Today Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson released the following statement:
“As you know, in an effort to protect my family, I have and will continue to have a practice that I do not discuss my personal and private life. However, in this situation, I feel compelled to speak out in order to possibly help others. For the past two and a half years, ever since my separation and divorce, I have struggled with the disease of depression. Depression is a disease which affects millions of people everyday in this country. Like most people who suffer from depression, I regularly see a physician and take prescription medications.
“While depression often seems to be resolved on occasion, when personal trials or tribulations arise, it flares back up. That is what occurred with me. My depression became so severe that I took substantial steps to do harm to myself and to take my own life. I am thankful that because of medical intervention I have instead been able to now receive help and support.
“Just as the estimated 17 million other Americans who share the challenge of depression, I am ashamed and embarrassed. I realize now the high level of love and encouragement that surrounds me, and that is why I am sharing this with you. It is my hope that by coming forward and admitting my depression and attempt to take my own life that others may have the strength to seek treatment, too.
“The effects of depression peak during the holiday season we are now approaching. If you know someone who is struggling, reach out to them. Listen to them. Take their fears and concerns seriously.
“I ask that the media use discernment if they report this and remember my friends and family who are also hurting. I fully believe this has and will continue to push me to find my best self and use my position of leadership to raise awareness and let others know they are not alone. Thank you for your thoughts and your prayers.”