Cindy Girard has dealt with depression since the tender age of 11, when her parents divorced. By the age of 14, she had tried to commit suicide. In spite of depression haunting her on and off, she managed to complete an Honors Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, followed by a Bachelor of Education. She taught high school Mathematics and Science for fifteen years, mainly at an adult education center, where many of her students had to cope with learning disabilities, Asperger’s Syndrome, and ADHD.
She had to sacrifice her career due to personal physical health challenges and the extreme behaviors of her two special needs children, who were later diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (autism). The next eighteen months saw Cindy move to a completely new community, the collapse of her marriage, the abuse of her 10-year-old son by a trusted relative, and the shouldering of sole responsibility for her two special needs boys 24/7/365. All this with meager government financial assistance and very little personal support, while dealing with chronic fatigue and chronic respiratory infections. Needless to say, this string of circumstances, one after another, created the perfect storm, which caused Cindy to spiral into terrible depression.
Fast forward more than thirteen years, and Cindy now enjoys a depression-free life. She resides in a small rural village in Canada’s capital region, and she and her brother have started a social enterprise. Genuine Girard Foods strives to provide delicious food for those on restricted diets. Cindy loves designing new recipes and helping others enjoy wonderful food that doesn’t make them sick! As the company grows, they will train and hire those who face disabilities, visible and invisible, including mental health challenges and autism. Cindy has been speaking about depression and autism for a few years and continues to spread awareness and hope for those dealing with mental health issues and autism in their own lives or in the lives of those they love.
Her two young adult boys live in Ottawa proper. The oldest lives with his dad and is working towards his dreams of becoming a game designer and published science fantasy author. Her youngest is pursuing his dream to combine his love of mathematics and his love of computers into a career as a software engineer. Cindy, meanwhile, has her own dream of someday becoming a crazy cat lady.
You desperately want your depressed loved one to “just snap out of it!” Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. To help someone escape the deep, dark dungeon of depression, you must understand it from as many angles as possible.
Hear firsthand accounts from those who have spent time in the dungeon of depression and understand what traps people, so they are unable to “just snap out of it.” Learn what to do and what not to do in order to help your loved one break free of the dungeon.
Cindy Girard’s firsthand experience with depression, which imprisoned her on and off for over thirty-five years, will open your eyes to the many difficulties faced by those suffering from depression. After years of consultations with counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, religious figures, and other medical professionals, Ms. Girard now provides real strategies and solutions which have made a difference in her life and the lives of others.
Discover cutting-edge research which shows the connection between the health of your gut and mental health. Become aware of what you may be doing, even with good intentions, which actually reinforces the depression. Learn strategies that you can use to empower and encourage your loved one to take steps out of the dungeon, while identifying theories that are best left in the textbooks. Most importantly, learn to communicate love and acceptance independent of behaviour or achievement, so that your loved one has a safe environment to heal.
The Great Escape will equip you with tools to help you free someone you care about from depression. This dungeon is complex, often very deep, and is filled with a dark fog that twists reality. The journey to freedom is rarely quick, but it is always worth the effort!