Crazy, Who ME ?

My personal struggle with depression reared it’s ugly head when I was 3 years old. “The black pile” was my constant companion for the better part of 58 years of my life, until I finally found a way out. Yes, you can teach an old(er) dog new tricks!

Crazy, Who Me? is a journey of entrepreneurial leadership while struggling with major depressive disorder; the causes and effects, successes and failures, and how I finally found the faith I never thought I had. This is my story good, bad, and ugly.

Relating to mental illness requires empathy, not sympathy. The road to empathy is dependent on education. Within the book’s pages you’ll also find short and concise lessons to better understand depression and other mental illnesses. After reading the book, you may feel you could be suffering from depression and take the courageous step of seeking help from a mental health professional.  Alternatively, if you sense a team member, friend, or family member is struggling you may be more empathetic and help them navigate their complicated lives. 

Forty-nine percent (49%) of leaders today admit to some form of mental illness, compared to twenty percent (20%) of the general population. Thirty percent (30%) of leaders are suffering from depression, compared to under seven percent (6.7%) of the general population. Too many leaders are leading sad, lonely, and inauthentic lives, These percentages, if attributed to any other disease would be considered an epidemics. We need to lift the veil of shame off of mental illness and shine a bright light on it.

Crazy, Who Me? is the culmination of a life filled with success and failures while coping with depression and eventually coming out the other side as an authentic and happy person.

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This is a noteworthy book written by a remarkable man who has succeeded against all odds to build a $100 million family business. He did it while fighting lifelong depression. But you’d never know it by meeting John. He projects a cheerful attitude, confident energy, and an entrepreneurial swagger that dares you to challenge him. This is not a depressing book, but a book about a man who found his way from a very dark place. It is filled with pain, shame, terror, and despair. It also resonates with love, hope, and optimism – and his choice to get better.

Jack Muskat, PhD Clinical Psychologist – specializing in leadership therapy.

How is it that seemingly happy, high-functioning and successful people who have achieved greatness, suffer so often from depression? How can it be that we are often blind to the pain of the people closest to us and those that we admire from afar? John Panigas takes us on the fascinating journey of a true entrepreneur that lives life to the fullest and yet suffers deeply. His honest, humorous and engaging story is a page-turner that is a must read. Intertwining business issues with mental health challenges, John gives us a superb account of the life’s difficulties without losing his inherent optimism for life. Now, more than ever, we need stories like John’s so we can be better as individuals, as business people and as a society.

Mike Shriqui, President, Co-Pack Packaging Corp

Whether as an entrepreneur, blue-collar worker, or a family member we all make decisions that are good, bad and regretful. I can only imagine the challenge of someone living and experiencing depression and having to lead a business and deal with the stresses of everyday life. John shares his experiences as a father, an entrepreneur, and as a human-being.  He shares with the reader the challenges and pain he experienced. The uniqueness of this marvelously written book is John’s ability to share his life story while educating the reading with regards to depression. John goes into great detail, without sounding clinical to help the reader understand the disease and how he dealt with it and how he overcame and continues to manage depression. 

Michael Zeidenberg, President, Cornerstone Management and Consulting.

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