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Is this depression? Seriously, I'm asking...

Posted Jan 15 2009 7:55pm

Today I had my yearly visit to the girly doctor. My Ob/ gyn has historically been only that to me - a yearly checker of my nether-regions. I have never been pregnant and when we attempted pregnancy all those times, we went to reproductive specialists and by-passed my OB/ GYN altogether.

So, my visits are usually short and to the point. Small talk, expose breasts, get felt up breasts examined, scoot to the end of the table, insert feet in stirrups, awkwardly small talk while doctor sticks large q-tip type thing in my hooha, take deep breaths, wash up, dress, go home.

Today, was no different, except that my small talk consisted of Brian. My doctor seemed shocked even though we have small talked about Brian in the past, but like I said, I only see the man once a year. Also? the past small talk visit was 2 years ago and Brian wasn't diagnosed with his recurrent tumor at that point in time. He sat down and we talked in earnest for a while.

I coldly, matter-of- factly and without emotion spoke of Brian's condition, his problems, his diagnosis and how it affects our current lifestyle. I am getting good at this, honestly.

He wanted to know how I was doing emotionally. I hate that question. I know people are looking to find things in me that signal signs of depression. Everyone wants to fix me. "It's the least they can do," I feel it all around me. I found myself babbling on and one somewhat like this:
"Just fine... I think, anyway.... staying strong..... worry a lot..... take care of myself..... tear up out of nowhere..... occasional resentment..... good, though, for the most sucks.....fine, though...... it's not fair.....holding it together for the most part... "

He looked at me with tender compassion and asked about my support. I found myself replying a lot like this:
"I talk to my family in great length about my worries for the future.... can't really talk to Brian's family about it..... my family is a few hours away, but we talk every day..... have good friends...... Brian's family is close by..... would help whenever..... don't need help right now.... I worry because Brian's family travels a lot if I did need long term help....Good support, though...surrounded by those that love us...."

He looked at me with even more compassion, handed me a tissue for the tears I didn't even realize were running down my face and said:
"You know, there are lots of things you can do to help with the feelings of sadness and despair. I'm not saying you're depressed, but lots of times depression can set in suddenly after feeling just kind of blue for a while. There is counseling and many medications that could help if you felt like you wanted to try that."

Me: "Oh, I think I am fine. Honestly, I have been doing really well. Sort of, since the boys went back to school, I have been a little sadder. I also had an Uncle die of cancer two weeks ago just a couple months after diagnosis. That was hard and made me think a lot of thoughts I don't want to think. But, really I am fine. I am."

Him: Do you think a lot of thoughts about "what if"
Me: Oh yeah, constantly.
Him: Constantly?
Me: Yes, constantly.
Him: Do you sleep?
Me: Actually, I do sleep these days. Probably because I am getting up before dawn to get the kids to school, but I do sleep.
Him: But, you have a lot of worries?
Me: Of course. We are under-life-insured putting me in a position of having to go back to work full time if something happens to Brian. With school starting back up and trying to allow the boys extra-curricular activities, I can't fathom how I could possibly do it by myself and so, yeah, I pretty much worry constantly.
Him: You go to bed worrying, wake up worrying and worry throughout the day?
Me: Yes. All. Day. Long. Every. Day. No. Matter. What. I. Try. To. Preoccupy. My. Time. With.
Him: You know, there are some anti-depressants that can just help with that blue feeling, help your mind to stop thinking "what if" all the time. Just take that anxiety edge off.
Me: Will they make my thoughts and judgement cloudy?
Him: No. They will make the "what if" thoughts cloudy. They should anyway. Do you want to try something?
Me: I'm really not sure. I'll take the script, but I don't know yet.

So, I am filling the script. I have to decide if I am going to take it because I have to take it every day for it to be effective. I don't know if I am depressed. I really don't. I know lately, these are the feelings and events that are dominant in my life:

  • tears out of no where
  • resentment towards those that are able to do the things we used to be able to do, but no longer can due to Brian's issues.
  • constant worry about the future
  • short tempered and easily irritated with kids
  • unmotivated to do housework and organize
  • desires to be around friends and family
  • overwhelmed with existing duties
  • impatient towards Brian when he is overly sleepy and not feeling well
  • self-pity
  • lonely
  • feel like I always want to do something more fun than what I am currently doing

Do not judge me, please, for feeling any of the above. And, honestly, besides the worry, which I think is pretty normal for anyone in my situation, none of these are overly dominant in my life. I go about doing everything else - grocery shopping, helping with homework, running the kids around, scheduling appointments, paying bills, making dinner, cleaning house, etc.

Yes, I feel more blue than I did a month ago. Also, in the last month, I lost an uncle to cancer and it kickstarted my worry factor again. Brian has not been feeling well due to what we hope and assume is a bad cold for about 3 weeks. Brian has tests coming up in two weeks and that always makes me anxious. My kids started school. I am waking up and going to bed two hours earlier than just one month ago. The days are shorter, the air is cooler and my damn tomato plants never really turned red. I have about 25 green tomatoes sitting out there taunting me.

So, I am asking any readers and lurkers to help me understand. Am I depressed? Am I on the verge? Or am I just dealing with a lot of shit in a time of a lot of change?

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