Beliefnet
Beyond Blue

A big thank you to St. Anthony Messenger magazine and author John Feister for featuring my story and my mission in this June’s issue. Here’s the irony in the whole thing.

In the summer right before I graduated from Notre Dame with a masters degree in theology, I interviewed for an editorial job at St. Anthony Messenger. I didn’t get it.

So when John and another editor, Susan, came to interview me, I asked them both how long they had been there and told them how I applied for a job at St. Anthony Messenger right out of school. Susan said she was hired in the summer of 1994, and then I realized that we both interviewed for the same job and she got it. I wanted to be mean to her, but I couldn’t since she was so nice. Ah, God’s wicked sense of humor. To get to the story, click here. I’ve excepted the beginning. There are a few videos too of my story, etc.

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THERE WAS A MOMENT in Therese Borchard’s life when she found herself crouched in a closet, terrified, with her kids in front of the TV in the other room. The bouts of depression and anxiety she had fought since she was a teenager—the same depression that had led her aunt-godmother to suicide—had become unbearable to her.

Eric, her husband of 10 years, persuaded Therese to allow him to take her to the hospital for help. That trip to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore was the beginning of a journey that led Therese to become one of this nation’s leading advocates for people with manic depression. You sometimes can find her books Beyond Blue or The Pocket Therapist on the racks at stores nationally; she’s been interviewed for Psychology Today, among other magazines, and has been a guest on national television shows.

But she is most known on the Internet, at a Web site of many religions called www.beliefnet.com, where she blogs and interacts with online visitors. Hers is an advocacy of caring.

“It was my Catholic faith that saved me,” Therese says unabashedly, as Eric helps two children up the stairs toward bed. At home in Annapolis, Maryland, Therese shares her story of faith, struggle, how she found a way to cope and how she now helps others. Faith is clearly at the heart of her story.

Bipolar disorder, the more accurate name for what has been called manic depression, is now known as a “spectrum disorder,” one that exists in all sorts of severity. It can be a mild cycle of ups and downs, looking more like grumpiness or sadness contrasted with superstar performance. It’s usually worse than that, going as far as days in bed contrasted with hallucinations and requiring hospitalization. In Therese’s case, it is a severe, disabling disorder, though hers is kept at bay through a combination of medical help and self-management.

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