How to Deal With Depression
By Michele Rosenthal
Often, part of the PTSD experience involves depression – whether it is a mild form that lasts only a few days or a deep pit of despair that goes on for months. I know from personal experience that depression was a very real and challenging part of my posttraumatic stress symptoms. Overcoming depression wasn’t easy and I still practice my method today – pursuing joy through dance.
In this episode of ‘Your Life After Trauma’ we had two guests talk about their stories and how they overcame and kept depression at bay in their own ways. Our first guest, Cliff Richey, is a legend of American tennis and author of the book “ACING DEPRESSION: A TENNIS CHAMPION’S TOUGHEST MATCH”. We also spoke with Denita Stevens, a rape survivor and volunteer firefighter.
Here’s hoping we inspire you to find your method and that you feel led to take the first steps out of depression and into the light.
MEET MY GUESTS:
Cliff Richey is a legend of American tennis, author of the book “ACING DEPRESSION: A TENNIS CHAMPION’S TOUGHEST MATCH” and a mental health advocate. As a tennis player, he was known as the original “Bad Boy” of tennis, before there was John McEnroe and Ilie Nastase. His 26-year career was highlighted by a 1970 season where he led the United States to the Davis Cup title, finished as the first-ever Grand Prix world points champion and won one of the most exciting matches in American tennis history that clinched the year-end No. 1 American ranking. He won both of his singles matches in the 5-0 U.S. victory over West Germany in the 1970 Davis Cup final, while he beat out rivals Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Arthur Ashe and Stan Smith to win the first-ever Grand Prix world points title the precursor to the modern day ATP rankings. At the 1970 Pacific Coast Championships at the Berkeley Tennis Club in Berkeley, Calif., he earned the No. 1 U.S. ranking when he beat Smith in a fifth-set tie-breaker, where both players had simultaneous match point in a sudden-death nine-point tie-breaker at 4-4. He also reached the semifinals of both the 1970 French and U.S. Opens, losing a famous match to Zeljko Franulovic of Yugoslavia in the French semifinals, despite holding match points and leading by two-sets-to-one and 5-1 in the fourth set. He and his sister Nancy, a former French and Australian singles champion, are regarded by some as the best brother-sister duo in tennis history.
Cliff, along with his daughter Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, wrote ACING DEPRESSION: A TENNIS CHAMPION’S TOUGHEST MATCH, which was published by New Chapter Press in 2010. Cliff uses the book – and his mental health advocacy talks, to help educate people about depression and provide for hope of improving their lives.
Denita Stevens, 35, is rape survivor, volunteer firefighter, a member of the Lake Whitney Rescue Association and of the Waco P.D.’s Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association, and a former CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) for foster children, who writes in her spare time.
She is a 2003 graduate of Baylor University majoring in Journalism, with a minor in Business Administration. While a student at Baylor, she was the winner of the 2000 Academy of American Poets Prize & the 2000 Virginia S. Beall Poetry Prize for a villanelle she wrote titled, “Bright Light” & wrote a feature story about depression, “Feeling Blue” which appeared in the Spring 1998 edition of “Focus: the Baylor Magazine.” She was also a Sports Reporter for the “Baylor Lariat” & has worked in the Sports Dept at the “Waco-Tribune Herald.” She also spent a summer abroad studying at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain.
For her poem “Bright Light”, Denita was awarded the 2000 Academy of American Poets Prize at Baylor University & was recognized as the 2000 First Place Winner of the The Virginia B. Beall Poetry Prize.