Yesterday, I did manage to make it out to the workshop. It was put on by the mental health unit at the university and was about depression. I went, because not only have I wondered about this before (if I am depressed), I’ve also had others (mainly parents and siblings) comment that they think I am. While I’ve looked up the symptoms and all on the internet before, we all know how well researching health issues on the internet goes. There’s so much misinformation and inaccurate information out there, it can be hard to know who to trust and who to ignore.
With the stress of the startup, trying to finish my degree, and just life in general, I’ve been feeling incredibly overwhelmed recently. And sometimes, the first step is to find out some extra information to help you make a decision. The workshop was really just an over of what depression is, the symptoms, and the types of treatment available. As they went through the list of symptoms, the most interesting one to me, was the time period. I’ve never come across this requirement before, when I’ve read up on depression, but in order to be depressed you have to have been “suffering” for a minimum two week period. And if it’s moving towards chronic depression (which is not the correct diagnostic terminology), it has to have lasted for at least two years. It was also interesting (although maybe not surprising) to learn that not getting treatment greatly increases your chances of a recurrence.
I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect going to the workshop. I knew they didn’t need you to pre-register (no name on a list), but I didn’t know if they would ask us questions, or who would be there (anyone I know?) or how it would proceed. It ended up being a group of us in a room, with no direct questions to us about why we were there (not even in an anonymous survey). There was only a tiny bit of discussion (more q&a then discussion), as most of us sat there and just listened.
However, going to the workshop was good, in that it helped remind me that this is not a problem that I’m the only one going through. In fact, they had to find a new room for the workshop, because apparently they normally attract about three participants, and there were a dozen for this one (in the summer, no less).
I’m glad that today is my last official research meeting for the summer, because I do know I need to have a break (not necessarily from the research, just from the amount of things on my plate right now). And freeing up some time, means I can look and think more carefully about what my next steps should be (probably booking an appointment with a psychologist to talk about this). And then actually use some time to work on improving my mental health.