“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they’re okay, then it’s you.”
– Rita Mae Brown
John Shuchart is an accomplished entrepreneur, educator and author. He is also the perfect example of being “the one” that Rita Mae describes above, yet he still leads a remarkably successful, full life, supported by family and many close friends. John has overcome a lifetime of depressive episodes, some of which were triggered by the emotional abuse from his parents and the incredible-but-true, traumatic experiences from his childhood… like the time when he was being wheeled into the operating room for an emergency appendectomy, and his father leaned over to him and stated, “They’re going to cut you open like a chicken!”
Other depressive episodes stemmed from the astounding incidents and accidents that have occurred in his adult life, like the time a riding lawnmower fell on top of him; or the time John’s father told him to fork over $50,000 or he would kill himself; or the time when John was t-boned by a truck hauling concrete blocks, totaling his car and leading to 15 surgeries, countless hours in physical therapy and an addiction to prescription painkillers.
It is unlikely you will ever read another story like John’s. However, the purpose of this tale is not simply to make people laugh; it is to shed light on the stigma associated with mental illness, and to share information about an approach that works to prevent John from sliding into what he calls the “Deep, Dark Hole of Depression.”
By boldly stepping forward to share his experiences and discuss his depression, John wants to create a safer, more open environment for others to reveal their own struggles with mental illness. John’s goal, and the impetus for creating The Shuchart Foundation is to fight the stigma associated with mental illness by promoting awareness, understanding and acceptance for those of us in recovery with mental illness.
John’s story offers a ray of hope for those with depression, gives genuine encouragement for their loved ones, and provides inspiration for all of us.