Is my doctor going to laugh me out of her office?
May 8, 2012 7:54 AM Subscribe
So, I think I might be depressed, but I'm not sure, and I'm worried my doctor will think I'm just whining about nothing.
posted by puppetofsocks to health & fitness (30 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not a particularly happy or active person anyway, and last year wasn't great, but I moved cities late last year and have been pretty low since around the same time. I started going to therapy in December, and my therapist has made me feel better about some specific things, but I'm still generally feeling low and apathetic a lot of the time and mostly failing to get anything done.
I made a real effort at the start of this year to eat properly and get some exercise, and I did feel better for a while. But then I stopped and it just seems like too much effort to start again.
I've done a few of the online questionnaires like the PHQ9 form, and the results vary by the day but they generally say I'm mildly or moderately depressed. Except I've been tracking my mood, and over the last two weeks or so I've felt utterly awful on about a third of the days, vaguely miserable on about a third, and sort of neutral on the rest. And looking at the depression criteria, I get the impression you have to feel really awful every day. (E.g. from one health site: you have to have the symptoms "most of the day, every day for more than two weeks.") And I don't, there are days when I see friends and have an OK time, or I do actually manage to do something productive instead of sitting around guilt-tripping myself about all the work I'm not doing.
So I'm worried that I've just blown this out of all proportion. But I'm sick of crying, and worrying about this, and I have an important task coming up that I'm going to really screw up if I carry on at this rate. So I finally made myself sit down and call the doctor to make an appointment, and I have one next week. But the doctor they've assigned me to is one I saw last week for a routine procedure, and there was a nurse in the room so I didn't want to talk to her about this then. And they were both being very friendly and chatty and I hadn't met either of them before and didn't want to be rude, so I chatted too. (When the nurse left, I asked the doc if I could talk to her about something else but she said I had to make another appointment.)
So I'm worried that because I wasn't sitting there in tears last time I saw her that she'll think I'm faking it for attention or just having a bad week and overreacting, or something.
So I guess my question is, if it turns out I'm not depressed and I'm just wasting the doctor's time, what are the chances she's going to tell me off or tell me to go and read a self-help book or something? I mean, she's a professional and I'm reasonably sure she'd be nice about it, but if there's one thing that could make me feel even more pathetic it would be having someone tell me that everyone feels like this and I should just be an adult and suck it up. And I'm worried this might affect any future visits if my doctor thinks I'm just a giant whiny hypochondriac - she's nice, but definitely the matter-of-fact, no-nonsense type.
Does anyone have any advice? Thank you!