Do not go gently into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Friday, December 6, 2013
I keep this list on me all the time. I actually keep it in three places so that if I can't find one I have a backup. The picture is just a part of the list. It also contains all the medications that I take with dosage and timing, all the doctors that I see, my pharmacy, information about my defibrillator and a contact list. But there is one word that I particularly hate. For a very long time I didn't include it on the list, not until I went on medication to treat it and it was obvious that I had it. I really dislike having such a long list and that in itself is almost an embarrassment when I have to show it to someone new. But that one diagnosis makes me cringe in shame. I know that depression is an illness, really no different than saying I had breast cancer or that I have hyperaldosteronism. But depression probably more than any other diagnosis on that list still holds a stigma that makes it difficult to admit to. The minute I admit to being depressed in any medical situation is the minute that my caregivers quit listening to me and assume that my real problem is "all in my head". I can be hacking up a lung, but if I'm depressed then I'm exaggerating how bad I feel. It happens every time. I expect that if someone is educated in medicine they should know that depression is an illness and not a character flaw. They should also know that even though I'm depressed that I am capable of being honest with the way that I feel physically. The stigma needs to be purged from depression. It causes the depressed patient to not be able to get needed care. The problem is how do you change the stigma? The message that depression is an illness has been out. It just hasn't changed anyone's perception of what it is.