I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, during which I thought I’d mention that I was pretty depressed and anxious and might possibly benefit from some sort of pharmaceutical intervention. I also wanted to discuss migraine meds, but a funny thing happens when you mention depression at the doctor’s office: all else is eclipsed by the sudden need for them to quantify and prescribe. I was given a weird electronic device – something like an ugly LeapFrog – on which I was instructed to take a quizlet to ascertain just how depressed I am. “Press 1 for true and 2 for false,” the medical assistant told me, and then closed the door so I could have some “privacy.”
Of course, after taking the quizlet – which asks things like “Do you feel irritable or cranky most of the time?” and “Do you often find it difficult to interact with others?”) – I start to see “hidden” meaning in everything. OMG I call myself Cranky Mama. Cranky Mama. That means I am cranky! As in, not happy! I might was well call myself Severely Depressed and Should Be In Therapy Mama! (Forgetting, of course, that Cranky Mama evolved out of Cranky Pregnant Girl, which I thought was unbearably cute during Ellison’s gestation.)
I could have told you what my results would be. After all, I have the Internet, and what is the internet if not an enormous LeapFrog? Every once in a while, just for fun, I take various depression assessments, and my scores are pretty universally in the “Meep! Get thee to a doctor!” category. And, see? I got me to a doctor! It only took, what, 20 years of being morose to convince me that I wasn’t just going to “snap out of it”?
Said doctor came in very earnestly and proceeded to quiz me about my history of depression, taking copious notes and furrowing his brow a lot. My monologues tend to do that to people, I’ve found. There’s a reason I am not a super villain. However, at the end of said monologue, I successfully bent the doctor’s will to my own, prompting him to prescribe me the antidepressant I wanted (Wellbutrin) as well as an anti-anxiety pill (though not Valium, sadly)…so maybe I have a future as a super villain, after all. (“It is I! Prescription Girl! Fear my mighty Google-inhanced knowledge of psychotropic substances!”) Amusingly, the doctor actually had to leave at one point to discuss my treatment options with the on-duty psychiatric consult…since apparently I have “a long history of severe depression” as well as the “possibility of mania” (which is news to me, but whatever) and he wanted to make sure none of the meds would bring out what I can only imagine are my latent bipolar tendencies. People: I am depressive. Period. The closest thing to manic that I get is when I’m hopped up on sugar and exclaiming over Shakira videos.
We did not, however, discuss migraine meds, despite the fact that I was coming down from a migraine at the time of the appointment. It occurred to me that I ought to bring it up at some point, but I was tired of discussing things by then. You may be shocked to hear this, but I do get sick of talking about my problems. Eventually. Besides, do I need to add more pills to my daily arsenal? I do not. (I am a person who rarely even takes a multivitamin, after all. Ingesting substances that are not delicious isn’t really my thing.)
I have high hopes for the Wellbutrin. If all goes well, I will not only be a veritable fountain of good cheer and optimism, but I will also be thin and randy (those being two particularly attractive side-effects of this particular med). Let’s all think happy thoughts about that, shall we? Er, those of us who aren’t clinically depressed, that is.