Internal Communications Specialist, National Geographic Society
Living with anger and depression

Zane Landin has been challenged by anger and depression for most of his life, but does not let that stop him from working as an Internal Communications Specialist at the National Geographic Society, meeting the U.S. President, graduating from Cal Poly Pomona and becoming a professional speaker focusing on mental health, motivation, and organizations. Zane wants to be an example for other people to show that mental health conditions aren’t the traditional stereotypes. He is a person living his life, just like everyone else.   

Zane’s Story

How has your condition impacted your life?

I struggle to find motivation at times. I experience sadness much more frequently than I think others do. I have experienced feeling suicidal and that is a very troubling and scary feeling. I worry that the thoughts will come back because they appear when I am feeling really down. I never know when I will feel depressed. Sometimes, I just feel depressed, and I don’t know why. It can feel like a puzzle, and I am solving the reasons why I am depressed. Sometimes, they are deep and locked away. It is very exhausting at times.

When were you first aware of your condition and what was your most difficult time?

I’ve had anger and depression practically my whole life, beginning when I was a child. I started seeing a psychologist very early in my life.

What is your life like now and what does success and living well look like for you?

As they say, it is a constant battle. I have to remind myself when I am feeling down to reach out to my support system and tell them how I am feeling. Success is living with my condition and accepting it is a part of who I am. I am not here to avoid it but understand why I feel the way I do. I worry about being depressed for the majority of the time, but I continue persistently. I want to be an example for other people that mental health conditions aren’t the traditional stereotypes. We are people living our lives, just like everyone else. 

What help or specific strategies helped you to get well and move to stability?

I take breaks when I need them, talk to others, join support groups, listen to music, take myself out of a situation when it can become too triggering, and write in a journal.

What do you do to manage your condition and stay healthy on an ongoing basis?

Keeping myself busy with school and work helps. I am constantly looking for fun and creative projects that interest me. When it is becoming too much, I make sure I set a boundary for myself so I don’t experience burnout.

Are there positives that have come from having a mental health condition?

I believe there are. I am very much in tune with my emotions and can control them. I can help others when they experience these thoughts. I have become more sensitive to other people and their experiences.

How has your condition impacted your work and your career?

Sometimes when I get depressed, I may become sluggish with deadlines. I have been fortunate my employers have been understanding. It has impacted where I want to work. I do not want to work for a company that doesn’t care about mental health and wellness. I need to work in an environment where there is a strong culture of care and understanding.

What words of encouragement would you give to someone struggling with a condition similar to yours?   

It is a constant battle, but it will get better. It takes time, but it can feel great when you reach that point–not necessarily happiness but understanding towards yourself and your condition.

What motivated you to join The Stability Network?

I absolutely love the mission of The Stability Network. There is such movement for mental health today, and I am incredibly excited to see organizations like The Stability Network stepping up for this community. I am also becoming a professional speaker focusing on mental health, motivation, and organizations. I think this is a good first step for me to understand what that means.

What resources have helped and/or inspired you on your journey?

Active Minds, Sources of Strength, and the television show Degrassi have really helped me with my mental health.