Debbie was raising four children, working 12-hour days, and doing all the cooking and housekeeping.
"I was unhappy, crying, and my house was dirty. I'd try to cope by doing just a little bit more," Debbie says.
"Needless to say, it unraveled."
She healed through months of therapy.
"I felt guilty for feeling bad," she says. "I walked into the therapist's office crying, mute. I felt as if no one heard me."
In therapy she revealed past abuse. She explored the trauma of living with alcoholic parents. "I would show up in my most neurotic state, and he'd say, 'How natural that you feel that way.' "
With her counselor, who was also a minister, she felt safe to examine everything about her life. Debbie wrote for hours in her journal and would drop off pages for her therapist to read between sessions. She stayed in therapy for 18 months.
"It's by grace I escaped being in a hospital. They just didn't get ahold of me," she says laughing.
Now a writer and motivational speaker, Debbie promotes a holistic message of self-recovery.
"People can and do recover," she says.
Debbie's story reflects her experiences as told in an interview. The photograph is not of Debbie, to protect her privacy.
For more information, see the topic Depression.
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Current as ofDecember 7, 2017
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.