When you go to visit a lot of psychiatrists and other “helping professions,” people often ask you how your depression/anxiety/whatnot is on a scale of 1-10. This is a horribly inaccurate measure for most people, but it gives you some data points at least, despite:
- one person’s “5” is another person’s “8” and the charts don’t stay with a particular patient through various agencies, so there isn’t a way to measure your progress or not on your own individual scale
- you are asked to rank your depression overall for the past week/day/whatnot, and you automatically privilege how you are feeling at that moment. i regularly have “dips” to being at an 8 or 9 but they only last for an hour or so, and then fade.
- you never ever want to say “10” or “1” because these seem like the end of the game.
The goal is for your score to go down as you get better. Not that anyone thinks you will ever get to a 1, but to hover around a 2 or 3 at least means that you are not a danger to yourself and that life seems bearable.
I’ve been at about a 7 or 8 this week. Well, for quite a few weeks. My goal is to hover at around a 6, which would translate to at least “I have some hope that I won’t feel this way forever.”
Death isn’t a cure for depression. But it is a cure for a life lived in this much pain.
I’m just searching for another cure. Trying out the various things that the doctors give me. Trying to hold on.