It's been asked of me before why I feel comfortable telling things to the whole world via my blog that I don't feel comfortable telling a doctor.
There are many answers I could give to that question. But there are two main ones.
The first is that I've had some bad experiences with doctors. For instance, when I first started suffering from depression I finally felt that I should go to the doctor (my SI had escalated to a new point for me and it scared me). I never even got the opportunity to mention this to the doctor. Upon hearing that I couldn't sleep, couldn't concentrate and was worried I'd fail my exams and then be a failure at life he told me to take a hot bath. That was the entirety of his advice. Oh, and to revise less. Considering I'd just told him that there were days I couldn't even get out of bed to go to school, I'm not sure why he thought I was revising too much!
It had been a huge step for me, going to the doctor. I already felt like it was something I shouldn't be feeling and should just get over with. Or a bit of a hypochondriac with "med student syndrome" as we'd not long covered depression and its treatments in my Psychology course. The dismissal without listening to me had a profound impact on me.
The second reason is less tangible than the first, but related. It's because I have an image in my head of who I should be. And that person is strong, self sufficient and doesn't ask for help. She certainly doesn't want to die, or be so weak as to SI/abuse alcohol or any of the other things I do. Speaking about it on here allows me to disassociate from my problems slightly. I could be writing anything, it could be fiction. But I'm still talking about it. Linked to my image of myself is my image of mental health problems. Logically I know there's nothing wrong, but for me there's a big leap between someone being a little depressed and someone being suicidal. And it's a standard I apply only to myself.
If somebody I know admitted to being suicidal I would worry for them and offer all support I could. Whereas I feel that for me it means I'm weak and selfish and should be ignored.
So, Wednesday when I went to the doctors I made a promise to myself. I would answer the questions I was asked honestly. As honestly as I do when I fill in the HAD tests and other things on the CBT site.
And then, the doctor was a locum. He listened, which was good. But there was no assessment of my mental state.
In a way, I enjoyed feeling empowered. I was asked for my opinion of my treatment and the pros/cons of changing AD were discussed. (I've been having considerably more bad days than good days lately, and I felt something needed to change).
For those who care, the result was that I'm now back up to the maximum daily dose of Citalopram, I'm back up to 3x daily on the beta blockers and I also have a prescription for co-drydamol (which I would love to hear about people's experiences with).