Stuart Walker was finally ready to tell his story on depression. Here’s what Dr. Margaret Rutherford found out.
“I’m ready to tell my story. It’s time.”
That’s what I heard from Stuart Walker, owner of Clubhaus Fitness. A tall, muscular guy with a boisterous laugh and incredibly busy schedule.
He knew I was working on Perfectly Hidden Depression. Had listened to me talk about how the stigma against mental illness that remains in our culture keeps people from seeking treatment. My curiosity about what other factors keep folks from considering help. Or even thinking of themselves as depressed.
He wanted to help. By revealing what was underneath the beaming smile and bright welcome he gives to all who walk through the doors of his gym. What dark thoughts could kidnap his mind after working tirelessly as a dad to three kids (one with autism, a second with severe medical problems). As a boss to hundreds of employees. As a supportive coach to those trying to tighten abs or shed a few. As a husband who didn’t have much left to give. And felt guilty about it.
How he came very close, on a daily basis, to ending his life.
He, in many ways, epitomized Perfectly Hidden Depression. Looking like he had the world by the tail on the outside. Hearing comments like, “I can’t believe how well you handle all the pressure you must be under. You and Missi (his wife) are incredible.”
Inwardly knowing the secret of his mental and emotional exhaustion.
Until he finally broke.
In a new series of videos on YouTube (available below), Stuart talks vividly and openly about the road from severe depression to new purpose.
His story is profound. It is universal.
It could be you. Or someone you love.
Stuart has found ways to revel in his life like never before. The struggles have not changed. Problems have not disappeared.
Not by a long shot.
He has worked extremely hard to get better. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. He and Missi took a long look at their relationship. Now are doing better than ever.
Stuart has found a way to cope with his condition. Accept it and go on living.
You can learn from him. If you open yourself to it.
That’s what he wants.
“Knowing that I have had some issues…. it would be cowardly for me not to share it.”
Stuart. Talking about feeling suicidal every day. And how he handled it.
Please consider seeking treatment if you recognize you are depressed. Or if others are suggesting to you that you seem more negative. That you aren’t participating the way you used to in things. If you are getting more irritable. You can’t tolerate things that used to be piece of cake. All of these could be signs that depression is a factor. It runs in families. Maybe your dad or your mom experienced it. Maybe a grandparent or an uncle.
You can talk to a doctor about potential medication. And/or look into therapy. Both can work together as a team.
Therapy is not all about sitting and talking. It’s about taking action. Changing your choices.
And your life.
***Note: Mr. Walker was a patient of mine in the past. It should be made clear that I did not approach him about being interviewed. It would have been unethical for me to do so. We discussed potential implications, after which he restated his desire and readiness, with the full support of his wife, Missi. I am sincerely grateful to both of them for sharing with all of us what is hard-earned wisdom.
Please share with others who may learn much from Stuart’s story! Let me know what you think by commenting! SUBSCRIBE in the gray box above and you will receive a free copy of my eBook, “Seven Commandments of Good Therapy”, a basic guide to choosing a potential therapist or how to evaluate the one you have. You can write privately as well: askdrmargaret@.
This article originally appeared on Dr. Margaret Rutherford.com