From suicidal to thriving: a video interview with cathleen spacil on how to find joy

Have you ever felt hopeless?  Alone?  Wandering aimlessly through life for days, weeks, months and sometimes years?

Cathleen Spacil has.  Watch the video to hear her experiences with mental illness and brain injury to the point of being suicidal, and how she found joy and you can too.


More on Cathleen…

Cathleen Spacil

Cathleen is a survivor of mental illness, having been diagnosed with dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder with agoraphobia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Cathleen also suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from electro-convulsive therapy (ECT). As a result, she has become an advocate for the mentally ill and those living with brain injury.

Eight years ago, Cathleen’s daughter, Savannah, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The tumor and its treatment destroyed a significant part of Savannah’s hypothalamus, the area of the brain that controls hunger and appetite. As a result, Savannah’s body perceives it’s in “starvation mode” all the time. Though many doctors predicted that Savannah would not survive, she has overcome the odds and is still living, despite the many challenges and obstacles she continues to face.

Editor’s Note:  This is our first video interview on Mental Health Talk and I am so excited to share it with you.  Please take the time to give me your feedback in the comments below!

I also wanted to say a HUGE thank you to my husband Alain for his advanced technical wizardry.  He took my vision for the MHT intro and made it come true!  And then he spent hours putting together this video so it was just right. 

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  • Mark

    Thank you, Cathleen, for sharing your story, your wisdom, and your inspiration. I love the idea of starting the day with something creative. I also like the point that you can experience at least some joy every day, even if it is not all day. The depressed mind does not want to believe this, so your perspective is very helpful.

    Trish, the video adds so much to make Cathleen’s story, and your mission with this site, even more human and real. Love the flying butterflies too! Looking forward to seeing and hearing more.

    • Cathleen Spacil

      Thanks for the comments Mark! I’m so happy that this was helpful for you! JOY to you!

    • Trish

      I too really picked up on Cathleen’s idea of starting the day with something creative. I now get up earlier so that I can spend an hour drawing before I get into my “work”. I have only been doing it for a three days now and I already feel the creativity flowing–creative ideas are forming in my head of what I want to do next. Great stuff. Thanks for your feedback Mark. I too feel the video format is really resonating with people and Cathleen really does shine!

      • Cathleen Spacil

        You are so kind Trish :-)! I’m so happy that you’ve adopted the early morning creative ritual!

  • rejean goudreault

    Video format hit home…
    Great work! Thank you!!

  • NB

    Thanks to Cathleen for lots of insperation. She just shows that the little things goes along way with mental illness. Lots of JOY to you .
    Great Video Trish. Well done putting it together Alain. Loved the butterflies

    • Cathleen Spacil

      Thank you so much for the kind words! I LOVE what I do and I LOVE sharing my words of wisdom!

  • Sophia

    Fantastic motto “live a life of joy”. I found the tips that Cathleen shared on finding joy everyday to be so inspirational. While I’m not an early bird, I will be incorporating some of these in my day-to-day activity.
    Great job on your videos Tricia! Looking forward to many more!

    • Cathleen Spacil

      Sophia, I’m so happy you found this to be useful! I hope you keep finding JOY in all the things you experience in your life! Have a creative day! 🙂

  • Chantal

    Awesome video. Very inspiring! Thank your for sharing your JOY! I love the Happy Jar!

    ~ Chantal

  • Cathleen Spacil

    Thanks so much Chantal!

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