Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Doctor Dread

For the last four years I have had a, perhaps irrational, fear of doctors. After Christmas one year I had what I suppose the masses might call a 'break down'. I don't consider it a breakdown. I had sat for two weeks staring at the paperwork I had to do for the new year at work - putting it off, not daring to even touch it. The fear about facing the chore and going back to work steadily increased each day, each night, for two long weeks until it was D-day and I found myself vomiting through the night. The morning came and I said to my Mother that I was not going back to work .. that day - or any day in the future - ever again. I barricaded myself in my room, in my bed, in my pyjamas where I decided I would stay until my dying day.

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...

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