The only thing I regret about talking to my doctor about my mental health is that I didn't do it sooner.
This time of year has always been a gloomy one for me. The lull between Halloween and Christmas. The shorter, colder days. Waking up long before the sun. Working at a windowless cubicle. Driving home under an already darkening sky.
But it wasn't until I was home on maternity leave with my fourth, when depression really set in. Negative voices in my head telling me what a disappointment I was. A complete lack of self care. Losing all interest in activities that I once loved.
And yet it still took me over 2 years, and a lot of gentle but persistent encouragement from my husband, to finally make that first doctor's appointment.
Ultimately, the doctor diagnosed me with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and prescribed me antidepressants. Over the years I had tried everything from changing my diet, exercising more, massage therapy, talking to counsellors, even getting one of those 'happy' lamps. The depression would always return in one ugly form or another.
I will be the first to tell you medication isn't for everyone, but it worked for me.
I know this post may come as a surprise to some people. Even people who are very close to me. And it is still hard for me to openly talk about my experience with depression. But my hope is that by breaking the silence here I can start those conversations more easily.
So if this post helps break the stigma around mental health for just one more person out there. Or perhaps it reaches that one person who needed another sign pointing the way to seeking help. It will all have been worth it.