Saturday, 14 July 2012

Doctors, and the tactlessness of.

Once I've got to know people well enough, the issue of depression inevitably comes up. They might make a comment on why I'm so miserable all the time or say some patronizing nonsense ripped from a self-help book like "Cheer up, it might never happen." Luckily this isn't the case with my friends, who either unfortunately suffer from depression themselves, or are tactful enough not to blab on about something they know nothing about. It doesn't stop jerks from trying though, like a former housemate who once angrily shouted at me whilst drunk that the cause of my depression was my vegetarianism. Quiet awkwardness for the most part is what I get when I tell people I suffer from depression. I don't really mind as such, I would be too if I was in their shoes, but what really makes me sad is when this occurs at the doctors.
Excursions to the doctors generally don't end well for me. This is due to the fact, like most people they exist in a impermeable bubble of awkwardness regarding mental-health issues. I find this goes one of two ways, the doctor pupils dilate as soon as they see me come into their room, their breathing increases and their eyes dart about in search for the nearest exit, rather than be trapped in a room with a sadsack like me, (either that or they've noticed my nail polish) they grab their prescription pad, granting me another months or so worth of delicious drugs before willing me out of their nice surgery as soon as possible. This I prefer to be honest. I don't like waiting around for my medication and it generally doesn't allow for the tactics offered by the doctors of the second ilk. The second type of doctors I usually see I can't seem to fathom whether they are well-intentioned, but ill-informed, or just priggish for the sake of it. These doctors usually have no idea about mental health issues, have no experience of dealing with mental health issues and probably don't really care about dealing with something as wishy washy as depression. Characteristics of these doctors include mindless tactlessness "Oh! So you thought less about self harm this month? How surprising!" and a mindless obsession with taking surveys. "So can you tell me whether you've thought about killing yourself more than 10 times this month, 5-10 times, 1-5,  or not at all?" I have heard both of these over the years I've been to the doctors. Regardless of how the confrontation ends, it ends with the doctor giving me a suspicious look, as though as I'm grinding the pills down to make a super-drug or something, then printing me off another prescription. 
I really thought doctors would be more understanding with mental health. They seem more than competent with the physical qualms that the bin-bag of mayonnaise that is my body has from time to time. Depression seems to pass them by somewhat, which surprises me considering the large percentage of the population that suffers from mental illness. Surely it would be easier for doctors to pick up more than a rudimentary knowledge of mental illness? Or at the very least some bedside manner?

No comments:

Post a Comment