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“The Greatest Views Come After the Hardest Climb.”

Hide the tears. Fake a smile. Pray to die.  If you have ever had a major depressive episode, you probably recognize the routine.  It is my deepest desire that you never go there again, and it is the intention of this site to help you prevent it.

The first depression I can remember came when I was 9 years old.  I can try to recall circumstances that may or may not have triggered it, but the truth is, it doesn’t matter.  Right now, there are people living in the most wretched conditions who still find daily joy and peace, and there are people living with every conceivable blessing who can’t.  Depression doesn’t discriminate, and it operates from the inside out, not the outside in.

When you’re depressed, though, you can’t see the internal nature of the disease, so you believe that you are just reacting rationally to circumstance.  I had about 4 or 5 more episodes during the next 15 years, with one manic in between, but when I wasn’t in them, I thought it curious that they didn’t seem to coincide with the ups and downs of my life.

When I fell into the hole again at 25, though, my life was as perfect as I could have ever imagined.  I had married the love of my life, and we were spending our first year of marriage living in Puerto Rico, in an apartment overlooking the ocean, working at jobs that we loved.  It was an idyllic existence.

When it came, 6 months in, it was like a cloud of fog covered everything around me.  I could no longer see the beauty of the island.  Even the ocean that always brought me peace was suddenly dark and angry.  I was up night after night tearing myself apart.  My work suffered, and so did my husband.  But nothing around me had changed.  It was all inside my head.

What I am looking for is inside of me

If you think back and compare the times when you were depressed to the times when you weren’t, you too will likely notice that the external circumstances of your life had generally not changed.

If you think back and compare the times when you were depressed to the times when you weren’t, you too will likely notice that the external circumstances of your life had generally not changed.

When I finally emerged from that episode, I knew for sure that the bully was in my brain, not out in the world, and I had to get it out.  It was either him or me.  So I studied. I read hundreds of books on beating depression and anxiety –  motivational, spiritual, nutritional, physical, psychological, medical, scientific, philosophical, new age – anything I could get my hands on.  I took classes, I listened to tapes and talks.  I interviewed others who had seemed to tame their bullies.  As a result, I have tried hundreds of strategies to prevent, fight and recover from depression and anxiety. The cumulative knowledge from this obsession helped me to manage my emotions and keep the depression at bay (mostly) for almost 25 years.  It was not easy, but the results were dramatic, and the effort was worth it.

Like most of you, I have led a double life.  Most people, even many close to me, do not know about my struggles.  It’s nearly impossible for someone who has not experienced depression to comprehend it, and the feelings of shame in the face of judgment (whether real or imagined) are oppressive.  For years, I promised myself that I would use what I learned to help other people chase the bullies from their heads as I did.  But time kept passing, and I never got up the nerve.

Then, last year, my 25-year remission from depression ended.  Some part of me knew it was coming, but it had been so long. I thought I was immune, and I had stopped doing what I knew to do. The taunts were faint at first. But the more I ignored them, the louder they grew, and before I knew it, I was spiraling down into the familiar hole.

First came denial.  “It’s nothing.  I’m just stressed.  I’ll feel better as soon as ….”

Then disbelief.  “How can this have happened”? “I had it under control”!

Then Panic!   “I was wrong”!  “I can’t beat it”!  

And finally, despair.  “I’ve been lying to myself”! “It’s been there all along.”  “I’ve never really been happy”!

Before I knew it, I was so deep in the muck that I no longer recognized it for what it was.  It was just me.  By then, I couldn’t remember how to fight it, and I didn’t believe it would work anyway.

It took me almost a year to get back to myself, and the episode was a harsh reminder of what can happen when you take your mental health for granted.  Like everything else, I believe it happened for a reason.  I believe it was the kick in the butt that I needed to remind me of my promise.

So here I am.  On this site, you will find concrete strategies that you can use to live a happy, joyful life, free from the rantings of the bully (mostly).  I’m doing it for you, but I am also doing it for me.  Sometimes we need a reminder to do what we know to do.  And sometimes, we can use a little extra support and encouragement.

So let’s get started!  Take My 10 Day Challenge, and get ready to begin!

P.S. Please keep in touch in the comments so that we can support, encourage, and learn from each other.  I want to hear from you!

 

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"Jill is the real deal when it comes to owning your feelings with active depression. She takes a positive twist on viewing anxiety, depression, and panic through research, compassion, and humor. If you do her 10-day challenge you won’t be disappointed and you will be on the road ready to navigate new roads and pathways in your mind with a clean engine ready to travel to any place you want to go. No GPS required."

Marsha M.

"Jill Gould combines firsthand experience and intelligence with wisdom and compassion that is rarely seen in the world today.  Whether you need advice, support, absolution (in a secular way of course) or just someone to listen in a non-judgmental way, she is your go-to person.  I cannot think of anyone I would have on my side!"

Robert M.

"Jill is supportive, responsive, and comforting.  Talking with Jill is like talking with an old friend."

Susan F.

"Jill is my go-to person for any problems or issues in my life.  She is always there ready and willing to listen and it is the quality of her listening and the depth and quality of her advice that really sets her effectiveness apart.  She listens without judgment and is fully engaged and present in the conversation.  Her insight and wisdom are incredible and she is always spot on with the advice and understanding.   Her warmth, kindness, and compassion make you feel comfortable and safe to share your deepest concerns.  I cannot recommend her highly enough.  You will be lucky and privileged to have her shoulder to lean on for advice, comfort, and support."

Jackie B.

"Jill is a phenomenal coach, friend, and confidante. She listens with great care, empathy, and compassion and has a keen sense for what is really going on—beyond your words. Once she’s made sense of all you are reaching for (or away from), she helps you find clearest, easy-to-follow path for getting where you want to go.  I recommend her to anyone who needs a shoulder, an ear, or a path out."

-Beth B.

Jill Gould is a Mental Health Mentor who helps people take their lives back from depression and anxiety.  She is certified in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Life, Happiness, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Coaching.

In her other life, Jill is an attorney, recruiter, entrepreneur and author, all of which take second place to her roles as wife to the love of her life, mother to two wonderful grown & happy children, and servant to two mini-dachshunds.

Jill’s life and family are a testament to the fact that with the right strategies and support, you can move beyond depression and live the life of your dreams.  More about Jill

Disclaimer

The information contained herein is not intended as a substitute for medical or mental health care.  Medication, therapy, and/or other treatments may be indicated.  If you suffer from depression or anxiety, or any other mental health issue, please...  Read Full Disclaimer
Copyright © 2018 Tame Your Brain

Jill Gould is a Mental Health Mentor who helps people take their lives back from depression and anxiety.  She is certified in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Life, Happiness, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Coaching.

In her other life, Jill is an attorney, recruiter, entrepreneur and author, all of which take second place to her roles as wife to the love of her life, mother to two wonderful grown children, and servant to two mini-dachshunds.

Jill’s life and family are a testament to the fact that with the right strategies and support, you can move beyond depression and live the life of your dreams.  More about Jill

Disclaimer

The information contained herein is not intended as a substitute for medical or mental health care.  Medication, therapy, and/or other treatments may be indicated.  If you suffer from depression or anxiety, or any other mental health issue, please consult a mental health professional. Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice because of information you have read on this website. Do not start or stop taking any medications without speaking to a medical or mental health physician.  Read Full Disclaimer

Copyright © 2018 Tame Your Brain