View the full Forbes article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alyssawright/2018/05/09/this-mothers-day-a-mothers-love-inspires-social-good/#324952bf7c60
With Mother’s Day fast approaching, many of us may pause to reflect on our own mothers, the women who have unconditionally loved us since our first few breaths on Earth. I often think of the quote by author, Mitch Albom, as he reflected on his own mother and her role in his life.”I realize that when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love ever known.”
Despite possessing the “purest love ever known”, many mothers are facing their own internal battles. Women in the United States are experiencing a depression epidemic currently. According to Mental Health America, not only are 12 million mothers struggling with depression in our nation, they are suffering at two times the rate of American fathers. These rates of depression have left most Americans seeking answers, especially those personally impacted by the issue within their own homes.
One such woman, personally impacted by a mother with depression, is philanthropist and entrepreneur Audrey Gruss. Gruss recalls her own mother’s journey with depression with both tenderness and an obvious frustration toward’s the system. “I loved my mother. But growing up, she was never totally balanced. She would have occasional breakthroughs but they would never last. I grew up fully aware of her great fear of regressing each and every day.”
In the 30 years that Gruss’ mother battled depression, she was prescribed the same medications over and over. During this period, there was little innovation in way of research, prevention, and treatment for depression. This lack of progress, as well as the stigma that surrounded mental health at the time, imprinted deeply into Gruss’ memory. ” I remember my mother would be taken to the hospital. After a few weeks, she would come home and we would have to stay quiet amongst our family and friends. Her depression was this deep, dark secret and one I had to keep even as a young child.”
As the decades wore on, Gruss and her family witnessed misdiagnose, medical trials, psychic pain, and troublesome side-effects until Gruss’s mother passed away in the winter of 2005. After her passing, Gruss was left asking herself questions about her mother’s life, questions that would eventually change the trajectory of her own life: ‘What was happening to women with clinical depression in the United States?’ Inspired by her mother’s lifetime of unconditional love and motivated by her position to make a difference as a philanthropist, Gruss found herself driven to begin what we now know today as the Hope For Depression Research Foundation.