The Depression Files

Al Interviews Donald “Skip” G. Mondragon II | Internal Medicine Physician, 26-Year Army Veteran, Author & Mental Health Advocate

January 12, 2020

In this episode, Al interviews Donald "Skip" G. Mondragon II, internal medicine physician, 26-year army veteran, author, and mental health advocate (recorded 1-10-19). Skip grew up with seven siblings. After returning from the Korean War, his father battled mental illness, was in and out of the VA Hospital, and sadly died when Skip was only thirteen years old. Skip was bullied throughout elementary school, until he joined the wrestling team in eighth grade. Wrestling became a huge part of Skip's life.

After struggling and leaving Notre Dame after his fifth semester, Skip left the university as he had "felt a calling from God". Skip soon returned to another university to finish his undergraduate degree and enter medical school on a military scholarship. With the army came a 26-year career and four deployments, three of which were in combat zones. As Skip approached retirement in 2014, he found himself curled up in fetal position behind a desk in his dark office for four hours. At that point, Skip knew he needed to reach out for support.

After retiring and getting a handle on his depression, Skip won a publishing contest.  His book, Wrestling Depression Is Not for Wimps: Lessons Learned from an Amateur Wrestler’s Fight to Triumph Over Depression, is due to be published in the very near future. Check out Skip's website in order to find out more about him and his book!

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