Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm Not Trying Hard Enough? To Be Depressed?

Ok, I know that this title to my post may sound a bit out of the "ordinary". But it is a real question. And I believe I know the answer. First I will give the reader(s) of this post a little personal insight that I have picked up along the road of my journey. In other words, the answer to: Q: What led me to believe this is true for me? A: Because I have learned from personal, face to face, Dr. to Patient discussions.

 These discussions were one sided though. Not in my favor, yet I could see the reasoning behind the Dr.(s) opinions. I don't in any way whatsoever blame the Dr.(s) for missing the target. They have the education and the books to go by to assume what they assume. I have some of these books myself, but I have no training or collegiate type of "educationally enhanced intelligent"(I made that one I don't assume I am any more intelligent than the "Average Joe".

Here's part of something I said in a comment on my own Facebook post about a recent visit to my newly appointed M.S. neurologist: "Silly requests and questions like: Look up at the a tile on the ceiling. Now tell me what color your shirt is. What is the name of the building you are in? Draw a picture of the object I showed you 5 mins ago.

And one of the silliest is: Do you feel unhappy when you can't remember a word or what were you were talking to someone about? ....What am I supposed to say to that? No Doc it makes me feel smart and happy? What I really want to say is.."Doc, you asking me all these questions is what makes me unhappy. Everybody forgets words once in awhile and that doesn't mean they are depressed if they are not happy about it. Eh?" But I don't want to depress the Doc, so I just go along and play the game."

That was meant to be a funny thought I wanted to find humor in. But when I looked at it.....

I have more to say about this, but I would like to here some opinions/thoughts about my post so far. I wrote this entire post quicker than I normally do, just to get a look at my "Off the cuff" writing.

Ok I got a look at it. And I see my words: "I have more to say about this". And that's true, because I do. But I'm not going say as much as first said in all the posts about "Depression" that I have not yet published. They are all saved in the "Drafts" column of my blog. They addressed my opinion about the results of a Neuropsychological evaluation, and the words "pronounced depression", psychological distress", "heightened emotional reactivity" among many thing that are way too> blah,blah,blah,babble,babble.

My point is this> Dr.(s) go by standard test results to diagnose many psychological "disorders". The italicised words I wrote in the previous paragraph were words that resulted from what they call the "Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2".  I just don't agree with some of those results. And the reason I even agreed to participate in the "evaluation" in the first place, had nothing to do with feeling depressed. I just (or I should say "we" I guess) were concerned about the memory and blanking out issues that had become extremely more frequent in the last few years. And were becoming worse and even more frequent every day. But I was not depressed about it. And I'm not depressed now.

I'm not suggesting that anybody that is dealing with similar circumstances that I am dealing with, can or should feel the same way I do about this. I'm not judging people who are depressed. But why should I try to accept the results of all those many tests they give in these "evaluations" that deal with the subject of depression? I bet if I tried "Hard Enough", I could convince myself that I am depressed. But there is not a Dr. or any person that can convince Me that I am, no matter what answers I give to them on these standard, by the book,.... "tests".  


  1. I hear you, Scott. It can be unnerving to bring the full range of our human complexity and history to an evaluation of "checklists."

    I guess the checklists help us all to "be on the same page" as to how we define or describe these neuropsych conditions. A common frame of reference.

    But they surely leave out more complex states of mind.

  2. Hi Gina! I just this morning (May 30) checked to see if anyone commented. I would have replied sooner if I had checked sooner.

    It's that "checklist" that I was thinking about when I wrote this post. I understand why my new V.A. Neurologist Dr. had to ask certain question's on my first visit. He wasn't a Neuropsychologist and I was there to just get in the door and maybe get some help with M.S. related stuff. I know that many folks that are diagnosed and dealing with Primary-Progressive-M.S. like me have bad days and so on.

    But everyone is different and it bothers me to feel like I should have the same feelings as another person. I stopped visiting and commenting on M.S. websites where folks share and discuss personal symptoms and feelings because I noticed something that disturbed me. It was like a competition between them (the every day commenter's) to out-do each other on how bad they felt about having this form of the disease.

    This may sound like I am making a "sexist" type of judgement, but these "regulars" that I'm talking about were all women. If I dared making a comment about my perception, or more specifically my "I would rather laugh than cry" attitude, I would get numerous replies to remind me of the worst parts of having this disease.

    There's always a "Grey Area" in between the "black and white absolutes" huh?