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Saturday, March 08, 2008

diagnosis and too much self-awareness

When I saw my GP recently for my asthmatic cough, I updated him about my psychiatrist's work with me, my suicide attempts and my hospitalisation, the drug allergy we discovered I had, and the medicine I was currently on, because I haven't seen my GP since the clinic issued me the referral letter to my psychiatrist at Mount E. He busily scribbled all the medicines I was on, taking inward gasps at the amounts of some.

Then he also asked me, "So what did Dr K diagnose you with?"

Actually my psychiatrist never did give me a proper medical diagnosis, but I knew it myself: "Major depressive disorder, and generalised anxiety disorder."

So when I went to see my psychiatrist yesterday, I asked him what really is his diagnosis of me. I told him what I told my GP. He said that I wasn't wrong. He also calls what I have "phobic depression".

I also asked him, "So, is there a range, like how depressed am I?"

He said, "Between moderate and severe."

"What is worse than severe?"

"Severe means hospitalisation."

Okay, so I guess I sought some specialist help in time to save myself from being warded in a psychiatric hospital.

Well, I knew what I was suffering from, just didn't know it was that bad. And my recovery is very gradual. My psychiatric doctor says about me, "Unfortunately, you are very aware of yourself and your own progress."

"Why did you preface that statement with 'unfortunately'?"

"Because when you are so aware of your own improvement you will come to realise your recovery is very gradual, and you might get discouraged by the rate at which you are getting better."

I guess I really have to take my time. I am still Calvinised to think that I need to keep trying harder and harder to get better and better and better for him for me for us, even though there is no more him and no more us, because while I was trying my best to get better while with him, he saw and claimed and commented and complained that my best was just not good enough, that I had to try harder, that I was not putting in any effort. So here I am, sub-consciously trying to please someone whom I have already removed from my life. I really have to un-Calvinise myself and just be Elaine, at Elaine's pace. Love should be unconditional, and I really should not have to recover to please anyone.

In any case, I really do think my phobias and anxiety is improving, only my depression is crawling at a snail's pace of a recovery rate. I look normal,

but really, I still have a long road to slowly take. There are many people out there who need help too. Depression is like a cancer with no visible tumour, yet it can kill, at a rate of 15% of all who suffer from it. I may look normal, and so may many people in your life, but if they have my sickness, please, get them to get help. Curing clinical depression is not about 'thinking positive', or pretending the pain isn't there. You cannot wish away a tumour, or pretend it doesn't exist. Depression hurts like fuck, it is a real, physical pain. Don't leave it alone.