the lament of the lonely and waiting
the interminable purgatory when you're caught between waiting to find the right medication/waitingtoseethedoctororpsychiatrist/waiting for any medication to work and what is either wellness or what you see as your inevitable demise is one of the hardest things about depression. it's one of the things looked over the most but cried over constantly. any brief wade into depression forums will yield millions of posts from users beguiling do i really have to wait this long and our depressive forefathers reassuring us to waitwaitwait and swearing it is worth the wait and promising us if we just hang in there it will be okay.
this period is a time when you make the same decision every day, several times a day. you wake up and you say "it is just another day" which could mean "another day to bide with my demons" as much as it could mean another day that you might hurt yourself. because every day you spend teetering on the cusp of something horrible. and that horrible feeling of inconceivable danger to yourself is something that feels impossible to communicate. when i finally found the bravery inside of myself to seek help for my depression, it took me a really long time to admit that i was suicidal, and that i was hurting myself. my doctor was/is the best she could possibly be and i don't think that was her fault - i just think it took me a long time to be able to understand that my sadness was a truth, and not something i should be hiding because truth is something that shines no matter how dark it is. but you feel like once you finally say the words "i want to kill myself" the world will stop and doctors will join in a circle around you and protect you from the darkness.
so here is the lament of the people to tell you: that's not what happens.
it is a sad confluence of lack of resources and a lack of understanding for what darkness really means, but here is what usually happens. (it depends of course, on the long list of indicators as to the severity of the threat and suicide risk assessment)
1. your doctor will start you on a medication. now wait 3-6 weeks for it to kick in.
2. your doctor will refer you to a psychiatrist. now wait for a YEAR. or several months. and then wait for your appointment. and THEN wait 3-6 weeks for a medication to kick in.
3. your doctor will refer you to the hospital. now wait 3-6 weeks for medication to kick in.
the point is, in the world of mental health, getting better involves a wholllle lotta waiting. right now i am waiting for my next psychiatry appointment, where i hope to GOD they will find the right medication, so i will wait 2 weeks while i'm weened off my current medication and then 3-6 weeks for the next medication to start it's work. and hopefully it will work. the point is, waiting sucks. and while the point of this post isn't "FIX ALL MENTAL HEALTH CARE!" that is a worthwhile post for someone to write.
what i want doctors and professionals and mental health care workers to know is this: be gentle about it.
the difference between a doctor telling you with sympathetic eyes that it will take awhile but it will be okay, it will be okay, it will be okay, and a doctor shuffling you out the door is titanic.
waiting is the worst part
waiting is the worst part
if you know someone who is depressed and they are waiting
to feel better
hold their hand.