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“Don’t cry over spilt milk”…..an age old adage that we all heard growing up.  In other words – “Don’t sweat the small stuff”.

But what happens when the small stuff starts becoming BIG stuff? When you just seem SAD all of the time even though you have a HUGE support system of family and friends? When you LITERALLY cry over spilt milk?

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Well….for me….that is when my Mom pulled me aside while she helped me clean up the glass of milk I had just poured for “V” and gently said to me – “You need to go and talk to your doctor. You need help – you are depressed”.

DEPRESSED.

DEPRESSION.

What was she talking about?? I was just tired – trying to raise my baby girl on my own, finish College, work FT…… so what if I slept more?  And so what if I was going out a bit more? Didn’t I DESERVE to? Maybe I was questioning my parenting skills more  than usual…don’t we ALL?  I didn’t have thoughts of leaving , hurting myself or my child……. I wasn’t depressed…..was I?

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Yes.  I was. I was clinically depressed.  It took me some time to go and see my doctor….a bit more time to see that I was irritable, that we weren’t going out as much, I was missing days of school and work because I wasn’t feeling “well”….. I was different inside.

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I definitely had more than a few of the markers of depression. And it took me a LONG time to come to terms with it.  It has been YEARS of medication changes and counselling…… changes necessary to make me feel GOOD….. and even though my depression is controlled for the majority of the time, I still have my “blue” days.

But I am not embarrassed by it.  It is not something I can control, and I have realized it is NOT a short term thing.  I probably should have been diagnosed in my early years (but they didn’t do that back then). It also doesn’t DEFINE me.  I struggle…. A LOT.  And that is OK! I reach out and talk when I need to, and write when I don’t feel like talking.

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Experience has taught me what to watch for – what signs, feelings etc.  My family know to talk to me when they feel something isn’t right – if I seem more sad, or irritable – my Mom can tell simply by my voice.  I am lucky.  I have a VERY large support system close to me.

But sometimes you don’t want to continually vent to those close to you – I have found a multitude of groups that one can join – people that suffer just like me. People I can reach out to – and be honest with.

If you need help – ASK. Don’t be afraid, or ashamed. You are NOT alone. Trust me – it helps.

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 **If you need help please contact your doctor. There are also resources for Manitoba here: http://www.ementalhealth.ca/Winnipeg-Regional-Health-Authority/FindHelp/index.php?m=findHelp

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