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Living With Depression

An artist and mental health advocate reflects on how her family, health care, and art help her through bouts of debilitating depression.

Gail Miller believes people should feel free to talk about mental illness as openly as they talk about diabetes or heart disease. Gail is a long-time Kaiser Permanente member who was diagnosed with depression as a teenager. In this photo essay, she talks candidly about living with depression and how her art has been part of her healing.


depressionmental health

This Post Has 20 Comments

    1. Thank you for your story and it mirrors my life. I have been living with depression since I was 13. Almost all my life and I just recently lost my sister who was like a mom to me. We did everything together and I am going through that deep hole right now. I try to spend as much time with her kids and grandkids because we are all trying to get through this loss but I also know the more I keep myself busy and clearer my head is and I don’t feel so lonely. Thank you again for your story.
      Anna M Gomez

  1. What a beautiful story, Gail. You are such a strong and creative woman. Being an advocate for people with mental illness is both empowering for them and for oneself. I have found art to be healing for the soul.


  3. Thank you for sharing and for helping others. You have been through quite a bit! I agree with you about becoming more beautiful after all the trials, however I don’t think most folks see it as well as those of us who have “been there.” You art work is dreamy! I love your glass items. Wondering if there are any items for sale? (Probably not appropriate for this post but not thought I’d give it a try!!!) You are amazing!

  4. I admire Gail’s courage and willingness to share her story. It takes so much strength to disclose such a personal journey – including her depression, her alcohol history and her cancer treatments. And she seems so incredibly grounded. Great role model for recovery on three levels. Thank you, Gail.

  5. This brings tears to my eyes. We have a person in our family with mental illness (isn’t there a better term?) who also finds solace and meaning in his art. He wakes up every morning to make art. There are many things he cannot do, but he can make meaningful and soul-fulfilling art.

  6. Gail I am so proud of you. Thank you for speaking your truth and opening the door for people to speak about depression.

  7. Great attitude, Gail! My Family has been with me since the age of 10 years. Standing by me and helping me to cope with
    my everyday struggles with depression, too. And my Art is my support program, too. Your video was so wonderful to watch. At the end when you smiled about your help from Kaiser and Family, and Art – your face just lit up.

  8. What a beautiful story. Thank you to Gail and KP for featuring this much-needed message as I will be forwarding this to as many people as I know who may benefit, in addition to advocates in our community. You are not alone.

  9. What strength, grace, and knowledge this woman has displayed. This is an amazing story. Thank you for posting this!

  10. You are a beautiful person with a truly loving spirit! Thank you for sharing your story :).

  11. Enjoyed watching and learning about Gail — her life, her struggles, and her journey of healing. Very empowering message, indeed.

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