mood disorder


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:

My story-turned-career path

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.

Fighting Phantoms

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.

I Am Me

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.