After admitting to working as a $600 an hour escort in Las Vegas, Suzy Favor Hamilton is speaking out about her life as an escort and her battle with depression. By doing so, she's shining a spotlight on something nearly 17.5 million Americans are struggling with.
Favor Hamilton shocked her fans this week after coming clean about living a double life and left many wondering why. In a recent Twitter post, Suzy cited her desire to "escape" from a life in which she continued to feel depressed. A behavior not uncommon to many people suffering from depression.
Charity Nikolay is an outpatient therapist at North Central Health Care in Wausau. She says often times people with depression use negative coping mechanisms as a way of dealing with what they see as an inability to change their real life circumstances.
"A lot of times people do these things that in the short term they feel very good about. They kind of get that short lived high, but then there's inevitable guilt and shame that comes afterwards that just, typically just serves to deepen the depression," Nikolay told NewsChannel 7.
Nikolay says that feeling shame can negatively effect self esteem, leaving an individual to believe they're a bad person. These feelings tend to be highlighted around the holidays.
"If your life isn't where you want it to be, I think sometimes the holidays bring us to reflect and if we don't measure up to what we think it should be that can worsen the depression," Nikolay explained.
If you think you might be experiencing some symptoms of depression, such as significant and prolonged sadness, troubles sleeping, poor appetite and low motivation Nikolay says a good first step is to go see your general practitioner. But she advises not to stop there, as the best way to treat depression is with a combination of medicine and therapy.