After 30 years of never really being diagnosed with anything concrete – well, finally – FINALLY something tangible.
Reader’s Digest version of events: After my ‘episode’ of a couple of months ago, where I wound up in hospital after a rather feeble overdose attempt (weaning myself off of Cymbalta was a most horrendous experience), my doctor put me on a new medication, which turns out I was terribly allergic to (I thought it was spring allergies, but it was much, MUCH worse). She took me off of that and put me back on a medication that I used to take, and it was then that I knew I had to take some time to just get back on track and heal.
While the hospital experience was something I’d rather forget, it opened me up to a much higher level of psychiatric care that I’d never had in the past. My GP fast tracked an appointment with the clinic’s resident psychiatrist and I was able to get in to see him in a matter of weeks. The main reason being, was that my GP explained to me that she had run the gamut of antidepressants she was willing to prescribe; anything else needed to be prescribed by a psychiatrist.
So, I toddled off to see the nice doctor and in 45 minutes, he had come up with a diagnosis that made sense of all the different symptoms I’d ever had. He was ever so kind, explaining to me the different symptoms and how he came up with the diagnosis. Part of me was mortified that it had a name; the other part of me didn’t care – finally I could relate to something and understand why I am the way I am and that I’m NOT batshit crazy (okay, maybe a little bit, but aren’t we all?)
Since then, I’ve felt stronger, more empowered and certainly less frantic/weepy/messed up. It is so wonderful (yes, wonderful) to know that it’s not just me acting like a weirdo – there is an actual name for my weirdness (ha).
And, so, for those of you wondering – here is what Atypical Depression looks like:
erm…wrong picture, let’s try that again:
So many things just fell into place – especially the ‘sensitive to rejection’ thing. I can usually control it, but if I’m feeling particularly crappy, and let’s say I send out an email and don’t get a response, I automatically think it’s me, I’ve done something wrong, etc.. WHICH is extremely annoying to those closest to me – especially my boss and colleagues. Trying to explain that is extremely difficult and frankly, embarrassing. I’m often very tired and my body feels like I’m wearing concrete weights on my forearms and my legs. While I don’t sleep in, given the chance, I do like to take an afternoon nap (which can sometimes be upwards of 4 hours). I crave carbohydrates like an alcoholic craves booze; I always have. When I’m ‘depressed’, for the most part I don’t feel like I’m melancholic, rather, I’m more likely to feel angry and frantic. Don’t get me wrong; I have fabulous crying jags worthy of an Oscar, but they don’t last very long. Thankfully (I hate crying).
I had a conversation with a friend this morning about a woman she knows who has schizophrenia and while she has the disease, she is NOT the disease. While I’m very thankful to have a diagnosis that I can work with and learn about, I too have a disease; I am NOT the disease itself. My mother lived her whole life with depression as her identity; I don’t ever want to be that person.
If you’d like further information on atypical depression, please visit http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/atypical-depression.