Pete

Age at interview: 25
Gender: Male
Outline:

Pete lives with his mother and cat in an apartment in a large city. He is Hispanic. He has worked various jobs in the past and is looking for work.

 

Background:

Pete’s depression became noticeable as a young adult, but looking back he thinks he had some depression in childhood too. He does not have a medical diagnosis, but is being helped by therapy. He encourages others to get help when they feel bad. He does not want to try medication.
 

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Pete was aware of depression from an early age since it is prevalent in his family, and also because his mother is a clinician. Both of his parents struggled with it at various times. There were hard periods of time growing up when he thinks he might well have been depressed, but was “too proud to admit it”. In the last two years, however, he experienced lasting and serious depression. It was triggered by the death of his grandmother, who lived right across the hall and with whom he was close. Another friend also died, and he split up with his girlfriend. He saw “serious signs” -- like isolating himself, being irritable, losing his appetite, not wanting to leave his room, and no longer finding joy in things he loves. He realized he “seriously needed help”, so he started seeing a therapist.

Therapy has been helpful for Pete. It was a big step for him to confide in a therapist since he is a “very private person”, a very “prideful person” who has not wanted to tell other people about his depression because he worries it would tarnish his reputation and make him be seen as week even though he is a “very large, very strong guy”. He is glad he reached out for help. He and his therapist are together considering the risks and benefits of medication, but he has not yet tried it. He found his therapist by calling people off a list of 400 names provided by his insurance company, but wishes he had asked his primary care doctor for a referral that might have saved time.

Pete finds that when he is depressed and goes outside, sometimes all the emotion he keeps inside “comes out and it doesn’t stop”. He might find himself crying in the middle of the street. Depression made work hard for Pete and he lost his job, but is looking now for another one. His niece and nephew bring him great joy and he forgets about depression when he is with them. He is always helpful to friends, his ex-girlfriend, and others who rely on him but may not realize he struggles with depression. Going “one day at a time” works best for Pete, remembering that “yesterday wasn’t a terrible day, you know, I was thankful for that. Today isn't that bad…Hopefully tomorrow is the same and that’s all I really go with”. He continues to work towards “becoming a man” and “standing on his own two feet” as a young adult.

It is important to Pete that other young adults with depression know not to give up, and to seek help “as early as possible” rather than “waiting like I did”. They should go through their doctor, and do it quickly, even if they don’t want to admit there is a problem. He also wants them to know not to “drink too much when you are depressed. That’s all I can really say”.

 

Pete's depression sometimes keeps him locked up in a 'comfy prison.'

Pete's depression sometimes keeps him locked up in a 'comfy prison.'

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…into my room and lock it up. And it’s just to me, it’s, it’s just, it’s like being in a very comfy prison. So it’s like it’s, it’ssomething I don’t want to do, but it’s so familiar. It’s just so familiar, it’s just so cozy.

So it feels safe and relaxing?

Yeah, but even wanting to go back there, just makes me like mmmm…like why would I want to go back to a place that I want to go to every time I get upset?

 

Pete describes being unable to hide his emotions when he wants to.

Pete describes being unable to hide his emotions when he wants to.

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As an adult, it wasn’t that I was safer it was that I am trying so hard all the time to keep my emotions away from other people and it just comes out in the worst way and at the wrong time and it’s most of the time, if I am on the train or if am just walking around or if it’s just like, I’m on the bus or… It can be the randomest time and it just comes out and it doesn’t stop.

 

Pete describes having difficulties working at summer camp and focusing on simple tasks.

Pete describes having difficulties working at summer camp and focusing on simple tasks.

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I am doing working directly at the summer camp with the kids. I’m dealing with them all the time and I remember like I would have no problem remembering 20 kids names. I could barely remember 2 this year. I…I was just very forgetful with of a lot of things. It took a great effort on my part to do, to take precautions and to me, knowing that I am getting forgetful for stuff like this. So now I am keeping a list of everything, I am keeping like checks and checklists and before I didn’t need to do that. I just could keep it all in my head, it would be no problem. It was like second nature, but now I have to work really hard at concentrating, at simple tasks, at just remembering a task, because I easily just get lost, I just easily space out now. Sometimes it’s not like I space out and then get depressed, sometimes I just space out. But I know the depression is because of that.

 

Pete thinks telling people about his depression would hurt his reputation.

Pete thinks telling people about his depression would hurt his reputation.

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I think if someone knew that I was depressed, especially me, I’m like a very large, very strong guy. If somebody knew I was depressed, that would tarnish my reputation. That would make me — that would make me feel, and it would make me be, be seen as weak. I don’t want anybody to see me as weak, even if I believe it [laughs]. But, that’s, you know, neither here or there, but it’s — telling people is just something I wouldn’t do ’cause it’d, I feel like it would tarnish my reputation and people would see me different. Now, of course, my doctor wouldn’t see me that way, but, again, for me, the less people that know, the better. At least until I, I deal with it.

 

A new generation helped restore Pete's family connections and self-esteem.

A new generation helped restore Pete's family connections and self-esteem.

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Well with my nephew and niece, specifically, the love that they have for me is unconditional and it’s shown every time I see them. How much I’m needed by them, how much they love me, how much they want me to be around them. How they get when I’m leaving; they get upset. Like, being around them and being known that I’m so important to them, makes me feel better about myself. It makes me feel like I’m not as bad a person as I think.

 

Pete says his experience with depression makes him want to help others going through similar experiences.

Pete says his experience with depression makes him want to help others going through similar experiences.

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I really think that there’s someone out there who is going through the same issue that I am going though and if I could help them, if this is anything worth to them, worth. If this could stop them from doing something self-destructive. Then that makes me feel better about myself. That makes me less depressed because I am helping someone in the same situation as me. I was maybe one or two wrong turns from just taking my life. If this can be something that can help another person, that can give them the right decision that I made. I would be happy to do it, every time. I would, I don’t regret it.

 

Pete says depression has stunted his personal growth.

Pete says depression has stunted his personal growth.

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It stunted my growth, absolutely. It’s stunted my growth in all fronts, my self-esteem, the confidence that I have in my ability to do things, my reactions towards things. Now I am a person that I would really care to tell someone the truth. I would really, if they didn’t believe me I would make an effort to show them that I am telling them the truth or to make them see that what I am doing is genuine, and now I really don’t care. I don’t really. When I act selfish, I feel justified by it because I’ve been hurt so many times. I need to do me. I need to take care of myself. I need to take care, I need to show love to myself because no one else will and that is a very primitive way of thinking. It stunted my growth in so many ways because I could’ve, I feel at my age at 25 right now, I could’ve been greater and it’s only stunted me because it made me believe that I couldn’t. Genuinely believe that I couldn’t.