As we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, some of you may not know that he suffered with depression. According to a Time Magazine article back in the 1960s, Dr. King attempted suicide before the age of 13 when his grandmother was ill and again after her death. During his lifetime, he struggled with deep lows and intense highs.

On-going and unrelenting stress was a part of his life. He was jailed 29 times for peaceful disobedience, was given death threats over a period of 13 years, and survived an early assassination attempt in 1958. But he was resilient. His message of overcoming was lived out in his own life.

One of his famous quotes was, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” This is important advice for anyone struggling with depression. Keep moving forward, even if it is a crawl.

Dr. King refused treatment for his depression fearing his opposition would use it to discredit him. I hope we are beyond such thinking today. Treatment helps and can make all the difference in terms of the negative consequences of untreated depression.

If you find yourself feelings sad and down, lacking energy, noting a change in appetite or sleep, losing interest in things around you, thinking suicidal thoughts, feeling worthless, or having difficulty concentrating, find a therapist to help treat your depression. It’s time to keep moving forward. It’s time to overcome and build resiliency. Thank you Dr. King for all you did and said!

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