“Everyone wants me to go to a psychiatrist!”

I am not a doctor but nevertheless I know when somebody screams at me that they have (had) depression. For a long time. Untreated. Unseen. I would never presume to diagnose anyone, never say the word. But too well do I know the feeling someone told me about today. The inability to handle every-day things, the huge meaninglessness, the impression that nothing could ever change.

The person I’m writing about here is important to me. For a long time I have tried to address the fact that it can’t go on the way it is now. Always just giving, always just hassle, always just thinking of others. Now there is a point where one has been sent from the doctor for the body to the doctor for the nerves to the pharmacy with the antidepressant. Pardon, not antidepressant, that includes the evil word. Mood lightener. Because one is annoyed all the time. And so that it is easier to deal with annoying people. I think it’s good that help like this exists. Really. But not if it is used to bear (obviously unbearable) circumstances.

I take it slowly. Try it with “relaxation exercises”. Sure, stuff like that doesn’t work, after all one doesn’t suffer from stress, one is just annoyed by other people all the time.
I understand, nod, listen. Then I drop the bombshell. “What about therapy? I have been seeing a therapist for a long time. There’s so much one can do, it’s really helpful, even when the people who annoy you don’t change.”
“Everyone wants me to go to a psychiatrist!” Set aside the difference between “psychiatrist/psychotherapist”. And also the fact that nobody asked what I’m doing there. I don’t dare ask who “everyone” is and can’t decide if I feel resigned due to the devaluing tone of voice the or relieved that others seem to notice what I see as well.

The person tells me about the neurologist who listened for so long and was so understanding and who said that it was time to defeat the fear. But no – why see a therapist? After all, there’s no such thing in our family…

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