National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Women and Depression True Life Story

Strength and Courage

by Alice Davidson Clark

Alice Clark

How could I know that major depressive disorder would change the course of my life? How could such a merciless mental illness show me the purpose of my life? Challenges keep coming and going in my life and I keep fighting my way back with strength and courage.

I believe that I am one of the lucky ones. The right diagnosis, the right medications, the right doctor, the right therapist and the right treatment plan came together at the right time to save me.

Depression robbed me of everything I cared about. My dignity, my self-esteem, my career, my sanity, my home, my car, my insurance, my money, my dog and most of all, my family.

I lost hope and felt worthless. It was impossible to smile or feel happy about anything. The rest of the world seemed very far away, and I did not want to be a part of it anymore.

Finally, a doctor listened to me and my pain. She made an appointment with a psychiatrist for me and my life started to change. During my first intake session, I held my head down and never looked up to see the people asking me questions.

I started taking medication that day and about eight weeks later I started therapy. My journey to recovery started in 1998.

Today, in 2009, my life is full and happy. I am an active participant in my recovery. My doctor has a plan for me and I work hard to stay healthy. I found my purpose in life is sharing my story and volunteering to help others with their struggle.

Major depressive disorder changed my life's direction, but I have decided the course I will take to win the fight against mental illness. Treatment works!