Mental Health


Today is the annual Bell Let’s Talk day to raise awareness and money for mental health in Canada.

Before they found the vitamin deficiency, I wondered if I was having a mental health issue. I didn’t feel like myself at all. I had bouts of what I can only describe as rage. Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m pretty easy-going. Most things I don’t get upset over. But this? Every time a cabbie cut me off, I would get so angry! There’d be a stream of obscenities and it would wreck a large part of my day despite logically knowing a cab driver would probably cut me off. I would also switch moods rapidly. I could suddenly find myself weeping over something that normally wouldn’t be a big deal like being unable to open a juice container. I felt like the real me was trying to climb out while some imposter was living my life. I didn’t want to tell anyone either. I was worried people would think I was mentally unstable.

What do I think now? I wish I hadn’t been afraid to talk about it. No one should have to feel that way. It sucks so bad that people have to worry that their boss might find out they’re in counseling because their marriage isn’t doing so hot or they’re struggling to make payments and put food on the table or that they have PTSD or that anything is wrong with them at all.

People shouldn’t have to feel like they’re dirty or weak because they’re on an antidepressant. I took one for a couple of months when I was working through my divorce. I never felt bad about that. There was nothing wrong, to me, with needing a little help to get my life back together. At that time, my vitamin D was also low. I was sad often. I didn’t have suicidal thoughts. I got help before it got bad.

Isn’t the mature and responsible thing to do to get help? Isn’t it in everyone’s best interest to get help sooner rather than later? Shouldn’t mental health be treated more like a routine checkup like checking for vitamin levels?

Will anyone care about this issue tomorrow?

 

Writing Update

  • Finished my literary short story, Purple Ribbons.

Other

  • At the dentist today I had a cavity-free checkup! This has only happened one other time in my entire life.

 

Well, off to work on my other short story for a different contest.

Ciao,
R~

 

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4 thoughts on “Mental Health

  1. Awesome on finishing the story!

    I’ve been on antidepressants for clinical depression for most of my adult life. I have always been depressed, as long as I can remember, and suicidal many times but never tried, thankfully. In 2001 I finally decided – get help or die. I remember thinking that everyone would be so disappointed in me, which is just plain stupid, as I wasn’t in control of it. Clinical depression is a chemical imbalance. So I’ve been on antidepressants. They aren’t a magical cure-all, but they keep me level.

    So, no, no one should ever feel broken or embarrassed or afraid to get help. I waited until I was about to commit suicide to get help. All those years I wasted being unhappy when I could have felt better. I’m so gad you got help, too. It sounds like you want through a rough time. Many hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did have a rough time. I was experiencing food allergies and had just moved to a large city and didn’t know anyone. I was also working in a new industry. My previous workplace was like a family. It was hard. And you always lose some friends during a break up. My self-esteem was bad too. What I had going for me? Some background in social work, so I was less afraid than some to get help. Also, I can be pretty stubborn. I tend to fight through challenges no matter how hard. I’m glad you got help!

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  2. I work in the medical field, and we see a lot of depression. Probably close to half of our patients (I work in family practice) are on or have been on anti-depressants. And most of these people don’t go for counseling, partly because they just don’t want to, but also because good mental health professionals are hard to come by (at least where I live).

    A lot of clinics now do include depression screening questions in their routine list of questions when rooming patients. The problem is that many patients either cover up their depression or blow it off. Or they seem to think that it’s ok to feel down in the dumps all the time.

    Good for you for realizing there was a problem in your life and doing something about it. Best wishes to you.

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  3. Sometimes people are surprised by the darkness that shows up in my writing, but, for me, the writing is the way out, to say that people struggle and can survive, sometimes against nearly overwhelming obstacles. Do people care about mental health? I think yes, resoundingly so, enough to say that we need to remember to be as kind to ourselves as we are to those we love and those we meet along the way. Hope your short stories do well in those contests and that you post the outcomes.

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