Q: Hi Jill. While I haven’t been medically diagnosed, for over a year I’ve been depressed. I’m wondering what I can do to get myself back on the right track. Short of spilling my guts to a psychologist, are there any self-help books you can recommend? I’m also considering a career change — leaving administrative work to likely start my own computer repair business. Could you provide me with some information on getting my startup off the ground? Maybe all I need in my life is a little change, or a new set of goals.
A: Christine, let me start by saying it takes a lot of courage to reach out for help. It’s not a weakness, but the first step towards reclaiming your life.
My first concern is your health and your self-diagnosed depression. I encourage you to seek medical advice immediately. Depression is very serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. There is a huge difference between feeling down for a few days — as we all do — and having long periods with symptoms of depression.
You could start by visiting the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health’s website, www.camh.net, for more information. I notice you have some reservations about talking to a psychologist, but quite frankly, if this is what it takes to bring purpose and balance back into your life, isn’t that a small price to pay?
You’re right that we sometimes get stuck in mundane routines and a change can help. If you are considering starting a small business, Enterprise Toronto, www.enterprisetoronto.com, and SmallbizXpress, http://smallbizxpress.tpl.toronto.on.ca/servlet/HomePage, are good places to start.
Both resources link you to hundreds of other information sites and services for entrepreneurs, and Enterprise Toronto even offers you a free business plan review meeting. Along with planning a business, you also need to have a legal team to help with the day-to-day issues inherent to company ownership.
Pinksy Lawyers, www.pinskylaw.ca, is a firm specializing in the needs and concerns of small to medium sized companies, entrepreneurs and inventors.
While I am a great fan of self-help books, I cannot stress enough that I really want you to seek professional help — especially since you’ve had these feelings for over a year. I don’t want you to get caught up in self-diagnosing, which may lead to the wrong diagnosis. So, this time I’m going to refrain from recommending any self-help books.
Jill Andrew — CYW, BA, BA (Hons.), BEd. Please include your full name, address and telephone number when e-mailing. All letters are subject to publication.
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