Home  >  Carol LeBeau  >  Carol's Health Journal | 03. May 2010

Mental Health Support

03. May 2010

May is Mental Health Awareness Month… a time to focus on those who suffer from any of a variety of mental illnesses and disorders. That’s great! But I’d also like to give a shout out to all of you who support loved ones battling mental illness. I know it can be a challenge.

My husband, Tom, is a chronically happy man. He wakes up happy every morning, stays happy all day long, and falls asleep with a smile on his face. As someone who fights the “blues,” I often find Tom’s non-stop good cheer annoying. But years ago, when the dark cloud of clinical depression descended on me, I was grateful for his strength and positive outlook.

Initially, Tom tried to cheer me up. But as I fell deeper into the black hole of depression, he realized we were dealing with something a walk on the beach or funny movie couldn’t fix. As I became paralyzed with panic and despair, my concerned husband took action.

At my first appointment with a board-certified psychiatric physician, Tom was there. He alerted my boss, took over all my responsibilities at home and helped monitor my response as I experimented with several different anti-depressant medications. He was a rock.

A man who had never known a depressed day in his life allowed for the possibility that just because he’d never experienced what I was going through, didn’t make it any less real.

Three weeks after treatment with the medication that worked for me, the light returned. I stepped outside and was overwhelmed with pleasant sensations… the warmth of the sun, the fragrance of the fresh air and the beauty of the bright, blue sky. My ability to feel joy had returned. And Tom was there.

So for all of you “Toms” out there… thank you for caring. Thank you for your love and compassion. And thank you mostly for accepting the way your loved one is hurting, even if you don’t understand.

Join me and Palomar Health for a free class – Embracing Your Emotional Health

I will host two classes with Palomar Health psychiatrists Irinel Chiriac, M.D., and Marina Katz, M.D. It will be an intimate, small-group discussion addressing common behavioral health issues facing women of all ages. This class is limited to 20 registrants, with two available dates. To register, call the HealthSource at 800.628.2880.

Wednesday, May 26
10:30 a.m. to Noon
Pomerado Outpatient Pavilion
First Floor, Education Classroom
15611 Pomerado Road
Poway, CA 92064

Wednesday, August 18
6 to 7:30 p.m.
Pomerado Outpatient Pavilion
First Floor, Education Classroom
15611 Pomerado Road
Poway, CA 92064

Fee: $10/person

Register for one of the classes.