bleaker street

Everything looks to be a shade of gray as I drive in pouring rain. The only things that show any color at all are the red brake lights that come on intermittently. But everything else blends into the gray sky and the pavement.

I saw my psychiatrist for the first time since November 2010. The office still looked the same, with those cat-legged furniture and a framed picture of her dogs. And the friendly, caring presence of Dr. A hadn’t changed. I admit, I had been thinking about what to say in this appointment, because what I say can change things, like medication.  I know that’s what psychiatrists do in order to treat their patients, but I’m just tired of yet another switcheroo with meds. But I knew what I had to say. I told her the bare truth about how I really had not felt all that great for weeks now and while I’m in no way contemplating suicide, I knew that I didn’t feel my best. She asked me, “So, you think you have some depression?” I told her that I just didn’t want to point my latest moods to depression because it could very well be just stress from having my mother living in my house for three weeks.

But I guess the content of what I said alerted her enough to give me the Beck Depression Inventory. She said that she will send the results over to my ECT psychiatrist as well, which made me nervous. I hate to think that the ECT itself isn’t working, and that Dr. F might view my result as evidence of that. While my mind wished that I felt better than I did, my pencil marks on that sheet couldn’t lie.

Dr. A added Deplin to my smorgasbord of pills (it’s really not that bad). Deplin isn’t really a psychotropic med; it’s just folic acid. But it’s another thing to take. Before I left, she handed me five sheets of prescriptions. I acted okay as I headed to the door, but as soon as I started walking to the car, I felt the tears starting to well up and a bit of anger stirred. Once again, I thought, I can’t separate myself from the chains of psychiatric medicine. I was angry at myself for letting my moods get this far down enough to where a doctor thinks I need to be on another drug. It felt like a never ending trap, and I’m totally stuck in it. During my appointment, Dr. A did ask me if I realized that my treatment has to be done for the long-term. I nodded, but on the inside, my acknowledging that reality felt like I just agreed to be tied up in an inescapable knot, one that I can try to unravel, but I can never be free.

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2 Comments to “bleaker street”

  1. It is really really hard when you feel as grey and bleak as you do to think of a positive future. I have been living with depression on and off over the past 10 years. There are times, like now, where I think that the struggle is neverending and that my life will be one uphill battle that goes on and on and on… My friends tell me that it is not as bad as I think it is and that even when I am in the pit of melancholia, I can still make them laugh, still show them love and appreciation. I must admit that I forget that. I think I am a burden, a heartsink friend. But really, that is not the case.
    Even when I am having ECT and have the same conversation over and over again because I can’t remember the last one, we can just be together and be appreciated.
    Depression, bipolar disorder, whatever really really sux, but you don’t! You are worthwhile and decent and appreciated. Your blog keeps me interested and going on and I thank you for that. You are appreciated.
    I take so many medications at the moment, I marvel that I can move, but I am human, have an illness and need them to survive. It is the same for you. You are not your illness or your medications. You are you and you are great!

  2. Bluejay, thank you so much for your encouraging words. I really, really appreciate them. Your comment gave me a little push that I needed for days to come.

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