MARQUETTE — According to a local therapist depression is the second most common behavioral illness in our community, but just like with addiction there are resources to fight it. ABC Ten and CW Five’s Sarah Mac talks with a local advocate to find out what his depression was like and his methods to recovery in part two of her series.

According to Mayo Clinic depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Depression can affect anyone at anytime.

Therapist Paul Olsen says some people only go through depression once or twice in their lifetime, sometimes because of stress and anxiety or chemical imbalances, or some people may have depression consistently once or twice a year for sometimes weeks or months at a time.

Olsen says recovery often takes a combination of different treatments – like medication and counseling. For people to find out what is best for them there are different behavioral health centers in the area, like Great Lakes Recovery, where they can meet with a therapist.

“For the last several years we’ve branched out into behavioral health meaning helping people with issues of mental health or regarding to depression, anxiety, all kinds of mental health disorders. Anything from post–traumatic–stress disorder to depression and anxiety and everything in between.”

George Savolainen deals with a mental illness, and because of it also deals with depression. He says depression can be hard on an individual not only because of the symptoms but also because family and friends may not understand, or know how to help.

“When you’re dealing with depression it’s sort of hard to have other people recognize what you’re going through, and it’s really darkness that you’re into,” George added, “In some cases it’s that, ‘Oh snap out of it,’ you know, ‘You’re going to be ok,’ you know, ‘It’s just a little phase you’re going through,’ but it isn’t that way, it really isn’t that way. Depression can last a long time.”

Now George volunteers and advocates for the National Alliance on Mental Illness – or NAMI – to advocate and educate.

“I also am involved in our classes,” he added, “which involve families who have loved ones with mental illness, and I basically tell my story.”

George stays active and keeps up with his favorite hobbies as a part of his recovery.

“I do the things I enjoy again: hunting, fishing, making furniture, living out in the woods, like I do, just enjoying nature, and just enjoying life again, and trying to be helpful in the community.”

He says another part of his recovery are his pets that he adopted from a local shelter.

For more information about NAMI click here.

For more information on Great Lakes Recovery Centers click here.

For more information on Pathways click here.

For more information on UP Health Systems Behavioral Health click here.