Doctor’s Appointment

Today, I am grateful to my psych doc for our appointment yesterday.

I had wondered how I was going to describe what I’d been feeling. I couldn’t understand the emotions myself, so how was I going to express it so that he would get it? I prayed several times that God would give me just the right words to describe these vague feelings of down-ness.  Not just the specific days where I really struggled, but the funk I’ve felt for a couple of weeks.

When I got to the office for my appointment, I was given my med list, and a short  questionnaire.  It asked me, on a scale of 0-3, about  the last two weeks, exactly how long I’ve been feeling a little down.

On the questionnaire, zero stands for “not at all,” one is “several days,” two is “more than half of the days,” and three is “nearly every day.” The questions were:

  • Little interest or pleasure in doing things.
  • Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless.
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much.
  • Feeling tired or having little energy.
  • Poor appetite or overeating.
  • Feeling bad about yourself – or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down.
  • Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television.
  • Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed.
  • Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself. 

Turns out, it’s based on the Goldberg Depression Test, used by NIMH. It’s a standard in the field, a quick assessment tool to help doctors determine the severity of depression in a person. I scored 8.  Not bad, but not a 0, either.

And it allowed me to express myself and what I’ve been feeling lately.

So when I entered the doctor’s office, he asked me how I was. I said I really didn’t know, but the quiz sure helped. I told him I’d been in a funk for a couple of weeks, even before my husband went on a 10-day business trip, which I was sure didn’t help my mood. I told him that I’d been feeling down, but not hopeless.  He asked some of the questions I’d already answered on the questionnaire, for clarification.

He said I’m right on the edge of when these issues become a concern – two weeks.  He told me that for a person who has recurrent depression, and has had it as long as I have, he likes to be a little aggressive in treatment. He’s glad we caught it early, because waiting could make it worse – depression gets deeper and harder to get out of.  I told him that I just recently pulled out my light box and had begun using it.  We also agreed to increase one of my meds; it’s one that I’ve been on for a couple of years, seems to have been working well for me.

He said he sees a lot of this mood at this time of year – the onset of winter, the holiday season, the longer darker days.  He thinks that I should be feeling better in 7-10 days.

I’m relieved. It was good that he understood me, and that the questionnaire helped put into words what I had been unable to express. I’m looking forward to feeling better soon.

3 thoughts on “Doctor’s Appointment

  1. Mary Bartos November 20, 2017 / 1:21 am

    Greetings,
    Not that I want you to get fat, but this was our project during the Thanksgiving Brunch last week.
    It was FUN, tasty and even eye opening for some people. Blessing Snack Mix!

    Pretzels represent arms folded in thanks and prayer; What is your favorite answered prayer this year?
    Candy Corn reminds us that during the first winter, the Pilgrims were allowed only a few kernels of corn per day because food was so scarce; What is your favorite of God’s blessings this year?
    Seeds are promises of a future harvest if they are planted and well tended; What is your favorite promise you fulfilled this year?
    Fruit is a reminder of the harvest gifts from the land; What is your favorite fruit or vegetable this time of year?
    M&Ms are for memories of those who came before us; What is your favorite family story from this time of year?
    Hershey’s Kisses are a reminder of the love of family and friends that sweeten our lives; What is your favorite friend story from this year?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane November 18, 2017 / 3:25 pm

    Proud of you Peggy! You do such an excellent job of recognizing and communicating the symptoms so you get the right treatment at the right time. Continuing to pray for you in the struggle! It will get better!

    Liked by 1 person

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