Mark Lukach has something you need to hear.
It began without warning in 2009: His wife of three years, Giulia, suffered a psychotic break and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She buckled under stress. Voices hounded her through the night until she could no longer sleep at all.
After that came thoughts of suicide — persistent thoughts that would not give way, even when he told her that he wouldn’t let it happen. She asked if people who killed themselves were denied funerals. She begged him to let her die.
She was put on meds.
“The medicine combated the psychosis by slowing everything down: her metabolism, movements and response time,” Lukach wrote in a New York Times op-ed in 2011. “I didn’t like what the medicine did to her, but I liked even less what her unmedicated self was like and capable of doing, so I gave her the medicine.”
In 2013, he decided to share his and Giulia’s struggle with psychiatric disease at a TEDx event in Monterey, Calif. The talk offers a glimpse into the daily lives of countless sufferers of mental illness and those closest to them. It also addresses the question many asked him during the most difficult times: Why did he stay?
"First off ... I love my wife, I love her a lot," Lukach says in the video. "The second reason I stuck around is because of this commitment to the idea of commitment itself.”