Over the Edge and Back

As I reached my early twenties, I fell off a cliff. Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and given a life sentence of mental illness and medication, my great potential I’d heard so much about growing up seemed to all but disappear right before my eyes.

Over a five year period, I experienced three major depressive episodes and two major manic episodes. During my roll coaster ride I attempted suicide, got locked up in the mental hospital, twice. I lost my business, filed bankruptcy, missed my own wedding, suffered deep family betrayal and grieved the departure of many friends. I was immersed in the darkest night my soul and didn’t know if I’d ever emerge again.

During this time I traveled internally into the darkest depths of despair and the highest heights of mania while I externally visited 3 countries, 7 cities, and wandered homeless in San Francisco. All before embarking on my journey home, to wellness.

The Epidemic of Depression

Throughout the developed world, depression has become an epidemic. Millions of individuals are medicated to suppress the symptoms of depression. Many take part in psychotherapy and other treatments. Most remain affected, unable to find a way out of the despair. The medical and pharmaceutical industries focus mostly on treating symptoms of depression rather than finding the root cause and focusing on healing. Medications used to treat depression can have terrible side effects ranging from loss of appetite, weight gain, tremors, insomnia, mouth thrush and loss of libido, I have experienced them all.

During the height of my Bipolar, the depressive episodes were the worst. As I cycled between mania and depression, with each cycle, I became less hopeful of ever recovering. At my lowest point I realized that I could not endure another depressive episode. I would rather not have lived if I could not find my way out of the darkness surrounding me (link: startling statistics).

Finding the Light

For me, the most discouraging aspect of my illness was that I was given no hope of recovery. Doctors told me that my symptoms were treatable but not curable and I would need to get used to a life of medications, imbalance and uncertainty. For me, that was not an option. Together with the help of a vast support network, I was able to build a new life for myself and begin living, free of medications and asymptomatic of bipolar. To stop the swinging pendulum of my moods and re-set my internal compass, I had to make a plan and think myself well.

I crawled out of my own cave and into the light. Now, I want to share my story of descent and recovery, offering hope to those seeking it.

The Depression Project

Writing an account of my journey meant re-living each experience. It was almost as agonizing the second time through as the first! Out of my writing, I found healing, and great compassion for those who are traveling this road. I want to make a difference by sharing my story and helping others find a way out of the darkness and into the light.

I believe it’s the birthright of all people to find peace, live without fear and find a joyful expression of their highest dreams.

My first book; Madness, Mania & Miracles has been the catalyst for starting, The Depression Project. Our mission is to rid the world of depression one connection at a time. I invite you to join the conversation at www.thedepressionproject.com.

Anna Miller
The Depression Project

Author's Bio: 

Anna Miller is an inspiring leader and organizational development expert. With years of experience designing human performance and development systems in all areas of business across multiple industries, Anna is recognized for her dynamic delivery style and consistent results. Never satisfied with a cookie-cutter approach, Anna thrives by enabling her clients to realize their full potential, tap their creativity and engage in their own and their organization’s success.

As an architect of corporate talent management systems, Anna will quickly assess a company’s current challenges and recommend a path to success with each individual’s contribution in mind. Lead by years of experience in training design and delivering on communication excellence, relationship dynamics and human potential as well as a desire for people to excel in all areas of life, she is often recognized by her clients for achieving success where others have failed.

Never would you imagine Anna is a woman who was once diagnosed with bipolar, depression and anxiety. Having transformed her own world, and led others to do the same for decades, 2008 marked the year she launched her story, Madness, Mania and Miracles. This book is a springboard to her larger mission: to rid the world of depression by focusing on what works. So named, ‘The Depression Project’, Anna is expanding her consulting business (Higher State Technology, LLC) to facilitate the launch of this personal calling.