You Didn’t Ask

Me: I lowered the dose on my antidepressant because I think it’s making my hair fall out.

Doc: Your hair looks fine. It looks like a full head of hair to me. (He smiles)

Me: No. When I shower or brush my hair it falls out.

Doc: That’s normal. Are you pulling it out?

Me: No, I’m not pulling it out. I’ve had my hair my whole life so I know what a normal amount of hair coming out in the shower looks like and this is more!

Doc: Is it stress?

Me: I’ve been stressed for a lot longer than I’ve been on this medication so I don’t think it’s stress.

Doc: I don’t know if that’s a side effect of your medication.

(Well at least he’s honest, I guess. I wonder what other side-effects he is unaware of.)

(The session starts to wrap up)

Doc: You’re doing better.

Me: Why exactly do you think that?

Doc: You’re not as anxious as you were before hospital.

Me: Yes, that’s true but I am much more depressed and disconnected from the world.

Doc: Maybe you were this depressed before but the anxiety was masking it. Now that the anxiety is getting better…

Me: It’s NOT better. I mean, it’s still bad, it’s just not as obviously bad. (It’s not like a freaking cold!)

Doc: Well you didn’t talk about suicide and death today and I hope that means you’re not thinking about it.

Me: That’s because… (I don’t want to bore him? I don’t want to worry him? There’s no point in talking about it?) You never asked! I could tell you all about my thoughts and urges. I could tell you that right now would be the perfect time to die or I could tell you about the graphic plans I think up…

Doc:But you’re here. You’re fighting. You come to appointments. You take medication. You care for your cat. You’re doing better.

Me: Well I feel worse than before hospital but hey, you have to say what sits well for you as an optimistic psychiatrist. (I smile. I feel bad for him. I need to find a psychiatrist who is bleak and depressed.)


I like my psychiatrist. He’s a good man but he doesn’t understand me. He understands what the books say about me but he doesn’t know me beyond my diagnosis. I want shit to get real. I want to find a psychiatrist who has experienced major depression and can agree that it fucking sucks instead of trying to tell me that I am doing okay because what- I got out of bed? I went to an appointment?


Doc: You worry about what others think because you think those same things about other people.

Me: No I do not! That’s an awful thing to say. That would make me a horrible person!

Doc: Why do you think those types of thoughts are horrible? Are other people horrible for thinking them?

Me: Yes they are.

Doctor: There are good people out there too. There are nice people who don’t think horrible thoughts about others.

Me: We’re all horrible.


28 thoughts on “You Didn’t Ask

  1. nooooo not all horrible. I know that you are not too. 😛

    as for appearing to be better, perhaps you are. Emerging from deep depression is slow, sometimes the patient doesn’t feel that they are emerging, others point it out first… which is often annoying. As for side effects… shivers.. he should know all the possible ones. But then there are so many uncommon side effects, one in a million chance ones that become a long list. You will know though, if your hair is falling out, its not like it is someone else’s hair in the brush… unless kitty is borrowing it.

  2. “I want to find a psychiatrist who has experienced major depression and can agree that it fucking sucks instead of trying to tell me that I am doing okay because what- I got out of bed? I went to an appointment?’

    We train people in medicine to deal with a problem that is not totally medical. I argue that not much of it is in our brain. Dr. Charles Raison stating that depression is not just a “mental disorder.”

    For me, the crux of my depression is emotional from the PTSD and other abuse I suffered. THAT changed my chemistry and now no one can give me a drug to help me get up and go back into the world like I did.

    Please keep writing. You help me.


  3. How about talking to someone who believes you?! How can you not feel depressed if you’re constantly contradicted? I used to live w/medium-level but steady depression & the best things for it I found were standing up for myself & being sure I wasn’t afraid to do so…& feeling God was w/me & cared. Also finally meeting my husband!

    • I think he believes me or at least I hope he does but you’re right, I don’t like being contradicted. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I try to stand up for myself but probably come across as pretty grouchy!

  4. If he’s unable / unwilling to engage with your reality, he’s not a good psych. At least, not if he’s trying to do therapy. The only part that sounds at all valid is the last snippet, about other people, although it made you angry. But your thoughts and reactions should be the focus, not the psych’s opinion. But we are all mixtures of shadow and light, and that’s a good thing.

    • Thanks Ellen.
      This psychiatrist is the first I’ve seen who actually attempts therapy but maybe he’s too positive for me. I might actually bring this up with him the next time I see him. Maybe he assumes he has a role of trying to be uplifting and maybe that works for other patients but not for me!

  5. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH…..I just wanted to scream when I read this, I have had so many bozo pdocs say this….you look good, you don’t look suicidal, you don’t sound like you are suicidal, you are wearing nice clothes so you don’t look depressed etc. etc. Must I cry, have a melt-down in the room, scream, threaten the pdoc or….. I don’t know. At least, or maybe you did, you may not have had a pdoc fall asleep on you during a session. Wow, some of them are useless and just shove a script at you. Excellent post. 🙂

    • Exactly! How are we supposed to act? The worst part of it is when I talk about how people judge me and how I worry about what to wear and all of that and then the doctor is sitting there doing exactly that. Judging me. Thinking things like I must be doing okay because I have nice clothes and jewellery or whatever.
      What did you do when the doctor fell asleep on you? I would have said, “Boo!” or something like that to scare him!

  6. Maybe he doesn’t know you beyond your diagnosis because you’re not getting real about it. What do you really got to lose? You’re trying to protect yourself and him, but you wanna die right, isn’t it better to let all the walls go and get real honest about shit? LAY IT ON HIM! S&S, just fucking lay it on him, or someone! I can give you my email and you can lay it all on me. You can throw a shitfest of pissy stuff my way, and I’ll take it. And I really think your therapist could/would take it too. But it’s fucking hard, because saying it out loud somehow makes it even more real, and sometimes it even makes it hurt way more than it was when it was shut inside, and how is that even possible!? Saying it out loud is like giving it free reigns to demand to be felt, and you don’t really wanna feel it. Not again. Not anymore. Not anything. Not ever. It’s better to die right? That’s what we think. But we’re wrong. You can manage those feelings. You are SO INCREDIBLY STRONG, do you know that? I do. You’re strong S&S! Be brave.
    (It’s 6am I haven’t slept yet, I’m not sure if I know in from out, but all I know is that at least this was honest, but I don’t know how you’ll take it. I didn’t mean to step out of place (out of line?) and I hope you don’t feel bad about this in any way. I mean it in all the best ways possible. Fuck, you’re strong, you know! And now I realize I’ve been swearing a lot in here, but I’m not even gonna take it away, because sometimes unfiltered, uncensored is what we need.) There’s an\other side to this shitty pain-place, but as you’ve heard a thousand times before: The only way is through. There’s no shortcuts to happy.

    • You’re not out of line at all, I really appreciate what you’ve written here. Also, I appreciate a good chunk of swear words, honestly!
      I think I expect him to know more about me than he does. In reality, he’s only been seeing me since February. Thank you for saying I can throw a shitfest of pissy stuff your way but I don’t want to do that to you and I think you’re right, my psychiatrist can handle it. I have to be careful though. Too much honesty and too much out of control behaviour could land me another trip to hospital. I’d rather deal with how I am feeling from home.
      Thank you for all of the advice and encouragement.
      Lots of hugs to you!

      • Well … I see it this way: you’ll be feeling the same way either you tell or not, and if you make it clear to him that you’re choosing to share this information with him because you think you’re handling it, and that you’re in control of the situation, and that you think the best for you is to handle this from home. But S&S, are you being totally honest with yourself? Do you think it’s the best for you to deal with it at home, or is it just that you’d rather not go back to hospital? I know that feeling. It’s when I wanna go the least I need it the most. But when you’re right there on the limit you’re still able to see clearly, and sometimes seeing clearly means voluntarily taking a hospitalization, because deep down you know that’s better.
        And hey, you say you don’t wanna “do that to me”, but it’s not like that! You wouldn’t be “doing it to me”. You’d just … like share the pain. You know that stupid (or totally awesome?) saying: shared joy is double, shared pain is half, maybe it’s like that.
        And I get what you’re saying about your therapist as well. You think he should know you as good as someone who had gotten to know you for the last 6 months, but S&S, have you really been letting him get to know you that much during this half a year? My current therapist says we have a “no bullshit”-agreement, hah, he even says that in English: no bullshit. Maybe your therapist can be a great therapist for you, or maybe he won’t, but at least try to no bullshit him for a while?

  7. I don’t think I bullshit with him but I think I need prompting. I am so used to how things are for me that I often don’t think to bring them up or I figure they’ve already been discussed before. I am not good at just blurting things out in therapy. I don’t know. I guess it’s like, well if he isn’t asking me about this or that then maybe he isn’t concerned about it. My next session will be different. It’s time for me to get a bit angry (in a good way) and to tell him that his sunny disposition is driving me mad. I’ll tell him to ask me IMPORTANT questions because I have trouble bringing that sort of stuff up.
    As for hospital- right now I don’t think I need it. I don’t think anything can be done.
    A problem shared is a problem halved. That door swings both ways. I am here for you too!

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