The Luckiest Man on Earth: Surviving 38 Years of Depressionby Robert L. Hamlett
The first 38 years of my life was a never ending battle with depression and a struggle for my sanity. I was born in the 40's, grew up in the 50's and reached manhood in the 60's. Doctors in those eras were just beginning to come to terms with the causes and effects of clinical depression and its debilitating effect. At that time, medication to treat depression was primarily experimental in nature and not available to most people.
Until I was hospitalized in 1969, at the age of 26, not a single person was aware of the demons I had been fighting all my life. Even my family and friends were unaware the periods of hopelessness and despair that I had endured. From all appearances, I had led a "normal" life and, in some ways, appeared to be a high achiever. In high school, college, the military and in my later work experience, I managed to "muddle through" and to some extent excel. I had an instinct for survival which compelled me to endure life regardless of how painful it might be.
Most people probably do not understand how I could have survived and had the semblance of a normal life had I suffered constantly from depression. If the depression had been constant, I probably would have been an early casualty of the disease. In my experience, the depression "waxed and waned". I sometimes went months suffering only modest depression. There were even periods when the malady was dormant and I experienced the happiness that other people feel. However, I was constantly waiting for "the other shoe to fall". When it fell, it often did so with a vengeance.
Robert L. Hamlett was born on June 13, 1943 in the "Buckle of the Bible belt". After attending local schools, he enrolled at the University of Tennessee, where he graduated, with honors, in December 1965. Between 1966 and 1969, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. His service included tours aboard the USS Frontier (AD-25) and at the U.S. Naval Support Activity, Danang, South Vietnam.
Upon return to civilian life, Mr. Hamlett worked as an Audit Supervisor for the State of Tennessee for thirty-three years, retiring in 2003. While working fulltime, he attended law school at night, graduating 3rd. in a class of 83 in June 1976. In July, 1976, he passed the Tennessee Bar Examination.
Mr. Hamlett enjoys duplicate bridge, Fantasy Football and extensive reading when not writing. He is married with two grown children. This is his fifth book.
- Dog Ear Publishing
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.36(d)
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