Yesterday I was finally diagnosed with depression. Not quite sure how I feel about that.
I’ve known within myself that I’ve been suffering depression for a long time, but to hear it from a medical professional is hard. Here’s how it all happened.
Last Friday one of my housemates (Housemate A) found me having a minor breakdown as I left the house. Later that night as I went out for a walk Housemate A texted my sister to tell her that something was wrong. My sister came around straight away.
Coincidently as I returned home my sister was entering the front door. My housemate quickly jumped back into bed and pretended she was asleep and I had a bit of a yarn with my sister about it. We hadn’t spoken about my depression in about four months (since I first became aware of it). She wanted to get me some counselling and I refused.
Over the next two days my sister came around to my house quite often, and Housemate A did her best to avoid us. At Church on Sunday night my housemate stayed with me and tried to get somebody to pray with me. I refused, but since I had already started to break down there wasn’t much else I could do but go along with it.
On Monday morning I get a phone call from my sister telling me that she has made an appointment for a counsellor at 1800. I agreed to go along with it but I wasn’t very happy. Over the course of the day the walls I put around myself began to break down, and by the time it got to 1800 I was settled.
I went in to see the counsellor by myself (my sister drove me there, but I wanted her to stay in the car). I broke down within two minutes of being in the room, but I managed to keep talking. We talked through family issue stuff – no mention of suicide or anything dark like that. Once I had told her that I don’t feel anything inside, that I can’t feel emotions which I know I should have she starting talking about medication.
If somebody had asked me a week ago when I was going to see a counsellor or a doctor I would have told them mid August. After I had finished what I wanted to do at work. After I had the working part of my life sorted out. Things had moved far too quickly. Thanks to the support of Housemate A and my eldest sister I’m now talking about medication at the start of July. Gee, thanks guys.
I explained this ‘schedule’ to my counsellor. I explained that going to a general practitioner wasn’t part of my plan. Medication wasn’t part of my plan. To do any of this stuff means a total loss of control. It means that I’m allowing my depression to control what I do and I won’t have any part of me left over. The next thing she said to me was pretty obvious.
“I don’t think it’s about losing control. I think it’s more about taking control”
I had no defence against that. I’m starting to recognise when my depression is talking and when it’s me talking, but I still get it wrong sometimes. The counselling was good. I didn’t feel bad afterward – I felt as though I was in control of my life for the first time since I can remember. Up to this point I had done nothing to help myself. Everything was done by the people around me. My housemate called for help. My sister organised the appointment. Weakly, I tried to resist the whole way.
On Tuesday it was my turn to step up. I called work and told them I wouldn’t be returning for a few weeks, I made an appointment with a general practitioner for Wednesday morning, and I went to Ikea and bought a bookshelf. I’ve decided to build a rat cage – my middle sister used to own rats and I built her a cage about two years ago.
I’m not overly keen on owning rats, I like them but I wouldn’t want to clean up after them all the time. However if I’m going to take a couple of weeks off work then I need something to keep me occupied – so a rat cage it shall be.
I went to the doctors under my own steam, and I got the prescription filled out an hour afterward. I don’t hold any delusions about the meds being a quick fix, quite the contrary. I’m terrified of what they might to do me, but it’s my choice now. For now it’s under my control.
Eugh. Disjointed blog. Can’t seem to keep one line of thought in my head today. The meds are making me a little queasy now and then but I’ll survive. Not sure whether this mellow feeling is me or the drugs. It’s probably me being paranoid. I guess I’ll get used to it.