As part of WBFO’s Mental Health Initiative, we are launching the first in a series of videos, profiling sufferers of mental illness. They are willing to share their personal stories to break the stigma of mental illness. Our first video features one of our own, longtime WBFO anchor Mark Wozniak. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley brings us Wozniak's story of depression.
Mark Wozniak is WBFO's afternoon anchor and host of All Things Considered. Mark has been with WBFO for 40 0f the 60 years of the radio station. He now wants to share his story of depression.
"I’m here to talk about depression because I’m a person who suffers from depression. I have for a long time," Wozniak said.
Mark was diagnosed with depression in the early 1990s, suffering from what he described as “unhappiness.” He was treated with anti-depressants.
“But yet it still persisted and in the late 90s my son Alex became seriously ill with cancer and that certainly didn’t help things. He was nine at the time and we dealt with the illness for a good six years before he finally passed away when he was 16. And that exasperated things and I started seeing a psychiatrist,” Wozniak recalls.
But was there an earlier life trigger for Mark’s depression?“My mother died when I was 12 and a lot of things I had to deal with on my own and no longer having a mother to confide in, a lot stuff just stayed inside, shimmered and bubbled and boiled,” remarked Wozniak. “They depth of grief is usually equal to the depth of love you have for a person.”Mark feels ready to share his depression story to help others in our community.
“There are other people out there who are in the same boat who are living with depression, sort of a quiet desperation. You’re not alone and maybe if I can tell my story, someone else will hear the story and decide they too are not alone and maybe, like the Prayer of St. Francis, ‘May it start with me’," said Wozniak. “Tomorrow will come again, the sun will rise.”
Support for the WBFO Mental Health Initiative is provided by the Patrick P. Lee Foundation. Video photographer Andy Golebiowski produced our video.