It takes an incredible amount of courage to step forward and tell the world – and your co-workers – that you once suffered from depression so disabling that you were unable to work and had to undergo electroconvulsive therapy. But Michigan legal assistant Angela Krikke is doing it so that others will know it’s okay to talk about mental illness and to ask for help.
The Grand Rapids Press reports that Krikke’s struggle with a debilitating level of depression started in 2006, after her son was born. Her own mother ended up caring for Krikke and her young son, while she suffered from paranoia and delusions, endured several hospitalizations, and tried intense courses of drug therapy that made her tired and weak.
Now successfully managing her depression and working full-time as a legal assistant again, Krikke is sharing her story as part of The Grand Rapids Press mental health series, Changing Our Minds. She urges anyone struggling with mental illness to seek assistance, and to persist until they find the right combination of treatment:
“Having a mental illness is not something someone brags about,” Krikke says, “but it doesn’t have to be a secret, either. You have to reach out to people and ask for help.
“Persistence and patience pays off,” she says. “The first thing isn’t always going to work. Maybe not the second or the third.”
Krikke told The Grand Rapids Press that she has her life back now. Practical Paralegalism gives her two thumbs up for sharing her own experience to help others struggling with mental illness take those necessary steps to get their lives back, too.