The Annual Check-up

Okay, so I was at the doctor’s office this past week for an annual check-up.

The nurse performed all the typical tasks: weight, height, blood pressure, heart rate.

You already know how this goes.

Then she proceeded to ask me some questions.

Do you have little interest or pleasure in doing things?

NO

Have you been feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?

NO

Do you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping too much?

NO

Do you often feel tired or have little energy?

NO

I interrupted before the next question and asked, “wait, is it okay that the answers I’m giving are with my medication?”

She said that was fine, so we continued.

Do you struggle with poor appetite or overeating?

NO

Do you frequently feel bad about yourself?

NO

Do you have trouble concentrating?

NO

And that pretty much wrapped up the check-in process.

As she left the room and I waited for my nurse practitioner, I couldn’t help but reflect that without my antidepressants, EVERY SINGLE ONE of those questions would have the exact opposite answer … YES!

Why am I sharing this?

Well, it’s certainly not to push pharmaceutical drugs on anyone.

Although, I do believe in changing the stigma around that for mental health conditions.

But the real reason I’m sharing is GRATITUDE.

FIRST, gratitude for the fact that the medical community is starting to routinely ask depression screening questions.

… You may not have depression, or something like it, but it’s safe to say someone you care about does or will in the future. So, it matters!

SECOND, gratitude for modern medicine! And even more so, for being fortunate to have found the combination of medicine that works for me personally. I know that last part can be a struggle for many!!  

THIRD, gratitude that I have finally come to a point in my life where I am without shame, self-judgment, or guilt in my diagnoses of clinical depression and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

And FOURTH, gratitude that these conditions have led me to dive deep into the skillset of emotional health; for myself, and for so many others that I now get to help as well.

My medications alleviate my depression, but they certainly do not alleviate the day-to-day trials of life that ALL OF US HAVE.

That’s where emotional health skills come in!! And that’s why teaching and coaching on the skillset of emotional health is my life’s passion.

And the best news: it’s never too late to learn!

The not-so-great news: it’s time to schedule my first mammogram.

Yep, so if you have tips, tricks, or just sympathy, feel free to send them my way.

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