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How do you know if you're depressed (long, sorry!)

(15 Posts)
ellietheelephant1 Thu 28-Mar-13 14:32:48

How do you know if you're depressed? I have never been particularly convinced that What I Read On The Internet Is True, but whenever I've attempted online depression tests they come back with moderate depression on a good day and severe depression on a bad day.
I manage to have a full-time teaching job and to do all the prep work and marking associated with that, to look after my 3 year old son, to keep the house fairly clean and very tidy and to do all the washing, ironing etc.
But I don't do anything I enjoy any more. I spend large amounts of time in the evening standing on my own in the kitchen just staring into space and worrying whilst my husband and son are in the living room. I don't talk to anyone at work (other than the students when I'm teaching them) and I daren't go into the staff room (unless it's just to check my pigeonhole and go straight out again) in case I have to talk to someone because then they would find out how horrible I am.
I used to go out with my friends but over the last 7 years or so I have steadily ignored messages etc and so I haven't seen any of my friends ( other than at one wedding and one funeral!) for about 5 years. I used to do a lot of music-singing in concerts and rehearsals every week and I stopped doing that when I was pregnant.
Whenever I've arranged to do something I enjoy I find a reason (eg I have marking to do) not to go at the last minute, because I think that me meeting up with friends would make them realise how boring and horrible I am and that me being there would spoil it for them.
I work in a department of 6 and I haven't been to any of the half-termly departmental meals out since I came back from maternity leave nearly 3 years ago; I keep saying that my husband has a meeting etc and there's no-one to look after our son so I can't go, which isn't true.
I spend so much time worrying about me being horrible to others that I tend to go to bed at past 2am and get up at 6:30 after going in to soothe DS back to sleep at least once (around 3:30-4am, takes about 5 minutes).
I tend to eat only cereal bars, fruit, chocolate and sandwiches; I never eat dinner as I'm trying (only semi-successfully) to control my weight.
I don't know if I 'm just tired or if it is something more than that, but I don 't really feel as if anything is real any more and I seem to be watching things happen from behind a pane of glass - I just don't believe that anything I do will ever make a difference to anyone. Everything just seems grey, unless I've been very worried about something and cut myself (only very, very tiny cuts , and that only happens about three or four times a year) which seems to bring the colour back into the world and makes me feel much more confident and able to cope with things.
My husband has made me an appointment to see the GP next week (now that I've finished school for Easter) and I really don't want to go because I 'm convinced that they will either tell me off for being silly and wasting their time when there are people with real problems, or just admit me to the local psychiatric hospital and refuse to let me leave.
I don't really know what to do - unless I do go to the appointment I can't see anything changing and I don't want to waste their time or have to leave DS.
I've tried hypnotherapy and also arranging private CBT sessions but the hypnotherapist said after 4 sessions that I was cured (and I didn't feel any different but didn't want to annoy him by contradicting him) and the only CBT therapist I could find that worked outside school hours said after 3 sessions that I wasn't trying hard enough and that if I wanted another session then I couldn't agree a time/date in the session and I would have to ring her and arrange it, after I had specifically told her that I wanted to arrange another session "now" and not on the phone later as I knew I wouldn't do it.
So I don't know where to go from here, really. I'm not convinced that the GP will be any use and I'm scared that telling the GP will mean that I do have "mental health problems" which will impact on whether I could ever get another job in teaching if I want to move schools.

ellietheelephant1 Thu 28-Mar-13 14:33:09

Sorry - that was FAR too long!!

MsAkimbo Thu 28-Mar-13 14:49:23

Not a doctor, but it does sound like depression to me. Have you spoke to anyone about how you feel?

When I started talking about my depression I found that lots of other people were suffering from it too. However, I have PND now but that's another story.

Do you have a good relationship with your gp?

ellietheelephant1 Thu 28-Mar-13 15:30:25

Um. I don't have any relationship with my GP. I go along to the rapid surgery clinic for asthma checkups and the occasional random rash etc and see whoever is available and that's it. I don't actually know the doctor that I have an appointment with - as far as I know I've never met them before.

MsAkimbo Thu 28-Mar-13 17:22:15

Ah, I see.>sorry, had to tend to baby.

Well have you spoken to your husband about how you feel? Has the subject of counselling been discussed?

MsAkimbo Fri 29-Mar-13 01:20:09

You ok OP?

ellietheelephant1 Fri 29-Mar-13 03:32:28

Sorry! I'm definitely ok.
I have spoken to my husband and he made the appointment because he wants things to change and doesn't think anything will change unless I get some sort of help. His workplace recommended a counsellor about two and a half years ago and I had about 3 sessions with her until she said that I wasn't trying hard enough and that I had to call her to make another appointment although I explicitly said I that wanted to book another session and knew that if I didn't book it then and there I wouldn't call her about it. Previous attempts at having counselling have failed on the "I am at school from 8:15am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday (apart from once-a-week meetings which mean I'm there until 6 for a meeting and 8pm for one of the nine parents' evenings (or similar) every year) and the counselling needs to fit outside of those hours" issue. I can't seem to find anyone who works outside of those hours, apart from one place where I couldn't actually get in the building when I arrived for my appointment and got the answer phone when I rang them to let me in. I tried there twice but decided that paying two lots of £75 was more than enough to spend when I couldn't actually get to the session!

MsAkimbo Fri 29-Mar-13 06:09:07

Oh dear, fair enough!

What about your own employer? Do you think if you went to them they would allow you some time for appointments?

ellietheelephant1 Fri 29-Mar-13 08:42:54

I don't think I'd dare ask. It would mean getting someone in to teach at least two of my lessons every single week, which really isn't fair on the students. I'm also not sure who would pay for it - I know that the department I work in couldn't afford it! The person in charge of cover is not very happy when you go out on school trips, and was a bit grumpy with me when I had a day off for wisdom tooth surgery and also the next day off as well (which is what I'd been told to do by the hospital) so I don't think I'd dare ask.

MsAkimbo Fri 29-Mar-13 19:24:39

Do you think you could talk to a Dr at the clinic about how you're feeling? Maybe they could recommend services/medications if need be?

I know how workplaces can be confused

RivalSibling Sat 30-Mar-13 10:01:37

Yes I think you may be depressed. I recognise the everything not seeming 'real', the tiredness, the not wanting to do things that you used to enjoy.

I'm worried that you are denying yourself a lot - you say you don't eat dinner, to lose weight, but this is denying yourself and your family an important time together and it isn't going to help you lose weight. You are also not going out when you have the opportunity.

I wonder if you want things to change but are frightened of what that change looks like - so you engage in a kind of 'yes, but... ' dialogue to explain why you don't do something. Like not making the next CBT appointment because the counsellor asked you to call.

Go to see your GP.

I noticed that you used to enjoy music. Could you join a choir? Explain to your husband that you find it hard to do stuff for yourself and ask him to help get you there every week until it becomes part of your routine.

MsAkimbo Tue 02-Apr-13 00:19:45

You alright OP?

roughtyping Tue 02-Apr-13 10:38:14

Hi OP,

I just started a thread here then had a look at the others, I feel v similar to you (also a FT teacher funnily enough).

No advice, at all, I'm in the same boat but hope you're alright.

ellietheelephant1 Wed 03-Apr-13 18:12:30

Sorry! Have been to the doctor who has prescribed Citalopram and said to return in a month to see how it's going and to get another prescription of them. Thank you all lots for listening! :-)

MsAkimbo Wed 03-Apr-13 19:55:28

Good to hear smile

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