Monday, 6 June 2011

Hope and Despair

When I first met my Psychiatrist I wasn't full of much hope.  I was in fact in deep despair - what had sent me to the clinic? Why couldn't I just be normal? Why did I keep coming back to these feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, sadness, fear, giving up?  I had tried medication before and it hadn't worked.  I had been depressed on and off since I was 15 so why would this time be any different?
I had requested a female psychiatrist, but this was not possible as no-one at the Psychiatric Service had good enough English skills to treat me and my German certainly wasn't up to the level  required to talk about my feelings.  In fact, I ended up with the Chief doctor as he had worked in America for some years and have remained with him ever since, three and a half years later.
I remember that first meeting - I was terrified.  I thought he wouldn't take me seriously.  I didn't believe anyone could help me.  After all, in the clinic they had remedicated me and I had therapies  but nothing seemed to offer a glimmer of hope that I would stop feeling this way.  I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but from the instant I opened my mouth to the close of the meeting an hour later I didn't stop sobbing.  I threw an exercise book at him containing my life story so far which I had written in the clinic and told him that I wasn't going to go over my life story again as I had done that years before in counselling and I was bored of it.
I really felt that he listened to me even though I was stumbling over words, jumping from thought to thought and completely embarrassed about opening up so intensely.
Finally, he spoke.  Please offer me a glimmer of something that can cure me, I thought.  He told me that it appeared I was suffering from Atypical Depression, which is in fact quite "typical".  He ran through the diagnostic criteria and I felt such relief that what he was describing was in fact - me.  Finally, someone may be able to help me?  He suggested medication that might help me (although I can't remember which as I am on regime number 6 now) to start off with and then began a weekly appointment to try and unwrap my feelings of despair.
It is three and a half years later and I see Dr I on a monthly basis.  I have tried leaving it longer but invariably crack up in a longer timescale.  I now take medication which I am satisfied with (here's hoping it continues to deliver) and have learnt a lot about myself.  He is a lifeline.
Maybe one day I will not have to depend on this.

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