Therese Borchard – Depression Is Conquerable

Therese BorchardTherese J. Borchard was the author of the blog “Beyond Blue” on, and is the founder of Project Hope & Beyond, a program of Psych Central Community Connection.

The site says “PHB is an online community for persons with unrelenting depression and anxiety, as well as their families and friends who want to better understand them.

“Its purpose is to offer support and hope to people whose conditions are lasting or difficult to treat, those who often fall through the cracks of today’s healthcare system.”

She notes, “Here’s the video I made that talks about ‘Getting Through the Rough Spots.’ I hope it’s helpful for you… whatever your obstacle du jour is.”

Getting Through the Rough Spots

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Writer Amy Sullivan interviewed Borchard about her book Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes.

Here are some excerpts from the article :

The story you tell is very raw and can’t have been easy to share. What made you decide to write this book?

I didn’t write it for about 18 years because I thought that writing about your own life was self-indulgent. But then I thought about what kept me going through the darkest days, reading memoirs by other people who have struggled with depression — Kay Redfield Jamison, Anne Lamott — and who emerged even stronger and more capable.

When you’re in the midst of depression, that’s the scariest thing — it seems that you’re going to feel like that forever. The pain created by depression kills almost 1 million people a year. It almost killed me, and it did kill my aunt.

If I can give just one person hope that there’s an end to depression, that it is treatable, then that made it worth it for me to write the book.

You argue that depression is still stigmatized in a way that physical illnesses aren’t. Have you experienced that?

Yes. People judged me when I was in such pain. They would lecture about how if I just ate organically or meditated this way or went to yoga more often, I’d be fine. When I tried medication, people on the holistic side told me I was copping out, taking happy pills.

And when I focused on yoga, people on the other side warned me against doing anything in Eastern medicine.

What advice do you have for people in the midst of depression right now?

Get enough sleep. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Exercise: it has an antidepressant effect. I’m not going to be like Tom Cruise and say you won’t need antidepressants if you exercise, but it is enough for some people.

And watch what you eat. For sugar sensitive people — which many depressives are — sugar can be like a drug.

But the No. 1 thing is to have hope. It’s hard to believe it when you’re struggling, but depression does go away. William Styron says, “It is conquerable.”

If it wasn’t, everybody who is depressed would commit suicide. I had to keep reminding myself of that when I was on my 23rd medication combination.

From Therese Borchard on Overcoming Depression, TIME magazine.

[Therese Borchard photo is from her Facebook page.]

[See more videos by Therese Borchard.]



Therese Borchard is mentioned in my post (and related video): You’re crazy. Or maybe not.

For more about diet and mood challenges, see the article Confession: Anxiety Cause Revealed, by Jen Crippen – which includes a link to her book on the topic.