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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Aug 2, 2021

With New York Times Bestselling Author, Heather Armstrong


Did you know that one in four adults in the United States suffers from depression? Depression rates among teenagers and children are on the rise as well. The events of the past 18 months have put us all on edge, leading to feelings of fear, uncertainty, and grief. For many of us, these feelings were temporary but for those battling clinical depression, their symptoms became almost paralyzing and severely compromised their day-to-day life. What are the symptoms of depression and when is it serious enough to get help?


If excessive worrying, feelings of sadness, and difficulty concentrating are accompanied by an inability to eat, sleep, or function normally, then it might be time to seek professional help. My guest today understands this battle all too well. Heather Armstrong is the New York Times bestselling author of The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live. When I interviewed Heather in June of 2019, Heather shared the story of her battle with depression that led her to a clinical trial which left her clinically brain dead for several minutes. She described what led her to such an extreme treatment, as well as how to know when it’s time to seek professional help, as well as how to support others who might be struggling with depression. 


What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • What was Heather’s education and career path?
  • How did Heather meet her husband?
  • When did Heather first recognize signs of depression in her life?
  • Who in Heather’s family also battles depression and anxiety?
  • What is it like living with crippling depression?
  • How does Heather recognize the signs and symptoms of depression?
  • Does exercise help combat depression?
  • What role did Heather’s family play in supporting her?
  • What medication helped Heather the most?
  • How did Heather voluntarily die 10 times?
  • Did Heather find new love while battling her depression?
  • What is ECT treatment and how does it “reset” the brain?
  • How long was Heather in the hospital, and who took care of her family?
  • Heather reveals her experience with depression since her treatment.
  • How does Heather aid her children with their depression?
  • Heather’s advice for supporting someone with depression.


Today’s Takeaway:

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, it’s important to realize that help is available. New medications and treatments are being developed all the time. After years of struggling, Heather finally found a treatment that worked for her, but every person is different and what works for one person might not be right for you. Keep searching until you find the best treatment for your symptoms. Your best solution could still be out there. Whatever you try, remember that every single day is a gift. When you’re at your lowest point, I hope you can remember that this too shall pass and there is a tomorrow. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out and pick up the phone. Help is only a phone call away. Call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Don’t wait until it’s too late.



“I was very depressed as a child, I just never expressed it outwardly.” — Heather Armstrong


“I had resigned myself to the idea that I was never going to want to live or be happy.” — Heather Armstrong


“I really do think that getting better through this treatment is what opened my heart to my new love.” — Heather Armstrong

Brought to You By:

Florine Mark

Mentioned in This Episode: 

Heather B. Armstrong

The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live, by Heather Armstrong