She understood me. She was the first person who did. The ruminating thoughts, the downward spiral, the world of horrors that was always a mutant breath away—she understood it all. And this woman, my first psychiatrist, prescribed a miracle pill to fix it all.
It was 1994 and medicating depression was not common yet. Not like it is today.
The late-night talk show hosts made Prozac jokes routinely. There was still a stigma, so I was selective about who I shared my condition with. But there might be a cure. There was hope! The psychiatrist—I can’t recall her name, there were so many over the years—confirmed that I had a chemical imbalance, and a little pill would solve it. Prozac was supposed to be a life raft in a sea of toxic thoughts.
That doctor’s visit marked a turning point for me, a significant milestone in my 17-year battle with depression.
I’ve learned a lot about mental illness on this journey as someone who suffered from mind-numbing anxiety and depression for nearly two decades. I’ve learned even more as someone who has experienced transformational healing from that despair.
If you or someone you know suffers from mental illness, I want to give you words of hope and words of healing.
This is what I wish people with mental illness knew:
Catherine Segars is an award-winning actress and playwright — turned stay-at-home-mother—turned author, speaker and blogger. She is dedicated to helping other women see their worth in a season when they often feel less-than.
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