Went to the doctor

29 Mar

Content note: I discuss sex drive in this, in regards to its unpleasantness for me and its presence in psychiatric treatment.

Today I finally had an appointment with a psychiatrist to get on an antidepressant. I’m hoping that it’ll work and I won’t have to try another drug, but I go back in a month to assess how things are going. We’ll see around then whether things have kicked in or not. My main goal for treatment is to be moderately less of a slug than I am now, and to generally not be so sad.

One thing I was delightfully relieved about was that neither the counselor I spoke to nor the psychiatrist asked me how I was feeling sexually. Over the past few months, I read a lot on depression and tried to see if that fit me, and I ended up repeatedly taking self-scoring depression assessments to evaluate how I was feeling over time. A frequent question was something along the line of “have you had a decreased interest in sex?” and once or twice there was even “I do/do not enjoy spending time around and looking at attractive people.”

The frequency of those questions on the screening tests made me nervous, because I didn’t want to talk about that. Before my appointment I was worried that in the middle of feeling vulnerable and embarrassed* about going into the doctor’s, I’d also have to come up with a cover story to avoid a lot of probing questions about my sex drive. Because, while I have one, I strive to ignore it as much as possible because sexual stimulation and even abstract arousal is very unpleasant for me. But that is not something I needed or wanted to talk about.

It was a relief not to be asked about that, then, since “I pay so little attention to my sex drive I don’t know if it’s the same as it usually is” is not the kind of answer that moves the conversation onto a new topic. I was glad that I got to talk about what my problems were and not have the conversation steered through a bunch of other stuff.

(I hope that in a few weeks my prescription will kick in and I will have enough energy to write more, as well.)

*I don’t think going to the doctor’s is embarrassing, at all! I just personally have a lot of guilt about it because for a long time I’ve had people depending on me, and I’ve always been “the strong/healthy one,” so losing that status has been hard on my “I must be USEFUL!!!” issues. I hover so much my mom now jokes that I’ve turned into our old dog, who used to follow her everywhere.

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4 Responses to “Went to the doctor”

  1. plaidfluff March 30, 2012 at 2:37 PM #

    My doc understands my asexuality and neutrois identity (actually I specifically chose him based on him working with genderqueer people in general and basically taking a “I will help you do what you want as long as it isn’t actively medically harmful” stance) and when we were experimenting with Prozac he said, “Now, I’m supposed to warn you that this may decrease your sex drive, but I suspect you’ll see that as a benefit.”

    • ace eccentric March 30, 2012 at 2:46 PM #

      I am really glad you found such a nice doctor. :) If I ever go the therapy route I hope I find someone like that.

      And XD I didn’t bring up my asexuality/neutrois-ness because I didn’t see a need to, and didn’t particularly know these doctor’s opinions on anything not-heterosexual, but your doc’s comment kills me. When my doctor was going on about how the Lexapro would likely decrease my sex drive, I was just like, “Hooray!” Glad I’m not the only one.

  2. jordanbakerblogs May 9, 2012 at 8:08 PM #

    Hi, I am writing a story on asexuality for an Australian magazine and was wondering whether you would be willing to talk to me about it – anonymously, if necessary.
    My email address is jobaker@acpmagazines.com.au.
    Regards,
    Jordan

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