In case I forget.


What’s in a name?
April 8, 2007, 4:25 am
Filed under: Counselor A, Dr. PCP, Mental Health

They call it dysthymia. They call it depression. They call it PTSD. They call it all sorts of things but all the names don’t mean anything. Give everything a label so they can make it fit into the ICD-9 code structure because, you know, everything has to fit.

Where are the lines? Is it dysthymia if you just feel a little blue? Is it depression if you think about that “How bad is it?” question? A long time ago I had this discussion with Dr. PCP. On Wednesday I had it with Counselor A. “Are you thinking about suicide?” Am I? I think about it often. Now, that answer would lead “they” to say I have “suicide ideation”. I wonder what the ICD-9 for that is? I bet I could Google it. There are bad days when yes, it runs through my mind. There are horrific days when it is a conversation I have with myself. But mostly, days are good. Some days are very good. And most days, the average day, is wonderful. I am loved, I am fortunate, and I am grateful.

The truth is, life is a choice. It is a regular choice. Will I live today? How bad is it? Is it THAT bad? Then the answer would be no, I won’t live anymore after today. How bad is it? REALLY? It can’t be that bad. It hasn’t ever been that bad. I’m living proof. Now, it’s been unholy unbelievable bad sometimes, believe me. It’s been lonely, it’s been grief, it’s been horror, it’s been abandoned. It’s been scared and angry and tired beyond all belief. It’s been lost inside my own mind, it’s been without hope. But it just isn’t THAT bad yet.

Suicide Ideation. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines it as “the capacity for or the act of forming or entertaining ideas”. Damned. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? I definitely have the capacity to form or entertain ideas. I have ideas every day. I have an idea for lunch, I have an idea for which treat to give my dog. I have an idea to make chocolate butter cream frosting from scratch. I have an idea to have wild monkey sex with my husband. I have an idea that maybe today isn’t THAT bad, so I will choose to be alive tomorrow. Those are all ideas I have on a regular basis. But somehow, the last one, just because I actually THINK about it, is a bad thing. Dr. PCP never asks me, “Do you have chocolate butter cream ideation?”.

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