OT: Reach out to The Other Brian

Submitted by wolverine1987 on September 29th, 2011 at 11:24 AM

I did a search and didn't see this posted before, but if I missed it I apologize. Anyway, on a spur of the moment I checked out Genuinely Sarcastic today, and was floored by The Other Brian's most recent post, dated August 29. He has struggled with depression before, and from reading the post, is in the throes of a major struggle. It is very difficult reading, e.g. this:

"The world I had established was empty, uninteresting, and colorless. The world I have now is the opposite - it's full, interesting, and colorful; full in the sense that it's full of pain, and hatred, and retroactive self-loathing. Interesting in the sense that it's full of unpredictability, like whether or not I'll have the strength to get out of bed, or whether or not I'll have any interest in living the next day."

Anyway, my point in posting this is that if any of you know him, reach out to him and help if you can. It's just very sad and it moved me to notify others. I wish him and anyone that struggles with this condition all the best.




Sextus Empiricus

September 29th, 2011 at 11:34 AM ^

This came out in a comment 4-5 months back...


He had sought some help then...  

My disappearance here and erratic blogging had nothing to do with suddenly not wanting to say anything because UM was struggling. It had everything to do with *me* struggling.

I hope he's enjoying this recruiting class and season. I'm sure he has insight.


September 29th, 2011 at 11:37 AM ^

Sounds like he needs more help than any of us can give.  Maybe someone who has some kind of relationship with him can recommend a depression program?


September 29th, 2011 at 12:00 PM ^

Not saying he doens't have other shit going on (sounds like this is a long term thing), but the whole thing about finally letting the light sneak through the cracks in his armor/defenses only to see it become toxic and all go up in a puff of smoke is fairly telling.  Pretty sure he's not talking about a new restaurant that opened around the corner (resisted walking in the door, finally caved and went there, enjoyed it at first only to end up with explosive diahrea, etc.).


September 29th, 2011 at 12:08 PM ^

I hesitate to post this because I know it is inherently jerky, but is posting that online not the epitome of self-obsessed behavior? Some depressed people try to reach out to their friends, who are sympathetic at first and then eventually say "Enough with the pity party, man." To do it on your own blog (one about Michigan athletics, not an emo-established old live journal item) seems quite self-centered.

EDIT: I obviously do hope the guy gets better, I was just pointing out that self-obsessing to anyone who will listen is probably not a good path. I think even the most depressed people can eventually benefit from hearing a "snap out of it, dude" at times. Some of the most depressed people I have ever met were also among the most coddled.


September 29th, 2011 at 12:09 PM ^

You should've stuck with your first inclination and just kept your thoughts to yourself.  He's going through a lot and whether or not you want to read about it, it's his blog, he didn't go into specifics and he connected it with sports.  Sure, it was personal, but given the fact that you have no idea what he's going through, how do you see yourself fit to give assessments on his behavior?


September 29th, 2011 at 12:42 PM ^

He never specifically addresses the root of his depression. Upon reading the whole entry, it does sound like a woman, which he is probably too embarrassed to admit.

Some who have studied psychology might see that The Other Brian appears to be in the throes of a martyr complex. These people SEEK suffering (which is actually pretty consistent with the tone of years of blog entries from TOB). There isn't much anyone can do to help them.



September 29th, 2011 at 12:58 PM ^

Most of the time, there is no "root" or single reason for the depression.  It just happens.  The things he wrote about might just add to it.  I have not studied psychology, and I don't know the details of this martyr complex, but speculating about another person with a condition as serious as his in public view is not right.  Please do the Other Brian and yourself a favor and stop. 


September 29th, 2011 at 1:32 PM ^

unless you are TOB or a close confidant of his, you have no idea what he is dealing with. All I know is that your conjecture is unproductive at best and harmful and judgemental at worst. If you have no idea what depression feels like, please stop offending those who, unfortunately, do.

Waters Demos

September 29th, 2011 at 1:07 PM ^

I don't agree with your statement that he is selfish because he puts himself out there on his blog.  Or, more precisely, I do agree that it's selfish, but I don't see that as a bad thing.  Everything we do as human beings is selfish, and to attach some pejorative significance to that is to deny what it means to be human. 

I think a good synonym for "selfish" is "natural."

I am, however, perplexed at how willing people are to publicize the details of their personal lives, whether on cell phones in public places, on the internet, etc....   (To that end, this fellow is smart (IMHE) to not "specifically address the root of his depression."  That's not cryptic, that's sane.  If it were me, I wouldn't have mentioned any of it at all, but to each his own.)

For example, a 3-second glimpse at the facebook "homepage" or newspage at any moment of any day is sufficient to make me cringe at how people are willing to present themselves to others.  It's often so revealing, emotional, and pathetic that it leaves me wondering how so many have no sense of shame or privacy (which they willingly forfeit!).  Yikes. 

Sean Connery in Finding Forrester: "You could learn something about holding back!"


September 29th, 2011 at 8:16 PM ^

Especially because of how embarrassing it can feel to talk about in the first place.  It's a fucking pit of a thing to climb out of and in part it's because you feel like you're the only one there.  I'm glad he's reaching out however he can.  The internet helped me out plenty and not just because of all the resources available.

Waters Demos

September 29th, 2011 at 1:19 PM ^

Also, re: your bit about people who are depressed also being coddled, I doubt the relationship is 1-1, but I can see how this is the case for many people suffering from depression.  Coddling assigns an inflated significance/self-importance to the coddled person, and when nature and other human beings begin to teach such person that his or her significance is far less than what s/he was taught through coddling (i.e., that they don't give a shit about him or her), the lesson can be pretty difficult to take.  (Not saying this is the case with the fellow who is the subject of this thread BTW.)

So that point may make sense in some situations I imagine.

Waters Demos

September 29th, 2011 at 1:38 PM ^

It's a good thing that I am limited in my claims.

"So that point may make sense in some situations I imagine."  Notice the qualifiers.  I can make the claim I made and agree with you (which I do) at the same time.

And my point was not about people being told they're not as great as they thought, but instead that they are shown by nature's and other human beings' indifference and cruelty (which may involve words, but often does not) that they are not significant.  Like standing at the top of a tall building and looking down at all the ants (people) below, and realizing that when you're the one walking on the sidewalk, you're an ant from someone else's view. 

I guess I'm saying that significance (i.e., one's fundamental worth to self and others) must be earned, and for those who think significance is some natural right, nature and other human beings will teach them otherwise, and that will be a hard lesson.  And in some cases, I can see how that may lead to depression. 

Waters Demos

September 29th, 2011 at 2:19 PM ^

Yes, absolutely.  And contemporary life only forestalls these lessons even further. 

Technological advance, commercialism targeted at the younger generations, i-pod, i-pad, i-this, i-that, facebook, etc... all serve only to teach people a false sense of significance by tailoring everything to "I" and "me." 

But any natural disaster, 9/11 type tragedy, failed human relationship, cheating spouse, whatever, etc. . .  can only serve to teach us that nature and other human beings don't give a shit about us (and there's absolutely no immediate/primordial reason they should BTW, so there's no use/ room for griping about it), and that it is our responsibility to create our own significance for ourselves that can stand up to nature and other human beings.

And as you say, the further forestalled this lesson is, the tougher it is to learn. 

Blue in Yarmouth

September 29th, 2011 at 8:33 PM ^

To be fair, I am not a shrink but had to take some psyc during med school so allow me to be the first to tell you how wrong you are. The last thing a person in a depressed state such as this needs is a "snap out of it". You were close when you said it is a cry for help, but your idea of what that help should be couldn't be more off base.

Perhaps you could just speak a little less about things you nothing about eh freud? kthxbye.

Oh, and I hope you get the help you need Brian. I always enjoyed your insight. Hope you have friends a little more intellegent and sympathetic that BRCE


September 29th, 2011 at 12:17 PM ^

he is in the state of mind to really care if he is self obsessive or not.  One way or the other he needs serious help.

We all have our battles and we all need encouraging people to surround us, not critics.  Anyone who is available to encourage and support him is who should be around him.


September 29th, 2011 at 12:23 PM ^

Let's get one thing straight:  there is a massive difference between clinical depression and being "emo", and unless you've experienced it, you wouldn't even begin to comprehend it.  You can't simply tell a person who is truly depressed to "snap out of it."  It doesn't work like that.  The best thing for The Other Brian is to have as much support as he needs, and a lot of time to sort stuff out. 

Educate yourself with this


September 29th, 2011 at 1:11 PM ^

I can kinda see where you're coming from.  I've had some of that same experience.  There's kind of a fine line between "depressed" and "self-indulgence".  I've met at least a few people for whom self pity was the drug of choice.  I honestly don't know if that applies here though.  To use some mgoblog lingo -- the sample size is too small.


September 29th, 2011 at 1:50 PM ^

I wouldn't trivialize it.  But I will say that I have observed, on at least a few occasions, the pattern of behavior that BRCE has brought up.  Including his observation that depressed people are often coddled.  I think that tough love often needs to be administered alongside the Zoloft and the Wellbutrin.


September 29th, 2011 at 2:18 PM ^

To be clear, I wasn't claiming that you were trivializing the things depressed people go through, rather those who feign it just for attention. 

As for depressed people being coddled, telling them to just snap out of it or to get over themselves is most certainly not the answer.  However, I agree that coddling them to the point of reliance is just as bad.  They need a support system and they need to be able to understand that people are there to help them and care about them.  Aside from that, there are no easy answers, and I firmly believe that time is the best healer.


September 29th, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

FWIW, the blog has been taken down. If he was pissed that it was put out on mgoblog, I'm not sure why he would be since he put it up on his site an entire month ago.