Our Family Secret

depression-help.Shyamala jpg

depression-help.Shyamala jpg

With all the discussion this month on mental health, I couldn’t help but reflect on the importance of this issue.  I have to start off by expressing gratitude for the fact that we are finally talking about this topic and beginning to remove the veil of shame that still keeps too many individuals in the hopelessness and despair of mental illness.  We still have a long way to go, but I am thankful that there seems to be a global commitment to finally bringing light into a very dark and scary place.

If you are currently experiencing the pain of depression or anxiety, I urge you to seek support.  There is absolutely no shame in admitting your struggle, and in fact, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to do so.   Admitting you need help and reaching out for support are the first steps to healing.

Seek Support:

  1. Write down the names of all the people in your life that you trust.  Go through the list and ask yourself “Who can I safely share my struggle with?”
  2.  Consider how much you want to share.  Remember, when you are disclosing something that you may have held as a secret for many months or even many years, it’s okay to choose how much you would like to share, with whom, and at which pace.  You are in control of the sharing process.
  3. Connect with this person.  Let them know that it may be difficult for you to have this conversation and that you are in need of their supportive ear.
  4. Choose a place to connect that feels safe and where you have adequate privacy.  Keep in mind that you may find yourself getting emotional as you share. You have now begun the process of disarming the power that secrets hold.
  5. Seek professional support.  Consult with your family doctor or a therapist about additional resources, interventions and ideas on how to manage your particular experience.  You are a unique individual and your experience deserves unique attention.  Today is a great day to move towards mental wellness!

Shyamala Kiru, DMin, RMFT
Private Practice, Markham


About Shyamala

shyamala_portraitShyamala has spent over a decade working with hundreds of individuals, couples and families.  She is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist with the American and Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently serves as their Chair of Public Relations.  She holds a Masters in Counselling and a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy.

In addition to her private practice in Markham, she is a consultant for the Health Services Team at a York Region Private School and is a media expert for sources such as Chatelaine, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.  You can also find her the panel of Discovery Channel’s National TV show, Canada’s Worst Driver.   She regularly delivers psycho-educational workshops as well as professional development for schools all across York Region. With an approach that is sensitive and down to earth, Shyamala brings authenticity and energy to her work with people of all cultures and backgrounds.

October 17, 2014

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