I had my 3rd appointment with my GP yesterday morning. It was the two week checkup to see how I was getting on with the Flouxetine. I mentioned I was experiencing the usual array of side-effects but that there had been no noticeable effect on my frame of mind / mood. I said that I was in a better place than when I had first gone to see him, but on reflection I was close to melt-down at that point so that isn’t really saying much.
The conversation moved onto the subject of work again and whether I should be signed off. I said that I didn’t feel that was an option because I didn’t want my indiscreet boss knowing that I was being treated for depression. My Doctor also pointed out that if I was (as I am) desperate to find a new job, having recently been signed off for depression wouldn’t exactly look great to a potential new employer. He also made it very clear that he would happily sign me off work if that was what I felt I wanted or needed.
The thing that has surprised me the most about my doctor, is that each time I have seen him, he has been very vocal, understanding and reassuring. In this appointment he started focusing very much on my work as that is all I’ve really mentioned to him in our previous discussions – I decided it would be sensible to mention that work stress was not the only ‘issue’. So, much to my own surprise, after then being asked by my doctor if I thought I could talk to him about it, I told him that I was gay and that I had a lot of issues and problems surrounding that… and then we had a conversation about that. Poor guy – his first appointment of the day and being confronted with all my baggage… he hadn’t even finished his first cup of coffee. Credit where credit is due again – he handled this new revelation with tact and understanding. If it made him feel uncomfortable, it certainly didn’t show. Considering my original concerns about going to him in the first place, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I have actually felt very comfortable talking to him about all this stuff, and I have really appreciated his thoughts and opinions along the way. Sometimes I suppose, it’s just nice to feel that someone understands.
By the end of the appointment he said that he thought that I might benefit from therapy. When I went back to reception to book myself in with one of the therapists, a cancellation had become available for later in the day so I took it.
I went into work feeling quite positive about everything. I had to leave work again at 3:30pm which of course drew curiousity from the boss… 2 doctors appointments in one day… she hates not knowing everything about everyone, but tough shit, I’m not telling her anything.
I met with the therapist, and to be honest wasn’t entirely convinced by him. He was pleasant enough I suppose, but there was something… This was just the ‘introductory appointment’ with him though which was only for half an hour, so we touched on various issues, but didn’t go into any of them in any great depth. I left feeling a little deflated and unsure, but I have gone ahead and booked in for a couple of full appointments. I’m not sure why I felt deflated after seeing him, I think that compared to my appointments with my doctor which had lifted me, this was more ‘the business end’ of the proceedings. I think maybe it has been so cathartic spewing my guts to my doctor, that I think I feel I have formed a connection with him, that he understands and I’m not sure I want to go through it all over again with someone else. Unfortunately, my doctor is a GP not a therapist so I don’t really have an option.
My first proper appointment with the therapist is in a months time which isn’t ideal, but I’ll give it a go anyway and see where it goes. If I don’t feel happy with him I can always stop the sessions… I’ve got to try everything available to me I suppose. It’s just a shame that my first meeting with him left me feeling pretty flat, especially after feeling so positive after my mornings appointment with my GP. I got home and slept for a couple of hours – it had been a pretty draining day emotionally and my brain just needed to shut down for a while.