C-Suite Profile - Tim Krass
Executive Vice President of Unity Lab
What life events or challenges that you’ve experienced (could be minor, could be major) – whether you’ve experienced them directly or via someone close to you, have had any type of impact on your ability to feel the healthiest you can feel from a mental health standpoint?
I had a 41-year run with substance abuse while holding down an executive position in media and entertainment. I was leading a double life and the anxiety and stress were overwhelming. I went to 8 doctors until I found the right one that spent four months with me, asking questions so he could properly diagnose me with a severe depressive disorder that is recurring. He prescribed a remedy and along with getting sober 9 years ago, I have never felt better. Every day, I feel like I am closer and closer to my authentic self and living my purpose in life.
How did those life events/challenges listed above impact your ability to think, feel and function on an optimal level? If so, did this have any impact on work performance?
It was excruciating because I was a high-level executive with a high level of responsibility, yet I was addicted to marijuana but somehow had to lead a national team of 75 people to earn billions of dollars in company revenue. The stress, anxiety, and depression made it extremely difficult to take care of everything that my life demanded of me.
How did those events impact you emotionally/morally? Did they influence the way you view mental health?
Sure, after finally being properly diagnosed, I have become a mental health advocate. I have a weekly podcast, Timeout For Mental Health, I have written a book about my story as it relates to depression, suicide, and how toxic masculinity affects all relationships between men and women, both at home and in the workplace. I began to become honest with myself and others.
What methods or practices have helped you become more mentally fit, optimizing the way you think, feel, function overall?
Prayer, meditation, journaling, taking time to review my day to see what worked and what I need to do to improve upon tomorrow, asking The Creator for guidance to remove or improve upon my faults, making myself available to all that need help 24/7/365.
Why did you decide to share your story (whether previously or on this site for the first time)? Who were/are you hoping to help and how?
After getting sober 9 years ago, the first thing I thought of was to communicate my message to as many people as possible so that they do not have to go through the pain and suffering that I went through before I was properly diagnosed with severe depressive disorder. I never realized that I had a mental health issue and I do not believe that many people realize the same thing until they ask for help, which is difficult, especially for men, where their views on masculinity get in the way of them asking for help, which can cause risky behavior.
If you have told your story before, how did people react when you went public? If you have not previously shared your story, how do you think people will react?
People are very appreciative of the fact that I am so vulnerable to share the deepest, darkest points in my life. They feel a level of intimacy that is rarely revealed, in this case for the sake of helping others.