Success Stories: How I Beat Depression

It’s normal to feel depressed every once in a while. Perhaps a loved one passed away, you lost a job, are recovering from an illness, or simply are facing an unexpected situation. When depression starts to affect your daily life – and the lives of those of others close to you – that’s when you need to seek help. Support groups are a great way to find help. There, you’ll discover that it is possible to beat depression. Hear the success stories below.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) maintains a list of support groups in every state, often taking place in libraries, clinics, churches, and other wellness centers. All meetings are welcoming and supportive of you and your family. Members of groups are welcome to share their stories and some also share their stories online. 

Through the ADAA’s website, patients share their stories of overcoming disorders including anxiety, depression, and more. Alexandra Lewicke writes There is no one cure for depression. But there is a cure for depression inside each and every one of us. The only problem is that you have to find it within yourself.” As a high schooler with depression, Lewicke’s teenage years were rough. After multiple breakdowns, it took one final attack of depression for her to realize that her life was worth living and that she would be leaving behind many loved ones who care deeply for her. Life has so much to offer, Lewicke asserts. Realizing that is what will keep you going. “Each and every one of us has our own personal cure for depression. The only way you will find yours is if you get out of bed and get out into the world. You may discover a new life, a new love, a new happiness. Giving up cannot be an option. Be grateful. Be happy.”

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation also shares stories of success, including that of Stephen Addlestone. A young graduate of law from Vanderbilt University when he first began to struggle with depression, Addlestone on the surface seemed to be quite happy with a new job and an engagement to his law school sweetheart. His depression lasted for 12 years. What pulled him through, he says, was the love of his family. He also credits the electroconvulsive therapy he received at Emory University Hospital with saving his life. A painless transmittal of electrical currents to the brain that causes a brief seizure, ECT is known to ease depression. It was this and, later, a mix of medications, that ultimately gave Addlestone the peace of mind that he had been missing. Addlestone now counsels others who are in similar situations. “There’s still a lot of stigma attached to mental illness,” he says, “and often people don’t seek treatment because they’re embarrassed at having a ‘weakness’ they don’t want to admit.”

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance is also a great outlet to find help. Colleen King admits that she was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, but found help through family and healthcare facilities. She says joining a study for the National Institutes for Mental Health gave her the opportunity to hear from others and to learn more about her disorders. Now a licensed therapist, she says that “educating myself, creating art, having very supportive family and friends and an outstanding professional treatment team helped me to stabilize.”

Every treatment is different just as every person is different. Find what’s right for you. Talk to a healthcare professional and seek out a support group today.