I have so much respect for the two women featured in my story tonight. They agreed to talk about their ugliest moment -- while the television camera was rolling.
Depression attacked each of these women, in different forms. Beth Anderson was pregnant with her third child when it happened. All of a sudden, a repressed memory from her childhood began to haunt her. It was something she had never dealt with. In the end, she had a nervous break down and had to be hospitalized -- for a month.
Gina Taylor seemed to have the perfect life (then again, what is a perfect life, really?). Well, she definitely had a lot going for her: A great husband, healthy, beautiful kids. Not to mention a fabulous career. Gina is a morning radio host here in Phoenix (now on Mix 96.9). Despite all of this, she suddenly felt her fabulous life spinning out of control. The thing is, Gina had no clue that she was suffering from postpartum depression. She couldn't figure out why ... all of a sudden... she was so sad, so detached, so irritated with life.
Then all of the anxiety came crashing to the surface. She nearly ran off the freeway when it happened. That was the moment. The "I NEED HELP RIGHT NOW" moment. She reached out to a doctor (her gynecologist and then eventually a therapist). And she began to emerge from what she calls "the dark cloud".
Her marriage was lost in all of this, but her life was saved. Today she and her ex-husband are great friends. And she is a great mother.
I don't pretend to know what it's like to battle depression. But I can say that I respect these women for wanting to get better. For wanting to be healthy for their kids.
The psychologist I interviewed for this story said as many as 80% of people who suffer from depression go without treatment. That is a lot of unhappy people. The doctor also pointed out, while people have no power over being depressed -- because this is a bio-chemical disorder -- they do have power over how long they choose to stay there. Under that dark cloud.
The women I interviewed chose to get better. Beth spent a month in the hospital and has been working to remain healthy ever since (it has been about 15 years). Gina spent years in counseling and on medication and, subsequently, turned to exercise to help keep her healthy and happy. Both women took control of their lives. They didn't allow themselves to be victims. And for that, I give them both the upmost respect.
The story airs tonight at 5:00. If you miss it, you can check it out online.
I hope this story inspires other women to get help... if they need it. Sadly, so many women don't put themselves on "the list". They do so much for everyone else, friends and family, neighbors and co-workers, but they fail to make sure that they are truly happy.