The beautiful blonde doctor said “do you think maybe you’re….a little depressed” and I thought “are you fucking kidding me of course I’m depressed”. Trying to keep the “fucking kidding me part” out of my tone I said “umm my entire life has been turned upside down. So ya I’m a little depressed. I think it’s appropriate”. I’d been sobbing off and on for ten minutes. Not for the first time in this group of doctors offices. There is probably a big note in my records that says “OMG SHE CRIES”. Her reaction wasn’t unexpected just disappointing.
Months later, sitting in the same office with a different doctor describing how I’d quit grad school because of extreme fatigue, I watched his face and knew it was coming. He started talking about all the things they treat with Prozac. Telling him I wasn’t interested in antidepressants and coming up with the lame “they have side effects” as my reason he said “water has side effects”. Really? That’s what he’s got?
Neither he nor the beautiful blonde knows me well enough to be prescribing psychiatric meds. All they know is what they’ve seen in a few twenty to thirty minute exams and some blood work. Having a general physician prescribe psychiatric meds isn’t much better than having the neighbor who watches a lot of Dr. Oz/Dr. Phil do it.
If you asked your best friend “do I need a psych med?” she’d probably say “Helll no... you need a new boss!” or “No my love…you need to lose the 25 pounds that has you hating yourself” or “you need to quit saying yes to everything everyone wants from you” or “you need a doctor to figure out why you went from a healthy active woman to one who doesn’t have enough energy to put the groceries away”. If your best friend says “you need an antidepressant” then you probably do.
It makes me angry for women. Doctors don’t do this with men. Not to the same degree. Sure they’ll prescribe psych meds to a man. But it isn’t their first stop. It’s 2013 and women are still treated as though we’re “hysterical”. Maybe we should just go back to Uterus removal. It might be as effective as all the dope. If you have mood swings you’re bi polar, if you’re sad you’re clinically depressed, if you’re angry or anxious you need Xanax. Beware of the emotional woman. Emotional women are scary. And somehow not smart.
Several times I said to my doctors “I think it’s appropriate to be sad in this situation”. They would look like: “I’m going to keep my face totally neutral but I really think you’re nuts for not letting me give you this drug”.
Eventually I took one of their drugs. An Antibiotic that was prescribed after I requested a urine sample be taken. Something that hadn’t been done in eight months of suffering.
That antibiotic appears to have cured my depression doctor. Imagine that.