Julie Andrews sung the lyrics, “Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start…” but, for the purposes of this abridged autobiography, it isn’t a good place to start. I’ll start 34 years into my life, then I’ll jump to now and then I’ll go back to 1966.
7 February 2001:
"I know that only when I recognize my own role in a situation, do I actually have the power to change that situation."
I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder at age 22 but I'm certain I suffered from depression long before that. I experienced thoughts of suicide many times during my youth. By age 27, I had attempted suicide twice. One of the attempts landed me in a mental health unit in the hospital. Since I was just about to complete nursing school, I found the whole experience inspiring and interesting, from a nursing standpoint. Eight months later, I found myself working on that very unit, as well as two other mental health units, as a nurse.
As a young girl, a vivid imagination provided endless hours of adventure. Being an asthmatic, there were many days spent sick or having to remain indoors due to my health. However I don’t recall experiencing boredom or even loneliness, because I could always escape those moments into a world of pretend, playing quite contently, (even when confined to my bed), for literal hours. With one simple act of the will, situations I didn’t care for could be easily abandoned - instead journeying off to faraway places that existed in the unlimited landscape of my mind.
Being outdoors in nature and green spaces is not only enjoyable, but also therapeutic. It has proven health benefits. Try these tips for ways to connect with the Earth and our environment.
Some teens have sex. Some teens are on anti-depressants. Some teens are both sexually active and have a prescription for anti-depressants.
A video based on a series of monologues and poems written and recorded by students affected with mental health issues. Thought Cafe and Toronto-based artist Jon Todd were involved in this collaboration with McGill University students.