OK, so yesterday I decided I would go and talk to my doctor and as I’ll have trouble talking to my doctor (who was actually a locum I’d never met before) I wrote a letter for her to read there and then. This was – to say the least – rather a brave and difficult thing for me to do.
Read the letter and you’ll see why:
“I find it very difficult to talk about this, which is why I have ‘suffered in silence’ for 35+ years. Yes, 35.
I have anxiety all the time. I haven’t slept through the night for over 15 years, waking usually at 2am+ then off and on until I have to get up for work.
I have suffered from depression almost constantly all my adult life, untreated.
I have ‘manic’ episodes though these are not serious, though I need to be careful when they happen as I don’t always know when I am in this state. I am a writer and artist and I use the ‘ups’ as fuel for creativity. These don’t usually last too long but are usually followed by exhaustion and depression.
In the past the longer ‘ups’ have resulted in some promiscuity and impulse buying, though never anything extreme or unmanageable!
The most dangerous times I feel are when I have ups in the middle of downs – I don’t really know when those are happening until afterwards. These are the times I have suicidal thoughts; scarily the idea ‘makes perfect sense’ at those times. They are, again, usually fairly brief.
I have no close relationships – I find it impossible to sustain them, or rather, friends and girlfriends/wives find them impossible to sustain.
After 30 years without mentioning this to a GP (when I tried, in 1980, my GP told me to ‘pull yourself together’ and sent me packing) I have learned to deal with it myself, and to understand myself and how I can deal with it best.
Lately, it is more of a struggle as work becomes more stressful and my general health has more niggles than before.”
The doc says she will refer me for a (NHS) psychiatric appraisal. Maybe I’ll try harder to write this blog and take you all on a journey with me from this point forwards.
35 years… sheesh.