Today was a big day for me, mental health wise. Not only was it the first day of my GAD therapy group, but I got a call from the Reproductive Mental Health section of the Women’s Hospital telling me that they wanted to book me in for 9 AM the same morning. I said I couldn’t do it, because I had to be at a totally different hospital for 10 AM.
“Well, we have you listed as an urgent referral, but our next opening is in March.”
“…Okay, I’ll be there.”
So then I had to tell my manager that instead of working crazy long hours to make up for the time I’d be in the GAD group, but I wasn’t going to be able to make it in at all this morning and she would have to give me half a sick day or unpaid leave or something. I left the choice up to her so she would hate me less for buggering off for half a day. Then I had to call my GAD group and leave a message saying I’d probably be very late. The whole thing was making me very anxious.
At the Women’s Health place a psychiatrist drilled me for an hour on my history. She got me to describe any depressive instances in my life, focusing most on the episode that led to the prescription of Wellbutrin. Like all the other people I have spoken to, she raised her eyebrows and looked shocked when I described my encounter with Dr. Useless and nodded when I explained why I hadn’t taken the Cymbalta that had been tossed at me. She asked me about my family, where I was born, my drinking habits, my husband, my education, and a million other things. It was all familiar ground to me. I am getting used to repeating it to counsellors, psychiatrists, doctors etc. As usual, she seemed surprised and impressed by my description of Perfect Husband. When I called him my best friend, she looked pleasantly shocked. This makes me sad for the other wives she talks to.
“So, basically,” she summarized at the end of things, “You have a history of worrying and anxiety, with episodes of seasonal depression in winter, culminating in Major Depression last year.”
It made me sound so healthy.
For Gawd’s sake, don’t go off the Wellbutrin.
Those weren’t her exact words. She used much more clinical terms to impress on me that Wellbutrin is not teratogenic, that I am on a low dose in any case, that depression can have severe consequences on the developing baby and that I am at a high risk of redeveloping the depression either during pregnancy or in post partum. As it is, she decided that I should be watched carefully for recurring depression through my pregnancy and booked a follow-up in May. She also strongly advised Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. So I told her about the GAD group and she was delighted.
“That’s perfect! When does it start?”
“Today.” (Actually, the most correct answer would have been “ten minutes ago,” but I wanted to spare myself that conversation)
“Well, that’s excellent. You’re getting mentally healthy in time for your 28th birthday!”
She had a student observer with her and he seemed simply pleased by the fact that he had met someone who was actually helped by her antidepressants.
I am clearly fortunate in many ways.
Anyway, I showed up to the GAD thing and hour and fifteen minutes late, but they didn’t scold me (if they had, it would have cast serious doubts upon their ability to work with anxious people) and they gave me a million forms to fill out, which I still managed to finish before other people there.
An emotionally exhausting day, but a productive one, at least.
Oh yeah, one more thing. She asked me what I did for Perfect Husband, after I described what he does for me. I was like “Uh… sometimes I’ll cook dinner… if I can keep him from chopping vegetables illicitly. And I encourage him to spend money on himself now and then, because if I don’t he won’t.”
She recommended that I consider some Self Esteem CBT as well, since I didn’t seem to notice my own contributions to our relationship. Maaaaybe. Or maybe I just need to start pulling my weight around the house.