"Depression hurt physically, a pain like a pit in the stomach that won’t go away. "
by Doug Duncan

Doug-Duncan-webcrop.jpgDepression can affect anyone — men, women, and children — at any point in their lives. And its debilitating effects show up in many different ways. Doug Duncan tells us how depression changed his life.

Mr. Duncan is the President and CEO of Leadership Greater Washington, where he works with regional leaders to create positive community impact. Earlier in his career, he was the mayor of Rockville, Maryland, and the Montgomery County executive for 12 years, a position he held longer than anyone else in the county’s history.

An Unwelcome Change of Plans

In 2006, he was a promising candidate for the Democratic nomination in the Maryland gubernatorial election. But the depression he'd fought for two years caused him to drop his campaign abruptly and change his plans for the future. He describes that time as "the two years I lived in hell."

"The Family Curse"

Duncan has a family history of depression: His grandfather and father struggled with it, and he’s one of 13 siblings, many of whom have shown signs of depression at varying levels.

When he realized he was suffering from depression, he immediately saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed him with major depressive disorder — and he started treatment right away. Since then, he has talked about his experience with depression to destigmatize it, which he's hopeful will help other people with the same illness.