, I haven't actually watched any of +Ed Finkler
's talks (or met the feller in person) but he's a great guy and it's great you're participating in clearing the air on this.
My wife has dealt with severe depression most of her life - including a childhood obsession with death and being buried, and a continuing obsession with serial killers and dead/dying celebrities - and has been mentally hospitalized like yourself on a few occasions. Add to that the 15 or 20 surgeries she's endured (endless bouts of recurring abdominal hernias, abscesses, all quite lovely subject matter) and you can imagine her depression is even worse for it.
It's certainly worn on her, but it's also worn on me. Most of the time I feel as though the weight of the world is on my shoulders, both emotionally and financially. When we were living alone - no friends or family around for tens of thousands of miles - in California a couple years ago, I had my first serious bouts of anxiety and depression. I even believe I had a single instance of a panic attack, where a flight response kicked in and I left work in a sweaty terror for absolutely no logical reason.
I like to think a lot of my personal emotional issues are situational, but who knows? I've certainly got familial depression. I've tried to mostly go unmedicated but am currently giving Celexa a go. I think it's been helping, but I have had breakthrough moments where I have needed something stronger to calm/center me.
I'm sure I don't know what it's like to have regular suicidal thoughts (I've only experienced the, 2 or 3 times in my life and never "had a specific plan" as they like to ask you) but I can certainly relate to living along side it and with chronic bouts of severe anxiety and depression.
Just wanted to share my own little story and keep the dialog going.