Angela's husband, Ian, helped others to understand the nature of her depressive illness
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27th May 2014

When music teacher, Angela, suffered a serious depressive episode, her husband took matters into his own hands. He encouraged Angela to take time off work to allow herself to recover, and decided to email all her regular clients himself. This is the email he sent, on Mother's Day:


Hello all. 

No doubt you are all being spoiled rotten by your loving families today (as you should be every day!) but I would appreciate you taking time to read this.

My wife comes across as such a strong individual that the recent insight she felt necessary to give into her suffering from depression would I’m sure have come as a shock to most of you, some of whom have known her from when she started her classes 8 years ago. The truth is, clinical depression is a physical illness that happens to strong, sensitive people who put the needs of others before their own until a point in the brain goes BANG! In the simplest terms, Ange has blown a fuse.

It is curable or at least manageable with the right treatments.

Once the body breaks the mind can soon follow, often clouding judgement and betraying reason, and what Angela needs more than anything right now is to rest physically which will help her to repair the connection and return her mental strength. To this end I have felt it necessary to step in cancel the classes for the rest of term. I have discussed this with Ange and the last thing she wants to do is “let you down again” but I have to be selfish on her behalf and protect my wife’s well-being.

Angela thinks the world of your children and I know she has made many friends among the parents, often being there to give honest advice or a shoulder to cry on. I truly hope that you will afford her the same sensitivity when she needs it most. Depression is often misunderstood as a weakness easily overcome- Angela is the strongest person I know and I am unbelievably proud of her.

Please do not reply to this email as I want to alleviate her work stresses. Please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to answer any of your questions with regards next term, missed classes this term etc.

I will contact the musicianship classes separately.

I hope you understand and appreciate my decision as I’m sure we all want Angela back to how we love her. I apologise for any inconvenience.

Kind regards


nb. I have found greater understanding of what my wife and others go through in Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong by Dr Tim Cantopher. The introduction alone tells the tale but chapters 1 & 5 are invaluable. Just thought I’d mention it. No pressure!!”

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