My name is Tony Stephan, and this is the story
of how my family overcame mental illness, after devastating loss.
In 1994 I had been married to my beloved wife Debbie for 23 years. During that time, we lost her father to suicide. He had struggled with severe depression, and in 1978, fatally overdosed on medications to escape his suffering. Then, sixteen years later, my beloved wife Debbie succumbed to the same fate . . . suicide.
Debbie had been diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder 1 with Rapid Cycling. One day she simply ended it. The pain was unbearable. It was like somebody took a chalkboard eraser and wiped out the most precious part of my life.
It got worse. My son Joseph, fifteen years old, and his older sister, Autumn, were diagnosed with the same