Depression does not make a distinction of rich or poor, man, woman or child, yet it can have the same tragic outcome: suicide. However depression is treatable and people can experience the fullness of life. As an example, we offer the story of one of our clients, Elizabeth. (Shared with permission. We’ve changed the name and identifying details to protect privacy.)
If you saw Elizabeth today, you would see a beaming mother of two little boys, embracing the joy and challenges of a growing family along with her husband. But it wasn’t always that way. Life was bleak for Elizabeth.
Elizabeth has suffered anxiety and depression since she was a young girl, starting therapy in third grade. Her fears were so dark she didn’t know if she would succeed in school, enter the workforce or continue to live. Psychiatric medication helped curb her mental anguish yet after she married she faced an impossible choice: having children or maintaining health. Elizabeth imagined her life with prescription medication would hurt the baby, and her life without meds might end.
Elizabeth came to the Center during this time of grave discernment. She met with a licensed counselor and the Center’s psychiatry physician assistant (PA). They all worked together to create a treatment plan. Elizabeth learned that there are safe medication options, if she and her husband decided to start a family. They did, and Elizabeth’s clinical team walked with them every step of the way.
The children are now one and three years old. Elizabeth is a working mother and tends to her self-care. Elizabeth continues treatment with her psychiatry PA and speaks fondly of her: “She tells me ‘happy, healthy mommy means happy, healthy baby.’”
Elizabeth is one of more than 4,000 individuals assisted annually at the Center. Approximately 35 percent of our clinical clients utilize a sliding pay scale, thanks to generous donations.
“They told me I wasn’t alone,” said Elizabeth about her clinical team. “They said I wasn’t the only one who experiences this.”