Praise for Breaking Free of Depression’s Grip

Bruce Ross tells a poignant, purposeful success story.

Success in living with depression since high school, success in a distinguished career as a chief financial officer in the billion-dollar credit union industry in Canada, and success as a husband and father.

In the Olympic challenges of life, Bruce climbed the steep and rugged hills of a mental health condition that pulls you like a magnet in the opposite direction. His Gold Medal achievement was hard-won and holding onto it remains a never-take-it-for-granted quest.

Bruce tells his story in clear, practical, and informative terms—of how he overcame the hard facts of life with depression, held them in check, suffered but never gave up, and the avails of hard work and strong support that helped save his life.

Lots to learn from Breaking Free of Depression’s Grip. Lots to admire, lots to inspire. Especially because depression saps one’s motivation.

Yet, Bruce fought back and looked deep into himself and into the work he wanted and had to do as a trained professional. His is a story of guts and determination, a story of an employer—a credit union CEO—who believed in him, encouraged, and supported his daily contest with an invasive condition while stewarding the financial health of a large financial institution.

For insight into how depression grips one’s aspirations, for insight into how one man, his family, and his employer loosened that grip so Bruce could breathe, grow, and succeed in life and in business, this is a must read. Yes, a must read.

Bill Wilkerson, LL. D. (Hon)
Executive Chairman, Mental Health International

When I first met Bruce in the late 1980s, he had just started his career at Unigasco Credit Union in Chatham, Ontario. By the time he retired from Mainstreet Credit Union, I had the privilege of getting to know him personally and professionally.

I learned about his long-term battle with depression, which was traced back to early high school in the mid-1970s but was not medically diagnosed until 1995. When he retired in 2019, he had lived with depression continuously for over forty-five years. Despite the efforts of numerous MDs and PhDs, twenty different antidepressants, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), and
Ketamine treatment, among other measures, the pain unrelented.

Even with a crushing depression burden, Bruce excelled academically during his thirty-two-year career with the credit union system. While working full time he attained his CPA and CFP designations, and his MBA at fifty-five years old. He steadily progressed from Accounting Supervisor and ended as Senior Vice President of Finance. And now, even though he is technically retired, Bruce teaches economics and taxation at Fanshawe College in London.

I commend Bruce for having the courage not only to persevere with a disease that would have crippled most, but to triumph in his working career as well as in his personal life. Equally as impressive is his willingness to share his struggles in candid detail.

For his courage and openness, I applaud Bruce for writing Breaking Free of Depression’s Grip – A Powerful Success Story. He is undeniably testament to what a person can achieve despite what seems like an insurmountable obstacle.

Janet Grantham
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mainstreet Credit Union
Sarnia, Ontario

Breaking Free of Depression’s Grip by Bruce Ross can truly inspire those who have or know of someone who suffers from depression and anxiety. Bruce has a valuable message of hope and inspiration. Our joint kinship has made me realize how essential it is that his message needs to be heard. Through my recent year as a Rotary International District Governor, he has motivated me to carry this theme as proof of the importance of education and empathy to help remove the sigma around mental health. Bruce’s story encourages us all to strive for action to make a difference by removing the need to stay quiet about what can be and often is an urgent personal issue. Bruce has proved through his tenacity and perseverance to be able to lead a successful and fulfilling family life and professional career despite the challenges of depression all through his adult life. Kudos to Bruce for overcoming the odds. His story helps us to understand more clearly what he has gone through to be the successful person he is. This is a must read!

Barry Fraser
Fraser & Associates
Rotary District 6380 Governor 2017/18
Chatham Ontario

Breaking Free of Depression’s Grip is a moving testament of perseverance to overcome obstacles. Bruce provides a striking account of what it is like to struggle with depression and to harness the resilience to live life alongside it.

Sakina Rizvi, PhD, MACP, RP
Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
ASR Suicide and Depression Studies Unit
St. Michael’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry,
University of Toronto

I have been fortunate to be a part of Bruce’s life for many years. Our connection and friendship have grown as Bruce described his experience and journey with depression. He has always been transparent with his feelings while sharing concrete facts and information. Through our relationship I have gained great awareness of depression along with admiration for Bruce’s resolve to try all presented options for intervention.

Breaking Free of Depression’s Grip is evidence of Bruce’s ability to connect with others, to share important information about depression, and to demonstrate that improvement is possible. His resiliency and accomplishments are an inspiration and source of encouragement to all. I thank Bruce for this significant resource at a time of increasing mental health concerns in our society.

Donna Litwin Makey
Executive Director, Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent
OT Reg. (Ont.), MBA

Breaking Free of Depression’s Grip describes a remarkable journey of Treatment Refractory Depression (TRD), which I have been privileged to be a part of professionally.

In his humbleness, Bruce does not describe his advocacy for bringing in funds for patient care through the Rotary Club and his counselling of patients of innovative treatments providing them hope.

TRD is a journey. Bruce describes how he was hopeful in achieving his best functionality and reveals his willingness to participate in innovative and experimental treatments to help others.

The journey will continue with newer treatment options such as Psilocybin and Trans Magnetic Stimulation on the horizon.

Bruce is to be commended for his resilience throughout the treatment process and sharing his life-long experience to empower others to be hopeful.

A must read.

Dr. Ranjith Chandrasena, MD, FRCP(C)
Scientific Director, CKCTRC
Former Chief of Psychiatry & Chief of staff, CKHA
Adjunct Professor, Western & McMaster Universities