Overcoming Obstacles to Treatment of Clinical Depression
The sooner you decide which kind of
biological neurochemical booster pill(s)
you are going to swallow, the better.
Whether you want to start out
with an antidepressant or not,
you still need to go to the doctor.
Step One - Go to the Doctor
Get the number, call the doctor.
Make an Appointment.
Arrange for someone to go with you.
Show up for the appointment !!
Talk it over with the Doctor like you
if you had a bleeding gash in your side.
Tell the doctor it hurts !
The Problem With Doctors
Doctors are people too.
And just like everyone else, they pass
stigma and ignorance of clinical depression.
They deny it, don't recognize it, and
don't know how to treat it adequately, if at all.
Does that mean we don't have to go to the doctor - no !!
You still have to go !
You need a check-up, blood tests and
if you want to try antidepressants
Okay, You're At The Doctor's Office
You are going in to your doctor and say
"I'm depressed - I need help ?"
And he's not going to get a funny look on his face,
make you feel terribly stupid, ashamed
and painfully embarrassed ??
Doctors specialize in shrugging off and humiliation.
No matter what ails you
or how much pain you are suffering,
when they don't know what it is or how to treat it,
they have a way of diminishing it
and making you feel silly for even coming in.
A depressed person doesn't need this kind of help.
Depression needs a serious, competant
medical consultation and diagnosis.
Let someone go with you to the doctor - family, friend, spouse.
A spouse, friend or companion can even
go into the room with you if you want them to,
for support and to help explain your symptoms to the doctor.
This will let the doctor know that you both
consider this a serious matter
that shouldn't be taken lightly or shrugged off.
Now, some nurses won't like you bringing someone in.
But you are the patient and you have the right.
Just hold your companion's hand and pull them along
when you are called, and/or say "He / She is coming in with me."
If you are challenged, just repeat,
"I want him/her to come in with me."
It really should not be a problem.
Now that's for the consultation -
They can, of course, go back out
to the waitng room for any physical exam.
Doctors are intimidating for most of us.
I have often gone in with my husband or he with me,
especially when we expect not to be taken seriously.
It does help at least to make sure
the doctor doesn't get out of the room
before we have told him what we went there to tell.
Write the Doctor a note or a letter.
Send it by mail, or email, or FAX it in.
You can say something like...
I am depressed, and suicidal, and need help.
I have felt this way for ___________ weeks, months, years.
Will you help me ?
I am terribly depressed.
I am so very sad and cry all the time.
I am often suicidal and am afraid that I might not make it through.
I have been feeling this way for __________________ weeks. months, years.
My other symptoms are ___________________________
I would like to try an antidepressant and/or see a therapist as soon as possible.
I feel so ashamed and I am too embarrassed to come in or even send this note.
Is there anyway you could call me ?
My Number is _________________________
The Best Time to Call Me is __________________________
Do I need to come in for an appointment ? or do I need a referral ?
Try not to hold back too much.
You have to make sure they know
how really terribly depressed and/or suicidal you feel.
I know it is actually scary, fearful, humiliating,
not knowing how they will react.
A good doctor will probably call you
with a surprising amount of compassion.
Sadly, others still may be cold, bristly and judgemental,
and make you feel worse.
If that were to happen,
please don't let it stop you.
You might want to go to a different doctor, at least for this.
There has been so much in the media about depression,
that any doctor who is not prepared to help you
with understanding, shouldn't be practicing medicine
or should at least give you a referral.
Happiness, good feelings and balanced emotions
are a part of good health.
Prolonged unhappiness and too many negative emotions
are indicators of a physical health problem.
We should be taught to go to doctor,
just like when we have the flu,
and say, "Doctor, I don't f-e-e-l good."
If we have prolonged periods of behaving badly,
excessive anger or violence
If we are always moody, stressed, anxious, or upset...
These are all symptoms of physical health problems.
How can I say that ?
Because your brain is a physical organ
just like your kidney or liver.
And, emotions are made and have receptors
all throughout the body.
Feelings are physical.
They have a physical location in the body.
We are emotional beings.
We are emotional with every breath we take.
With every thought there is an emotion.
Healthy emotions are as important to our health
as food, air and water.
It is our duty to find a way to feel good in this life.
Without healthy emotions,
we cannot find and experience
the love and beauty that life wants to give us.
And we cannot share with others
what we do not have.
It is our duty to find out how to fullfill our emotional potential.
We want the best for those we love.
And so does life want to give us the best it has to give us.
It is desperately sad that we are not able to see and feel
all the love and joy there is here for us to find.
I want you to fight for your life -
maybe for a life you have never yet known.
There is time for dying later.
Don't settle for less. Don't settle for a life of perpetual depression.
Give life a chance. Get started on treatment now.
You owe it to yourself and the life you have yet to fulfill.
Suicide Prevention In Your Area - What You Can Do
Copyright© 1997-2007 by Melody Clark, Meadow Lark Press