Former Utah first lady Lucybeth Rampton says doctors have made great strides in treating depression, but the public hasn't kept pace in its attitudes toward the mental illness.
Rampton told a women's forum at Logan Regional Hospital that she suffered from chronic depression and underwent therapy during the third term of her husband, former Gov. Calvin Rampton."Some people thought it would hurt the governor's image if word got out that he had a crazy wife. But we were very fortunate and we had someone lead us to effective treatment," she said.
Rampton said about one-fourth of the population will sometime in life suffer depression severe enough to warrant professional help.
Describing depression as "a bad case of blues that never seems to go away," Rampton said depression eats away at a person's self-esteem, energy, judgment and hope.
"Those positive attributes are
replaced with fatigue, self-doubt, anxiety and despair that can be fatal because the ultimate despair is suicide," she said.
Rampton said that while chronic depression cannot always be cured, it is treatable. For her, a combination of psychotherapy and medication has worked well, she said.
She said she has enjoyed life in spite of her illness and traveled around the world since her diagnosis.