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I’m Not An Asshole, I’m Just Crazy

 

Many of you likely don’t know this, but May is National Mental Health Awareness month here in the good ol’ US of A. If we’re being honest, I didn’t really know either, it just happened to pop up in my news feed and since I was writing this article anyway, I figured it was a great way to get started, which is something I was having a bit of a hard time with. “DJ, you seem to always have your shit together. Why is writing this article causing you headaches?” Well, that’s because it’s a pretty personal article. When I originally started writing this a couple of weeks ago, I hadn’t shared this knowledge outside of a small circle of actual, real friends.

However, some of you may already know this due to a couple of factors, one of which is due to an overzealous person feeling that “read this” means “publish this without my knowledge” and the others relating to what passes for the modern-day metagame in EVE. I almost considered just leaving it as a dead issue due to my disappointment but I think that is pretty selfish given how many people this can help. The only reason I bring up the metagame is to highlight the fact that this is a very real issue affecting people in EVE. Affecting them in ways that make our community members vulnerable for reasons that perhaps wouldn’t be directly apparent, and there’s a reason for that.

One in five Americans this year will have their daily lives impacted by a mental illness.

One in five Americans this year will have their daily lives impacted by a mental illness. In a large number of cases these illnesses are invisible and in many they are also completely debilitating disabilities. There are often no outward signs that an individual is suffering, often because the stigma associated with being open about mental illness is so great that they’ve developed coping mechanisms to mask their pain or confusion.

These coping mechanisms are as varied as is each personality, but there’s a few I’m familiar with. Stoicism, anger, fatigue, despondency and just plain vanishing for a while are all coping mechanisms I have a great deal of familiarity with because I’ve used them, subconsciously for decades. You see, I am 37 years old and in the past year I have been diagnosed as bipolar. I don’t know how long I’ve been bipolar. Certainly since I met my wife when I was 17. It’s not really something I was aware of. Before I discuss too much about my own personal experience though or how mental health is particularly relevant to EVE let’s have a chat about what being bipolar is.

most people who have had to interact with me on a regular basis just figured I had a propensity for foul mood and could just be an asshole.

The Mayo Clinic describes Bipolar Disorder in the following way: “Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts in the other direction, you may feel euphoric and full of energy. Mood shifts may occur only a few times a year or as often as several times a week.” (Additional detail here). There are two general types creatively named bipolar I and bipolar II. I don’t know which I am except to say I swing from manic to depressive pretty much constantly, sometimes multiple times in a day. Based on the description I’m most likely bipolar I but I’ll have to ask my doctor. My point isn’t to get too deep into my personal experience so much as to point out that, armchair hindsight psychiatrists aside, most people who have had to interact with me on a regular basis just figured I had a propensity for foul mood and could just be an asshole. Nobody once in my entire life said “You’re bipolar” or even “You should see a doctor because x”. I am mentally disabled and yet at the age of 37, with a very successful career, spanning 15 years, two kids and having run a giant space empire I had no idea.

Manic

When my daughter was born the year I left CCP is when my problems became unavoidable. Since 9/11 I’ve had panic attacks when I fly but that’s not all that uncommon. When my daughter was born, however, they began to happen with increasing frequency. I don’t really remember too much more from the time other than that I was really mad a lot and I was drinking way too much. You see for years and years I was suffering but, due to my own experience, I had developed subconscious coping mechanisms that interfered with the type of introspection which would normally lead one to seek out help. I soldiered through and just figured when I was depressed I was lazy or just unreasonably ashamed of nothing. When I was manic I was just high strung (basically the rest of the time). At all times I was drinking. Come to think of it I also quit smoking around this time and that particular self-medication may just be what pushed me over the top, if not the Chantix. Either way when I did finally get my ass over to a shrink I did it thinking “I’m successful so I clearly can’t be crazy. I may just have something weird going on”. It never occurred to me that I’d actually be diagnosed with a serious mental disability. It never occurred to me that the very same drive and compulsion that could keep me up for days on end hyper-focused on catching a bad guy was actually an illness. Much like Claire Daines’ character in Homeland I subconsciously channeled my illness into what felt like a superpower but staying on that razor’s edge for too long is impossible and you can’t keep the mania up for too long. Eventually there comes the crash and while that used to manifest in periods of what appeared to be laziness, which can be acceptable after a period of high performance, that’s not the case anymore.

There is no cure for bipolar. I will have it my entire life.

There is no cure for bipolar. I will have it my entire life. As much fun as it may be to lie down on a couch and bitch about my childhood it’ll do absolutely nothing for my illness. I will require medication that I must take every single day for the entirety of my existence on earth and if I deviate from it I run the risk of coming unhinged. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is something I start tomorrow, which is really just about coping mentally with the shit your brain’s giving you when it’s happening. They can try to teach me to understand when I’m a bit off and I know I’ve personally been noticing when it’s less severe or after the fact but when I’m manic I don’t often know. The best thing I’ve been able to do is to help my wife and people around me understand how to deal with me and it’s really unfair in my opinion that people in my life have to be told just not to argue with me or to kill my mean with kindness and feel they’re ceding every argument but that’s the reality and it’s one that many people can’t handle. Another option I’ve been exploring is service dogs, primarily because being non-functional isn’t an option for me. Ultimately the general idea is to layer as many treatments as are required to minimize the impact my illness has on my life.

After explaining all of that it may seem strange to hear that one of the most common problems with people who are bipolar, aside from substance abuse and misdiagnosis, is a desire to stop taking the medication that is really your only true treatment. When I watched Homeland, which is the only experience I had with the illness prior to discovering the list of symptoms could basically just be described as “my personality”, it seemed quite idiotic to me that Carrie (the character) would stop taking her medication except to harness her superpowers. My opinion on that changed once I started being treated. Firstly I was originally just diagnosed with what amounts to PTSD. I had gone in because I was having panic (chemical not mental) attacks. My psychiatrist at the time explained to me that I was strung up so high that the tiniest thing could trigger an episode. This happened quite regularly with periods of extreme moodiness that up until now had been dismissed as asshole disorder. In cases of growing frequency however it would manifest itself in the form of a panic attack which was beginning to impact my day to day life. So the doctor put me on an SSRI inhibitor, in this case Zoloft. It was great for a few weeks. At some point however due to the medication I wasn’t getting my lows that I didn’t know I needed to get and after a few weeks I was in the shrink’s office for an emergency session because I was talking at about 200 miles an hour and experiencing what I can best describe as every single possible emotion at the same time. That lead to the bipolar diagnosis.

Before I was mad and often drunk but I knew who I was and I had learned to cope with me.

After that I was switched from an SSRI inhibitor (“happy drug”) to a mood stabilizer (“stabilizer”). I have to mention at this point that none of these drugs are drugs you just take on and off or that you take one day and instantly everything’s cool. A clinical trial of a mood stabilizer is three months. This means that not only do you have to take the drug every single day but that you have no idea how much/whether it’s benefiting you until three months has passed. That makes the trial and error mind-numbing as you cycle up and down to varying degrees and the net result is that you ultimately feel worse than you did before. Before I was mad and often drunk but I knew who I was and I had learned to cope with me. Once I was on the mood stabilizer I just stopped drinking except in social situations. No need for rehabilitation or therapy because I wasn’t actually an alcoholic. I had no urges or cravings. I just stopped. What’s happened though is that now all of my normal coping mechanisms aren’t protecting me and I feel awful a great deal of the time. I went from, panic attacks aside, feeling top of the world and in control even if I upset people sometimes, to someone who doesn’t quite know what’s going on emotionally. All I know is that I don’t remember much about how I was before other than through other people’s stories and now I don’t get mad anywhere near as severely or anywhere near as often but my behavior when I crash would previously be anathema to me.

You see lowering the bar of the mania also causes me to go deeper into depression, which is actually something pretty foreign to me. I can count the number of times I’ve actually cried since I was 13 on one finger. However when I’m taking my meds I can absolutely just spontaneously burst into tears for no reason. I don’t necessarily FEEL sad mentally but I’m crying all the same. My judgement’s not impaired like it is when I’m manic and often the source of my sadness is actually ironically my behavior when I was manic. This experience is why I understand how people could come off of their meds. I don’t do this for myself. I have an insanely powerful support network in my wife/best friend, children and also my man-best-friend. If I were solitary there’s no way I would continue on these pills and I don’t think that would eventually end well. I also probably wouldn’t be any the wiser until eventually something terrible happened and it was blamed on my childhood and a lack of judgement. But, thankfully that’s not my life. I get up every single day and take these stupid damn pills specifically BECAUSE of them. You see, after having lived with my wife for 20 years I’ve never been closer with her and I didn’t realize how difficult I was until I had a magical medication take some of the wool off of my eyes. I’ve learned not to ask myself how I’m doing. I ask my wife and not only is that the most accurate barometer of my mental health but frankly, it’s the only one I care about.

I know the letter of the law is that disabled people are protected but there’s legalities and there’s realities and that means I’m always one bad episode away from ruining everything for my entire family.

So after all of that shit to the point. I didn’t share my story because I want pity or attention. Really this isn’t an easy thing for me to do. Some of it is pride but really it has more to do with the stigma that I’m sure many (one in five!) of you understand. My work is very high stress. Had I told an employer or been public about this 15 years ago would people have been able to see past the disability? I have no idea but even today I worry about it a bit. I know the letter of the law is that disabled people are protected but there’s legalities and there’s realities and that means I’m always one bad episode away from ruining everything for my entire family. Part of that is the insecurity that comes from not quite being comfortable with myself anymore (hard to explain) and part of that is worry that I’ll just be less effective. If I look around me though and allow myself to listen and I mean REALLY listen, beyond the tears and insecurity is the best life I’ve ever had. Even in EVE, with a small core of people but with people who are familiar with me nonetheless, it is obvious that I’m just a better person to be around. I share my story because I’m at least a moderately known commodity in the EVE community and I hope that it can help someone else find the help that they need.

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I’ve never even considered it but between 25-50% of those who are diagnosed as bipolar will try to kill themselves. Many will do so having never known they had a condition to treat due to a number of factors including societal stigma and misdiagnosis. Many folks, security people, cops, pilots and doctors are going untreated because of the fear or very reality that they could lose their jobs. In EVE the pigs who wallow in the New Metagame of doxxing and public humiliation have clearly decided that this type of thing has become fair game. That same lack of perspective or “sociopathic” detachment that allows someone to feel it’s ok to ruin a person’s real life over their space ships adds pressures above and beyond those outside of the game because frankly CCP does nothing about it other than offer lip service or token temporary bans when these things happen to slip out over youtube. Sending money to your favorite charity is cathartic but when you have the power in your hands to end a problem are you not morally obligated? Part of why I know it’s so easy to dismiss these problems is that prior to treating my own I was also an unsympathetic character and I look back at that ashamed of not just my inaction but my callousness in dealing with people who were in pain.

There’s many reasons people don’t come forward that aren’t EVE or work. Often it’s because we’re just embarrassed but often it’s because we don’t know we need help until it’s too late or we don’t have the right support infrastructure to handle it. I have no idea what I’d do without my family. We stay silent and soldier through all manner of invisible disabilities because we’re stoic or afraid or simply lost. Ultimately I share my story because I feel like it’s worked out well for me and I’m hoping that at least someone out there will read it and seek help they really and truly need even if they don’t quite know it.

One of the beautiful things, even if it’s also the ugliest of things, about EVE is the community.

One of the beautiful things, even if it’s also the ugliest of things, about EVE is the community. Sometimes it’s so toxic you want to stab a baby but other times it’s tremendously warm and supportive. EVE has been involved in providing aid to numerous righteous causes and charities including tsunami relief. When I was at CCP we took the Rockband shit we used for Fanfest and donated it to a local children’s hospital. That could have just gone in the trash or ended up in someone’s office but it didn’t because someone somewhere cared. Well now I’m saying I care and I’m frankly not the right person to man a suicide hotline or  anything like that but the community itself has spawned a number of people who are, in the form of Broadcast 4 Reps. I’m sharing this in the hopes that someone will read it and realize they care about or know someone who needs help and have the courage to speak to them about it, but I’m also sharing this in the hopes that if you’re reading it and it speaks to you and your own personal situation that you seek help. There’s no shame in it and you won’t be judged. If you don’t know where to start head over the the Broadcast 4 Reps discord or talk to a friend.

If you’re not directly ill don’t be so judgemental or dismissive.

If you’re not directly ill don’t be so judgemental or dismissive. I’m guilty of being rude and judgemental myself of people who are ill so I know I’m a hypocrite. I’m also not too proud to beg so I will, please keep your inability to distinguish between reality and a video game out of people’s lives. I’m not against getting into the trenches but some people are in pain and you have no idea how damaging your ridiculous and selfish need for validation can be to the 1-in-5 people that includes you. Instead of being crude make a new friend or at the very least introduce them to someone with the capacity to do so.

If you aren’t sure if you are ill but feel you may be then reach out anyway. I think you’ll find that while there are a small and rather disgustingly vocal group of people out there in the world who are dedicated to keeping you down the vast majority of us care a great deal and would be happy to help carry ANYONE who was struggling. If I’m available in any way please even reach out to me (no kissing) and I’ll at least try to help even if I’m just going to send you to someone more helpful. No matter what reach out. It can be painful and scary but there’s a lot of joy to be had on the other side no matter who you are unless you are Stoffer Ninjapirate. He is irredeemable. You are not.

This article is property of the person behind the character Darius JOHNSON who maintains all intellectual property rights. The program may be linked to but not re-posted in wholesale without the author’s EXPLICIT WRITTEN permission. Any prior permission is null and void.

Tags: b4r, Darius Johnson, mental health

About the author

Darius JOHNSON

Darius JOHNSON is the former two-time CEO of Goonfleet / Goonswarm Federation, a former CCP developer (CCP Sreegs) and former CSM 1 & 2 member.

  • Heavy

    Nice to see a notable personality in Eve bringing this topic to the forefront of discussion. Great article DJ keep it up.

    • Darius JOHNSON

      Thanks dude

  • mynnna

    This is legit not the topic I expected it to be, but frankly that just makes it better.

  • Inigo Montoya

    Props to you for being open about your personal struggles with mental illness and making it a more talked about and open issue. My family has a couple members diagnosed with bipolar disorder and it’s a rough gig.
    That being said, I’ll say what I said about Winet and his PTSD, you might be creative and active in EVE, but if your illness compells you to be a raging dick/asshole, don’t be in any critical alliance role that a lot of people need to talk to or coordinate with daily. You can mess up a lot of people’s enjoyment of the game being in a role not good for them or yourself. Diagnosis of your illness is an opportunity to work away from being the jerk person you have been in the past, not an excuse for why you continue to be one.

    • Darius JOHNSON

      Thanks man and that’s great advice. Removing the negative garbage from my life is why I went out to start Goonswarm proper again instead of attaching myself to the current shitshow.

  • Fat Elvis

    Reading this has really made me think about me being a moody bastard with my wife. I will make a point of being a better husband.

    Very interesting read, really made me sit and think.

    Thanks

    • Darius JOHNSON

      Thanks man I’m glad that’s helped you. Reach out if you want to talk.

  • Thanks for sharing such a personal subject. Respects. o7.

    • Darius JOHNSON

      Thanks dude

  • dragonshardz

    Bipolar disorder is a very personal hell. Good luck.

    • Darius JOHNSON

      Thanks 🙂

  • Two step

    Wow dude, I had assumed you already knew you were bipolar, it seemed pretty clear to me from the time we spent together. I guess I should have spoken up about it to you.

    • Darius JOHNSON

      You’re the second person who’s diagnosed me after the fact but that aside I doubt some dude from the internet telling me they think I’m mentally disabled would have gone over very well so kudos to you for your excellent judgement!

      • Marsha Mallow

        Actually, don’t take that as too offensive a comment. Depending on your relationship obv, mebe his remark is a bit cockish. I saw a TMC vid a while back where you were raving a bit and had to turn it off 5 minutes in. Really sorry I did btw because if I’d spotted it more clearly I’d have said something to you direct. I grew up near a mental hospital around some bi-polar outpatients who I adored (everyone else finds the manic/tearful stage hard to deal with but I have an Irish emo family who are like that anyway). Tbh I just saw the clip and thought you were lubed up on coke and thought v0v w/e people want to do, it’ll probably pass. I suspect professional mental healthcare staff would have picked up on that immediately. But if you think you’re mad, try talking to one of them off shift (they’re deranged).

        Some suggestions: Start keeping a daily/hourly diary of those upswings/moods btw. It is a bitch to do but it’s a condition that requires constant medicinal tweaks. If your meds require specific times, ask someone to be that time. You might need some sort of thing to do when you feel a bit whacky so you can pull back to a private space and emo. Do some more smithy things mebe?

        Stuff like this article saves lives btw. Next time you feel a bit weepy for no reason, you just did something really courageous that you might never see the fruits of. Also, you really cheer me up, because you seem like a nice bloke who might be an asshole at times, but isn’t really.

      • Two step

        Yeah, perhaps not. A good friend of mine was bipolar in high school, so I knew what it was like

  • Druik Arbosa

    You have my respect, thank you for writing this.

  • Easy Esky

    Thanks for sharing Darius.

    As a dog owner, I can certainly endorse the comfort and therapeutic value of having a companion animal.

  • Nailim Gare

    Honest and courageous, many thanks. The 1 in 5 sounds improbably high until friends, family and people like yourself take the significant risk of sharing their experience; and then the fog lifts, and we realize that we are surrounded by people in the same or similar boats. All the best to you and your family.

    • Darius JOHNSON

      yeah man I got those stats from the NHS and they’re US only

      I don’t know what the number’s like in other countries

  • digitalebola

    Good luck in your quest. It can be hard finding the right combinations to get you where you need to be, especially in three month intervals. SSRIs, in particular, are nasty. It’s a month before you start to see which direction you swing and by that point, you can’t safely quit the SSRI, you have to step it down. It can take years to find the right meds and if you do find the right ones, it won’t be forever as your body chemistry is always changing. Kidney health is a big deal as well as keeping all waste facilities moving, i.e. bile, fecal, etc. and the body’s water cycling. This means working out, stretching, finding things that bring the right amount of physical stress. You have kids and pets, that’s therapy right there. Sunlight or lacking that, UV light, is essential.

    We aren’t taught to really care for our bodies. We don’t know. I’m not sure if the current depression metric is due to defect or due to rapid lifestyle changes. You are the animal that is top of the food chain and you aren’t doing animal things. You are civilized. Civilization happened faster than the evolution of the thing. You were meant to chase, jump, hunt, rend meat limb from limb, fornicate with everything you see and kill the things you can’t eat or fornicate with. Evolution takes time and we don’t want to evolve too far into civilization for the removal of everything that makes us civilized would surely eradicate our species. The bottom line, we aren’t getting what we need as a species and we’ve pissed in Darwin’s eye.

    Like any adversary, regardless of how society views it or how society causes it, depression IS the enemy and it must be dealt with, by hook or by crook. You do everything you can and even the things you can’t. Medication is one thing that helps but it’s not the only thing, it’s not the be-all-end-all, you must fight and you must never rest in that fight. Find the things that make you happy, hold them close, leverage that. Find the people that make you happy and keep them safe, keep them in your life, never shut them out. Find the things that bring you the most physical activity and do that regularly. And most of all, never, ever let your mind wander to that dark place that comes at you when you are half a fifth in and you realize this universe is too large and we are too small, what’s the fucking point? Never go there and sometimes that means giving up a good whiskey or for some people, even certain types of food. The things that take you near that dark spot must be cast away for keeping them means keeping that chance of doom.

    All in all, as long as you never give up, you will find your path and you will be better for it. Your success will increase, your family will rest easier, your friends will sigh relief before suddenly leaning on YOU because face it, those metrics are wrong… everyone is hurting. I’ve watched the strongest crumble and I’ve seen the weakest fight the hardest, the mental trap knows no bounds, plays no favorites, it eats everyone and maybe that is because we are civilized. We are looking for the enlightenment because our basic needs are met. Who knows.

    The metagame: it’s time to kill it and go ahead and implement the theme park. The simple rush of PVP combat is not healthy for most and coupled with the metagame as a whole, it’s shocking that more people haven’t bit the big one. You and I both know that the meta now is exactly the same as it has always been and I personally know that it has existed since 2003… CCP chose subscriptions rather than bans. That move paid off and now it’s basically a game mechanic but that time is past. There are legit people connected to CCP’s pockets now, they don’t need it, it’s time to ban the meta, link everyone’s characters and warcraft it up.

    Maybe if that happens, I’ll resub and smash my personal fleet into things.

    Good luck brother, you are starting a journey but you will be thankful when you find what you need. Love to the kids and the misses.

    • Darius JOHNSON

      Just realized I didn’t reply but thanks man. I’ll reach out to you offline and I imagine there’s a chance for drinks in the next 2-3 months.

  • Tenar Sparrowhawk

    Have you looked into meditation at all?

    • Leshoyadut

      He said in the article that he’s currently on medication. He dedicated at least one, but I think two or three, paragraphs to talking about meds and how it affects the life of someone on them.

      • Tenar Sparrowhawk

        > meditation

        • Darius JOHNSON

          Nah but I’m not sure I wouldn’t be down for it. It’s been recommended to me along with yoga and tai chi. It’s all about time man. If you have any cool resources about meditation you can share that would own.

          • Tenar Sparrowhawk

            Honestly man I was just listening to an old NPR Dianne Rehm show today and she interviewed a few professors/authors about a couple different types of meditation (transcendental and mindfulness) and its use in schools/workplaces and increasing recommended use for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders.

            I can’t personally vouch for it, but when you’re talking about taking every step possible to get close to feeling healthy, 20 minutes a day that could at worst help center your attention seems worth investigation. I would never assume it to be an end-all be-all, but thought I’d mention it as something potentially worth looking into.

          • Tenar Sparrowhawk

            I was just listening to an old NPR Dianne Rehm show today and she interviewed a few professors/authors about a couple different types of meditation (transcendental and mindfulness) and its use in schools/workplaces and increasing recommended use for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders.

            I can’t personally vouch for it, but when you’re talking about taking every step possible to get close to feeling healthy, 20 minutes a day that could at worst help center your attention seems worth investigation. I would never assume it to be an end-all be-all, but thought I’d mention it as something potentially worth looking into.

            FWIW I do a little yoga routine a few times a week and it limbers up my body and lets me focus my mind on my body and nothing beyond that for a bit.

          • Darius JOHNSON

            Yeah the problem is juggling work, kids, etc. and finding time for yoga at the end of the day. If it’s not something I can do spontaneously (and I also like hot yoga or bikram) then it’s just off the list.

          • Marsha Mallow

            Meditation might be the most important hobby you could pick up. He’s right, look into it. Even a basic course can teach you how to create clear mental space for short periods, or deal with emotional outbursts. Once you get a bit better at it you can sort of do other stuff in a meditive state if that makes sense (like exercise).

          • Psychic Kicks

            Meditation is absolutely positive for anyone. We all find reasons to not do things that are good for us, and Meditation is a practice. With some things, especially when trying to form new habits we all tend to create scenarios that are daunting which often leads to never picking up the beneficial habit. Yoga is great but there is something to be said for just giving yourself 10-20 minutes of silence in your car or wherever you can find time. Just start out small, and at some point you will hunger for that moment of reflection (which invariably leads to an expansion of compassion). Good luck to you on finding your way and I’m glad to hear you are already experiencing positive changes in your life and attitude. If you find time look up Alan Watts on youtube, yeah he was an LSD tinged hippie who hung out with Alan Ginsberg. But he has a very concise, humorous, a practical way of conveying eastern philosophical concepts to the western mind.

  • Fearlesslittletoaster

    I sent an Eve-mail about my experience with a friend your situation. Please give it a read. Don’t want his name getting dragged into ~the metagame~ but his situation is relevant. Good luck man. Hell of a hard row to hoe for anyone.

    • Darius JOHNSON

      <3

  • Bob@wormholes. Com

    I salute everyone trying to help people o7 !

  • So when I first read this article, my response was ‘so we should be sympathetic now?’, but honestly I was suffering from a bit of an ad hominem because my last experience with the author, he lampshaded the rather creepy behaviour of searching for my EVE avatars and then drawing the conclusion that I was a pedophile.

    If at this point you’re gung-ho about jumping down his throat for doing so, then you’re as guilty of the ad hominem as I was- too focused on painting a certain picture of a person rather than considering a far more complex narrative. Consider that, at the time, I had said some things that may have touched very close to home and that he was hurt and responding to that hurt. Consider the fact that I didn’t rise to the bait and, until I raised it as an example now, it wasn’t even an issue.

    Hurt people hurt people. And we all have this natural tendencies to focus on the big, the extreme, to emphasize standout behavior and paint people simply rather than accept them as far more complex and nuanced than we have the brainpower to model for every person in existence. That isn’t necessary a wrong thing to do until we stop giving the people the benefit of the doubt and treating them as if they are the same broad strokes we painted them as.

    Everyone I know with a mental health issue is struggling. The whole ‘people use it as an excuse to not try’ intuition that occurs to many is a myth; apart from the rare individual who self-labels normal behavioural quirks as serious conditions, anyone who has managed to reach the point that they can openly confess to these sorts of conditions is someone engaged in a life-long struggle to stay well. For every one who does reach that point, there are countless more who are struggling in secret, maybe not even aware what exactly it is they’re struggling with.

    Broadcast4Reps is excellent and a step in the right direction for the EVE community, but it’s still a community with dark places and not one I personally feel comfortable taking such a leap with. If it was my only choice I would take it, but for most there are options outside of the EVE community that I’d look to first.

    But it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing, and probably the biggest thing I’ve taken away from this article is that in most cases, there’s good to be had from being open and honest at least at some level about the challenges your facing. If people don’t know, how can they even start to be accommodating? You don’t have to tell them everything, just enough for them to be aware.

    I suffered from bipolar disorder when I was younger and I still struggle with bouts of depression to this day. And the thing to remember is that when you see people like us traipsing out our symptoms and our experiences, we’re not looking for sympathy. We’re giving people the opportunity to identify, to go “hey, that sounds familiar” and to realise that they’re struggling, so that they should seek help and not be afraid to do so.

    • Darius JOHNSON

      “because my last experience with the author, he lampshaded the rather creepy behaviour of searching for my EVE avatars and then drawing the conclusion that I was a pedophile.” – What the fuck are you talking about? :edit: Wait in what world is looking for an eve avatar even remotely problematic? ITS A VIDEOGAME PICTURE and I STILL don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

      :Edit2: Also you don’t cure bipolar so if you had it then you have it now.

      • I can’t tell if your outraged because you’d like to pretend that’s something that you’d never do, or that you just don’t remember doing it. It was some throwaway comment, you were trying to wind me up, I ignored it, if you’d like to make a bigger deal of your own conduct go right ahead.

        I wouldn’t claim to be cured, just in a place of good management, in remission if you will. I fully expected you to be judgemental and dismissive of that because you said so, how clever of you. But that does make you an asshole. hiding behind a lampshade or your mental issues doesn’t excuse you. As I said, there’s reasons some people will not use something like Broadcast4Reps; you’re one of those reasons.

        No, I’m not ex-military. I have no idea what you’re on about there.

        I think we clearly don’t like each other. You may not enjoy my writing or my comments, but you certainly seem compelled to read and respond to them, so in a twisted way you’re still part of my audience. However, you seem to be getting ahead yourself in thinking that this all centers around you- we’re both in the same greater EVE community and we’re going to run into each other from time to time, have differing opinions about the same thing, maybe even state them in the same space.

        I’m not going to apologise if we can’t agree or, even if we did agree, your natural instinct is to tear everything I say down anyway… which is really dumb when I make an effort to focus on the stuff we do agree on, like something good such as Broadcast4Reps. You are a (self-confessed) hypocrite and whatever effort it took to write an article like this is destroyed when you act like this. HTFU or learn some impulse control.

        • Darius JOHNSON

          Sometimes when people don’t like you because you’re a cunt, it’s not because they’re crazy it’s because you’re a cunt. This is one of those times and you are one of those cunts.

          I still don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about regarding a lampshade but I suspect that has more to do with a misinterpretation on your part than a world in which such detail would escape me. I am not and never have behaved in an unethical fashion and I have zero clue what you’re talking about.

          Having had some issues yourself I would think you should understand that having someone, least of all someone I find as detestable as you (esp. given that we’ve met, if at all, for all of 10 seconds and I ignored you in TMC chat and I know you’ve shit-talked me without me being there yet you talk as if you know me), talking down to me with judgement and medical advice isn’t the right move.

          So take the concern trolling and shove it up your ass and stop wasting my time with your books. If disliking you “detracts from my message” or “makes you dislike B4R” you’re just the fucking garbage person I thought you were. It’s not about you. It was never about you and the only reason I respond to you or even talk to you at all is because you keep shitting your books out in my threads.

          • I don’t see why your time is my concern or even in my control. If my ‘books’ are a waste of your time, stop reading them. I’m quite happy for my comments to be for the benefit of others only; my original comment wasn’t aimed at you at all but at other people who might have read the original article.

            You’re the one who decided to take it personally and respond to it directly. You throw out accusations of concern trolling and ego-centricism, and yet you’re trying to educate me on the ‘right move’ on how to deal with you, are mad that I’m commented on “your thread”, and believe yourself an infallible paragon of ethics. The most ethical people I know are also the most self-doubting.

            You took a message of support and turned it into this shitshow. I won’t let you put words into my mouth: I think B4R is an excellent thing, I’ve seen it do good and know it will continue to good going into the future. If you want to keep distracting from that or think that supporting B4R makes me ‘fucking garbage’ go right ahead, I’m done here.

          • Darius JOHNSON

            “So when I first read this article, my response was ‘so we should be
            sympathetic now?’, but honestly I was suffering from a bit of an ad
            hominem because my last experience with the author, he lampshaded the
            rather creepy behaviour of searching for my EVE avatars and then drawing
            the conclusion that I was a pedophile.” – Personal

            “You are a (self-confessed) hypocrite and whatever effort it took to
            write an article like this is destroyed when you act like this. HTFU or
            learn some impulse control.” – Personal

            “As I said, there’s reasons some people will not use something like Broadcast4Reps; you’re one of those reasons.” – B4R line

            Those are your quotes you sack of shit. Feel free to continue to fuck off while saying you’re going to fuck off over and over again.

          • Thank you for your concern.

  • DJ, CBT is great and I get it along with meds. It took two years of psychiatry and psychology clinic appointments, a month and a half apart at a time, to find the right combination of meds. When I met you at Kaminskis the first time (when I was blond) was the beginning of that time period. I act out when I’m both on my meds and off, in different ways, it pretty much equates to learning who you are as a completely different person, not unlike bruce banner.

    • Darius JOHNSON

      Yeah man that’s been my experience as well. Thanks for sharing!

  • Also DJ I wish you’d get off the doxxing soapbox.

    • Darius JOHNSON

      I’ll get off the doxxing soapbox when it’s been dealt with.

      • Bryan Frye

        doxxing is a real deal. But at the same time almost expected ‘FOR PERSONAL’ basis IMO. NEVER for public ‘though public domain’. In the public eye in all conceptions it is Hell Fire and Brimstone type shit good and bad. Looking forward to the article.

  • Xavi Bastanold

    Well said and best of luck on your journey. Take care o7

    • Darius JOHNSON

      Thanks dude you too!

  • Obsidian Crowe

    Working in mental health research I have got to say that was one of the most dang humanising stories I’ve seen for mental illness. A lot of people treat the subject as taboo but you’ve done a great job in exposing how it can effect day to day life. I hope this gives courage to people who are unsure about their mental wellbeing, go speak to their doctors, and overall leads to a better quality of life for everyone playing Eve.

  • Marc

    Great article DJ, really hit a nerve in me , it take a lot courage to write down something like the above , props to you for doing it. Not many can! , good luck and fly safe

  • JonathanBBrown

    The read was good but no. The problem is that actual bipolars have some very ‘special’ characteristics and from your writing you are clearly lacking 99% of them. And before you ask yes that is my field of expertise. So if you want some attention I wish you the best of luck but I’m very sorry you are not what you think and want us to believe you are.

    You do have a mental condition however. If you take time and really care about it you will find out. It’s not a difficult path, but it’s a slow one and the worst part is that 9 out of 10 subjects are incapable of even comprehending the reality of it, because their state of mind is in line with what we call common sense. Do these two tests if you need a start: 1.Have someone you know slap you at a moment you are not expecting it. And have someone you don’t know do the same ( have someone else arrange it obviously). 2.Steal something of value from someone you know without him ever knowing. And do the same to someone you don’t know.

    Then again, since you used the word asshole, isn’t being an asshole an indication of ones state of mind as is being bipolar? However one makes you feel ok for your actions or even doesn’t require you to feel anything about them, while the other brings a permanent label whether you like it or not. Can you tell which is which?

    So best of luck with whatever you wish to believe and take your time. I’m sure there are enough people out there that care about your state. It is defined by that very specific detail. From a specialist’s point of view however you need to change your perspective and fast. Oh and yes I have a similar condition as well. That is I chose this career. One of the traits is a distinct way of writing. You did notice it I’m sure.

    • Domitian

      If you are truly in the field you know that one cannot make a any firm diagnosis from reading someone else’s (likely heavily edited) writing in one article. The information is incomplete and the context is missing. Any clues within the writing are specific to a person’s *current* mental state and may not be indicative of their overall health or condition.

      Darius is doing the right thing and is seeking help from a professional who is (I’m assuming) seeing him in person. Please do not question someone else’s diagnosis when you yourself have not done the necessary homework to do so. Also, if you were truly qualified to practice I find it VERY hard to believe you would be willing to dispense a conflicting diagnosis without having even a preliminary consult.

      …Or maybe you’re just a troll.

    • Chief Gumbo Speaker

      Dr. Phil. is that you?

  • Bryan Frye

    Good for you. Though being bipolar myself fuck the meds IMAO ‘A’ not to taken lightly. Works for some not for others. All the same three cheers for successfully dealing with the meds. That is 3/4 of the problem IMO in treating bipolar with most of them, in my personal experience enjoying the highs to the point of not bothering/not taking that is truly most the battle itself. Congrads to all that have accomplished that one task.