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In which John discusses Project for Awesome donator Dylan's chosen topic of how to relieve depression. The Wimbly Womblys play Exeter City.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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Twitter: @AFCWimblyWombly
Hello and welcome to Hankgames without Hank. My name is John Green, I'm the manager of the AFC Wimbly Womblys who today are taking on Exeter City. Uhh, it's a college town, Exeter, and we're going to beat them. We're going to humiliate them. We are going to lay our opponents before us and we are going to slaughter them. I don't want to exaggerate, but they will emerge from this experience feeling like they should probably just retire.

Uhh…we're a little bit tired and we're starting our B team today because we've got a big game coming up against Newcastle in the FA Cup premiere league side Newcastle um in the FA cup. We've had a pretty favorable FA Cup draw since the uh since our stunning victory over Liverpool football club. We came from behind against QPR. And um, now we're going to have to play Newcastle. It's bad but it could be worse.

So, uh today I'm going to talk about a topic, a Project for Awesome topic suggested by Project for Awesome donor Dylan. A great topic that is of much interest to me: how to relieve and treat depression. Uhm. So I've lived with depression at various times in my life--oh my gosh did you see that run from Sainte-Luce? The patron saint of LOST CRO-- ohhh. Sainte-Luce, Sainte-Luce, that could have been better. That could have been better since you were completely away. It's disappointing there. Um. I've lived with depression at various points in my life. For long stretches of my adult life, I've been uh, I've had medication and I've had therapy since almost 13 years now. So, yeah, I can talk a little bit about that.

I think…you know, the studies are pretty um, there's pretty good studies around depression. And those studies do indicate that there are two treatments that work: cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. And that they work best when they are used together. This is particularly true when it comes to treating acute depression. Problem is, it's really hard, it's really, really hard -- I don't want to minimize how hard it is -- to get to the point where you're actually seeing a therapist and the therapy works. And getting to that point is especially hard when you're depressed because it's really freaking hard to do anything. Let alone put up with all the times when the therapy isn't working right, or the medication isn't working right or the side effects are too much to take, or whatever it is. It's a really difficult disease to treat and that's  particularly problematic for people who are depressed because it's just physically --- ohhhh! John Green! You're a finisher, you're better than that! It was a great cut, let's look again at the cut. Really good, oh it was a great cut. But then he just, I think, maybe he just tried to do a little too much a little too fast.

You know, in my own life with depression I can't even engage in basic social tasks. Uhm, you know, like calling someone on the phone or responding to a phone call, let alone going through the kind of activism that's necessary to schedule with a therapist or to go see my doctor and talk about the fact that my medication doesn't seem to be working or whatever it is. So I think…that's the biggest, or sort of the first hurdle. Not the only hurdle, certainly. You have to do that, and you have to do it with the knowledge that it can work. That's the number one thing I would say: people get better. And the fact that other people have gotten better is an indication that you too can get better.

It is not an easy disease to treat. It is not uncomplicated. It is not without its…it can be a bit of a moving target when it comes to treating depression I think. It is possible. And that's really important because one of the things I struggle with at least is that feeling of hopelessness. Like, 'Well, what's the point of doing this anyway? Because it won't work, because nothing ever worked' -- and obviously, that's the depressed mind talking. That same mind that tells you, 'Oh, what's the point of doing anything because everything's going to come to nothing anyway, so I'm just going to do nothing.' I've had that thought more times than I'd care to admit. And I've had to cycle through those obsessive thinking patterns about, you know, uh…yeah. Basically the 'this is going to be forever' thinking pattern. Uhh…

Famous viral video, David After Dentist, there's this 7-year-old kid, his name is David, he goes to the dentist and he gets very intoxicated from the drugs that they give him. And afterwards his dad films him as he asks a lot of questions about what's going on with his anesthesia because he's clearly very confused. And at one point, David says 'Is this going to be forever?'

My…one of the things I really struggle with -- Another nil-nil halftime draw? What is our problem, Meredith? Another thing I really struggle with is that feeling of 'Well this is going to be forever and there's nothing I can do to treat it and I'm just going to have to…and this is it. This is my life forever.' That's wrong. That's like a…that's your crazy brain talking. But it is a really powerful idea. And I certainly…yeah. I struggle with that still. What I would say is: it's not going to be forever. It doesn't have to be forever. And, uhm… You don't know what the future looks like…all we know is that this too shall pass, both the good and the bad. So, don't … don't tell forever what's going to be forever, because you don't know.

OH NO! It's a disaster! He used to be a Swoodilypooper I think. Sercombe. Anyway, did you see how ugly Ryan Gosling's hair is? This is a disaster. I mean, it doesn't really matter because we're going to win League 2, but I'd like to finish the season undefeated. Exeter City, how are we losing to Exeter City Meredith? This is no way to prepare for Newcastle. This is worrisome. Ok. Oh no. Oh boysie, boysie. Everybody stay calm. Nice through ball! Gaahhh, you've got to finish!! Oh, Other John Green with the fantastic vision to -- oh, I was offside anyway. With the fantastic vision to pass, but it all comes to nothing, like so much effort in this world.

Uhm. Yeah, so, I think… I'm a big believer in paying attention to the science and what the randomized controlled trials say. And what they say pretty clearly is get behavioral therapy. And me being able to say this is not going to be forever--are we seriously going to go down by two?--me being able to say this is not going to be forever is a direct result of behavioral therapy. It's literally a tool that I learned in therapy. And there are a lot of them, but that's the biggest one for me. And then, learning how to shut down that obsessive thinking spiral that really takes you over. And I'm not saying I can do that a hundred percent of the time. But I can do it enough that I can manage my life. And I can still have joy in my life and stuff.

As far as the medication goes, so many people have been, 'Oh, you won't be able to write.' And, that's just not true. I don't buy it at all. I think treating an illness doesn't make you a bad writer. OH! John Green! John Green! Let's go score another goal, boys, it's not enough to get one!

I'm worried about, unfortunately, I'm going to have to take out John Green nee Bennet now because I need him to start against…we have nobody. This is just an exhausted team. I'm going to do something a little unusual, Meredith. I'm going to bring on Borg Warner, Warner Chilcott as our…I'm going to put him…in goal…nope. I need Seb Brown to be…I'm going to switch him out with Hell's Pells…no, I'm going to switch him out with uhhh, Yayayyayaya Bamba. There we go. Nice…Nothing like putting your backup keeper in the center of midfield as a statement about your intention to win the game. There he is. I know he's going to be great at this. As you can see, the AFC Wimbly Womblys need players, we need them desperately. And there he is on the ball, let's see how he is. Oh, he's, he's very bad. Wow. He's a slowpoke. He's about, I'd say my skill level. If you put me in FIFA, I might be about Warner Chilcott level. GETAGGGH! That's frustrating. Alright.

I think you have to have faith in the science. I don't buy any of those arguments, 'it's going to make you a less creative person' or whatever. That hasn't been my experience at all. There are many times in my life I haven't been able to write anything because of my depression. And when I've been on medication, I've found I've been able to write much, much better. I just don't, I just don't buy that argument. I might be wrong of course, but that's my experience.

What, what? Was there a penalty? Have I been penalized? What was I penalized for, being such a great player? Being so good looking? I don't understand. Alright, anyway, we're here in the eightieth minute and we gotta find a way to win.

That's all I can say to encourage you. And then the last thing I would say is that if you have any suicidal ideation, any kind of thoughts of suicide, take that seriously. It's not, it doesn't nece--, I'm not gonna say that it necessarily means that it's a life-threatening emergency, but it can, and it's worth taking seriously. I'm going to wait to celebrate this goal because it's that important. And if you google suicide, the first result will take you to the National Suicide Hotline Center (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline), and you can always call.

Now, now that we've done that, I would just like to announce that in the 85th minute, after being down one-nil, having substituted our goalkeeper out for our backup goal keeper, we suddenly find ourselves in a situation where we're crossing the ball into the box and who should meet at the end of the cross but tiny little Ya Bamba. And what should he do other than head it in so that we can complete our comeback? [singing] ♫ Yayayyayaya Bamba, Yayayyayaya Bamba just scored a goal, just scored a goal, just scored a goal. Ya, ya Bamba. ♫ Oh, I thought he was going to do it again! I thought he was going to do it again, but he didn't! That would have been amazing, I could have gone straight into four verses of it.

So I just lost an acquaintance and colleague to suicide recently. Sorry to change voice so dramatically, but I was just thinking about Ned. And, and [exhale] It sucks and you gotta--you gotta fight it. I know that it's hard, and I know that it sucks, but you have to. That's all I'll say.

But I am pleased that the Wimbl--ohh, we're so tired. Look at that. Whose leg is dragging? Who's hurt? Somebody's hurt. Anyway, we'll get it fixed up. We'll get everybody fixed up and rested up for the Newcastle game. Congratulations to the AFC Wimbly Womblys, coming from behind for the second time in the last few weeks. Showing some spirit, showing some fight. I like it, I like it. Sorry Exeter City, but you got Wimbly Wombly'd. Oh it's Frampton Comes Alive is hurt. That's worrisome. Best wishes.