Drawing on Right Tools Helped Woman End Depression

The first time I tried to kill myself I was five years old.” That is how Lindagail Roy of Minneapolis begins her account of nearly 50 years spent trying to manage her depression. She said a traumatic childhood led to her depression. 

Overcoming her depression took years. Today Roy is free from depression and is no longer on any medication. When asked how she achieved that, she said, “I learned how to create my own toolbox.” Some of her tools include:

  • “Being able to have a consistent therapist was a big piece for me,” she said. Finding someone who would let her pay a sliding fee when she didn’t have health insurance allowed her to keep the same therapist and build a trusting relationship.
  • Yoga and stretching helps her body to feel alive.
  • Walking, including having a part-time job that requires walking.
  • Writing gave her an outlet to express her long suppressed feelings and emotions.
  • Learning to treat herself with the same understanding and empathy she would offer a friend.
  • Finding a support system of people who understand. “That has been huge,” she said.

Roy returned to school to obtain a college degree in writing and media studies and is now writing a memoir. In addition, she joined a Toastmasters group to hone her public speaking skills. Having found her voice, she has some things she wants people to hear: 

“Search for the tools that work for you because life can be a gift that you open with the awakening of each day,” she said. “Depression doesn’t have to be forever.”