Depression #10: The Psychiatrist

Half of me wanted to go to the psychiatrist. Half of me didn’t want to. In the end, the other half of me submitted to the idea of going to the psychiatrist. There is no harm in doing so I thought.

The health mental clinic wasn’t officially opened yet when we went. It was one day prior to their opening. The doctor, my psychiatrist was the only one there that Saturday.

The session began with him asking questions, ranging from my appetite, mood to sleep. He then concluded that I hit 7 out of 9 depression symptoms and I was in a major depression. Knowing that I may have depression and to have someone, a doctor confirming it is two different thing. I liked what I hear but I also didn’t like what I heard.

I liked it because someone can confirm that there’s something wrong in me. What I didn’t like is that he wanted to put me on medication immediately. I hate medication of any sort because I always believe in natural healing or taking supplements that are natural, in terms of changing my diet or food intake and having enough rest as well as sleep.

The psychiatrist insisted that I take the medication. He prescribed a week of medication for me because he saw my reluctance and at the same time felt the critical need of me taking it immediately so that my depression will not get worse. He told me my willpower was not strong enough. I could try but it’s not strong enough, he said again. No matter what other people advises me to do, I wouldn’t be able to absorb and come out of it on my own. It would be tough. He said there is a chemical imbalance in my brain. Something called serotonin. Someone with a mild depression would come out of it after 3 months. Someone with a severe depression would not come out of a depression if it’s after 6 month. Mine was longer than that, considering the fact that I calculated the change of behaviour in me after my vision correction surgery.

With much reluctance and trying to be open about the idea of taking anti-depressant pills, I tried one dose. I ended up feeling drowsy but felt my mood lifted a bit after I woke up from the drowsiness.

I stopped at there. Firstly, because of the drowsiness. Secondly, my family was not fond of the idea that I’m taking anti-depressant. The person who rejects the idea the most was my Pappy. He strongly felt that he needed to instill some positive thoughts into me so that my willpower will be strong to overcome whatever I was going through. Being a daughter and with my mum and sister who also shared the same sentiment with my dad, I tried. I tried to get out of the black hole I was in.

However, the last straw came about 10 days after my visit to the psychiatrist. I couldn’t help myself anymore. So, this time I went to see the psychiatrist again with my boyfriend, along with my parents. They took brochures from the clinic and understood more from the doctor of what I was going through.

I too finally submitted myself to start on the medication because I was suffering from panic attack. Those hand trembling and upper body shaking were signs of a panic attack. It happens when a depression gets worse. I had no other choice out but to seek medication and that was it. I was prescribed Prazovex for calming, Lexapro and Olenza as anti-depressant and Rivotril for the shaking.

Another reason why I was open to the idea of taking anti-depressant was because of the doctor himself. He checked on me even though after my first visit ended up with me not starting medication and cancelling my second appointment which was one week after the first visit. He wanted to know how I was doing and coping by getting in touch with my boyfriend. I thought that’s a very kind gesture coming from a doctor.

Depression #9: The Last Straw

I know I had enough sleep but one day I drove to work feeling very drowsy. It wasn’t the kind of sleepiness you fell when you don’t have enough of sleep. It’s something else. I was drowsy and was trying very hard to keep my focus so that I could drive and reach the office safely.

I couldn’t focus or concentrate at work. Was feeling cold.

During lunch, my colleagues and I went to the food court. I chose something simple, which is to go to the mixed rice stall I’d normally go to. I didn’t want to go round to see what stalls there are that I could try because I was in a state of being unable to make the simplest decision.

I stood in front of the glass panel and pointed to the lady the dishes I wanted to accompany with my rice but there was a dish that I pointed but was wrongly taken by the lady so I pointed again but it’s wrong again. There and then, I felt wrong. My colleague who was standing next to me asked me why I kept pointing to the same dishes. The mixed rice came up to RM7.80. The most expensive I’ve ever paid for that stall.

I sat down with the rest of the group to eat but I couldn’t absorb any conversation that was ongoing. I was in my own world, own zone. I didn’t feel like socialising. My aim was just to finish my rice, which I didn’t manage to because I had no appetite and was just forcing food down my throat. Then suddenly I just felt like crying because everything was very wrong since the start of the day right up till lunch.

Tears started to well up around my eyes but I was trying hard to hold back those tears because I didn’t want my colleagues to see me cry.

After lunch, I told my boyfriend that I needed to walk out of the mall to get some air. He came with me and as soon as I stepped out of the mall, I CRIED and TREMBLED. I kept telling him everything is just so wrong. I didn’t know what to do anymore to help myself get out of this circumstance I was in.

He then suggested I go see the psychiatrist and so I did.

I packed my bag and left without even informing my manager because all I wanted to do is just leave, go home, go see the doctor. I just wanted to go away.

Depression #8: My Boyfriend

My boyfriend is the main star of my entire depression episode because he saw the worst in me, helped me pull through, was my pillar of support and strength. Without him, I may plunge into a deeper depression than I was already in.

I don’t know how many times he has seen me cry. Yet, he tries to make me smile.

He brings me to the temple where I wanted to pray and seek peace and happiness and to ask God to relieve me of the pain that I was going through.

He reminds me everyday that he loves me.

He reassures me that everything is going to be fine.

I told him I may need to see a doctor and it was him who found a psychiatrist that I can go to.

Love you, Alvin. 🙂

Depression #7: My Sister

My sister bought me books and magazine. One of the books was about overcoming depression. The two others were self-help books. One of it became one of my favourite books. It’s called “Be the Miracle” by Regina Brett. Reading the books helped tremendously.

My sister would checked on me from time to time, asking me what I did for the day through whatsapp while she was at work and while I was at home recuperating as well as before I was recovering and was still struggling at work with my depression.

For the first time, my younger sister takes the lead as an elder sister of mine. She took care of me.

Depression #6: My Parents

My parents were of course worried. My dad flew to KL to make sure I was ok. But the thing is I felt like I was a burden to them and also the people around me that loved me.

Pappy tried to do everything he could to cheer me up. We would go for dinner at nice places and he would tell me of his life stories. Listening to his life stories and struggles during his early years of life was meant to be a source of inspiration and motivation for me to get out of the low mood I was in. Again, I understood all his words but still I wasn’t all up chirpy and cheerful.

I cried in front of him in the car when he told mum to get off the car first and he wanted to have a conversation just between me and him. I told him I’m not good enough. He was sad that I said that because he said I’m his daughter and I am good enough. He told me not to have the inferior feeling in me.

My mum who always used to be negative and sometimes harsh and direct on her words towards me, suddenly turned positive because she was worried of what is becoming of her daughter. I’m grateful that she was in KL during this difficult period because at least I wouldn’t need to worry about what to eat and what to cook because I couldn’t think or decide those by myself.

She made sure I ate well and we talked a lot. We shared stories. We went for walks. I’d usually wave her goodbye when I drove off to work from the car and she would wave me good bye from the kitchen. But this time around, instead of a goodbye wave, it turned into a thumbs-up. I would reply with a thumbs-up as well. To her it meant everything will be ok. To me it meant I will try to make myself ok.