December 05, 2018 12:00am
Depression in the Industry
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Steve Nelson
Depression. A black cloud envelops you. Total loss of all motivation. Even though focusing on a task helps you get out of the deep, deep hole, you tend to put off everything including things that make you feel better.
People say, "don't think negative thoughts," but that really doesn't work. The feelings are on the inside even when you laugh at a joke or pretend everything is all right. It's the feelings that attract negative thoughts, not negative thoughts that cause the feelings. The deeper the depression, the more negative the thoughts our brain will pair with the feelings.
A lot of the time no one can see into the darkness that consumes a depressed person. But inside looking out is a different story. An individual’s perceptions and reactions are filtered through the haze of misleading feelings that have no basis in reality. All too often your brain is looking for outside events to blame the feelings on. One arbitrary word could be a trigger for an exaggerated, misunderstood, or inappropriate response by someone suffering from depression.
August Ames was a good friend. She was always kind to me and very happy. Or so I thought. We all found out too late that she was dealing with the demons of depression. Because I drove for her agency at the time, I was the first to meet her out here. I picked her up at the airport and took her to her scenes until she got her car. After August got married, I fondly remember how she would get in the car after a scene and tell me to hurry up and get her home so she could be with the man she loved! I thought she was so happy! But I only saw her upbeat side. She hid her demons well. When I saw her last tweet go by, "Fuck y'all," I searched her timeline to see what was going on. I saw nothing. I regret not reaching out to ask her. She was on the edge and bullies on Twitter pushed her over. She was a rising star and seemed to have everything going for her. Her passing was a great loss to many.
In a depression you want to not give a fuck, but everything that comes along holds some pain for you. Every little thing seems to be exaggerated. You sometimes say and do things that blow your cover and alert people that things inside you might not be as wonderful as you are trying to portray. There's the loss of self-confidence, feelings of inadequacy, regret, grief, guilt... all seem to be in the mix. It's hard to focus on anything but the desperation and hopelessness you are trying to push back into the depths of the abyss that it's escaping from.
There's a physical aspect to depression as well. It can manifest itself as burning in your chest and under your arms, a feeling of muscles tightness around your throat and face. Legs may feel paralyzed and it almost hurts to move. I's a physical manifestation of what your brain is doing. You can power through it sometimes, even though it can be a monumental task just to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. You may experience lethargy, and are prone to making mistakes.
Jon Dough was a great talent! He could act and perform as well or better than most men in the Industry. I met him in the talent-only 12 step recovery meetings, using the 12 steps outlined by Alcoholics Anonymous, that were held at AIM. I've been clean and sober since April 7, 1985, and was helping run the meetings there. Jon would share about how great it was to be clean again and ride his bike off-road on trails. Then one day his wife, also talent, found he had hung himself in the closet. Not even his close friend, Randy Spears, knew he was so depressed. Was his illness triggered by coming off his drug of choice? Did he fall off the wagon? Regardless, it was a devastating blow for all who knew him.
Some depression is caused by drugs, and some people self-medicate with drugs. Marijuana is commonly used for self-medication. It's the least harmful drug you can self-medicate with and even has some benefits. It also can, at times, CAUSE depression. Alcohol is the least helpful drug you can self-medicate with! It's absolutely destructive! But no matter what you take to alleviate the pain, it always comes back to haunt you when the drug wears off.
This is not a new problem. Let's not forget, Shyla Stylez, Cal Jammer, Amber Rain, and Yurizan Beltran who were friendly, interesting, and apparently battling their own demons. Others who stand out in my mind are Savannah, Megan Leigh, Shauna Grant, Angela Devi, Olivia Lua and Olivia Nova. If you don't know the names here Google them.
There are so many more who have succumbed to suicide because of depression, and there are those around us right now who need help to beat it before it beats them.
Depression is a constant torment. It can be different for every individual, but we should all share the pain. There are too many people I know who suffer behind a mask of wellness. I'm sure there are even more who I'm not aware of who hide it well. I don't know what can be done. However, if anyone out there relates to anything in this article and feels it hits close to home, please confide in someone. We can all help each other.