I'm not ashamed of my depression. I treat it like my hey fever: a set of symptoms that vary in severity. So, for me, my depression usually includes flat mood, poor sleep and the very occasional temptation to leap in front of expensive cars (they're tougher).
The catalyst for this diagnosis was in part due to being unemployed for a good five months running (as opposed, of course, to those bad months that dawdle at a toddler's pace).
In Australia, with unemployment comes this wonderful little item called a Healthcare Card. (For my legions of international readers, it's a Golden Ticket that opens doors to all sorts of discounts).
So when my doctor prescribed meds for my depression, I soon discovered that instead of paying in the ballpark of $40 per prescription, this Healthcare Card dropped the price to $5.80. Viva la Aussie government, whatever flavour ye may be.
At prices like that, I felt cured already of my depression. Goodbye flat mood. Goodbye poor sleep. Goodbye expensive cars. I barely needed the meds. The placebo in the price-tag was enough.
But it wasn't just knowing that they were so cheap. It wasn't just having the access to this hefty discount. It was the actual act of making the purchase that restored my mental health.
So it was into the chemist, spend my $5.80, walk out and throw the meds in the nearest bin.
At home I marked off the days of my meds on a wall with chalk, and each month went back to fill the script again. After the third month I was a day late, but my doctor said it's fine to miss a day here and there.
After that visit I realised something important. The Healthcare Card meant that the doctor appointments were bulk-billed. So I ended up making appointments, going in, signing the forms and walking right out.
The Australian medical system: best in the world.