Thursday, January 03, 2008

An update on the depression side of things...

Here's an excerpt from an email I sent to 'coach' at work today after my doctor's appointment.

Hi Coach,

I won't be in tomorrow.

The doctor's appointment went well. John came with me, which was good.

To give you a bit of an update:

My doctor is a bit concerned that I seem to be in a bit of an acute crisis state with my depression and has instructed John to watch me carefully, but she said that since I don't have a history of suicidal behaviour and I haven't been hospitalized because of my depression before I will likely be okay.

We're changing my medication which will hopefully take effect sometime in the next couple weeks. In the meantime she has given me Ativan to deal with the anxiety attacks until the new meds kick in and has instructed me to take it really easy for a bit. She wants me to stay home from work tomorrow, but said that I can probably break the cycle of the anxiety and insomnia (I basically haven't been sleeping, which is one of those fun symptoms of depression that makes depression worse) with the Ativan, so as long as I promise to take it easy next week I can go to work next week.

She made it very clear that I was not to go into work early and/or work late for the next while, that I really do need to be very careful, at least until the new medication has had a good long time to take hold.

So, I told her about my plan to go into work next week and then take the following week off to do some self-building things. She thought that was a reasonable idea, and that I would probably be in a better position to help myself by that time, because while I'm still in the throws of 'crisis' depression I'm not likely to be able to accomplish as much, but by the week after next the meds will have kicked in more and so on.

On a totally personal note, I would be more comfortable with the week after next because there are some things I would like to be there for next week, and it will mean I can see the status of things and effectively hand them over to someone to care for the week I'm away if need be. I know it may sound crazy, and I know no one is indispensable, but it will just make me more comfortable.

I don't think I want to get into the specific details of the depression with BLANK and BLANK, so I think I'm just going to ask for the week off because I have some personal things to take care of. That said, I'm not actually someone who keeps my depression secret, so if they need to know that's okay. It's just that everyone reacts to mental illness differently, and sometimes it's hard to tell what the reaction will be. So, for now I'm just going to keep it vague, I have some stuff going on that I have to deal with.

We talked about the dyslexia and my doctor said that probably it has been compounded pretty intensely by the depression and that it absolutely is something that I should work on in the way I had already planned, but that I need to realize that is a long term thing, it's not something that is going to be 'solved' over night, and that it may take a while to get into somewhere that will do a full assessment and be able to make specific suggestions.

She also intimated that probably I wouldn't be able to very successfully deal with the dyslexia stuff if I didn't deal with the depression first, and I think there is some wisdom in that. Anyway, bottom line is that I'm kind of in hell right now but that things will be getting better from here on in because I've take the first step of going to the doctor.

She wants me to come in for a follow up meeting in two weeks, so I have an appointment on Thursday January 17, the week that I will be out of the office. In my previous experience (although every time seems a bit different) I should be mostly back to myself, including having some semblance of confidence, in about a month and a half, maybe two, once all the meds settle down and I feel like I have the power to affect change in myself again.

I'm not sure how I would have done any of this without your support. You really are an amazing woman. If there is every anything I can do for you just let me know. I really am usually a very good person to talk to, help figure out solutions to various issues, things like that. I'm just not this particular second, but in a couple months I'll have that ability back, and so if you ever need anything I'll be there, the way you have been for me.

I hope you have a good weekend and I'll see you Monday.

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