Hi, my name is Sam, and I have had Major Depressive Disorder and anxiety since I was 17. I am now 50, and wished there would have been someone to share with many years ago. My travels with depression started at 17 when my mother passed away, my father had passed 8 years earlier. I began to what the therapist called “self-medicate” in my late teens. Alcohol and drugs were my release. I worked and drank for 6 years when I finally decided my child was more important. It didn’t take the darkness away, but it did give me something to take my mind off my depression. My wife said I would go six months without talking. I didn’t understand it myself. After struggling through college, and one major breakdown, I thought I was better. I continued to worsen into a darkness I did not understand. I began to research anything I could find, educating myself and trying to educate others. They said the typical things-just get over it and why are you depressed. Not being shy about my depression and anxiety, I found many people that were just as afraid as I used to be. With my openness, I have helped a few get help and not to be afraid. I am a school teacher, and my colleagues that don’t understand, don’t take me seriously, but that is alright. I am open with my students, hoping I can help some that are or will be dealing with mental illness. They are more supporting than the adults. I am still struggling, looking for the newest treatments, but I will survive! The most important thing, TAKE CHARGE OF YOURSELF. I would have gotten nowhere unless I had pressured the doctors to help me. Research! That is how I found BC2M. Thank you for letting me tell just part of the story.