Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Video Blogging: A New Feature

I realize I’m throwing a lot at you guys this week. Every Monday I will post a prayer for the week. Every Friday for a few weeks I will interview a fellow mental-health blogger or professional. And for Wednesday … you get me, in the flesh, live (at least taped live, times 25 takes)! Here’s my first video blog.Let me tell you why I first panicked when Beliefnet asked me to do this:1. A video cam adds 35 pounds to you (and five to everybody else). Like every other American woman, I have a body image complex, and as such don’t like cameras of any kind.2. I hate wearing make-up. In fact, I just went out and bought some because I was still applying the stuff I used for my wedding every time I got dressed up (twice annually). The day I taped this segment, my sister dropped by unexpectedly and, upon seeing that I was made up, asked me, “What the hell is going on?” 3. I have bad posture. 4. I don’t adjust well to change. Especially if it involves technology. Poor Matt from Beliefnet spent an hour on the phone with me describing which button on the screen in front of me would record. “It’s there,” he repeated, “I know it is. You just have to look harder.” “No. No, it’s not. Mine doesn’t have a record button,” I insisted.5. I was afraid you, Beyond Blue readers, wouldn’t like me. I say that in the most insecure seventh-grader-self way. I mean, I know how it is when you read a column or a book and you envision the author a certain way. Then you show up to his book reading and say to yourself, “Dang, I liked my image better.”But my Beliefnet editors thought video blogging would be an important tool for growing and deepening our Beyond Blue community. And I agree with them. The more real I am to you allows you to be more real to me and the other readers. Since Beyond Blue is my depression support group, I need to be as transparent as I would if I were sitting in a meeting of DRADA or NAMI, kicking back with an awful cup of coffee. And I hope, eventually, that you can post your own videos (that requires learning more technology, though, so it might not happen immediately).Please tell me what you think (that is, I hope I can handle it).

  • Marianne Wilson

    Dear Therese,
    Wonderful stuff. It’s nice to have a face to go with the name and I always enjoy seeing where people are from, especially their “spiritual places,” or “prayer corners,” or whatever. I hope to stop in to your blog many times in the future.

  • Babs

    Therese, A good first start. I thought you were sitting on a balcony at your house overlooking the harbor. I hope the videos are a bit longer in the future. Kudos.

  • Terry Carroll

    THAT took a lot of courage. Piece of advice: if the video added 35 pounds, you need to eat more!
    Your text preface to the video made me laugh. When one depressed person hears (or reads) another depressed person’s almost frantic attempts to protect themselves from the presumed and anticipated “I know you’ll hate me” response, packaged with all the explanations why there MIGHT be some reasons “why you shouldn’t hate me,” you can’t help but laugh at how familiar it all sounds.
    “You might say you like me, even love me, but it’s only because you don’t know me very well.” I’m fortunate enough to be married to someone who “knows how to love and care for a depressed person” and I swear I’m still waiting for her to find out the truth about me, the scales fall from her eyes, and she’ll FINALLY see the horrible person I am.
    That’s my emotions flagrantly lying to me. I really do know better. Feelings and thoughts assault me anyway, like gnats.
    It might not have been your intention, but you made me laugh WITH you, not AT you.
    And BRAVO! on your first video blog. It’s a great idea with great possibilities.

  • Larry Parker

    Not a criticism (I promise), just an observation:
    Your voice was somehow more tart and less sweet than I expected from your writing and your descriptions of your background (those parts that don’t apply directly to BB, that is).
    Again, don’t take anything by it other than a random thought about our mutual predicament. My “voices” — both my writing and my larynx — have DEFINITELY become more tart and less sweet (can a male voice be sweet? Well, I’m certainly no baritone, let alone a bass) since my diagnosis.
    See you next week!!!!!

  • Wendi

    I think your voice, and all the rest of you, is just lovely. :-) An excellent first time out. Keep up the good work!

  • Wisdum

    I Loved it ! And I love your sense of humor also. The one thing that keeps me going in this world, ever since i was a kid is “It’s a great Life, if you don’t take it too seriously !” (Mom) The only problem I had is my monitor is too dark and all I could see was this beautiful silhoutte.
    Go forth and attack the day . . Great start, looking FWD for more
    LUV 2 U /LUV 2 ALL

  • Melanie

    I thought that your voice sounded very confident as compared to how you write. It was very interesting! You go girl!

  • Jennifer

    Love it! Love you!

  • Nancy

    Therese – You are now officially one of my heroes! I am not being facitious. First of all (and we are all entitled to our opinions) but I do not hear your voice being “tart” at ALL. How brave of you to allow yourself to be so vulernable and take the risk of “exposing” your outsides when you have been so transparent about your insides. Needless to say, the feelings and thoughts you expressed in anticipation of your readers’ reactions was NORMAL – yes, NORMAL. I think only someone (like my brother and a few others) could really care less what other people think. Come on – that’s human nature. We’re all “meeting” you for the first time, and we get to hid behind our monitors. You look and sound lovely. I can only say that since my office is within my home, thank God there is no video phone or webcam watching me. As I speak on a professional level, day in and day out, I am now sitting here at my desk with a Bucknell University Scrunchy in my hair, no makeup and my typical casuaul office attire – e.g. – PJ’s. What a pretty picture that makes, no?? I love this aspect that you have added. Isn’t it amazing, though, that to the “outside world” our illnesses are invisible. Congratulations on finding the record button – yes, I know what it’s like to look at something and not see it; a very humbling experience. Brain freeze. This is all another level deeper into sharing your experience, strength and hope. Thanks, Therese – it’s wonderful to meet you.

  • Sandy Slaga

    Therese, you look and sound MAHvelous! :) Keep up the wonderful work! Love, Sandy

  • Willow Bryse

    I thought today’s video blog was great. It takes a lot of courage to begin something like this because it is the “unknown”. You did a super job! Thanks for being here for those of us who share your disorder.
    Blessings to you…

  • Chinamom

    I don’t know what you were worried about! I mean that.

  • cassandra

    I saw your video today, as a link in Beliefnet covering the 12 way’s to help with depression by Therese Bouchard. I clicked the link, and there was your blog. I’m very excited to have founf your blog AND a bom=nus video. It was a wonderful face to put on depression. I’m also an advocate and a suffered from depression all of my life. I commend you on a job well done and I look forward to seeing more video’s and who knows, maybe I’ll I’ll make one.
    This just made my day as I’ve been having a shaky 2 day’s.
    thank you for being you…
    Cassandra from Boston!

  • A

    You are brave and awesome and forget the makeup, you’re gorgeous! And you know, this is kind of inspiring me to take on some things in my own life as well. :)

  • Katherine Stone

    I love it! I’m so jealous! Will you teach me how? I think I could figure out, possibly, how to take a video of myself, but beyond that I would have NO idea how to get it on my blog. You are such a pioneer! You should definitely do more of these. It adds a whole new dimension to your blog!

  • careha

    Thank you! I stumbled onto Beyond Blue a couple of weeks ago and have become dependent on it… Putting a voice with the face is is awesome! And I have my first Pdoc appt in 1½ weeks. :o)

  • snooky325

    I hope so terrific work.

  • Larry Parker

    So you can seem extra cool in the multimedia world going forward — not that we don’t think you’re cool already! — make sure to call it “vlogging” next week (pronounced like the Russian name “Vladimir”).
    :-) :-)
    Seriously, people who keep video blogs call them “vlogs.” Hey, I don’t make this stuff up, I just pass it along for what it’s worth … probably nothing (LOL).
    Larry P.

  • Stacey

    Just watched your blog! It was great. You have nothing to worry about!Easier said than done. Better you than me. You looked great and it was great to hear your voice. It will definitely add something to the “reading” of your blog.

  • Dena Smith

    What a nice addition to your blog/column, Theresa – and I myself just completed a public speaking course last term – it was conducted on line and we had to video tape our 10-15 minute !! speeches and send them to our instructor. I was horrified! It was by far the most challenging endeavor of my academic program.
    In any event, you look fantastic and always grateful for your courage – and generous sharing.
    Always in my prayers ..
    love, Dena

  • Kay

    Great video Therese. Nice to see you in motion and hear your voice…its good to put a voice to the blog.

  • Glori

    Just watched your blog….. Hat’s off to you! It not only takes courage to make a video of yourself for hundreds to see (maybe thousands?), but to be transparent for us takes it to a whole new level. Can’t wait until next week!

  • lisa ohhh

    You look beautiful, and I’m looking forward to more video blogs. Thank you for your transparency and courage. You inspire others to do the same.

  • Karla Dunning

    DITTO on all of the above comments! Looking forward to another one!
    BTW-I like the first doll. Just dress her down a bit. God’s blessings for you and your family!

  • BellaTerra

    You’re just fine in the video, Theresa. (Besides, you could weigh 500 lbs and be ugly — and it wouldn’t matter at all to us.) And it’ll get even better the more frequently you do this and the more you relax. :-) And you will relax. :-) In fact, I bet you get a little ‘hammy’ at times (which will be fine).
    When I lived in southern CA, the beach, in the very early morning, was my ‘God place’. Now that I’m here in NM — it took me a while to get it — but NM is drowning in God. Every place is a God place here. It’s SO beautiful. Doesn’t mean I still don’t get anxious/depressed at times, but it’s so much easier here to remember that we’re all drowning in God, no matter where we are.

  • Daisy

    I thought you looked and sounded great! You are very attractive & don’t know if you did it on purpose after reading how insecure you were about doing this, but the soft focus look of the video added a nice touch & if you had any flaws (which I don’t think you do) the soft focus would make you feel more comfortable being up close and personal. All of the comments I have seen (including mine) are very positive so I hope this will encourage you to keep up the good work you are doing!!

  • CLeo

    Therese, you’ve nothing to be self conscious about! You look great, no fat lady there, and you’ve very nice, soft and nurturing tone of voice.When I lived in Europe I’d go everyday to the woods, because I felt that God lived there. Now I’m living in a quasi barren place surrounded by a golf course. Plants don’t thrive here, they die if you water them and if you don’t, it’s impossible to strike a happy medium with them and this kills me, ’cause I’m a plants person. I suppose my environment resembles my state of mind and also my life. Everything around is pretense and everyone wears a plastic smile and act accordingly.
    I have to find a sacred place.

  • CLeo

    PS, you’re also beatiful and the type of person every real person would like to have as a friend.

  • Veronika

    Therese, you’re ready for YouTube. I have a deep voice like yours and I’ve been told it’s really sexy, so Larry back off :)
    Frankly, all of those dolls are a bit scary. Reminds me of the clown phobia I had as a kid (!). Anyway, for what it’s worth I see you as more of a Raggedy Ann kind of woman.
    I hate stores that end with “mart” too…actually the women who drive strollers at high speed while talking on a cell phone (there should be laws against this) freak me out the most. So, I shop online. I highly recommend it. You too can find shopping peace at home.
    Keep up the good work!

  • FLlady

    Therese, You stepped out of your comfort zone. Fantastic
    I am a licensed therapist and also a believer in Christ. I am so glad to read your comments about some priests, pastors,/religious people’s misunderstanding about therapy,and medications.Also those who misinterpret the Bible to believe that only prayer and Bible reading will handle psychiatric issues. Can only prayer and Bible reading heal a broken arm? These same people would be appalled if you told them to pray over their broken arm and not seek medical care. This is a variant of the destructive “you haven’t enough faith to cure yourself” advice. Keep educating the public.
    Thanks for the video blog. It gives a personal touch, not found in writing alone. I admire your continuing journey to healthy living.
    You are a lovely lady with a melliflous voice.

  • Dawn

    Hi. I’m new to all of this(this site as well as internet). I want to tell you, you seem very sincere, real & honsest. I for one don’t care what a person looks like, for me it’s what’s inside that matters. As far as looks go, I’m not the most beautiful looking person in the world, but i’m not the worst looking either. I’m just me. I suffer from depression among other things. I’ve been real bad for about the past few yrs. Been trying lots of different things to get out of it. It’s been very difficult. Just been trying to take one day @ a time & try & do the best I can with what I’ve got. I’m hoping this site might help me. Feel less alone & less nuts. I don’t feel very strong right now.

  • Linda

    I thought you were awesome. You have nothing to worry about. Myself and others still love you. I vote for the first doll. I couldn’t compete with the remaining dolls either. And wouldn’t want to!!! You go girl. See ya next week.

  • Anonymous

    You sound alot like me. My husbad of 15 yrs. is dying slowly in front of me. I am an alcoholic trying to reform. I don’t like my posture either. My husband is always in tremendous pain and I can’t do a damn thing about it. Am I depressed. Yes. That’s the first time I’ve ever admitted it. But, I am trying to work; care for an crippled man and going to school through an online college – and am doing very well. That is the only positive thing in my life right now. Girl, you do not need to be depressed. You’ve got me. Misery loves company and besides I could really use a female friend

  • Lisa

    You sound great! ( and I’m not just saying that to be nice.) You come across as someone who is very caring, understanding and concerned about helping others. When you reach out to help others you in turn help yourself.
    I have suffered from depression for over 25 yrs. as well as an E.D. and after trying over 30 different types of medication had VNS implated earlier this year ( still not sure if it is helping or not).
    I find it difficult ( if not impossible) to find a therapist who can challenge and help me dig way deep inside and face the real me, maybe you are that person I am looking for.
    Thank you for reaching out to others in need.

  • Wanda Uselton

    I love your honesty and sense of humor. You look just “marvelous dahling” not to worry. I’m looking forward to rest of your presentations. I am a bi-polar, i.e. manic-depressive, controlled with drugs. That’s ok. I’m 62 and if I have to take drugs the rest of my life to maintain some semblance of a “normal” lifestyle, then I will. I am having a wonderful time at this point in my life. I have no family left and believe me that can be a blessing and it’s never too late to have a wonderful childhood.

  • Monica

    I have been on antidepresant meds for 30 years. Thank God, they work, I function very well. I am a very bubbly person and people cannot believe that I am on antidepressant meds. You are a beautiful woman inside and out and that comes out very clearly. Depression is not joke and NO ONE can understand it unless they have been in it. It’s indiscribable!

  • Lori

    I dont think you NEED a doll.
    just yourself and others to lean on when needed, and to be their to be leaned on.
    And I think the smiley face happens by doing what we love,and what comes naturally which seems to be video blogs, and this…
    its changed my outlook today,
    and thats all I have to do,
    is today.
    I was looking up posinous berries so I could innocently go berry picking. So, I’m sure my family would thank you for this day.

  • Christine

    I love your column and think you looked great on the video. I’d ditch the Barbies (they remind me of every perfect male fantasy image. Mind you, most of the guys who are dreaming of that looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame). I’d stick with the original doll with the pretty dress. You know, it’s not such a weird idea. I got my granddaughter a lot of stuffed cats because she likes them. Well, we’d play cats and give them personalities and high pitched voices. It is amazing how good I felt playing cats with her because I was not thinking of my problems but living in the moment with Alexandra. It also helped Alex because her parents were going through a divorce. So use whatever “prop” you want and never mind what anyone else thinks. They are not living your life, you are.



  • Brenda

    GOD GAVE YOU A HEAD TO THINK WITH AND A BUTT TO SIT ON. HEADS YOU WIN! TAILS YOU LOSE! YOU SPECIAL LADY, ARE A WINNER IN MY BOOK! (not yet published) May GOD continue to bless you and yours. And may he walk and/or carry you in troubled but temporary times. Sincerely, Brenda

  • Fiona

    You’re BEAUTIFUL!!! You seem self conscious in the video but you’ll be fine when you get used to it and relax a bit more!!!
    You should also leave your hair – it looks less severe than it tied up. Oh oh and you DONT LOOK FAT. AT ALL. Apparently, the 35 pounds are doing you a favour 😉
    Have fun.
    Lots of love and light!

  • Gayle

    I think you look lovely, and I like your hair both ways. The video outside had a lighting problem, so I couldn’t see you very well. I liked the big doll best, but that’s my choice. She seems a little more “real”… Thank you for your post.

  • Larry Parker

    I love deep-voiced women. I was simply talking about my EXPECTATIONS (and let’s face it, Therese wouldn’t have been so worried unless she knew her readers, simply by human nature, brought their own expectations of her to the vlogging — I was just honest about it).
    Therese in reality was in fact as refreshing and bracing as the UN-sweetened iced tea I am addicted to. As, in retrospect, I should have “expected” all along.

  • sandra weisz

    hi theresa, whats the problem? you’re really pretty, and someone that jogs every day and has a family and a job isn’t all that depressed. you’re very lucky. God is definetely on your side.I love reading your articles; video or not, we are all made up of particles of light anyway.. I wish i lived in an enviroment that is still part of the united states and not so hostile. I realize there is a hierarcy of importance, one persons depression is another person’s happiness.

  • Jennifer

    You are most definitely a sight for sore eyes. God chooses the weak for his messengers and saints. Join the club! You are in good company. You did well and looked well. Thanks for sharing.

  • Katie

    I’ve said it before, but I still love your sarchasm. I don’t know HOW I’d cope without mine! And I KNOW my apartment looks worse than your house…Anyway, I enjoyed your videos and I feel like I can empathize even more with you now that I can see you as a “real person.” Unfortunately, I closely empathize with your fear of falling back into the “black hole.” I struggle every day with my depression and anxiety. Sometimes I am angry because I have to fight constantly and expend so much time and energy to stay this side of “normal,” even if it is just on the outside. I have talked with my fiance about your blog where you talked about “doing the opposite” of what you feel like doing in response to your anxiety and depression. I find this such a challenge, but sometimes it’s all that gets me out of bed and for that I thank you. You make my mental “greatful list” all the time! My fiance now reminds me that I must “do the opposite” when he sees that my symptoms are getting the best of me. I too, have faith that God has given us this cross to bear so that we may also truly feel and appreciate the great heights of love and joy in our world. Incidentally, I am a Child Psychiatric nurse. It sounds as if you have an insightful, supportive, sensitive, caring little man there! It seems that he, too, has grown from your experiences as well as his own. And that’s a GOOD thing! 😉 Katie

  • Karen Crawley

    Hi Therese,
    You look beautiful with your hair up. I think I’d cut my hair shorter and thinner to draw more attention to your beautiful face. Your voice came out very nice. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • kissakiwi

    I’d like to first thank you for sharing your life with us. Your video is fine. It’s nice to really see (a face) and know that we are not alone. I am going thru a crying spell and your humor is making me feel better too. And I would go with a whole different doll but if you have to pick from those, I like the big baby doll, not the unnaturally enhanced stick dolls. : )

  • AfraidinFlorida

    I’m afraid and just want to get better! I’m tired of it!

  • Lynne

    I think you are very photogenic! It’s kind of funny trying to download with a dinosaur of a computer. It takes patience but that’s something I need more of anyway. Your other readers are right you being more real in the flesh, so to speak. Thankyou for putting aside any doubts you might have had.

  • karen

    you are hysterical and real and you make me feel less bizarre! most appreciative T-

  • SuzanneWA

    Oh, Therese! You’re BEAUTIFUL!! I don’t use much make-up either; I think the less the better. Your face shines with the glow of your love and beliefs. I wish you happiness that is shown there, whether you feel it now or not. Depression is such an equalizer; those of us who suffer, or who have suffered with it in the past, have many brothers and sisters who are fellow travelers and have been down the path, and CAN relate. You are VERY brave to put yourself “out there” where you can be seen and recognized; you could become the next “celebrity,” but in your case – a SURVIVOR!!!
    Keep up the good work, and keep it simple. God bless you real good:)

  • SuzanneWA

    BTW – forgot to mention – see you next WEEK!!!

  • pmd

    Man looks at the person,God looks at the hearts. What ever you do just be for real and honest. People need help and a good,honest and caring
    word does a heart good. I am looking forward to you prayers and kind
    words. Thank-You

  • WILL, ::GATOR:::


  • Anonymous

    Therese, you are a beautiful person. Just be yoursself. As far as the dolls go, the scared Therese is definitely the best of that litter, but I think you need to find your own little Therese. There are a lot of choices besides ToysRUs and other commercial stores. How bout a Raggedy Ann or a homemade doll that you can feel good about? I could never go into any ToysRUs without getting sick, so I never did. My two daughters did fine without that junk.

  • NancyKiss

    Therese, you are simply beautiful – so well spoken, funny, and insightful, too! I love the video blogging, but I can also identify with your “panic” descriptors. You are a courageous woman who gives us great hope and support. I think you should go online and look for a doll that you can connect to. A barbie doll is not a child, so I don’t think this type fits what you are looking for. Perhaps you can find a vinyl toddler or even porcelain doll. Marie Osmond has wonderful dolls in a variety of sizes on Enjoy the search for the right doll to represent your inner child!

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