Chronic stressful life situations can increase the risk of developing depression if you aren't coping with the stress well.  Carol Kivler, the author of the best selling book Will I Ever Be The Same Again, knows that for a fact! Carol was first diagnosed with a mental illness in 1990.  Since 1990, she has experienced both long periods of recovery and four acute episodes of depression, each time requiring hospitalization and additional ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) treatments.

In an interview with KSOO Radio, Carol says avoiding stress is essential to recovery from depression.  "Unfortunately, for people that have a mental health disorder, stress is  a trigger that can kick off an episode or down slide.  For me personally,  acupuncture and massage therapy have been beneficial.  Mental Illness like most illnesses is very individualized.  There are some commonalities, and there are some things we can do that can complement medical treatment."

Although it's difficult, Carol urges people suffering from depression or other mental health disorders to get help.  "The first step is the most important step.  You don't have to struggle alone.  You have nothing to be embarrassed about.  This is an illness.  Because of the stigma around mental illness, people struggle way to long than they need to.  There is help out there. With the right treatment, there is a brighter tomorrow.  The hopelessness that you feel today is temporary."