I promise to tell my new Doctor the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Going into my doctor’s office and putting on my concealed depression face results in me not getting the true help I need. Depression is once again getting me to be secretive. It reminds me that no one understands me as well as it does, and I should be wary of anyone (or any medicine) that will come between us.
I have been working on a list of things to share, but until this morning, I have not been writing them down.
I have probably already forgotten more of these bullet points than those I remember. So, I am going to discipline myself to spend a few minutes thinking about what I want my new Psychiatrist to know. This way, I can read from the list, or even hand him my notes.
This is me and my depression:
- I was hospitalized and diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder with Suicidal Ideation at the end of April of last year.
- My challenges with depression started in 1977, in what I lovingly refer to as “the lost year.”
- Mental Illness runs in my family.
- For 43+ years, I hid my depression from even myself, because I cast myself as the “strong one,” evergreen, always in control, ready to take care of others.
- There are four major depressive episodes I see in my past, but I now know that depression was always with me, even if it was not obvious.
- Depression has made me secretive and obsessed with following its mandates, it is my path for my life. This includes offering unhelpful thinking styles that have caused me to time travel, to be a fortune teller, and to catastrophize situations.
- To learn more about Depression, I have taken WRAP training, joined OOO, have a Peer Advocate and a therapist, read, and learned from DBT workbooks.
- In September of last year, I flew to Chicago for SMART Recoveries 25th Annual Meeting, where I spent the weekend learning from medical professionals, therapists, and Peer Advocates all of whom came too SMART to lead a more balanced life with their personal addiction.
- I took and passed three different SMART RECOVERY TRAINING Programs including GSF 102: Advanced Host Training, designed to give me the skills to host a new chapter of SMART.
- During my four-day hospitalization in Five North, I began taking 20 mg of Prozac.
- In November, I had hit a plateau and my Psychiatrist, and I decided to double my dose to 40 mg of Prozac daily.
- By the end of January, I was battling getting out of bed in the morning. In my mind, the beginnings of this started at the same time I increased my Prozac.
- In February, we switched my dose to 30 mg of Prozac daily. This is what I am currently taking.
- I still struggle to get out of bed in the morning and find the first hour or so after awaking very cloudy.
- I want to ask my new Psychiatrist if reducing my depression medicine or adding something like Abilify would help me get going in the morning without this power struggle over getting up vs. staying in bed?
- And where do exercise and diet come into this equation? After 8 years at the gym, I stopped going in May of last year. And I had even hired a coach to help me get the most out of my exercise sessions.
Wow, I sure hope I have enough time to cover all of this with my new Psychiatrist.
Maybe I can give him a copy. Of course, I do not want to be too presumptuous and make the visit seem it is all about me.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder last year, I am sharing what I learn. If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.
I very much appreciate your comments.