An energetic, loving, very happy and successful-looking mother of three took her own life three weeks ago. That is horribly sad in and of itself. But then her friend relayed to me what her husband had found on her night stand — my book, Perfectly Hidden Depression. 

My eyes filled with tears. And yet I grew more determined than ever to get the message of the book out so people like this woman might hear that there is a real problem – and that it’s depression, just not classic depression. And it’s dangerous.

Her death has been heavy on my heart and mind. We’re in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Month and I wondered what I could offer.

I’m so grateful to well-known podcasters such as Dr. Caroline Leaf to Kimberley Quinlan to Dr. Karin to Emily Morse who have used their own massive followings to help spread the message about perfectionism’s role in hiding depression. But humble thank you’s also belong with much smaller (in size) voices who are just as excited and challenged by this overlooked presentation of depression – and they want their listeners to know.

So I have many thanks to go around. At the end of this post, you’ll find a list of them all. And I hope that you’ll listen to their podcasts – They are fantastic people doing fantastic work.

There was one interview that was a nail biter for me – the Lewis Howes’ interview on The School of Greatness. It’s not an interview on my book actually. It’s an interview about therapy and psychology and the role of shame in our lives.

For one thing, I was flabbergasted to be invited. His podcast is listened to by hundreds of thousands of people and ranks month the top 50 podcasts of all podcasts. But his producer had loved the book (I never got to ask why…), and she was behind my presence there. His guests have included folks like Brené Brown and every other psychological guru you could name. But celebrities and scientists and creators. I had to fly out to LA to be on, but I would’ve flown anywhere to appear. It was that big a deal.

So I walk in. We were in his apartment because he was in between creating his own studio and leaving his former digs. So there I am, bright California sunshine pouring through floor to ceiling windows and sitting at his breakfast table, surrounded by cameras and equipment. I’d expected a dark studio with huge sound panels to soak up any noise. I could feel my heart beating as my laugh ricocheted off the hard kitchen counters.

He began by giving me a huge hug and telling me two things. First, he hadn’t read the book. “Okay. We’ll still have lots to chat about” is what I said. What I was thinking, “Hell, what have i gotten myself into?” Then second, he told me he didn’t feel well, and might have to stop the interview from time to time. The “mom” came out of me immediately and I asked if he felt like doing this. He assured me he did. And we went forward.

Oh… there was one more question. “Anything off-limits?” he asked, his eyes twinkling a bit.

“No, I’m an open book,” came out of my mouth. So I took a deep breath. But then, I found myself oddly calm. And I reminded myself to stay in this moment. And took another deep breath.

And we were off.

Here’s the interview. His questions were difficult to answer. Very thought-provoking, deeply rooted in me being a therapist and what I’d learned both from my career and my life

This interview shows my vulnerability and heart as best I can show it. At least at this point in my life. And I think it’s perfect to feature for this month particularly. It’s not short – but it’s jam-packed.

Thank you, Lewis. I hope you’re feeling better. And I’ll come back anytime.

Please take care of your own mental health. Sometimes all it takes is becoming aware – and that can lead you to healing.

If you’d like to listen to some of my other interviews


BetterHelp is offering a 10% discount on the first month of therapy with one of their licensed counselors who is matched with your needs. Check it out by clicking here!

You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

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