Emotional Baggage

Something’s Broken

Something’s not right and I don’t really know what.  I’m not feeling “myself” and I haven’t been for a while.  I caught up on a friend’s blog this morning and I read something that struck a very familiar chord with me:

 “I don’t know that it’s depression, certainly not clinical. I’ve been clinically depressed before, and this feels different.”

I’ve said that to myself recently, and I’ve said it aloud to someone else recently too.  Maybe I’m fooling myself.  I stopped taking my anti-anxiety meds a few months ago and I’ve generally been very happy with how I’ve been feeling since then.  I’m trying to convince myself that it’s all circumstantial.  Maybe I’m fooling myself.

Screening for Depression going something like this:

SLEEP – Have you been sleeping more or less than usual?  Finding it harder to fall asleep/stay asleep, or get out of bed in the morning.  Do you wake feeling refreshed?

Sleeping less than usual – not because I can’t sleep, but because I’m on call again.  In fact, I am post call today, and waiting for an appointment with the hand/wrist surgeon… therefore, not sleeping.  Otherwise, sleep is normal.

APPETITE – Have you been eating more or less than usual?  Have you gained or lost any significant weight without really trying?

Appetite is pretty stable, but intake has been increased because I just want to eat.  I’ve gained 10 pounds since I stopped breastfeeding months ago and I’ve been pretty stable in my weight for the past 2 months or so.  Regardless, all I want to do is eat.

DYSPHORIA – Do you feel like your mood has been low, have you noticed a lack of interest or pleasure in the activities you normally enjoy?

I’m on the fence here. My mood is low, sometimes, but I feel like it fluctuates.  I’m not low every day, maybe not even 50% of the time, but mostly on days when I’m post call, or when something or someone irritates me.  As for anhedonia – well, I still love to bake, which is the only activity that I have time for these days, and I do enjoy being with/playing with my children… when they aren’t driving me crazy.  See… hard to make a call on this one.

FATIGUE – Do you lack energy? do you feel rested in the morning after a full night’s sleep?  Have you stopped doing things you normally do because you are too tired?

I don’t seem to really lack energy and when I get a full night of sleep, I feel pretty good (provided I get to drink my coffee).  I seem to not want to do things, not because I’m too tired, but because I am apathetic.  I am tired of being a clinical clerk.  I am tired of doing scut work.  I am tired of “paying my dues” as it feels.  I am not tired generally.

AGITATION – Are you easily agitated?  Do you feel fidgety or irritated?  Does it ever feel that your hear it beating too fast or that your hands are cold and clammy?

I am always easily agitated.  I am beginning to feel that agitation is my baseline.  I am also always easily irritated.  I can’t say I like that about myself, and maybe that is getting a little worse these days.  It’s hard to say if things are better or worse.  As for the psychomotor agitation – I don’t really have those symptoms, unless I’m feeling overly anxious, which I haven’t been for a while.

CONCENTRATION – Do you have any difficulty concentrating?

Yes.  But usually only if it is on things that I don’t really care about, which right now feels like everything.  I feel worse about the fact that as a medical student, I don’t seem interested in learning about everything.  BUt talking to all my classmates, it seems to be a generally ubiquitous feeling.

ESTEEM – What do you think about yourself?

Despite what I might post about on this blog, I actually think pretty well of myself.  I am doing a good job of keeping it together.  I’m actually a pretty proficient medical student.  My kids are healthy and happy and they are still excited to see me when I come home.  Things are good.  I lack confidence in myself, but I know why and I’m working on it.  I think my self-esteem is the one thing that is getting better all the time.

SUICIDE – Have you ever thought of ending your life?  Do you have a plan?

No.  And No.  I know this is a serious problem and an important part of depression screening.  However, it has never been a problem for me, and for that I am thankful.

So here I am. Equivocal. I don’t feel quite right, but I don’t feel quite wrong either. I sometimes just want to whine and complain and feel like someone cares, and maybe that’s all I need. I don’t really know. Right now I feel like things could go either way, and the scariest part is that I don’t know which way I want them to go.

One thought on “Something’s Broken

  1. Well, I know which way I want things to go – I want you to know that people do care, to understand that after all the long hours and stressful work that you do, it’s probably normal to feel the way you do, and I want you to feel better.

    I hope I get my way. 🙂


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