I was trying to tell someone I love about how to determine if she is clinically depressed. This person, whom I'll call Mary, said, "My therapist thinks I'm depressed, but I'm just not sure."
I asked if she knew the symptoms of depression. She said she did, but she didn't feel they fit her situation. "I'm just not motivated," she said. "I can't force myself to do the things I need to. And I don't know why."
"When did you notice a difference in your behavior?" I asked.
"About a month ago," she answered.
"Was there anything that happened which caused you to feel this way?" I asked.
"Not that I know of," she said.
"Why does your therapist think you're depressed."
"Because of the motivation issues," she said.
"Did your therapist say anything else?"
"She suggested I talk to a psychiatrist."
"Are you going to do that?" I asked.
"I've made an appointment," she said. "But I'm not sure whether I'd feel okay about taking medication. What do you think?"
"Well, I'm neither pro or anti medication," I said. "Even though I've had terrible problems with it, I know people for whom it was a Godsend. Still, I strongly believe there are steps you should take before you take medication. I am a big believer in keeping detailed mood charts," I said. "I don't believe things happen in a vacuum or that depressive episodes come out of nowhere. And I strongly believe that you can learn to figure out triggers from mood charts. And...I also strongly believe in exercise, which has been proven to be more effective than anti-depressive medication."
"I won't do either," she said.
(to be continued)