Anna, 28, Sydney is a writer, law graduate and environmentalist who was diagnosed with clinical depression during her first year at university, at 19 years of age.
“I was at college and I remember not connecting with anyone. After completing my studies, I would leave college at night and go for a run to the lake in Canberra where I would cry for hours and hours every night.
“I’ve always been a really positive, bubbly, extroverted person, but I no longer wanted to see people because I thought I was going to be a burden on them,” said Anna.
“I remember being on the bus one time and seeing a childhood friend with whom I’m really close. I ducked down in the seat so that she wouldn’t see me because I thought that I’d ruin her day because I was such a burden to everybody.”
Jodie is a married mother-of-two daughters with special needs who was diagnosed 10 years ago with depression when undergoing treatment for stage four profuse follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“Clinical depression is like a darkness – a black cloud that comes over your mind, spirit, and soul. It robs you of happiness and feelings of completeness, and removes everything that makes you happy. It feels a fog over your life.
“Depression takes away your ability to function normally in everyday life. So, I couldn’t cook, clean or look after my children when I had depression that was undiagnosed. I couldn’t make sense of what was going on in my mind,” Jodie said.
Both Anna and Jodie have a family history of mental illness, and believe genes could play a role in the cause of clinical depression. Both ladies have joined the Australian Genetics of Depression Study in the hope of finding better treatments, and ultimately a cure for clinical depression.
To join Anna and Jodie in the Australian Genetics of Depression Study today, head here: http://www.geneticsofdepression.org.au/