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Coming to Terms with my Depression

Last December, I had yet another breakdown while with my boyfriend. It was at this time he told me, “I think you are depressed and I don’t know how to help you anymore than I have tried.” Obviously, I ignored him. Depressed? I’m not depressed, I’m just a girl who’s emotions are on a constant roller coaster. So I continued on, depressed and frustrated, continuing down the same downwards spiral of self-destructive behaviours. When I booked a trip to Europe in the summer, I should have been ecstatic! I was going to be travelling Europe with my best friend (I love travelling), but I wasn’t excited, I was dreading it. Later, suicidal thoughts came into play. This is when I finally took to heart what my boyfriend said to me about being depressed, and in April of the following year, I booked an appointment with my doctor to get help.

Once she diagnosed me with clinical depression, she gave me my options. I could start a round of medications, see a psychologist, or do both. I decided I would try seeing a psychologist first. Little did I know just how BAD our mental health care system is. After calling all over Windsor-Essex County, every psychologist had a 3-4 month waiting period and were around $200 an hour (not exactly affordable for a student). But I knew my mental health was an INVESTMENT and NOT an expense. At this time, I was keeping this all a secret from my family and friends, so I could not ask my parents for help to pay for my sessions. Eventually, I found out Teen Health had a four-month wait list, but that I would be able to see my psychologist for free, as it is government funded (until you are 25). So, that’s what I did, put myself on the wait list and waited.

When I finally got the call from my psychologist that she would not be able to see me I wasn’t sure how to deal. I started avoiding the voicemails, or not calling back because I was scared. After about two weeks I told myself NO, you’re GOING. So I called and booked my appointment, not having a clue what to expect. Basically, I was expecting a sour-faced woman to be sitting behind a massive desk with me lying on the couch and her judging me and my problems.

WAS I EVER WRONG. I walked in to see a kind-faced woman who sat in a chair across from me (without a desk in between). She didn’t write on a note pad, she sat there and listened. She never forced me to stay the full hour; she told me to only do what I could do. She made me comfortable to the point I was no longer ashamed to cry in her office, tell her about my problems with trust and intimacy, and to completely open up. She helped me see problems I did not even know were there. She gave me lists of coping mechanisms, and if they were too hard, we made new ones. I never felt judged or pressured to talk. She made my hour about ME and focused on me being comfortable.

Although I had no clue what to expect, it was a very positive experience. I see her every two to three weeks and she has helped me immensely. Some days/weeks are better than others, but I am slowly on the road to recovery. To everyone who is scared to make an appointment, my advice is don’t be scared. Go in with an open mind and zero expectations and you will gain SO much out of the experience.

To anyone who is struggling, you are not alone and never will be. Please seek help if you are struggling. I am living proof that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

If you are ever experiencing serious mental illness, contact the 24-hour crisis line: (519) 973-4435.

Distress hotline: (519) 256-5000.

Or check into any hospital emergency.

HCXO

This is an anonymous account hosted by our team mascot, Mortie the Monkey. This article was written by a UWindsor student.
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