I have finally decided I should see a psychologist. Not a psychiatrist, not a counselor, not a family nurse practitioner or a physician assistant (though I have great respect for all of them), but a psychologist.
A brief history of my depression for those that don’t know. I had my first bout of depression in 1999 when I was 39 years old and I had been working in a stressful (for me) nursing job for 4 years. I sought mental health care with the whole shebang. I was put on medication. I changed to a lower stress nursing job. I got better in a few months and stopped my medication on my own (I do NOT recommend anyone doing that as it usually has bad results, but for some reason it did not for me that time).
I was mentally well for 10 years, happily working in my less stressful nursing job. Then I had the wild idea that my nursing skills were going by the wayside and I wanted to do “real” nursing as a hospital floor nurse on a medical/surgical floor. I wanted to use my skills there and I wanted to make more money. (I made over twice what I made in my lower stress nursing job……I will tell you…money is NOT everything and you will NOT do almost anything as long as you make lots of money).
3 years of intense, high stress, over 12 hour shifts, night shift, day shift rotations and I was completely shot. I had to go on medical leave. I should have never gone to that job. While on medical leave I sought mental health help. Also while on medical leave I found another lower stress nursing job and quit my hospital job. That was in 2009.
I have had problems with depression ever since and have gone through multiple psychiatrists, counselors and medications and it took hard work and multiple changes to get feeling better, but one day I did feel better. From 2012 until 4-12-13 I did much better and stayed on the same medication from then on and didn’t even have to take but one medication for depression.
Then Kaitlyn killed herself. While I was struggling with my depression, she was fighting a horrible silent battle with her own depression that no one knew about. I could not even conceive of the fact that she could ever be depressed and well….you know the rest of the story.
After she died I continued with my same medication, my same psychiatrist and told him I didn’t want to change medicines because no pill can ease the loss I feel so deeply. I did start counseling, but I have a suspicion that the counselor did not have experience with those that have lost loved ones to suicide. Though nice, I got no real help for how I felt. So I quit going. Then I saw another counselor that was a preacher and I had more knowledge of suicide than he did. So I quit going.
Since that time I have sought out NO more mental health professionals and even quit my psychiatrist because I was managed so well on my meds all I needed was med monitoring and a regular MD can do that.
My therapy was my writing. That was the only therapy for me. No one could talk to me. Not my momma, who I love dearly, not my sisters, not my husband, not anyone. Sometimes I can open up and talk and cry, but for the most part I’m a mixture of dead inside and pain inside. I can get a good deal of relief when I’m with my daughter Stephanie. But she has her own sorrow to deal with in all this and I can’t see her all the time.
I’m unable to find a job other than nursing now. Who knows what the reason. Maybe everyone now thinks I would not be reliable because of all I’ve been through. When in fact I have been reliable all my life.
So in desperation, I went online and found a psychologist that has experience in losing someone to suicide that is an hour away from me and is covered on my insurance. I found her site last night and she had her email address on there. I emailed her a brief description of what has happened and how I feel and she called me this morning. She would have seen me today if it had been an emergency (no one has ever told me that…..they would always just say go to the ER if it was really bad and I had to wait for an apt for 3 weeks or so).
I told her it was not an emergency and that I could wait for the next apt time. So I will see her bright and early next Monday.
She won’t bring my Kaitlyn back. She won’t be able to extinguish the great sorrow and despair I have over losing her. But maybe…..JUST maybe….she will help me WANT to live again and therefore help me FIND a way to live again. That is a tall order for anyone, but I will try my best. Wish me luck.
If not that, then I just don’t know. Let’s just hope it all works out.