We're adrenaline junkies. Our mouths water at the sound of breaking news. It's a thrilling and extremely stressful environment where you're tested over and over again. You're expected to get on air the quickest, have the most information, communicate flawlessly and be extremely accurate. If you succeed, there's no better feeling. If you mess up, it will weigh on you. We're go-getters, people pleasers and perfectionists.

It was in this world that I fell into a deep depression.

By nature I thrive on success. And I care a lot. My former co-workers (in Washington DC especially) can tell you how intensely I cared about the product, and how much it destroyed me when things went wrong.

When I got to Philadelphia I began working overnights for the second time in my broadcast career. It's kind of a right of passage. You all band together to get through this horrific shift. And some people (not I) thrive with those hours. After working for a few months at CBS in Philadelphia, I began to fall into a dark place. I was getting sick from the hours, I missed my friends in DC and I honestly wasn't sure what my place was at this new station.

I've been told a few times that I'm not the only one in the industry to deal with this. And I believe it. In fact, I know others who have recently struggled with similar problems. I've also been told that this is just the industry, and that the expectations for employees and levels of stress are only increasing.

So what do we do? Why is this industry only asking more of employees who are already overworked and tired? Of course, there are the reporters and producers who thrive in this environment. I commend them, because honestly it makes me feel like a failure that I couldn't handle it.

The fact is I had a chemical imbalance and the warning signs of depression long before I moved to Philadelphia, and long before I got into broadcast news. So I shouldn't feel like a failure. But so much is expected of us. Combine stress, with bad hours and long work days with breaking news or weather and you've got a recipe for disaster. And honestly we don't talk about it. We don't talk about the problems within the industry because if you can't handle it, there's a million more young college grads willing to come and take your place. And they're not jaded yet. But really why don't we? It seems every day we're covering some tragic situation caused by someone suffering from mental illness. The last thing we need is to have to cover one of our own.

I'm lucky. My company covered me for medical leave. I got a chance to really start to heal. I have a long way to go, but I'm getting there. I am a single woman in her 20's without kids, and I make enough freelancing to pay the bills. But not everyone is as lucky as I am.

A former boss and mentor of mine told me that starting a conversation is important. That's exactly what I want to do. I created a blog called Food, the City and the Girl. It talks about my struggles with depression, anxiety and the eating disorder I developed. I hope some of what I've learned can help others.

And for what it's worth, I still LOVE news. I think it provides such a valuable service and I'm not against going back in the future. I just want us all to look at how we're treating our peers and make sure we're really paying attention to how the job is affecting them.

Published by Kara.E.Warr