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"Reach out and seek help. Be honest about your illness with yourself and your family, friends, and colleagues."

About Keith Anderson:

I am a lawyer who had depression. I now write and speak on my journey through mental illness. I founded Worth Living Mental Health Consulting & Apparel to present my message of hope and inspiration. The words Worth Living come from my first public declaration about my depression, an article I wrote for the National Post in 2008, called  “How I Returned to a Life Worth Living”. I celebrate my life now.

Keith’s Story

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What was the major turning point in your recovery from depression?

I was diagnosed with severe depression on March 7, 2003. My career was gone as a result on March 11. I had a mental breakdown later that evening. Not my best week. But being diagnosed and then having a breakdown saved my life, as suicide was beginning to be a more regular consideration.  

What are some things that really helped?

Family

  • My immediate family – my mother, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew – all very supportive, understanding, and accepting.  

Therapy

  • I was fortunate that I could afford private therapy. I attended therapy once a week for two years, then monthly for two additional years. My doctor explained how my mind did and didn’t function due to depression.

My wanting to get well

  • Once I realized that I had an illness, I thought I had a second chance at a full life. For years, I thought I simply had a horrible life with no chance to change it. An illness was something I could address. I worked hard at recovery.

Volunteering

  • I made some  comments on the Facebook page of bringchange2mind. I was then invited to volunteer with the group. I met some wonderful people, learned a lot, and even got some trips. I have been with them since 2009.

What advice would you give to other guys fighting depression?

Accept that you have an illness. The words “mental illness” are not scary. You are not your illness, you have an illness. Reach out and seek help. Be honest about your illness with yourself and your family, friends, and colleagues.


This is a difficult comment, but you should expect some people not to accept that you have a mental illness. The stigma, or discrimination which is the word I prefer to use, is very prevalent. People will walk away from you, some will abandon you. Your own health is the focus though, ignore those who refuse to try to understand or accept your illness.

– Keith Anderson, lawyer and founder of WorthLiving based out of Nova Scotia, Canada facebookinsta twitter