Randy Keho, 60. I was diagnosed with clinical depression in 1992.
I found myself in a no-win situation. My wife and my mother were always at odds with each other. They had opposing views on parenting, among other things, and my mother was becoming very vocal about it. As a result, my wife began pressuring me to tell her to mind her own business. There was no pleasing both of them at the same time.
On top of that, my position as the city editor of a daily newspaper was becoming more and more stressful. The mounting stress in my personal life was making it increasingly difficult to focus on my job. I finally broke down and was admitted to a mental health facility, where I spent nearly a month.
Ironically, I had visited this particular mental health facility while researching a three-part series I had written for the newspaper. A former patient had walked in off the street and sat down in my office to tell me his story in hopes that it would help others. The final part of the series focused on the availability of mental health facilities in the area, which led me back to this facility when I required assistance. Unfortunately, it has long since been closed.
It no longer impacts my daily life, which is the result of the counseling I received from one particular mental health professional. Ironically, the counselor was married to a classmate of mine from college and had worked with my now ex-wife.
I had initially been told that I would have to remain on an anti-depressant for the rest of my life. I tried a couple of different ones, but hated the way they made me feel. My counselor friend, however, considered medication to be a crutch and encouraged me to become more aware of my thoughts when confronted by situations that could trigger a depressive episode. As a result, I’ve been medication free for more than 25 years. It’s not a cure. But, it allows me to live a fairly normal life. Whatever that is?