True, if ridiculous, fact: other than my wife, no member of my actual family is aware of what I’m about to tell all of you right now. They will be by the time I hit Publish, or at least my parents will be, but I’ve been putting off writing this post for days because I needed to talk to my mom and dad about it before they find it on the blog and, mysteriously, telling 20,000 strangers on the Internet about my medical issues is easier than talking to my parents.
Last Tuesday I had a panic attack at work. How I managed to keep it from the kids, I have no idea, but I managed to keep my shit together just enough to call the office and tell them that they needed to put someone in my classroom for the rest of the day right the hell now or who the hell knows what was going to happen. Wednesday was not a whole hell of a lot better and midway through my morning classes I excused myself for a couple of minutes to call my doctor and make an emergency appointment. They got me in Friday afternoon.
The doc immediately diagnosed me with what she called “major depression” and insisted I take the next two weeks off of work. As that would burn through all my sick days for the rest of the year and the thought of writing two weeks of lesson plans was worse than the thought of going to work, I talked her down to a week. I haven’t been back to school since last Friday. She’s also referred me to a shrink and gave me a prescription for Lexapro, which is an antidepressant.
I met with the doc– I need to double-check his credentials to find out who I was actually meeting with, come to think of it– yesterday, and he’s modified the diagnosis to generalized anxiety disorder. I don’t think either of the two diagnoses quite hit the spot, although the depression is probably closer; my anxiety is very specific and focused. I’m anxious about my job, and that’s basically it. It’s just that teaching is, y’know, kinda a big part of my life. But at any rate I’ll be seeing him every two weeks or so through Christmas; I gently declined to make any appointments any further out than that.
Thus far– granted, three days, so I know nothing– I do not like being on Lexapro very much. I haven’t slept in past 11 barring massive illness since my son was born. Two of the last three days I couldn’t drag my ass out of bed before one, and while I managed to get out of bed at about 10:45 on Tuesday I didn’t actually do anything with my day until then. You may have noted that blog posts have been sparse and I’ve barely been on Twitter for the last couple of days. I can assure you that that is not because I’ve been being highly productive doing other things.
In other words, I’m acting more like a person with depression now that I’m on a drug to treat depression than I was before I started taking the drug. That seems… backward, somewhat, but I’ll give it a couple of weeks to take effect like I’m supposed to before I start squawking at my doctor about it.
I dunno. Nothing changes, mind you; I’m still looking for another job, and I’m convinced that once I find one all of my other issues will drop away. I understand that antidepressants aren’t something you’re supposed to quit cold turkey, but as soon as I’m out of the classroom I’m going to insist on coming off of the Lexapro. Hell, if the constant sleepiness and general ennui and lack of motivation don’t go away with a quickness I’m going to insist on coming off of it anyway, because the treatment at the moment is worse than the disease.
One thing at a time, though, I suppose. Just like everything else.