• Steve Garzone

Being On The Other Side of Mental Illness

For those who don’t know me, I’m Steve Garzone (@Stevg13) – Kristen’s (@mellank) husband and the guy behind the pictures.



People on social media play the game of “highlight reel” when in fact, they are battling demons every day. I love my life and I knew what I was signing up for LONG before we were married. Sharing a life with someone who suffers from mental illness isn’t easy; especially depression. Every day is different. You never know what you’re coming home to. One minute my wife is happy-go-lucky and ready for anything. Other nights, it’s difficult to walk in the door.


When things get really bad, we don’t seem to talk for a while. The tears and emotions are so heavy that Kristen can’t speak. The emotions are larger than life and it consumes Kristen; paralyzes her.


What do I do? Well, I’ll tell ya… Anyone that knows Kristen knows that she is far from quiet. She’s so full of life, gives great advice and TONS of love. I can usually sense when an episode is coming because she becomes very quiet and is usually triggered over something small— Spilled water from the dog bowl, heavy traffic, being late —normal everyday things that you and I deal with and don’t think twice about.

The Stages

The first stage is anger.


Stage two turns into tears and helplessness. It takes control of her entirely.


Stage three is when the guilt sets in followed by more tears. This is the worst stage because I have to reassure her that life is good, that she is an AMAZING wife, mom, friend; that Ellie and I wouldn’t be better off without her.


Stage four is when the anger and tears are gone and the fear has settled for now; when she goes into apology mode. She feels like she’s wrong for her actions even though I know she can’t help it. It’s hard. By this time, she’s able to talk and explain what happened and how she feels and why. That’s when I get Kristen back.


If you’re on the other side of mental illness, it can be hard; VERY hard. It’s hard to stay calm. Being on the other side of depression is something we/you/I just can’t understand and probably never will. Just know this: People with depression can’t help it and if they could, they would. When those hard times come, just try to be comforting. That’s exactly what they need.

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