Kellan Fluckiger, successful international executive, author, speaker, extraordinary personal development, and business coach, Billboard charting musician, concert pianist, composer, serial entrepreneur, father of 10 children and other high-level successes.
From that description, it appears that everything is good. What you don’t know is that I also have multiple failed relationships, addiction problems, stints in rehab, and a forty-year dance of death with depression.
Finally understanding and treating my depression with both holistic therapy, meditation and medication has allowed me to become stable, productive, happily married and a significant evangelist to destigmatize depression, tell the stories in public, and do everything I can to help both those who suffer and those who are their caregivers.
What is your most recent book about?
“Tightrope of Depression, My Journey from Darkness, Despair and Death to Light, Love and Life,” is a personal journey and exploration of what it’s like to live with the beast for 40 years, mostly undiagnosed and be baffled and terrified at the consequences and collateral damage.
Finally, realizing the problem, achieving diagnosis and embarking on experimental treatment regimes has both brought me to stability and given me both patience and insight that have been helpful to many high achievers and creative’s who also struggle with this unforgiving and relentless tormentor.
I played the game and suffered in silence for decades. The one thing I would change is go get some help 30 years or more before I did.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing?
I wrote this book for three reasons
- I needed to write it. Getting the story out and looking at it as a holistic timeline has been cathartic and healing and a huge rock off of my heart.
- I wrote it to help those who are similarly afflicted. Many still go undiagnosed. It is still a disease with stigma and shame attached in full measure. Periodically some high profile person commits suicide and then we talk about it for a little while and then it slides back into the quagmire of yesterday’s news. That must stop.
- I wrote it also to give those who are the caregivers and loved ones of depressives and insight into the raging craziness that accompanies this particular. At least my version of this particular affliction.
What message do you hope readers will take away after reading your book?
Love don’t judge.
I hope the readers take away hope. I hope the readers take away ideas. I hope the readers take away an absolute determination to discuss depression and all of the related mental illnesses with kindness, compassion, and a true understanding that the afflicted aren’t playing games.
I hope the readers take away a determination to become part of the robust solution instead of part of the twittering peanut gallery of commenters who either ignorantly or out of embarrassment stand by not knowing what to say or do.
What’s one key takeaway you really want to share with people about your book and its topic?
The big takeaway is that depression is everywhere. Its causes are numerous and only partially understood. Our societal evolution is partly a contributor. Changing family structures and broken homes are also on the suspect list. Abdication of family involvement in education is partly to blame.
Relentless pursuit of self-satisfaction, personal convenience, and a conviction that your belief system is right are also big contributors. With all of our enlightenment, we still live in the semi-dark ages with respect to mental illness and its ramifications.
What’s one of the worst parts about your topic, and what did you learn from it?
The worst part for me about this topic was encapsulated by the reaction of someone near and dear to me when I began discussing the topic and my decades long affliction.
They condemned me in harsh language. They told me it was impossible that I had been suffering from depression. They call it a cop out and raged against the notion that somehow there was any contribution to my negative behaviors other than my own horrific designed to inflict pain on all those around me.
This reaction, although not unexpected, is the epitome of the reaction of many close to those who have depression. Those who have been hurt or injured or damaged in some way. They yearn for justice and sometimes revenge.Allowing the possibility that illness contributed to the problem subtracts from the fire and fury of the anger and that is in some cases robbing them of their favorite scapegoat and hobbyhorse.
Allowing the possibility that illness contributed to the problem subtracts from the fire and fury of the anger and that is in some cases robbing them of their favorite scapegoat and hobbyhorse.
If you could do things over again (in relation to your topic), what would you do differently?
Decades earlier, I would’ve sought counseling for things that were going on in my life. My upbringing treated all counseling professionals as evildoers, and scapegoats for those who wished to justify aberrant or unusual behavior.
This left me with the feeling that everything about me was wrong, seeking help for it was wrong, and that sucking it up was the only answer.
I knew in my heart that was crazy but I played the game and suffered in silence for decades. The one thing I would change is go get some help 30 years or more before I did.
What is the one thing you recommend readers do/change in relationship to your topic, and in regard to your book and its message?
Learn more, don’t ignore this and other mental illness issues, participate vigorously in the dialogue and solutions.
Mental illness is not a scapegoat or an excuse for every bad behavior, unfriendly action or criminal conduct. But the truth is far more complicated. Mental illness does present a legitimate and powerful challenge that affects behavior and judgment and we have to dive in the deep end and avoid simple answers and sharp judgments.
What is one failure you experienced in relationship to your book’s topic, and how did you overcome it?
The most awful failure for me was my multiple failed relationships. Children suffered, divorces were common and I went through most of my adult life having no personal feelings. I lived every day and every year acting a part in a play, demonstrating the feelings that seemed appropriate but never feeling anything.
Everything was a game of judgment about what I should be feeling or doing any given situation, knowing that at a moments notice I could do, be, think or feel some other feeling if it suited the situation.
The death of my own feelings occurred because of the conviction I internalized from my childhood abuse that nothing about me was acceptable, that I was fundamentally flawed and that that situation never could be remedied.
What’s one piece of advice you’re willing to offer our readers about your topic?
Don’t ignore symptoms, open your mind to the possibility that you are others may be suffering from depression. It comes and goes and is easy to dismiss. We don’t know enough about it so facing the possibility of having an unknown illness with unspecified consequences is emotionally frightening and intellectually daunting.
Love don’t judge.
Any tools or resources you’d recommend to the community on your topic?
Current research has demonstrated that brain parts damaged by neurotransmitter in balance, cortisol cascades, and excessive stress can be healed. Emerging research suggests that meditation and long walks both play a role in this healing.
As the only solution but explore alternative and comprehensive therapies and approaches. Medication is only a Band-Aid. Brain repair and neurotransmitter balance is the ultimate solution Don’t turn to pills
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
This project is near and dear to my heart. It has affected me most of my life and cause devastating consequences for those around me in my family, my ex-spouses, my children and others. It continues to have ramifications today.
It is only by concentrated and focused effort and intentional behavior that I find myself now in a place of ultimate joy, wild happiness, joyous relationship and living a full and fruitful life.
How may readers discover more about you and you work?
Facebook: Kellan Fluckiger on Facebook
LnkedIn: Kellan Fluckiger on LinkedIn
Amazon Author Page: Kellan Fluckiger