On April 29, 2005, Cherie's sister Shawna - a 34-year-old mother of five - committed suicide. Shawna was beautiful, musically gifted and generous of heart. Cherie and Shawna were only 2 years apart in age, and saw each other daily as they exchanged children back and forth, scrapbooked, and shared laughs and stories. Shawna, through her smiles, carried a burden too great for her family to understand. For years she struggled through cycles of a painkiller addiction and recovery, and cycles of mania and depression in her Bipolar illness. Trying to put her death (and her life) in perspective continues to be both emotionally devastating and in many ways, spiritually motivating. In Cherie's words: "The last thing I would ever want is for any woman or her family to go through what our family has with the loss of Shawna. We lost her, truthfully, many years before she took her life. Shawna never believed or internalized how truly beautiful she really was, no matter how many people tried to convince her. And there were many. The greatest tragedy in all of this is the void she left on this planet when her light went out."
Shawna's Story: A Tribute Movie
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If you would like some assistance with helping to identify some of the causes of your depression -or- with supporting a loved one in their illness, please consider scheduling a "POWER HOUR" Session with Cherie (click here for more info)
Resources & Help
A note from Cherie:
I believe that depression is an illness -a plague of our day, if you will- that can be cured only through thoughtfully treating the INDIVIDUAL, case by case. What our doctors and pharmaceutical companies (and many books by well-meaning specialists) are trying to do is treat depression through methods and drugs that appeal to the masses. It cannot be treated this way! I strongly feel that the "basis" of what is causing depression is very, very different for each individual woman. For one woman, the illness may have been created largely through her physical DNA or brain chemistry...a purely physiological "organic" issue. For another, the illness may have roots in negativity, dark thinking patterns, fear or poor coping skills. For another, profound spiritual blockages from receiving light, and for another insufficient nutritional absorption or lack of movement. For most, it is a combination of all of the above...and then some. Depression is multi-faceted. It's an emotional issue, a physical issue, a mental issue and a spiritual issue.
Many people come to me who are truly SUFFERING. They are either depressed themselves or are concerned about a loved one. While I only hold an undergraduate degree in Psychology and am NOT a licensed therapist, I have been able to help women heal from depression. Through my 12-week Ooperation Wholeness Transformation Program, and some professionals and alternative therapists I outsource to, there is HOPE! I can test you for what you SPECIFICALLY need to overcome this life-threatening and debilitating disease. Please email me at email@example.com if you are interested in receiving more information or insight.
Here is some insight from my book, Where Depression Ends:
When someone you know is depressed, it is important to be supportive and nonjudgmental. You don't need to give solutions; simply listen. Try not to take the person's behavior personally, and try to remember that his or her depression is not your fault.
Find out whether or not there are support groups in your community, and assist the person in locating a competent professional (including- and especially- "alternative" therapists) who will provide treatment recommendations. From there, encourage your friend or loved one to self-advocate, and continue to extend your love and support.
Patronizing or "babying" the depressed person only enables the avoidance of treatment and allows an escape from the responsibility of working to get better.
If the depressed person is YOU, then do the same things: find resources and professional help, and try to do for yourself what you would do for a friend or family member in that same situation.