I feel sick. I know I need to make the phone call to the Doctor but I don’t want to. When he finds out how I have been feeling I am sure he will think I am crazy.
Eventually I manage to pick up the phone and dial the surgery number. I ask for an appointment today. “Is it urgent?” The receptionist asks. I think for a moment, then slump in my chair as I hear myself. “Yes” I reply.
“Can I ask you what the problem is?” she asks. Eurgh! This is why I hate this process! “I think my depression has become worse and I need to speak to someone” I say. Just the mention of depression gets me an appointment. 2pm this afternoon. I hang up.
What am I going to say to my doctor? He will think I am crazy! My brain is on overdrive as I try to make a list of things I need to tell him.
- I can’t sleep. I am tired all the time.
- I have no appetite.
- I am agitated and sad.
- I don’t want to leave my house.
- Work has made me take time off.
- Oh….and I am cutting again.
Yep….He is going to think I am crazy!
2pm. I am sat in my Doctors office. He asks how I am. “Actually, I haven’t been doing very well lately” I reply. I tell him how I have been feeling and what happened at work. He hands me the usual questionnaire to fill in. A Depression Checklist. I feel my heart sink as I panic about how honest I should be.
I score myself on each question. I try to be as honest as I can, scoring myself pretty highly on most questions. Then I get to the last question. “Do you have any thoughts of harming yourself or are you feeling suicidal?” My heart is racing. I know I have to tell the truth about how bad I have been feeling and about my cutting. I score myself honestly and hand back the sheet.
I can feel myself starting to panic. I am so embarrassed. I am willing myself to disappear, wishing for the ground to just swallow me up, but nothing happens. The Doctor asks me a few more questions which I answer as honestly as I can.
I feel sick. He says my depression that has been mild since I was 16 and which I have always been able to hide, has now developed into major depression and anxiety. He changes my medication to a stronger type and increases my dosage. He also prescribes sleeping tablets for which I am grateful. He asks if I have started sessions with my private therapist. I tell him I have. With that he hands me my prescription and I leave.
I feel numb. I guess there is no more convincing myself that I am OK. Depression. Anxiety. I hate what those words mean. I hate that they mean that I have a mental illness. I know the stigma that comes with that and it scares me.
I am afraid. I am afraid people will hate me. I am afraid I will lose people I care about. I am afraid people will think that I am crazy, but I can’t do it anymore. I cannot pretend anymore.
I am sick. I have a mental illness. I am not crazy. I am sad. I am in pain. I keep things on the inside because that is the safest place to hide. My silence is just another word for my pain.
Every thought is a battle, every breath is a war and I don’t think I am winning anymore.
Thanks for reading