ASU student publishes book about his fight against depression and anxiety

Evan Michael York wrote book on how a healthy lifestyle impacts anxiety and depression

When Evan Michael York was a freshman at ASU, he struggled with anxiety and depression, illnesses common among college students. After researching solutions, he realized that by eating well and staying fit, he could address his conditions.

York wrote a book, "Sick Of Suffering," which was published Aug. 29, 2017, about his experience with mental illness. In the book, he talks about his battle with anxiety and depression, how living a healthy lifestyle helped him overcome his sicknesses and his hopes that his book can help others.

York is a junior majoring in sales and marketing, with a minor in psychology and a certificate in entrepreneurship. He said that when he first did his research, he never expected to write a book. 

"No, not at all. I was of like most people. (I thought) 'Maybe someday I'll write a book,' but it's probably never gonna happen,” he said.

But, once he decided to write the book, his intention was to help people dealing with the same conditions he experienced, York said. 

“Most of my mindset was to help other people,” he said. “Once I figured out what was going on with me, I really saw there were so many problems in the mental healthcare system. Once I realized that, I knew someone had to be a voice out there from someone who had (gone through) it.”

York said that when he was first diagnosed, psychiatrists were quick to prescribe him drugs and ways to cope with his symptoms, instead of ways to address the root problem. 


“I really want people to know that isn't an acceptable option," he said. "We're all going to have normal anxiety and depression. There's better ways (to deal with it). You can completely heal from that chronic mental health trench, and I can prove it because I did it myself.”

John Dietrich, lecturer of marketing, knows York through the Sales Scholars program and said that if he would describe the student-author as “exceptional.

“It just doesn't happen," he said. "The odds of you finding one student who has authored a published a book is slim."

Dietrich said he saw York realize he could help others by writing the book.

“He has the chance to put his arm around someone symbolically and tell them 'You're not alone. You're not the only one going through this. I've gone through it, and others have gone through it,'" he said.

York said that if there was one thing he wants people to take away from the book, it is that they are not alone. 

“I’d want them to know that there are so many people out there suffering from chronic anxiety and depression,” he said. “And I want them to know that it isn't all in your head, these things that plague people, especially young people. But, it isn't something you have to manage and deal with the rest of your life.”

Dillon Dunshee, a senior studying business management, is in the Sales Scholars program and interned with York at Textron Aviation

He said York helped him personally with his intermittent anxiety and depression, and he agrees with York's assessment of the value of a healthy lifestyle. 

“But, Evan's ability to be there and listen to that specific problem, and then help me step by step to live a healthier lifestyle... Evan really cares,” he said.

Dunshee saw York grow throughout the process of writing the book, he said.

“Evan was so on board with everything his book stands for,” Dunshee said. “I can tell he started with just an idea, and I saw his passion grow through the process.”

Dietrich said he admires York's attempt to make a difference in the world.

"I admire him," he said. "When I was 21, I was not writing books. I tip my hat to him that he's at least trying to make a difference in this world, and he's putting his actions where his mouth is."


Reach the reporter at ajhowar6@asu.edu and follow @andrew_howard4 on Twitter.

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