Dr. LaKesha Legree

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay

How one Charlotte doctor’s experience with depression

helps others

Sponsored   |  Photos Courtesy of Elev8 MD Wellness Center

Dr. LaKesha Legree seems to have a perfect life — an excellent career and a loving family. But as a medical resident, she endured rigorous, 70-to-80-hour weeks while suffering from depression, and hid it from her colleagues.

She struggled with work-life balance and societal pressures of what a wife and mom should be.  So, she did what is all too common: stayed silent and tried to manage anxiety and depression without any help from a professional or those she could trust.

The High-Functioning Depressive


“I suffered from depression, yet I hid it because of my fear of being found out by my colleagues and being considered incapable or less than,” says Dr. Legree.


She adds that the medical profession relies on the premise that doctors and medical staff, like highly trained endurance athletes, are conditioned to clock long hours and ignore fatigue and the emotional toll of their work.


For many in the profession, however, that day-in and day-out stress can lead to crippling depression. It is one of the reasons that research shows doctors to be far more likely than the general population to die by suicide.


Tragically, one of Dr. Legree’s colleagues committed suicide. It was during this time she realized that no matter their backgrounds, educational level or profession, all people need a place where they feel safe from guilt and shame to seek help from depression and anxiety. 

A New Beginning


Embracing her truth and seeing so many commonalities among her physician colleagues is part of what motivated Dr. Legree to open her own ketamine clinic for depression and chronic pain.


After research and planning, she opened Elev8 MD Wellness Center, a holistic approach to improving each client’s quality of life. Elev8 MD’s offerings include ketamine treatments for chronic pain and depression, IV vitamin therapy, spa services and individual and group counseling. The center has something to meet everyone’s needs.


“The importance of annual mental well checks is just as important as annual physicals,” says Dr. Legree. “Everyone, irrespective of career status, educational status, socioeconomic status, race, creed, culture, sexual orientation or age should know that it’s okay not to be okay. Depression does not discriminate.”


Tips to Silence the Shame


Dr. Legree now gives talks across the country to help other busy parents and professionals realize it’s okay not to be okay. She also shares tips in her monthly newsletter to reach those who may still feel ashamed about seeking help. 


“You do not have to have it all together all the time. That is just not possible,” says Dr. Legree. “Life is about ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys, good days and bad days. Recognize this as a fact and give yourself some time to process your feelings. Then seek the support you need.”


Stress, anxiety and depression can affect anyone from any background. Whether a stay-at-home parent or a busy corporate executive, taking inventory and care of your mental wellness is an admirable and necessary step toward your holistic health.

Meet the staff of Elev8 MD Wellness Center at the Ballantyne Wellness Fair, October 25, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Brixham Tent in Ballantyne.

Elev8 MD Wellness Center

8000 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 212

Charlotte, NC 28226