Following is an edited transcribed version of a consultation 2.5 years back. Today, the person drives to part time work 4 days a week. He smiles off and on. He dismisses any thoughts of ending his life. It took 2 and a half years of slow, persistent, steady meetings almost every fortnight to get here. There is still a lot to achieve. I am posting this to help others who have lost hope to keep the faith. We can bring back your smile!
What a life I have! I lose count of the number of cigarettes I have each day but I can count on my fingers the number of tasks that I do each day. Even brushing my teeth seems like a huge task and shaving and bathing are more often avoided than not.
The dread of waking up is so much that I keep wishing for evenings so that I can then endure the few hours awake in the hope that soon it will be night and there will be no one to look at me, no one to nag me, no one to ask me what I am or I am not doing.
Life seems a waste. I read about people having committed suicide and I hate myself for not having the courage to do it. Sometimes I feel I am being given medicines to make me suffer and continue to exist. If I were to not take antidepressants, I would deteriorate further and perhaps have the courage to jump of the building or take some pills. But you keep on reassuring me that I will get better, depression is treatable, and people resume their life with treatment. I wonder, are you giving me false hopes, are you just maintaining the doctor patient relationship because it would not be ethical on your part to tell me that I can’t improve, that I am a lost case.
There must be persons with depression who have NOT gotten better, who have continued to suffer despite medicines. What happens to them? Do all of them die, or do they embrace death with the realization that Psychiatrists can’t get them better?! I should find out. . but that ‘enthusiasm’ lasts for a moment. Maybe, I am part of the unknown group of individuals who have a mental illness, are not getting better and are not doing anything-nothing at all.
Look at the last few consultations. You ask me to list tasks each day, but there are days when I do not do anything-nothing. I lie on the bed, keep thinking, brooding, worrying, wondering, planning BUT never doing something. Where is that conversion of intent to action? Yeah, you tell me some chemical in my brain is not implementing what I want to do, but why does it not do so. It’s my brain, my chemical, my thoughts: and its not listening to me. What an (f#*k@% up) illness!!
Doc, get me well or give me something to let me go. My family will no longer suffer if I leave, there maybe pain initially but they will be thankful later on. I of course will be in peace with God. Isn’t there euthanasia for patients with terminal illness? Why isn’t it for those with long depression – I am not getting better and I don’t think I will get better; you know it too, doc!
Forget the Hippocratic Oath for a moment, and look at me as a human who is useless, dispensable, a parasite who is using up finite resources of my family and this society needlessly. You would be relieving a lot of burden for the world if you give me an injection that puts me to sleep. I won’t tell anyone, I will write a note that I took my own life and no blame will fall on you.