Two Pills, One Cut

Dear Reader,

It’s ok that I referenced one of the internet’s most notorious viral porn films in the title of this right? I’m going to assume yes.

I could have called it my journey with medication or something inspiring like that, but I’m feeling a lot happier now so I want to attempt to bring humour back into my daily routine. I have only been taking 40mg of fluoxetine for 2 days, so I realise this is a placebo, but I’ll take what I can get. Depression is like a land mine in the middle of my day, waiting for me to step in the incorrect spot to ruin it, so  it’s these moments where I am feeling “alright” that I like to cherish.

It seems that post doctors appointment for the first few days or so I feel good. But it won’t take long for the dosage, increase to settle and me to return to my regular melancholy self. But that’s ok, because that is me, I’m not sure I, nor anyone around me (even those who don’t know of my mental health issues) would actually recognise me if I wasn’t melancholy.

So as for the “cut” part of this title, I have a confession to make. I did cut myself, not deeply, it wasn’t a bad cut (not an excuse, or a justification). I was angry at myself. And now I’m more angry at myself. I went for my shoulder I guess I assumed only one other person sees my shoulders so it doesn’t really matter. Although it’s not exactly going to be easy to explain why I dug a nail file into my shoulder.

So what is the point of this piece? To be honest, I don’t know. In the last few months my relationship with antidepressants has been a little awkward. I will begin in May. Which seems to have been a bit of a turning point in my medical history. I saw a new doctor in May, he was a trainee and was not ready for the ball of raw emotion which is me. I walked into his office. He asked how I was I said “fine” because this is my auto pilot response, of course this probably automatically threw him off. His second question was “What can I help you with?” At this point I burst into a hysterical fit of tears and told him I was more depressed than I had been in a long time and wanted to kill myself. I remember vividly watching the colour drain from his face, he was not prepared for someone to walk in declaring they were fine only to burst into tears and say they want to kill themselves within 20 seconds. He would only prescribe two weeks of medication. He was worried about me and told me to come back earlier if my thoughts of suicide returned. What is interesting is that each time I see a new doctor they seem to be caught unawares by the fact that I had written them a comprehensive, bullet pointed list of how I have felt since my last appointment.

Two weeks later I saw another doctor, she was a practice regular so was not as phased by my hysterically, she too wanted to give me two weeks of pills but as I was going on holiday decided I could have three weeks. I then went the three weeks plus a few extra where I had no pills I saw another doctor, my regular doctor who gave me a month of pills, disregarded my lack of sleep as a side effect of me not taking my medication and told me to be more proactive in booking appointments, I guess he knows me well enough to call me up on my shit.

And so to my last appointment 6 weeks after the previous with yet another trainee who was thrown in at the deep end when I once again had a break down and talked about my suicidal thoughts / self harming. She asked about my family history, about my mental health in the past and seemed fairly overwhelmed that I have been knowingly depressed for over 15 years now.  She seemed incredibly concerned, urging me to take the number of the crisis team and giving me just two weeks of pills. She then told me to come back in a week, but changed her mind and suggested two instead, unless my thoughts got worse. Then I was to return immediately. She even offered me time off of work!

I think what scared this doctor the most was that I had answered her questions so candidly, she asked if I had a suicide plan. I told her that after an incredibly difficult start to the year In February I had given myself 6 months to improve my life or I would end it. 7 months later I’m still here. I laughed, she did not she just went silent for a few minutes at this point. I assume she was deciding whether or not to section me. But what she didn’t ask was if my life had improved. The answer is yes, my life has improved since February, but you don’t just shake suicidal feelings. And, unfortunately, I assume she didn’t really understand that as she has probably not experienced it personally before.

So I left the office and instantly booked an appointment two weeks later. I was so shocked that a Dr had finally taken me seriously, I had to send a picture of my prescriptions to my partner to confirm they were real and not some sick joke. Confirmation complete I journeyed to the chemist.

As Always,

The Elephant in the Room.

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