The Appointment

It was the big day today. Packed full with nerves and anxiety I tentatively strode towards the medical centre. I thanked any God who would take credit for the invention of the self check in. One less person to twist the knot bundled in my stomach. I waited about 3 minutes before a robotic voice surprised me by not struggling to pronounce my name. The nerves continued as I walked to the right room, partly because I had to find the right room first.

A lot of the anxious anticipation I have felt about this first appointment was tied to not knowing what I was supposed to say. Was I supposed to go in and just say ‘I am depressed, please fix me.’ or awkwardly wait for the doctor to ask the right question or explain in more grown up sounding and scientific terms how I was feeling mentally in the shitter?

There she sat, a woman who could one day be the first step in my journey to a happier me. She was an average looking woman but when I look back on this day she could end up being this magical figure I suppose. Unlike many tired and stressed NHS employees she was bright and smiley. Which was good, if she hadn’t been I would have worried that I alone was the cause of all her frustrations of the day. And she simply asked ‘how can help you S?’

I got a little bit tongue tied, no amount of friendly welcoming could ease all that built up worry about how to respond to that very question. But I took a breath and explained my mental health situation. She patiently let me answer and then asked a few follow up questions. One of them I knew was coming, it’s an important question for a health professional to ask a depressed person.

‘Have you ever considered harming yourself?’

Honestly, yes I have thought about it. But I never have. My family mean too much to me for me to hurt them in such a cruel manner. Killing myself would end my suffering and deepen my loved ones suffering. I don’t think I’m that selfish. So no need for the doctor to worry about me killing myself tomorrow. We could move onto what options I had for treatment.

I have an affiliation with a university nearby which she informed me has really good mental health advice and help. So my choices for therapy would be to go through the local areas medical routes (which could take up to 6 weeks for an appointment) or to see if the university could help me out (which would be much more prompt), we decided I’d look into the uni for help just for expediency. And when it came to medication we talked about the  pros and cons, or rather the necessity for them. She said she wouldn’t recommend them because it was an individual choice for me, but that she was happy to write out a prescription if I thought they might be of help to me.

I decided to wait until I saw her again and had found out a bit more about therapy. Anti-depressants are not a cure for depression so if I can manage without them I kind of want to, although I’m not sure why. They could give me the lift I need to keep powering to positivity. My mother always said they didn’t make her happier they simply stopped her getting more depressed. So I’m not sure about them. I’d love to hear anybody else’s experiences with anti-depressants.

And that was what I’ve been avoiding for years. Why? It wasn’t so bad, I didn’t cry, she wasn’t scary or judgemental. Here’s hoping things continue this well.

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21 thoughts on “The Appointment

  1. Please to hear the big day went well all told. I had been thinking about this appoint recently and didn’t know if I’d missed it or you had it and didn’t write about it. As for my experience with drugs, well I found them to just wipe me out. I couldn’t be sad but then again I don’t think zombies are sad, as much as they are happy anyway. Either way I think it probably depends on the individual (and importantly the drug). So try it for a month and see how you go?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah I was pretty surprised it went so well, wasn’t even waiting for ages in the overly hot and smelling of old people waiting room.
      I think that sounds like a pretty good idea, I probably should at least give the medications a chance. I think I have this ingrained perception that needing medication is a sign of weakness, despite consciously knowing I’m wrong…
      I remember K taking a prescription that made them very tired and emotionally dead. But K seems to still be trying to find the right medication :/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I no longer take any medication and I understand why people are wary. I do think its worth a try though, people put far worse things in their body for far less important reasons. Now I feel like I’m a high school bully trying to get you to take some. That is not case! Whatever path you choose I just hope you find a balance and managed to rid or manage your life out of depression.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks Mindfump, I promise I feel wholly unbullied so worry not :p
        I’m sure I read somewhere (might even have been a guest post you wrote) that you have done some therapy stuff. Any good?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah I’ve had therapy in a few different countries. It can be very good, the experiences varied quite a lot really. But I never found any judgement or need to explain myself. It was a place to literally talk about and say whatever I want. The better therapists will unwittingly guide you to places or realisation, so you think you’ve done it all yourself. Others were more direct and would suggest tasks or activities to do that may help. I suppose that part comes down to personal preference. It also depends what kind of therapy, whether its group or individual – I’ve never really had a lot of experience with group therapy though. I think the bottom line for me was to just be 100% open and honest, they should take care of the rest.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. More than welcome. Intrigued to see how it goes.
        I’m just writing today post actually. Although Im very tired, struggling to get it over the line. Haven’t even started the artwork – it could be a while. Flu is going away though.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Taking antidepressants (which I did for 5 years) made me lethargic and often in a daze (some people said they didn’t notice the difference…!) and I also quickly gained a lot of weight that it took a while to lose. However, given how I’d felt without them at the time, the alternative was basically unthinkable.
    Haha none of this is probably helpful… the bottom line, as it were, is that no two experiences are the same. Swings and roundabouts. To echo the good Mindfump, it’s about trying something out and hopefully finding a balance, very quickly. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem. 🙂
        To use a military analogy (that seems to be my thing tonight) anti-depressants is definitely more ‘truce’ than ‘victory’.
        A truce is better than any form of defeat, though(!)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with Buffy and MindTrump above. Anti-depressants may help you to bridge the gap between depression/anxiety/PTSD that you can’t get ahead of on your own… and the life you want to lead. Not going to make you happy, but they may help you to overcome the crushing unhappiness that prevents the possibility of finding happiness.

    That being said, I went through several years of intensive psycho-pharmacotherapy without much improvement (and lots of lethargy, weight gain, and insomnia). I eventually found a way to stay just ahead of the wave, but I still get sucked under more often than I’d like.

    Hope you have much better luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing. I’m learning a few things about the anti-depressants for everyone, there are definitely common themes. When I go back to see the doctor in 3 weeks or so, I think I’ll give them a go. Can’t really get too much worse so there’s not much to lose :p

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: A Small Confession To My Doctor – 25,000 Light-years

  5. It’s awesome that your first therapy session went so well! Sometimes it’s hard to find a therapist you really “click” with.

    If you’re still crowdsourcing opinions on antidepressants, I’d just like to put in that taking them was a lifesaver for me. They didn’t stop the depressed thoughts, but they helped me realize that everything that depressed voice told me wasn’t true. One thing to be ready for though is that it can take a lot of trial and error to find the right antidepressant for you. Finding the best fit for me took months, but it was so worth the trouble. Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wen t for the anti-depressants and I haven’t really had much trouble with them. I can’t say I’ve noticed much difference but maybe it’s stopped me getting worse.
      Unfortunately that appointment was just my GP and the actual therapy session did not go quite so well :/
      I think I wrote about it in a post called ‘Hansen Flies Across The Room’.

      Like

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