Hi Coquette. I’ve written to you many times and never pressed send, but you’ve been a very helpful presence in my life. I’m writing to you now because I’m going to a psychiatrist for the first time in two days. I’m 21 and I’ve been depressed since my early teens but my parents always told me that it’s just my character and never took me to get help. Now I don’t even know if I actually have depression or if it’s just my personality, I don’t feel like I have an actual personality or a sense of self. I’m scared that the doctor is just gonna brush me off and not give me meds which are my only hope. I feel like my brain is frozen up, I just want to know that there’s a chance I’ll feel something, that there’s something other than this robotic life for me, but then I don’t know if I can handle anything else. I don’t really know what my question is, I cried for the first time in two years while writing this, should I tell all this to the doctor? Everything I’ve read online about preparing for the first visit has only made me more nervous, like she won’t understand what I mean or believe me, because I’m functional and have done well in college and have friends so maybe she’ll think I don’t need medication but I do. But then I’ve felt this way since I was 12, maybe it is just me and there’s nothing to be done. It’s ok if you don’t answer before the visit or at all, I just wanted to tell someone who’d understand because my otherwise loving parents are being gigantic assholes and treating me like they’re doing me a favour by booking the appointment. Anyway, thanks for reading, love you.
The doctor is not going to brush you off. She will listen. She will listen to you like you’ve never been listened to before. Tell her everything. Tell her that you’ve been depressed since your early teens. Tell her about your parents. Tell her that you feel your brain is frozen up. Tell her that you cried for the first time in two years, and if she asks, tell her what happened to you when you were twelve. If it will make things easier, bring her the letter you wrote to me. Use it as a starting point for your conversation with her.
As she is a psychiatrist, the likelihood of her recommending medication is much higher than with other mental health professionals, especially if that’s the reason you showed up to her office. Whether she prescribes medication or not, you should know that meds are not your only hope. They can help, but don’t expect anti-depressants to be a miracle cure and be open minded about other therapeutic options that she might recommend.
Take a deep breath, kiddo. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous, but you’re going to be fine. You’re doing the right thing by taking care of yourself, and if your parents won’t say it then someone should: It’s okay to ask for help, and I’m proud of you for taking this step.