My first experience with clinical depression came in the year 2000. I remember clearly: I was in the maternity ward recovering from the birth of my second daughter. She was a healthy baby, and my labor was relatively easy. But something was not right; I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. It was like I was falling, out of control, and afraid. My confident cheery personality had just disappeared overnight. Literally 12 hours after the delivery, I was a different person. (check out the whole posting here)
I think it awesome that Airdrie is sharing her own personal story with the world. Stigma around mental health issues is prevalent and it makes people hesitant to tell their stories. And that results in people feeling isolated. And to not seek the care they need and deserve. When people share their stories, it helps to let other people experiencing similar things to know they aren’t alone and it also helps dispel myths about mental health issues.
In her article, she discusses, among other things, Student Health facilities as a great way for university students to access mental health services. I totally agree with her – during the last year of my doctoral studies, I was not only going through the stress of completing a Ph.D. (complete with a very unexpected snag), trying to find a job (which also came with a somewhat devastating snag of its own), but I was also in the process of getting divorced (which resulted from anotherdevastating situation). I honestly don’t know what I would have done without my counselor at the university’s Counseling Services. I really encourage students to use the Counseling Services and Student Health Services available to them and for people who aren’t students,to use the resources available in your community.
Thanks, Airdrie, you are doing more good than you know!
“Time for Action: Tackling Stigma & Discrimination – Report to the Mental Health Commission of Canada” (PDF)