Tiffany's Journey; an unexpected path

At 34 years old, a few months after the birth of my second child, I found myself tumbling into a deep depression. I had experienced two previous bouts of depression as a young adult. This episode was particularly severe. It was incredibly anxiety provoking. I didn't take pleasure in any of the things I used to love. I was going through an existential angst that made me question what I was supposed to be doing with my life.

At first, I thought I had post-partum depression or was entering an "early mid-life crisis". But even after quitting my job, rethinking my career goals, working with different therapists and taking antidepressants, I still felt very, very lost. Despite the support of my family and friends, I often found myself thinking about suicide. I was frightened. I knew I needed to find an intensive therapeutic environment that would help me heal.

Through a friend, I heard about The Pavilion at McLean. It was there that I found the help and comfort I needed. The Pavilion provided privacy, a lovely, caring environment, and top-notch clinicians. I underwent a thorough evaluation to help determine the cause of my situation and to help me understand my illness in a way that made sense to me. I learned that there was a chemical component of my state-of-mind which was beyond my control.

Shortly into my stay at the Pavilion, my doctors recommended electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for treatment-resistant depression. They explained that, like a computer, my brain needed rebooting in order to get out of the unhealthy mental loops of thinking that were constantly in my way. After just a few ECT treatments, my mood considerably improved and my brain stopped cycling with destructive thoughts.

After my two week stay at The Pavilion, I returned home to my husband and children. I continue outpatient therapy at The Pavilion and am doing very well.

I realized that a lot of my depression was triggered by my struggles with not knowing my path. Today, I'm a lot more accepting of just being on the journey. The Pavilion staff saved my life. They got me back on track-and even though it's a different track than I was on before, I am heading toward a much better place.

I attribute my progress to the "magic of ECT" and the first-rate professionals at The Pavilion.