STRUGGLING with DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, or BIPOLARITY? LEARNING can really HELP. Start with ARTICLES above or Topics below. Ty! Bill

Raquel & Lee: A Heartening Story of a Cover Blown and How to Lend a Helping Hand

How Do You Treat Depression

“This will probably come as a surprise to many, but my wife, that happy, life of the party, center of attention type of gal has suffered with severe debilitating depression and anxiety for over 10 years. We’ve shared this secret with some, and with others we’ve just turned the wattage up on the fake ‘cover’ smile.”

Chipur’s at its best when it can share real-life stories. And I’m grateful to Raquel and Lee for coming forward and ‘blowing their cover’ with us. It’s that kind of sharing that smacks stigma upside the head and establishes an environment of relief and healing.

And so begins How to Lend a Helping Hand, a post dated September 9th on Lee Tucker’s personal blog.

Who’s Lee Tucker? Dang if I knew – until his email arrived a week ago…

Subject: Our journey and how to help someone in need


My wife Raquel, a happy, life of the party, center of attention type of gal has suffered with severe debilitating depression and anxiety for over 10 years. We’ve shared this secret with some, and with others we’ve just turned the wattage up on the fake ‘cover’ smile.

Two weeks ago we took the step and started ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). Why go through this now after 10 years of therapy and meds? She no longer wanted to live, just couldn’t face another day of the same old battle.

We’ve told only a few friends and family and are always asked ‘how can we help?’ I realized I get this question a lot and typically answer with some BS line like ‘your support and understanding means a lot,’ but in reality there are things you can do to help your friends who are suffering with depression. So, inspired by this question, I wrote a post for how to help a family dealing with mental health issues.

The response has been overwhelming and in an instant has changed our lives.

I’m not asking for links or credit or anything whatsoever. I just wanted to provide the content in case it would be something you would be interested in using on Chipur. We just want to help others in any way we can. Please let me know if you have any questions.


Wow, right?

So I replied to Lee, thanking him, and Raquel, for giving me the opportunity to share a very personal story on Chipur. And I asked if, in addition to his post, I could share the content of his email. Oh, I also asked why he contacted me/Chipur.

His reply…


Thanks for the note. Please feel free to use anything you find of value.

As to why send to Chipur, throughout our journey, we have looked everywhere we can for information or advice. Chipur being one of those places.

Now that we’ve ‘gone public’ to our friends and family about what’s happening, we wanted to share in order to help others.

The post I wrote was a spur of the moment thing intended to answer the simple question ‘how can we help,’ but in our circle it has turned out to be so much more. That’s ultimately why I sent it.

Again, please feel free to use what you like. The two most recent posts on my site are related to it. And feel free to ask further questions.


Listen, I’m not going to go on and on here. I mean, the story’s told best by Raquel and Lee. So I’m encouraging you to head on over to Lee’s blog and read How to Lend a Helping Hand.

Hey, and while you’re there, be sure to read his follow-up post Thank You. And enjoy Lee’s photography and brewing pages. Really cool stuff.

You know, Chipur’s at its best when it can share real-life stories. And I’m grateful to Raquel and Lee for coming forward and “blowing their cover” with us. It’s that kind of sharing that smacks stigma upside the head and establishes an environment of relief and healing.

Oh, yeah, one last thing. I ran a three-part series on ECT four-and-a-half years ago. Here are the links…

Electroconvulsive Therapy: Gotta’ Knows  ECT: The Procedure (with video)   ECT: “It’s My Life. Butt-Out!”

And while you’re at it, feast your eyes upon another 650+ Chipur titles?

  • Really great. I totally support and commend your transparency; this is so important to destigmatizing mental problems. Thanks so much Lee, Raquel and Bill. As Bill knows I am highly mutated in most of my neurotransmitters and was on 7 years of psych meds that only made me more depressed and more suicidal. Then when Obamacare came in I was able to go to a good doc and I was tested for MTHFR which causes heart disease, cancer and mental illness. So genetics has been the path I have been on and I am doing better and better on a genetic diet with the right supps. The right form of b12 plus elemental lithium which potentiates, i.e., makes stronger, the b12 and b12 is a fabulous antidepressant for me, may not be for you. This is because I know I have mutated COMT gene that causes dopamine disregulation. So b 12 give me energy and emotional lift. 2 people last week told me I seemed more stable and that was 2 days after I started these! Thanks to my friend BCat who posts her occasionally for teaching me lots about this.

    One thing to end this rant. I am now turning to research into hi histamine and mental illness and drug damage. Here is a good blog post on it with many resources. Bottom line, as BCat says, hi histamine=low methylation and low methylation causes all sorts of problems believe me.

    Thanks guys for showing up. I will go over to your blog next.

    • Thank you, Nancy. And, yes, thanks to Raquel and Lee for sharing her/their story. You always contribute so much here and I appreciate it. Readers, check-out the link for numerous interesting articles regarding histamine and the emotional/mental disorders. Cutting-edge info…


  • raquel tucker

    Thank you for sharing our story. It has been an uphill battle. I tried to stay away from anything relating to ECT, I just wanted my procedure finished so I could pretend the day didn’t happen but your posts on ECT educated me and gave me a lot of helpful insight! I’ve started the maintenance phase and continuously get the question “is it working?” I don’t know if it is but I’m not done trying!
    Thank you!

    • Well, hey, Raquel – glad you stopped-by and caught us up. I was more than happy to share your story. Was pleased that Lee contacted me. And I’m glad the posts were of assistance. I would never ask if the therapy is working, though please know I wish you relief – and continued hope. If you feel like it, update us down the road.

      Really good hearing from you…

  • Jake Hutcheson

    I just recently found this website, in fact, it’s 4am my sleep schedule is the exact opposite of what I want it to be, my depression is as an all time high (low?), I don’t have an honest will to make any real change about anything, and I’ve spent my days and nights since tuesday sweating, full tilt anxiety, jumping from panic attack to panic attack trying to work up the will to eat and drink water. Tuesday night I was picked up for a DUI I can honestly say that was and, for some time I hope, the worst thing I have ever experienced. I let down my family, my friends, myself. Sitting in a cell of the scariest men I have ever met in person trying not to cry in front of them I couldn’t think about anything that wasn’t being out of that cell. The moment I walked out on bond (truely by the grace of God do I have the parents I do) it all started to settle and I started “processing” the feelings I was having. The anxiety was first, then the panic, and finally, the depression. The panic and depression is the worst. I can’t sleep, I keep jerking awake the moment I start to drift off and I’m now finding myself fraught with panic in that “in-between” state when you’re not quite asleep or awake, that’s a new level of fear for me. In fact it has me so afraid to sleep that I can’t seem to get any sleep until I’m just completely exhausted. I’ve had anxiety and depression my whole life. The amount of time I think I’ve lived something that even resembles a functioning life is a depressing enough statistic. I was only planning on saying that stories like this seem to be the only thing in the world right now to put a dent in the “I’m gonna feel like this forever” or “that’s it, I’m getting hauled off to the basements of the psych ward because I’m nuts and none of this can be fixed”. Seeing people deal with these illnesses for so long, and somehow find a way to be what I see as “normal”, it’s nice. I guess this kind of turned into some kind of journaling exercise. never consciously done one of those before, maybe something good will come of it. I hope nothing more than to be someone who specializes in anxiety/depression disorders, to help people out from places I’ve already been. I’m 24, I’m a psych major, I don’t even have my associates degree yet. To be honest, before the DUI that was one of the biggest things feeding my depression. I just feel “behind”.

    • Hi, Jake!

      Really glad you stopped-by and contributed. Your “journaling exercise” will be very helpful to anyone suffering likewise who may happen-by. And I suspect it was helpful to you, as well.

      I can so deeply relate to what you shared, as I was in the same place when I was your age. I mean, the similarity is uncanny (down to the DUI/jail cell). But, then, that’s because that’s how anxiety/depression can present in anyone. Yeah, it’s just the progression, if you will.

      From experience, I can tell you the hell in which you’re living doesn’t have to be permanent. I know how difficult that is to receive and accept, but it’s real – I, and millions of others, are the living examples. So if you can’t muster any hope of your own, hold on to the hope I’m offering you. Okay?

      Don’t know if you see a counselor and/or psychiatrist, but it sure wouldn’t be a bad idea. I didn’t get any help until some 12 years after the true onset of my disorders. And when I did, I experienced almost immediate improvement. Please consider, if you haven’t already.

      Seems like psych is an excellent choice for your major. I mean, you obviously have a vested interest. I hope you continue to pursue. I’m a licensed counselor now – and didn’t go back to grad school until I was 49. So don’t get down on yourself re your current standing.

      Hang in there, Jake. And know you’re not alone. You really don’t have to live like that anymore…