A Diagnosis At Last!

Following on from my last post, I had had enough of not knowing for sure whether I had seasonal affective disorder, and also wanted to find out if there were any anger management/ stress management resources I could access as I have been really struggling with feelings of anger lately. I made sure that I asked for a more newly qualified doctor when I booked my appointment, as from previous experience, many of the GPs at that practice are shockingly ignorant when it comes to anything mental health related. I explained all the symptoms I experience, when those symptoms usually start and end, how long this pattern has been going on for, and how it impacts on my life. I ended up being officially diagnosed with S.A.D this morning, after suffering from it for about 13 years now.

It was a pleasant change to have someone actually listen to me and treat my symptoms/ concerns as valid rather than calling me pathetic or saying I’m just not trying hard enough! I felt bad about taking up so much of her time but she was really nice and understanding about it all. I will definitely ask to see a more newly qualified doctor if I have to be seen for something mental health related again, at least until I move out and switch to a different practice. I’m not sure if it’s a generational difference in attitudes to mental health issues, or if it’s just that there’s so much more of a focus on mental health in doctors’ education/ training nowadays than 20-30 years ago, but personally, I’ve found the younger doctors to be far more knowledgeable and understanding of mental health conditions.

The GP also referred me back to a local organisation that I’ve used before and attended a couple of groups with. They don’t seem to do anything on anger management specifically, but it’s possible that they could still help me. I also attended a stress management course with them before, which was quite helpful, though I could probably do with reading through the material from it again! I’m not sure if it’s just the SAD (I always get quite irritable and have a few anger outbursts in the autumn and winter months), or if it’s also the thoughts and feelings being stirred up by counselling that are making me so incredibly angry at the moment. I swear I’ve not been this angry since I was 15/16 and taking fluoxetine. I do think that much of it stems from the way bullies and my parents treated me when I was younger. I started writing a post about the ways in which my parents have contributed to my issues last week, but I had to stop because it was making me too angry/ upset and I was thinking about it too much. I’m still in two minds as to whether to finish and publish that post. My biggest worry at the moment is that if I ever have children, I will end up abusing them because of my anger and inability to manage it, and because of the way I was treated by my dad. It actually eats me up inside to think about. Parenting seems very hard, and infuriating at times, and all it would take is a moment for me to lose my temper and do or say something terrible. I know this is all still years away, and I may not even end up having children, but it still really worries me and plays on my mind. I don’t want to be a monster. The last thing I want is to make someone as messed up as I am.

Another thing I found out from my appointment this morning is that I actually COULD still be seen by CMHT. It appears there’s been a miscommunication around that. The last time I went in about mental health related stuff, the GP I spoke to really wasn’t great and in a nutshell said that I must not be that bad because I was holding down my job at the supermarket at the time. She seems to have made the decision for me that I seemed a lot better and therefore there wasn’t enough evidence to support a referral back to CMHT, despite the fact that I was very much struggling with depression at the time. So again, yet another reason to ask for a more newly qualified doctor to discuss mental health stuff! While they were never that helpful, it is good to know that I can be referred back to CMHT if things get really bad again.

I’ve been really worrying about what this all means in terms of future employment, or if I will even last in a proper job at all. It’s been really getting me down that I may have worked so hard just fail as soon as I am in full-time employment and depression hits or SAD hits, or I mess everything up because of my anxiety. I also still haven’t found out whether my university can give me any more of an extension with my project, which is just adding to my stress at the moment.

I can’t say I’m at all surprised by the diagnosis. Of course it’s rubbish that I will probably have to deal with feeling crap for around half the year for the rest of my life (unless I win the lottery or something and emigrate to somewhere closer to the equator), but at least now I know for sure and can continue to take steps to manage it as best I can.


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