Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The old classic "I thought I could beat it"

This is a story that happened Monday 21 Setpember 2009. This man is a prominent politician in Australian politics. Please read his story.

Depression took Robb 'to hell and back'

Senior Coalition MP Andrew Robb says he has been humbled by the support he has received from both sides of politics since revealing that he suffers from a depressive illness.

The man once touted as a possible Liberal leadership contender is relinquishing his frontbench duties for three months while he gets treatment for his condition, known as diurnal variation.

The Member for Goldstein has lived with the illness - which makes him depressed and negative in the hours after he wakes up - for all of his life, but was forced to seek treatment after it became worse in recent times.

"It's a long-standing family joke that my wife would not discuss the state of our marriage before 8:30am and the kids wouldn't ask for money," he told Fairfax Radio.

Mr Robb said he was hoping to continue to keep his condition a secret while he was receiving treatment, and only told his three adult children about it last Friday.

He was forced to go public because it was a struggle to cope with adjusting to medication and in the last six weeks he had "been to hell and back".

"You don't turn around 50 years of body chemistry in three weeks," he said.

"No-one knew much except my wife and my personal assistant and a couple of other colleagues, not even my kids.

"I thought I can beat this and come good, but after a while I thought, 'This is madness."

Mr Robb says he feels "in a lot better frame of mind" since he went public and says colleagues on both sides of politics have been fantastic.

He has received phone calls from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his political adversary Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, as well as messages of support from those in his own party.

"It's been a humbling experience really," he said.

He has no plans at this stage to give up politics and expects to return to full duties once he recovers.

"I really want to get back in the front line firing so I'm going to use the next three months to try and do that," he said.

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