Thursday, 24 November 2011

Is you is, or is you ain't depressed?

Yesterday I had a bit of an argument with the psychologist I have been seeing,

She thinks that I'm depressed and I don't think that I am any more depressed than any intelligent person would be in my situation.  There's a lot of stuff going on in my life at the moment that is cause for concern.  Problems with housing, money, the government, oh and let's not forget the stress and uncertainty associated with my health.  There would be something wrong with me if I were vivacious, bright, bubbly and effervescent all the time! Quite frankly, if you take your car to the mechanic and you tell him what is wrong with it, is he or she very likely to turn around and tell you you sound like you hate your car?  Of course when I am at the psychologist I talk about the things that are bothering me!  I have been depressed, I've been down in the blackest parts of my soul.  Hell, I've hung out down there and had a good look around; stirred up the demons.  I know what depression feels like and this isn't it!

Perhaps I should be aiming to give a more fair and balanced account of my state of mind?  Maybe then people would stop asking me if I am thinking about hurting myself?  (This was asked at least 5 times last week which I must confess was a rather low week for me.)  More to the point I am concerned that if the medical professionals who are handling my case start to focus on the idea that I am depressed the next thing they will be saying is that the pain and fatigue (and all their nasty little friends) are all caused by depression and THAT is quite simply NOT the, case.  This pain has followed me, to a greater or lesser extent, through all kinds of emotions, through great highs and horrible lows, through hopeful excitement and abject misery.

Sooooooooo in view of the fact that it has been Thanksgiving in the US, the first Thanksgiving I have missed in a dozen years I am going to talk about some of the things that I am hopeful and excited about.

  • I'm eagerly anticipating going back to University next year.  I see it as an opportunity to retrain into an area where I might be able to get high paying part-time work that I could participate in regardless of the effect of fibromyalgia (or whatever the hell this is).  I also see University as an opportunity for me to shine and to increase my pretty low self-esteem.  I have always done well in the past and I hope to do well again.  Furthermore it is an opportunity to meet bright, interesting people and to expand my social circle.
  • I have been spending time with The Boy who is now looking at staying in Sydney and perhaps not moving to the UK for a while.  He makes me feel happy and proud and we are close and getting along well (complete with our usual bickering).
  • I have rediscovered many of my old friends and I have been spending time with them and I have been feeling appreciated and cared for.  The Best Friend is like a shining beacon of warmth and support and makes me laugh hysterically every time we meet!
  • The Reader is angling to get me some copy writing work which would be something I could comfortably do while lying down (which I spend 80% of my life doing).  This would help with my financial woes, and perhaps even my housing problems.
  • Then, out of the blue, there is The New Connection with an old friend that seems to be blossoming into something tender and beautiful.  There is even a tiny little voice inside me that is asking ...? well... I'll pause that thought for now.  However she is coming to visit Sydney soon and I am very much looking forward to spending time with her when she is here.
  • I have been seeing a really AWESOME group of doctors.  Dr McLovely is caring. helpful, compassionate and kind and Professor McCool is uber cool and is leaving no stone unturned.  While his investigations are hanging over me a bit at the moment I am definitely more hopeful than fearful.
  • Today I had a telephone interview for a part-time job.  The good news is that it will not be until next year which gives me some time to resolve all the issues that are holding me back at the moment.  Hopefully by then I will also be feeling better and stronger and I'll be able to work this around my University studies.
Yesterday I had an MRI (ordered by McCool) so no more calling me brainless, ok?  I do have a brain I have a picture to prove it!  I will be seeing McCool on Monday afternoon and although I am frightened of some of the possibilities (and of him finding nothing) I am also excited and hopeful that there might be something that can be treated.  Naturally this is hanging over me to some extent... but I am honestly more hopeful than trepiditious. 

Anxiety, I will cop to, I do have issues with anxiety and stress is a huge trigger for me, but depression?  Not at the moment!


  1. I am sick of hearing that some doc told a patient they were depressed and that is a bad thing that MUST be treated ASAP. Depression is a part of each human condition. Only the insane never feel it. Are there clinical cases that drugs can help? YES--proven, but most of us are just the normal 'down in the dumps,' and that will pass. Your plans look GREAT!

  2. I agree with Diane. The whole diagnosis and blaming everything on depression is dismissive and illogical. If you know what that feels like and are open to acknowledging it, then what makes the psych think you wouldn't now? So silly.

    I think we all have "shitty life syndrome" at times, due to real tough stuff we go through in the process of living. No, that is not the same as clinical depression. It is a normal part of life to feel the feelings, and work through it. It's when you aren't feeling it or can't work through it that extra support is required. Not right out of the gate.

    I am encouraged to hear that you have so much great stuff to look forward to- just take it all one step at a time. Be easy on yourself.

    BTW- I saw your map! Looking forward to hearing if/when you are obsessing about it (or is that just my quirk?). Good stuff.

  3. Wow it sounds like you have a lot to look forward to, that is all fantastic!

    grr the depression/anxiety question is tedious. It's catch 22. I must admit I do get depressed and am learning to cope with it. Most of the time though, I am okay but I still see a psychologist every once in a while, who is fantastic and lets me unload my litany of health woes.

    The added bonus is that when ever I see a doctor or someone else, I just say the magic words 'I am seeing a psychologist to help me cope' and they back off.

    Funny that.

    Good luck with all your fab plans.

  4. Oops I got a bit off track in my comment forgetting you were talking about a psychologist not a doctor.

    Hmm if your not getting the support and understanding you need, maybe it's time to start playing the field and seeing someone else?