the mind and what makes it different from other forms of folic acid? What the Physician may speculate is that you have low levels of the three neurotransmitters and Deplin aids in producing more, critical in chronic depression. If they placed you on the 15mg allow up to six weeks along with the other antidepressants. i have worked with Deplin for almost four years and have seem many become believers when allowing the proper expectations. Good luck!


    • Thanks for the information, David. Dr. “McEnroe” did mention Deplin is different from other forms of folic acid, but I don’t recall him telling me how, specifically. Truth be told, I wasn’t retaining much of what he was telling me at the time. I am on 15 mg. Let’s hope it doesn’t take six weeks.


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