Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{September 15, 2008}   Read Airdrie’s article!

Today on Mental Health Notes, Vancouver blogger and postcaster Airdrie (of Lip Gloss and Laptops fame) started a series on her experience with depression:

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.

And I encourage people to read Airdrie’s article.  I’ve added Mental Health Notes to my Google Reader and I’m looking foward to the rest of the series.

Thanks, Airdrie, you are doing more good than you know!

Further reading:
“Time for Action: Tackling Stigma & Discrimination – Report to the Mental Health Commission of Canada” (PDF)

Brava for her!Great piece, Stumbled etc.

It is so, so important for people to get help and do the things they need to to stay healthy. Speaking as someone who takes his meds everyday … yeah you have to stay on it, talk it out, and have supportive people in your life.

I’m glad you enjoyed the article, Beth, and thanks for helping to spread the word! Airdrie is indeed an inspiration. I first featured her at Mental Health Notes back in May, during a series I was running on people who’ve dealt with mental health issues and still seriously manage to rock. I’ve included the link to that particular feature in the “Website” section of your comments box so as not to clog up your comments with a bunch of links 😉

Thanks again!

Whoops, I hit “submit” before I entered it. Here it is:

Mental Health Notes Is Talking To Air

Stacia says:

I used the Student Health resources when I was a graduate student and I found that it made it easier when talking to students who would come to me about their problems. Some of them knew they were depressed, others didn’t, but once I told them I was getting treated for depression, it really helped. So thank you for getting the word out!

Raul says:

When I broke up with my ex, the help arrived two months too late (yay UBC Student Health Services). By then I had already overcome the toughest part of my depression (not sure if it was actual depression, but it felt like it). I am glad it worked for others, but for me, it arrived too late. I had already survived the breakup thanks to the friends and family who were there to support me.

[…] Beth also linked to her post and agreed with Airdrie that Student Health Services often provide counseling services, and anyone who needs help should definitely look into that. I wish I had received the help from Counselling Services much faster when I broke up with my ex and was really down, but at the end of the day, I was ok. If you, dear reader, ever think you might need help with depression, don’t hesitate and contact the myriad of services available. […]

[…] with a broken leg to “just walk it off.” 4On a brighter note: in the fourth part of her series on depression, Airdrie writes about the silver lining to her own battle with depression and I found her words […]

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