When I sat down to write this article, I struggled with finding a topic. As I was thinking about different ideas, my mind seemed so preoccupied with thoughts of my brother who has been struggling with depression and anxiety for some time now. Over the past year, the severity of his depression escalated and I watched him fade into an almost unrecognizable form of himself. My brother, who was always so full of life, had progressed into a state of isolation filled with fear and anxiety. It was heartbreaking. My family and I felt so ill equipped to handle the level of depression that Mark was experiencing. Our “words of wisdom” to help comfort him seemed so futile. We knew that if he were to continue on this path, we would certainly lose him.

In researching different therapy options, we felt my brother would get the most benefit from an inpatient treatment center. There are four integrative mental health treatment centers in the U.S. and two of them just happen to be in Tucson. After much persuasion, we were able to get my brother out here and admitted. We were all so hopeful that this would be the place to help my brother get his life back.

I know depression can be very difficult to treat. I think that all too often doctors simply write a prescription and send you on your way. This was the case with my brother prior to coming to Tucson. For various reasons, he was bounced from one psychiatrist to the next with each one labeling him with a different diagnosis. With each new diagnosis, he was started on new medication. The cumulative effect of the different meds definitely took a toll. My brother was a perfect example of how damaging the wrong medication can be.

After three weeks of treatment, Mark’s amazing team of therapists has been able to unravel the ill effects of his prior care by getting him on the proper medication and utilizing alternative treatments. I am seeing glimpses of my brother that have been dormant for quite a while. He is able to think more clearly and his confidence is increasing. The “good days” are starting to outnumber the bad ones. This has been a very long road for Mark and for our family. I know that his journey is far from over, but I feel he is on the right track now that he is receiving the care he so desperately needed.

I wanted to share this with you because depression is so prevalent in our society today. Our bodies are weighed down by so many burdens and sometimes that feeling can be overwhelming. We can easily lose sight of the incredible gift of being exactly who we are and where we are in our life. If you are struggling, you are not alone. Know that we all struggle. Open your heart to self compassion and let it transform you. Release the burdens and simply take a moment to be grateful for how amazing you already are. Celebrate your life everyday….you just may find that it turns out to be the best day ever 🙂