"Why don't you see a doctor about your depression, A Random Stranger?" Well, I have nice benefits through teaching at a state university, but even so, there are problems.
- There's a stigma attached to mental illness. I read an article once about Thomas Eagleton and the political baggage of his depression. As long as depression is something that some people associate with being weak-willed or self-indulgent, depressed people will continue to feel pressure to hide their condition.
- I want to learn to be not depressed, but if that's not possible, I at least want to learn to manage my depression. I don't want to take a pill to mask the symptoms, especially as many of the side-effects of such pills are, in my view, intolerable. I've read many books about diet and lifestyle corrections. Obviously the professional training of a psychiatrist could help, but I don't want a psychiatrist who says, "Oh, you're depressed? Here, take this pill."
- Even if I get a doctor who's willing to look at dietary or amino acid supplement corrections, it's a discouraging task. There are scores of potential problems and it could be years of trial and error to find what works.
- Meanwhile, I'm supposed to be focused on finishing my dissertation. It's a dilemma, because the biggest motivation I have to seek treatment for my depression is that it would enable me to do the work I have to do, but the biggest discouragement I have is the distraction it would be from the work I have to do.
- Finally, my insurance covers psychiatry, but our deductible is so high that I basically regard my insurance as catastrophic insurance. I don't have room in my annual budget for my deductible, so I can never seek medical care.
I know someone reading this will say these are all crap excuses. But, hey, my whole life is crap excuses. Only someone brand-new to this blog would expect anything BUT crap excuses from me.