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Doctor, doctor, give me the news - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
Doctor, doctor, give me the news
I'm sure I just posted this update, but it appears to have vanished into the ether. I'm not concentrating too well, though, so I probably just hit "Throw to the wolves" instead of "Update" by accident.

So anyway, I was feeling pretty apprehensive about this morning's doctor's appointment, as in my not-so-limited experience doctors vary quite a lot as to how good they are at dealing with depression. It was a blessed relief to find that the new doctor listened to what I had to say, gave me honest answers, asked me how I felt about taking antidepressants before attempting to prescribe them, and -- most surprisingly -- actually agreed, after listening to my description of past experiences, that it didn't sound like counselling would be very helpful for me. My faith in the medical profession is (at least temporarily) restored.

So I'm now on Lustral (sertraline), and I have a Get Out Of Work Free card for the rest of this week. For next week, too, if I want it; but the doctor suggested (and I agreed) that if I feel up to it I should go back into work on Monday. I don't think taking extended periods off work is going to help overmuch, and I know that the longer I stay off, the harder it's going to be to go back.

Phoned my project manager to tell him what's happening, and he was awfully decent about it -- didn't ask too many questions, offered wishes for a speedy recovery, and agreed to talk to me about stuff when I get back on Monday. I do need to explain the situation a bit more, and I also need to talk to him about the job itself -- there's clearly something wrong if I'm coming home from work every day feeling like I've achieved nothing, done nothing, wasted another day of my life. I'm quite prepared to admit that some of that wrongness is in me, in my outlook; but I don't believe it's all me.

Was going to go to the pub this evening to meet pir and other BOFHs, but I got halfway down the road and realised that I was on the verge of tears and couldn't face walking there on my own. I feel cross with myself for not making the effort anyway but I honestly don't think I'd have been much company anyway.


Plans for tomorrow (if I write them down, it might be just enough external accountability that I actually get them done): tidy my bedroom, paint the remainder of the front door frame, practice piano, and make scones. God, what an exciting life I lead. Still, I have to do something, otherwise I'll just sit around all day trying to beat my high score for Minesweeper (50 mines in 37 seconds) on the Palm.

Now playing: Tori Amos: Strange Little Girls

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huskyteer From: huskyteer Date: November 27th, 2002 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

The drugs do work

I'm very pleased you've made that decision. The behaviour you've been describing sounds far from normal, and in fact sounds just the kind of thing antidepressants are designed to help with. I recently took myself off Cipramil after almost three years, and I can honestly say that it turned me back into a normal human being, capable of rational emotions and non-destructive relationships with other human beings, from the complete wreck I quietly became in my Finals year without anyone noticing.

And if I ever recommence bursting into tears because my coffee's too strong, or at particularly poignant moments on children's TV, I will demand further drugs without hesitation.
lnr From: lnr Date: November 27th, 2002 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The drugs do work

Ah I find I do that sort of bursting into tears when *not* depressed almost more than when I am, which is odd.

Sometimes the drugs work, sometimes they don't. Glad they did for you. Hope they do for Jan. Hope they do for me too :-)

I am glad the trip to the docs wasn't the ordeal Janw as fearing though. *hugs*
j4 From: j4 Date: November 28th, 2002 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The drugs do work

Well, I'd already been on antidepressants on five separate occasions (Prozac three times, because two doctors failed to comprehend "Prozac didn't work for me at all"; Efexor once; and amitryptiline once). The Prozac didn't do anything except give me minor side-effects, the Efexor stopped me feeling anything and left me unable to concentrate for long enough to finish a sentence; the amitryptiline gave me such bad stomach pains that I couldn't stand upright.

So the decision this time was more like "Experience suggests that this is unlikely to help, and is in fact likely to make it worse; but emotion suggests that if I don't try something I will go stark staring mad, and if it makes me worse then at least I can cry for a reason".

I'm really glad the Cipramil worked for you though.

I'd be interested to see figures for what percentage of Oxbridge students/graduates have been treated for depression. Although I'm not sure I wouldn't find those figures almost as depressing as the figures for Oxbridge graduates' average starting salary.

A friend of mine once claimed that the Warneford Hospital had a higher percentage of firsts than any of the colleges. This does rather have the feel of an urban legend, though...
ewx From: ewx Date: November 28th, 2002 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2514957.stm isn't about Oxbridge students per se, but does note that the 1970s generation seems to be more prone to depression at the moment than those 10 years older.
meirion From: meirion Date: November 28th, 2002 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The drugs do work

I'd be interested to see figures for what percentage of Oxbridge students/graduates have been treated for depression.

yes, i'd be very interested in knowing this too. sometimes it feels like everyone i know is or has been depressed. and then i think of the stuck-up magdalene-ites, and the hearties, and realise that it's probably just an illusion, and that i tend to hang out with the kind of contemplative souls who are likely to be be prone to depression.

i'm reminded of the time in my first year when there were six or seven of us sat in my room after a pub visit, and someone asked how many of us had tried to commit suicide. all but one of the hands shot instantly into the air ...

huskyteer From: huskyteer Date: November 28th, 2002 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ignorance is bliss?

<bitch mode> They can't have tried all that hard if they were still around for the survey. </bitch mode>

I've also noticed the phenomenon of clever people - OK, OK, Oxford students - being particularly prone to depression. I wonder if it stems from feeling isolated and misunderstood, maybe getting picked on, at school, which might make one more withdrawn and prone to bottling things up in later life?

Just me then? Ah.
j4 From: j4 Date: November 29th, 2002 09:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ignorance is bliss?

They can't have tried all that hard if they were still around for the survey.

Let's just be glad they didn't try harder. Besides, I know several people who did try pretty hard, but fortunately other people tried harder to save them.

I wonder if it stems from feeling isolated and misunderstood

I suspect that's a part of it, but I think a lot of it is simply that people who spend a lot of their time thinking are more likely to look at the world and wonder things like "Why am I here?" and "What's the point of it all?" -- in my experience that sort of musing rarely makes people happy.

One of the head-doctors I saw told me that I thought too much, and I should just get some exercise, take up rowing or something. I told him I was afflicted with chronic postmodernism. I think at that point he gave up on me, too.
From: pir Date: November 27th, 2002 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Was going to go to the pub this evening to meet pir and other BOFHs

Would have been nice to see you, but other opportunities will present themselves, I'm sure.
The film was sold out, so the only person who didn't book ahead (Mr. Chin) was disappointed.

I'm amused that the first suggestion the spell-checker makes for BOFHs is Biffs ...
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