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You look "depressed" - NO i'm fed up!!

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Tulip, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Tulip

    Tulip Guest


    Today I saw my doctor, because I have been feeling unbelievably ill lately and have had terrible pain in my spine/glands which has built up to the point where I can no longer take the pain. So when I saw my doctor I told her how sick I was I ended up balling my eyes out. She said I looked "depressed" and put depression in my records :(

    I said to her i'm not depressed, it is because it has all built up and i'm so over it. I tried to tell her a bit more about this disease, managed to get forms out of her for blood tests and a referal to a rheumatologist for my spine, but left feeling like crap. I am not depressed, feeling emotionally like crap every blue moon because you are chronically ill is NOT depression. Depression is a consistant feeling of sadness/no hope/low mood. I am normally very happy, great sense of humour and have many plans, hopes and dreams for the future - sick or not. WHY can't my doctor get this through her thick head? :eek:
  2. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    I cant stand doctors like that, they annoy me too. Its not fair on those with real depression either when doctors decide to label us with depression cause we are having one anxious/sad day.
  3. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    It was the sight of my Docs that made me depressed (for obvious reasons they don't or won't try to find out all we know about ME/CFS). Of course one gets fed up with it and them - quite normal under the circumstances ! Hope the tests can take you forward Tulip.
  4. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    PA, USA
    They never can tell the difference between feeling physically ill and depression. Depressed people do NOT have aches and pains like the horrible Cymbalta commercials try to brainwash everyone with. Depressed people just plain don't want to do anything. We're the total opposite. We wish we could do everything.

    I hope you feel better soon.
  5. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

    Ottawa, Canada
    A few years before I got full-blown CFS, my doctor tried very hard to convince me that I was suffering from major depression. I even went along with his suggestion to take anti-depressants. But nothing worked.
    I accepted to see a health psychologist who also tried to give me a diagnosis of psychosomatic illness. I forget the name now but I know it was not what I was suffering from.
    After working with me for about 8 or 9 months - she was helping me with pacing - she wrote in my file that I was not suffering from depression. I was coping very well with my illness.

    Just the other day, as I was seeing my GP for a major relapse, he looked at me in the eyes and said: "You don't have an ounce of depression in you. You are lucky, that way." I thought: i have so many projects on the go, i don't have time to be depressed! =-)

    I'm pleased that I was convincing enough to make them understand that they were treating me for the wrong thing.
    I feel good about it. It's MY little victory.

    I have learned to react to comments like the one your doctor made.
    I answer things like:
    I wonder how others would react if they would have to live in my shoes for one day. I don't think they would do as well as I do, for sure.


    I guess it is normal to have some days like the one I'm having today. I'm very fed up of being sick all the time.. It's not an easy illness to live with. Fortunately, these feelings don't last. They go as fast as they came.

    Just keep insisting. Eventually, they will get the message your are trying to convey.
  6. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

    Hi Tuliip

    Sorry to hear your so ill at the minute. As for unbearable pain and wanting relief from that, I understand that too.

    You really have to wonder about some doctors. The expression of sadness does not automatically mean your depressed, as you correctly point out. Why are some doctors so keen to jump to that conclusion when we express tears? Is it that they just want to get to the next patient quickly? Is it the ability to write out a script for anti depressants - in the hope that they wont see you again so soon?

    Its easy to say what you ''could have, should have'' done regarding that doctors pronouncement of depression - but when your in that place of pain and you are really sick/barely funcitonal, I have found that is when I am really very vulnerable and I really dont care what they say or do, I just want relief!

    All the same, you succeeded in getting through to her which is great news. I just hope that they can identify the source of your pain and find something to relieve that. Hopefully then, you wont be feeling so ill.

  7. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

    Hi Tuliip, i have had that exact same experience with so many of my doctors, until i believed them and thought i was depressed! You are so right that people suffering from major depression lose all hope etc wheareas we are there at the doctors pushing to get better asking for help, trying every damn thing to get better because we have so much hope!
    Thinking off you. x
  8. pebble

    pebble Senior Member

    Hi Tuliip,

    Im so sorry youre in so much pain and that your pain was further compounded by a professional who is paid to help you.

    It is so ignorant and insulting of doctors to diagnose depression when someone is justifiably upset or in pain.

    Doctors are so quick to prescribe antidepressants when people suffer bereavement also.

    Pain, loss and sadness are appropriate feelings and response to pain and losing a loved one.

    It would be unnatural not to. We need to work through the grief process to adjust to and accept our pain and loss.

    We also experience grief/ loss of our health, independence, the life we used to live and the person we used to be.

    But it is so much faster and cheaper for our doctors to fob us off with antidepressants than to actually see or acknowledge the truth.

    Upton Sinclair said

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

    The medical profession is saving million by fobbing us off with antidepressants.

    Maybe you could take in a copy of On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler to illustrate the ignorance and inappropriateness of her diagnosis.

    We are already suffering enough without them fobbing us off and trivializing our pain and suffering.

    Having our pain and suffering acknowledged is a vital part in the grief process.

    They are failing us spectacularly.

    Instead of treating our condition they cause us so much more stress, fear and frustration which causes even more pain and damage.

    Shame on them.

    Have you seen Dr Myhills website?

    She wears her pants on the outside and has defended us against this ignorant policy.
  9. TinyT

    TinyT Senior Member

    I'm sorry to hear that tulip. I've had that experience too and it sucks.

    Tears are a perfectly natural way to express sadness, anger, grief, frustration etc. Just because we get teary doesn't automatically mean we are depressed! There is so much more to a mental state exam than that. Eg. Typical symptom of depression is anhedonia, "inability to gain pleasure from activities previously found enjoyable" and is associated with a lack of interest in enjoyable activities.

    I would always tell any doc that said "you might be
    depressed" that I wanted to do things! It was that I physically couldn't & doing said things would cause a

    There may be a few cross over symptoms eg pain, weight changes, poor sleep/insomnia/hypersomnia but of course these don't qualify you as having MDD. A commonly used questionnaire for measuring severity of symptoms doesn't really discriminate well between ME/CFS symptoms & depression (sleep, pain, brain fog).

    Some Docs are too willing to prescribe an anti- D and get you out the door in 10mims rather than do a proper evaluation
  10. floydguy

    floydguy Senior Member

    I usually go on the offensive when docs say something stupid. In the past, I've asked whether they are currently on any medications as that could affect their decision making. Or whether they're close to the free trip to the Caribbean.
  11. lucy

    lucy Senior Member

    I just love such appointments with the doctors.

    Las time my GP tried to convince me I have anxiety because I live abroad. Because she 'knows how it feels'. She too has headaches, Raynnauds, has lived abroad, has iron storage problem and candida problem. She doesn't have fever or muscle aches, but somehow that is not so important as living abroad. After that, I decided that next time I choose a GP, it should be a man, because women doctors will identify with too many things and do not see my symptoms clearly. I myself cannot see them clearly, so I would expect some help there. I try to sound as little misogynist here as possible, just that the 2 female doctors I have met, they both tried to identify themselves with my 'ailments'.

    On the other hand, the fact that they first suspect anxiety, depression (in my case anxiety with tendency to somatize), before discarding other medical conditions, makes me think that maybe they see so many patients were the problem is not physiological, but psychological, that statistically it is more probable that a patient like me should be put on antidepressants.

    Could someone with medical experience tell me what is the real picture? Is the world so full of somatising patients?

    Another question would be that if a GP suspects a psychological condition, shouldn't he refer me to a psychiatrist, if not before prescribing antidepressants, then let us say after a year on SSRIs and with condition not having improved?

    I wonder what their course books say.. Maybe it stands there "if the patient is not dead, then it means he is depressed".
  12. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

    Thanks for the support everyone :)

    The weird thing is that I saw a psychologist who said there was nothing mentally wrong with me - it is just grief. I have told my gp this numerous times, but she doesn't listen!. I don't think the majority of doctors know what the difference between depression, anxiety and grief are - I feel like taking in a couple of brochures on them for her :cool:
  13. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
    Can you find another doc? Have you heard of trigger point injections? Do you think this would help with your spine pain? I have found trigger point injections helpful!

    A person can look/be depressed if they are in a lot of pain 24/7, I know I have been there!


    PS My generalization is that Rheumatologist are not helpful with this disease, but perhaps that is just due to my limited experience with Rheumatologist?
  14. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    Tulip - I think you are educating your Docs more than they you. Hoping all your new tests and real treatment will move things on for you. (From a UKer collapsed in A&E and told "they had a theory") Follow your own instincts the very best.

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