“I’ve been hospitalized four times,” Kivler said. “The first time I was hospitalized was in 1990 for clinical depression. I was hospitalized for 38 days. The first 20 days they ‘gassed’ me with lots of medication. I had no response to these medications so after a while, they began treating me through ECT.”
Kivler’s book, “Will I Ever Be the Same Again? Transforming the Face of ECT (Shock Therapy)” is considered a courageous survivor’s guide to reclaiming life after depression.
“ECT is a very misunderstood treatment. ECT is the defibrillator of the brain — in contrast to when our heart stops they jolt that jolt of electricity to the brain that wakes it up,” Kivler says. “That reconnection pulls you out of darkness and hopelessness.”
Kivler takes readers through the debilitating journey of her clinical depression. Her book has two parts. Part I is titled, “My Journey and Courageous Recovery through Clinical Depression,” and Part II is “Valuable Tidbits for Consumers, Their Loved Ones, and Health Care Providers.”
“This book is written for multiple audiences — consumers who are in mental health clinics, their loved ones, and for physicians and health care workers who work in these hospitals — so that they can all keep hope alive for themselves and each other,” Kivler says of her book.
She shares her personal experiences with depression, treatment, ECT, and recovery. Kivler includes valuable information for consumers, their loved ones and health care providers with her Wellness Model.
“I just want to put the face of hope on depression,” Kivler says. She hopes her book will change the minds of readers, or simply enlighten them, inspiring them to reach beyond the myths and stigma surrounding mental illness.
She says, “We’re not at that point to where we can talk every day about mental disorders. The stigma still surrounds this illness and we’re breaking it down little by little.”
Along with writing about her experiences undergoing mental health and treatment, Kivler also speaks at consumer conferences. She says she also communicates with mental and medical health professionals, associations, businesses, patients, and families and friends of those who are diagnosed with mental illness.
“My biggest joy comes from speaking to incoming physicians who are still (working or training) in nursing schools, because they have only been exposed to individuals in their darkest moments,” she said.
Kivler is currently working on another book titled “Unwrapping the Gift of Depression.”
“It took me 20 years to unwrap my depression. I am constantly writing because information is potential, not power. I am a weekly blogger for a depression blog called “Hope to Cope,” and I write on a blog also every Sunday for Esperanza, which means ‘hope’ in Spanish.”
For more information about Carol Kivler and her book, visit www.courageousrecovery.com.