• By Laurel Kelly

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Breaking the silence and stigma of mental illness

November 10, 2019
Sharing Mayo Clinic patient Mark Markham

Editor's note: It wasn't that long ago that Mark Markham found himself with little will to live. Mark, a medical administrative assistant in Mayo Clinic's Department of Neurosurgery, sought help from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. He credits the compassionate staff at Mayo, the power of mindfulness and meditation, and the unwavering support of friends, family and co-workers for where he is today: thriving in a life he loves. Mark shares his story here in his own words.


By Mark Markham

I am a 34-year-old who suffers with anxietyobsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder. But I am not just that. I also am a 34-year-old who is a creative musician, a husband, a father to the cutest Yorkie you could ever meet (Dolce), a devoted staff member in Neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, a compassionate and kind friend, and an individual who finds joy and laughter daily.

This story is about dealing with a mental illness and still thriving with a job and life I passionately and deeply love and care about. I do this with the help of Mayo Clinic as an institution, its staff, my friends, family, and most importantly, Generose (Department of Psychiatry and Psychology).

My need to share this story comes from a place of strength, compassion, honesty, and care for self and others like me. I feel like I — and we — need to take steps to break the silence on what people think of mental illness and suicide.

Read the rest of Mark's story.

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This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.

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