Jason Davis selfie
This is me. Taken at my home in Tucson, Arizona.

More than half of the U.S. population will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lives. In any given year, roughly one in five people experience mental illness.

I am one of those people. I've lived with mental illness most of my life, from undiagnosed childhood struggles to my first formal treatments in 1999 to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 2008.

Very few people know about this. Mental illness loathes the light. It prefers to lurk in the shadows, hidden from friends, family members, coworkers, and others who might misunderstand or judge us. 

In 2022 my symptoms got so severe that I couldn't hide them any longer. I spent a month in residential treatment and two more as an outpatient. My life fell apart, and it took a team of mental health professionals and a lot of hard work to slowly put it back together. 

I will never be cured. I must be forever mindful of my current physical and mental state, and take corrective actions to keep my mood regulated. 

I'm a trained journalist and a science writer who learns by researching and writing, so I'm starting Pleasant But Depressed as a way to share my story and shine a light on mental illness. If just one person is positively affected by something I’ve written, it will be worthwhile.

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A journey through mental illness with Jason Davis, described by one doctor as a "pleasant but very depressed gentleman."


Jason Davis
Science writer living in Tucson, Arizona. "A pleasant but very depressed gentleman," according to one doctor's evaluation notes.