On Sunday I left a message at my pdoc's office to see if I could get an appointment before my scheduled appointment. They called me this morning and booked me in for 4pm. Even as I spoke to the secretary I thought maybe I don't need the appointment now. I was still depressed, but not as acutely so as the past few days. I went against my avoidant self and took the appointment.
A few "concrete" things helped me in my appointment today:
- Dr. X's welcoming attitude when I expressed how I was happy to be able to see him earlier in the week. He said he was glad that I felt comfortable enough to call when I needed to.
- Both his offer to write, and his taking time after my appointment to write, a letter for me to take to the emergency room if I ever felt I needed to go to the emergency because I was suicidal
This letter was brought up after I explained to him how I was afraid to go to the hospital because I felt like I might get there and my mood might lift momentarily, then the Dr. would dismiss my symptoms, reject my cry for help and send me home, where I would feel even more depressed that no one "heard" me, recognized how depressed I was and that I needed help.
In the letter he wrote about my mood disorder symptoms and the intensity and severity of my suicidal ideation. He also said that I would not bring myself to the hospital if I was not ready to put my suicide plans into action.
- As I read the letter it became really clear to me that he really did understand how much I was hurting; how much pain my symptoms were causing me.
I feel now, that if I were to be suicidal I would take myself, with the letter, to the hospital.
- We discussed possible medication strategies...this gave me some hope that there are options we have not explored and many combos we have not tried.
Thanks Dr. X for listening and helping me take care of myself. It really helped me to see you today.
Thanks too to my friend "E" who encouraged me to see him in the first place.