When a doctor asks if you have a history of depression…

I went to a routine doctor visit a few days ago, and and they asked if I had a history of depression.

I wanted to say no and spare myself the pain of rehashing the details. Just pretend for a second that I dont still carry that weight with me. But, I answered honestly…

Do you have a history of depression? Yes.

Where you ever on medication? Yes.

Which ones? Prozac, which I took and Zooloft which I never got filled.

Why did you stop? It never helped.

So what helped? Therapy. Exercise. Avoidance.

So you’re mood is stable now? Uh, sure.

Do you have trouble sleeping? Every day.

Have you lost interest in things you like? Hmm, sounds like a trick question. I dont like anything.

Have you ever thought about hurting yourself?  Yep.

Have you ever attempted to? Uh, well…

What did you do? I treatened to kill myself with an earring because its all I had in my room. Then I said I would just starve myself.

Oh, what happened? They sent me to the hospital. And it was awful. Like strip search, lesbian roommate that tried to touch me, people telling me I’m crazy… awful.

Ah, I see. Did you get help? Yes, I saw what it did to my family and I vowed to never mention suicide again.  And I went therapy for 2 years. I worked to get better, every day.

So you’re not depressed anymore? No, I am. I’ve just kinda learned to live with it. I cope.

How do you cope? My life is great so I feel guilty every day about my depression. And that guilt drives me to appreciate the little things. It’s not that healthy, I guess. But it works.

What do you think will help your depression? Honestly, I dont know. I just want to love myself. I want to feel like I’m okay. I want to feel happiness, even if it’s just brief.

Do you want to see someone? No, not right now. I think I’m pretty stable.

……oh…okay? Okay.




2 thoughts on “When a doctor asks if you have a history of depression…

  1. I had a doctor (not a psych or therapist) tell me that my suicidal ideation was a “chicken-shit” answer to my depression. I don’t know if he thought we were speaking “man to man” or if we were speaking as “grown ups” or what he thought. I just knew I would never see that doctor for as much as a sniffle after that display of obtuseness.

    I think my coping method is much like yours. I persevere. Nothing seems to get better, at least in my outlook. Drugs didn’t help. Therapy only helped to a point. Exercise helps some, but it’s not long lasting. But I wish I could help carry your burden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing, Paul. I think it’s hard for people who’ve never dealt with it to empathize. Usually people with depression feel guilty enough without outsiders piling on. Some think its like a flip of a switch. But in my experience if it wasnt caused by a specific event then it’s a chronic illness like any pshycial illness. Keep working at it.


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