I went to MH a few years before I retired, knowing 2 things - it was my last assignment and I was going to retire, so I knew I had little to lose if I said the wrong thing to the wrong people... (I think you all knows these “words” and they are serious enough that you/we should put them at a priority above flying, but I know full well the internal dilemma) ... I had been encouraged after talking with (and taking) another pilot at another base who went through a divorce and who smartly gave someone else his guns (temporarily of course!) and went to mental health... and I don’t think he ever got dnif-ed.
so after they ask the big question about 20 times in a mostly straight forward manner, then you are just going to talk about your life and daily routine. I had a game plan, but please don’t feel like you have too, just remember if you are dancing around the big question, they are really there to help ascertain where on the “scale” you are... and yes they’ll error to the side of safety as they should...they tried to push some meds that I knew were a no-go for the FAA (they are easy to figure out, most likely you’ll have to show 6 months of use with them, with limited side effects and reduction of symptoms for FAA approval)... so if FAA is your plan you can get those months out of the way while you are on AD, NOTE: there is little guarantee that you’ll make it through the FAA waiver, but I would rather know that on AD/early then wait to fly for the airlines for 10 years and then take that gamble at 50.
I’m really glad I went, at least it is documented if something goes south later, I felt it was pretty low threat and I was never dnif-ed (even though it was non-flying, it was a flying billet and the FSO didn’t know the difference). If nothing else, I realized that life really does suck some times and feeling that way can be a normal response or it can be a imbalance and it is not that “you” are bad, there is just somethings you need to balance in your life, and sometimes it can be chemical and there is help there if it is needed. It definitely does get better.
so risky yes, but much less than you think... just talking with someone about something I had bottled up for a decade plus was pretty liberating and worth the risk... throw a spouse and kids in the equation and it becomes a no brainer, they need you even if you can’t make the airline pay check. I eventually chose to not do the airlines (this being a minor part of the decision)... glad I did, gave me time to get “me” in order... looking back I can’t believe I waited so long, and can’t believe I put flying above my life and my family for sooooo long, but that’s unfortunately part of what you are going through. I do remember many nights struggling/worrying about the what-ifs. You can get better, there are people who want to help you get better, and there is way more to life then Mach 1.5 or a airline gig, WAY more! You just have to realize that first.