I’ve been in the mental health game for a while now. On and off bouts of depression since I was twelve, combined with 18 months going on an eternity of the worst, most inescapable depression I’ve ever experienced makes me a self-proclaimed expert.
This doesn’t make me more qualified or knowledgeable than a mental health professional, but it does mean that I know my body and my disease better than anyone else. I know what my symptoms feel like and I know what will help them.
Which makes it even more frustrating when people don’t listen to me. And by people I mean doctors, counsellors, psychiatrists, case workers and psychologists.
I’ve been on a pretty hectic journey these past few weeks – well these past 18 months really – but recently I’ve been shifted from medical professional to medical professional, telling each of them my history and my current situation, and I’ve been very consistent with them .
I am only asking for one thing from all of the people I’ve spoken to – an anti-depressant that won’t make me gain weight. That’s all I’ve ever asked for.
Which is why it is so frustrating when my needs aren’t met. When I don’t get the things that I know are right for me. When I get sent home with an anti-depressant that is known for causing weight gain.
Of course this is disappointing and huge speed bump in my road to recovery, but most of all I feel let down. I feel like I am trying my hardest and fighting against myself to do self care and make it to appointments and no one is listening to me.
It feels like all I do is ask for help but no one understands what I really need.
And this is hard. We’re taught that doctors know best and we should listen to them. But I don’t think this is always the case with mental health.
It feels like I’m breaking all the rules, but I’m learning that I know best. I’m learning that I need to stand up for myself and my mental health to people who, despite the best of intentions, don’t understand my needs as well as I do.
It’s definitely hard, especially when my depression makes me want to run away from confrontation and hide in bed until I die, but I know that facing these challenges is going to help me so much on the road to recovery.