Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The fantasy lab test

I think depression is unique among illnesses. Depression is so gray. There is no signature cough, no tell-tale physical pain, no excessive bleeding, and no abnormal blood test. It leads someone like me to question whether or not I am truly ill. Is this a relapse, or am I just sad? Is depression rearing its ugly head, or do I just have a defective character? Is this me or my illness dragging me down? In the midst of feeling so low, these are horribly tormenting questions running through my head.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a lab test which proved when depression was active? I feel bad, I go to the doctor, the doctor orders the test, and yup, there it is in black and white--I've got another case of depression, or I've had a relapse of my illness. It would be as clear as day. There would be no shades of gray. There would be no stigma, no questioning, no shaming, no guilt. What would be would be, and we'd treat it accordingly.

Wouldn't that be nice?

10 comments:

renee altson said...

yes...

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Oh, that would be great! We could pull out our diagnosis sheet if anyone ever questioned the validity of our illness. And we woudldn't have the self-doubt that can haunt us. One can dream, huh?

Hope you are starting to feel better. Things may be gray, but I believe they will get better. Thinking about you!

ruby-tuesday said...

I can relate to this,
I was put on anti depressants a few years ago and I still can't tell whether I am depressed or not,
I suppose there are tell tale signs in my behaviour, like when I can't find a reason to get out of bed or when I think its a good idea to go out in my pyjamas (I'll just be putting them on again later on so what's the point in getting dressed)

Yes, it would be nice to have a test x

jim said...

having a test would be awesome. What would be even more awesome would be a cure, rather than treatments.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Thinking of you. So hope things will feel better for you soon.
Nancy

Erica said...

That's the fantasy, isn't it? For our illness to be like everyone else's. I agree with Jim that, while a test would be awesome, a cure would be even better. But how do you cure something that is in a person's head? I wish more researchers were attempting to answer that question, instead of just creating a new pill to make us feel better for a little while.

dreambigrunner.com said...

You speak my mind! I actually had the same thoughts a few weeks ago. Knowing it's an illness would make feel a little "better", at least it's nothing I imagine or something anybody else can handle but I can't. Feel better soon!

Sam said...

I reckon the pet scans are pretty cool: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/medical/IM00356

Emac said...

I just came across your blog as I've been struggling with the worst episode of depression in my life for the last six months or so and it's been really nice to see that I'm not alone in that struggle.

The stigma of depression is one of the most difficult things for me - no one in my life knows that I have this. I SO wish it were as simple as getting a blood test or something at the doctor! I ran across a quote from a psychiatric researcher while doing research on ECT that I was curious to get your take on. He said, "It's so damaging to individuals to think the problem is in their brain." To me, I would be ecstatic to be able to pin point where the 'problem' is for those who I know will say that I'm just lazy or weak-willed. What do you think?

etta said...

The only way you can change others' perceptions of this illness, Emac, is to be forthright about your struggles and educate them the best you can. Take care and good luck.



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