The next thing I knew a very old, very pompous, very 'put out' doctor was in my room, his little briefcase in tow. He took out a slip of paper and a pen.
Can you tell me what the matter is Sylvia*?
I can't go back to work.
Do you feel hopeless?
Do you have suicidal thoughts?
Do you feel any enjoyment in everyday things?
And other impersonal, pointless, checklist questions. The whole time I was thinking "Say whatever you can so you are not made to go back to work".
In less than five minutes he concluded I was 'depressed' and quick as a flash out came a prescription for some pills.
He was horrid. He was patronising. He was old school. He was unsympathetic. I truly believe he did not believe in 'depression' and just saw a silly young girl who needed to pull herself together.
I did not take the pills. I didn't want to get better - if I got better I would have to go out, I would have to be normal, I would have to go back to work. No, nothing good could come of those pills.
I didn't leave the house for three months.
Since then I have not admitted my depression to any health professionals. Not to my doctor. Not to my midwife. Not to my health visitor. Not to anyone.
Tomorrow I am biting the bipolar bullet and going to the doctors. I don't know what I will find there.
What am I scared of? I am scared of the inane checklist of questions they will ask me. I am worried they will not believe my self diagnosis of Bipolar. I am worried they will think I am not being truthful. I am worried I won't be strong. I am worried they will pity me or dismiss me. I am worried, that if medicated, I will lose my personality, I will lose my highs, my humour, my manic episodes - which are worth having this disorder for.
To be continued...