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Hersh, Julie

Julie Hersh

Julie Hersh is board president of the Dallas Children’s Theater, an active supporter of the Suicide and Crisis Center, Mental Health America, Empower African Children, and other nonprofit organizations. Hersh worked in high-tech product development and marketing/ sales in Silicon Valley before retiring from a lucrative sales management position after the birth of her first child. A longtime member of the Cooper Center, Hersh ran her first marathon at age forty-eight. She lives with her husband and two children in Dallas, Texas. She speaks frequently to audiences about depression and mental health.

After leaving the business world to care for her two small children and her aging grandparents, Julie Hersh felt that she had evaporated into her surroundings, no longer sure of who she was. She became deeply depressed—badly enough to very nearly take her own life three times. Faltering under the burden of her growing depression, she contemplated the purpose of her very existence while trying to function as a wife, mother, and community member.

Most people answer these questions without a tour of the psychiatric ward, but Hersh’s road was bumpy—the psych ward was only one of many stops on her journey to overcoming the clinical depression that seemed to rob her of a normal life. Struck by Living is Hersh’s harrowing but rewarding tale of this battle, of how she fought for her life through counseling, medication, and electroconvulsive therapy.

Struck by Living—a memoir that reads more like a well-paced novel—is the story of how one woman chose life over death. It also illuminates the true nature of depression as a disease, to which people can by genetically predisposed and which can be treated. Realizing that so many of us are only one step removed from the devastation of mental illness or even suicide, Hersh shares her riveting story in the hope that more people will be aware of the signs of depression and that more lives will be saved.

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