By Lisa Larson
When Brandi Braegger, of Cedar City, was 13 years old she had a major depressive episode that served as the beginning of a rollercoaster ride that would eventually include self medication, binge drinking, nine hospitalizations, post-partum hallucinations and four suicide attempts.
“When I’d wake up it would be a huge despair (thinking) ‘I’m still here,'” Braegger says of the attempts that involved taking excessive amounts of pills.
It’s a situation to which Josh Barker, of St. George, can relate. For years this 34-year-old experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, combined with certain obsessions and compulsions that often dictated his actions, yet he never really knew that his behavior wasn’t normal.
“For a while I thought this was how everybody operated,” Barker says.
It’s taken therapy and proper medication to help him realize that isn’t the case.