Monday, 19 March 2012

I shouldn't be scared

I had an appointment with the doctor on Friday. Not a diabetes apppointment, but a depression appointment - I have them every two to three weeks so that he can check up on how things were going. I don't want to go into all the details of the appointment because some of it is not stuff that is ready for the internet (for now, at least), but I left in tears, and I knew that when I went back up to my room I would have to see my friends so I ended up just sitting on the grass outside for a minute and crying.

I have been on Citalopram for over 6 weeks now. When I started on the medication, my depression was diagnosed 'moderately severe' (somewhere between moderate and severe) and 3 weeks later, it was simply 'severe'. This is according to the questionnaire (PHQ-9) and I had actually only gotten a couple of points worse, so the doctor decided to keep going and see where I was at in a few more weeks.

This week I went into my appointment and he asked how I was doing. I said that I honestly had no idea. I have been having some not so good thoughts and I have been crying a lot, sometimes inappropriately. My emotional symptoms feel just as bad. However, I am more able to get out of bed in the morning, and I feel more able to participate in social activities. It seems that I am outwardly getting better, although I still feel awful.

He asked how my work is going. I'm at this crazy academic ridiculously pressurised university. I said that I don't feel like I'm doing as well as I could be, but that all my marks and results have been good, which is true.

He said he could tell that I am better. Apparently I am now actually engaging in a discussion, whereas before I just seemed kind of dazed, or out of it. The way he said it, I imagined that my eyes had before been glazed over and now they're all sparkly and full of life.

Is that not just shit? What is the fucking point of getting better if 'getting better' just makes me act better? Why is it that he only cares about how my work is going and not how my mind is going? I felt like I had been discounted somehow, as if he could read everything about me from a 5 minute conversation. Does being a psychiatrist mean that he is allowed to know more about me than I do about myself?

Apparently the next step is counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy, but I don't feel ready and I'm absolutely terrified. My mum said that I should do it, like it's that easy. My doctor said that's really the only next thing he can recommend.

I'm getting over how upset I was initially about what the doctor said.
Maybe the drugs have helped, because if I can at least maintain a pretence of normality I guess that does mean I've gotten better, even if I don't really feel any better. But counselling just makes me feel so much worse. If it were just that it didn't help then that would be fine; I would go just to humour everyone and on the off-chance that it could do good.

So I have no idea what to do. I feel like my only next step is a really dangerous one to take, because when it's already like this I'm walking on eggshells, trying not to do anything to make it worse, and I know that counselling has a high chance of doing that. People keep telling me to do it, and I'm so scared. People make me feel like I shouldn't be scared, but I'm so fucking scared.


  1. I've spent a lot of my life depressed. My thoughts are with you. It is not easy getting better but it is possible with the right medication, therapy and a lot of work.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Johanna. It's tough to take these steps and I really hope they will pay off.