In a recent interview with the Co-founder of Melissa and Doug and the Author of “Lifelines”, Melissa Berstein opened up about her lifelong struggle with depression. Despite her immense success with her toy company, she constantly wondered about her true purpose on earth. “From my earliest recollections, I felt like I didn’t belong here on Earth, and that something was profoundly wrong deep within my being. Why am I here? What is the meaning of life if we are all ultimately going to die? I felt utter despair.” Melissa said. She spent most of her life concealing her mental struggles even from her parents and her children. The only therapy she sought out was writing little verses ever since she was a young girl.
She didn’t seek any professional help and developed eating disorders. She weighed only 82 pounds when she met her husband, Doug at age 19. She wanted to control everything else because she couldn’t control her thoughts. She hit rock bottom in college when she created a cocktail of pills that could stop her heart. She would carry it around every day and thought that if the pain became too much to bear, the pills would always be there. Melissa tried to suppress her pain by focusing on her creative work. “So, for 32 years I’ve made toys. We created this amazing family. However, [I] was still repressing and denying who I was” She said
Finally, she reached her breaking point and enlisted herself with a professional to begin the journey of self-love. There is evidence that shows that CEOs may be depressed at more than the rate of the general public. Melissa pointed out that despite the riches, she constantly struggled with her inner despair. She understood the importance of mental health and emphasized on the importance of seeking help when in despair. She said “It’s so exhausting, having to live a lie.” She later developed her website “Lifelines” to help other people who are struggling with depression.
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Melissa & Doug co-founder opens up about her secret struggle. (2021, March 14). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/melissa-and-doug-co-founder-melissa-bernstein-on-depression-and-lifelines/