A successful entrepreneur and mother of three, Chelle had always dealt with social anxiety—but a painful and ugly divorce threw her deep into a paralyzing depression. She struggled with feelings of despair, and reached a point when she couldn’t even leave her house. With the help and encouragement of several concerned friends, Chelle finally sought treatment. This is Chelle’s depression and anxiety treatment experience with Brightside.
Chelle Lynn Temple
42 years old • Business Ops Consultant, COO • Las Vegas, NV • Brightside member
I have dealt with anxiety for many years. Social anxiety kept me from going out with friends and maintaining long term friendships. I avoided public speaking at all costs, which really held me back in my corporate career. Quite honestly, it was one of the many reasons I left my corporate job five years ago to start my own consulting firm, where I could grow a business in a way that kept me behind the scenes and out of the limelight.
My experience with anxiety & depression
I recently went through a very ugly divorce. I am not private about this at all and I think it’s a very significant part of my story. My separation and divorce lasted almost a year and half and exacerbated my underlying anxiety and depression symptoms. Life got pretty dark for a while and I even moved to another state to try and start over. It helped, but I was still struggling with getting out of bed every day, crying without any direct reason, and worrying constantly about everything. It was paralyzing.
As my anxiety and depression worsened, I felt like I was slipping away into a very dark place, and I really didn’t have any desire to leave that place.
Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, I have always been an active person, jogging and hiking for most of my life. As my anxiety and depression worsened, I felt like I was slipping away into a very dark place, and I really didn’t have any desire to leave that place. I had all but forgotten about the outdoors and being active. I stopped eating and lost 55 pounds. I was wasting away in the dark. It was scary and comfortable at the same time, which sounds odd, but I felt like the outside world was scarier than the darkness inside.
I now understand that is a big sign that something is wrong. I was in a new state, all alone, hiding in my house. This may not sound like much, except when you look back at who I used to be: a successful business consultant who traveled around the world almost every month, a mother to three beautiful kids, and a life full of friends and family. Where I was when I found Brightside was a far cry from who I was before.
Brightside helped me see massive changes in myself
In 2020, I started with online therapy with another telehealth company. It was great for validation of my personal issues and talking through solutions, but it didn’t address a much deeper layer that even I didn’t realize was there. I didn’t feel like it was fully addressing the whole issue.
By the time I found Brightside, I was literally not leaving my home at all. I had groceries delivered, food delivered, and Amazon was my best friend. I had fully retreated from the outside world and was crying every single day for no apparent reason. A couple of girlfriends checked in on me and encouraged me to see a doctor. They were very worried about where I was heading, and I was worried, too.
I chose Brightside because I liked that Brightside plans were affordable and accessible to me. As a solo entrepreneur, I only carry catastrophic health coverage (preventative coverage is too expensive), and had no mental health coverage. I also wanted to find care online because I was house-bound. I didn’t know that this type of mental health support was available online until I found Brightside.
I didn’t know that this type of mental health support was available online until I found Brightside.
During our first call, my Brightside Therapist instantly saw what was going on with me. I was a wreck and immediately started crying. He quietly listened and encouraged me to just talk. He made me feel safe in doing so and never made me feel rushed.
I like that my Brightside Therapist isn’t too “clinical.” Yes, he gives me clinical advice and asks clinical questions, but he’s real and caring and seems to be more focused on how my life is going. This approach feels much more safe and productive, moving me gently toward where I need to be.
My treatment experience with Brightside
Once I began treatment with Brightside, my symptoms improved almost immediately. Within a week I noticed I wasn’t crying for no reason anymore. Within a couple of weeks of treatment, I decided to hire a personal trainer in a private gym to jumpstart my activity—and now am active on my own. In April, I began to shift my business and actively pursue publicity and growth as the face of the company.
What I love most about Brightside is the dependability, routine, and genuine care. I know I can depend on my doctor to respond in a timely manner. My medication is sent on time each month without me having to do anything. I love the routine of the check-ins and monthly calls. It’s a predictable cadence that easily fits into my very busy schedule. I also appreciate the genuine care from my doctor. He never rushes me off our calls and always asks how my life is going.
I am 100% a Brightside success story. Without Brightside, my doctor, and medication, I never would’ve gotten out of my house and back to the active lifestyle I once had.
This is the best I’ve felt in years. Literally, I do not remember the last time I felt this good. Even in previous years when things were going well and I was being active, I still didn’t feel this clear and happy. I am 100% a Brightside success story. Without Brightside, my doctor, and medication, I never would’ve gotten out of my house and back to the active lifestyle I once had.
Fortunately, I haven’t met many obstacles on my path to treatment. However, I did find out the hard way that remembering to take my medicine regularly has to be a priority. “Out of sight, out of mind” is very true for me, so I had to develop a routine for remembering to take my medication daily.
I’m extremely pleased to report that, with treatment, I have gotten back to so many things I love doing. I’m jogging weekly and going on hikes in Red Rocks on the weekends. My business has been repositioned in a way that has put my face front and center, and I’m loving it. For the first time, I am not scared to be in the limelight, and I’m getting back to my active, outdoorsy roots.
There is no shame in seeking help
We live in a very high stress world that looks down upon those who struggle with diagnoses that aren’t tangible and visible. These “hidden” sufferings are killing people every day. We hide these things because we are shamed and unacknowledged for how real they are by those who can’t see or feel what we see and feel. I feel like if I had not received help when I did, my prognosis may have been very dark. We need to let others know that it’s okay and that it affects people just like them.
I decided to share my story because I want women who are struggling to know they aren’t alone and there are affordable and confidential options available to them.
I am a very successful, college-educated, award-winning, sought-after consultant and mother of three. Mental illness affects people just like me. Mental illness affects people different from me. You can’t just “snap out of it.” And it’s okay. You need real help in forms that work for you. Sometimes it’s therapy and sometimes it’s medication. I decided to share my story because I want women who are struggling to know they aren’t alone and there are affordable and confidential options available to them.
Personal essay by Chelle Lynn Temple
Thank you, Chelle, for sharing your journey with us. For more member stories, check out Marnie’s story, Annie’s story, and Joe’s story. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, you are not alone. Talking about these illnesses is the first step towards destigmatizing the topic of mental health. Get connected with one of our providers today to figure out if Brightside is right for you.