Oral History

Steve Lappen has for many years dedicated himself to fighting the stigma of mental illness. He was one of the original participants in the National Institute of Mental Health’s “Real Men, Real Depression” campaign. He is a past president of the DBSA Boston where he maintains an active role as member and facilitator. Today he continues to guest lecture at colleges and universities as an advocate for mental health and wellness. He’s also a published poet and essayist.

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Everett Page came to DBSA Boston 27 years ago and has spent a third of his lifetime helping thousands of DBSA members find hope and support through his leadership and group facilitation. He is known for his consistent support and guidance—no matter what kind of day he’s having—to help fellow group members lead their own unlimited lives.

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To display Everett’s story click the blue button. Everett Page's Story

Everett’s personal story follows:

Everett Page

I was born in the middle of the great depression in 1933. Hoover was president and my family was trying to make ends meet.

I must have been depressed from my early years. I wrote a suicide note when I was in the third grade. My father tore it up and said, “What a dumb thing to write.” That was the end of it.

I struggled through high school on the honor roll or, when depressed, on the dishonor roll. The same happened in college, but I received my Bachelor of Science in Education and got a job teaching. I married my wife Dorothy and had a son. Two more sons were born and I got my Master’s Degree. I changed jobs, looking for something more rewarding. Depression was always in the way.

I took on several volunteer jobs with community groups and began to medicate myself with alcohol. My depression got worse, and in November of 1980, I was hospitalized. I was in the hospital until the end of April, 1981.

Dr. Martin Kafka had me try an experimental medication. It took time to find the right dosage. He also introduced me to DBSA, a new group for people with depression.

I know now that three things are necessary for keeping me well. The first is finding a doctor you can work well with. Second, taking the time to find the right medication, and third, to have a good support system that includes family and my DBSA Boston group.

I have worked with DBSA Boston from 1983 and have taken an active part in the group. For twenty-seven years I have worked in the office three days a week. Though depressed, I never waited for better days to come or tried to recapture better days’ past.

I drive fifty-two miles each way to get to the office to be of help to others.
There were bad days when depression was a burden, but with the help of family and my DBSA friends, life could become better.

Hope is what I have. Hope that tomorrow will be better than today. Hope that I can be of help to others who have the same ailment as myself.

DBSA honored Everett Page with the 2013 Life Unlimited Award at the DBSA 2013 National Conference in Miami,Florida.

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