Thursday, May 27, 2010

So I'm sitting across from a young (and I mean young like a pup here) resident at my doc's medical practice, answering questions which will lead him to deduce, correctly, that I have lost my stuff and need some antidepressants.  (Erm, I mean, will lead him to correctly assess my having fallen prey to a little post partum depression and anxiety... and still need some antidepressants). 

"Yes - I am experiencing feelings of exhaustion, unexplainable (and explainable) sadness, anxiety, blah, blah, blah."  "No - I don't want to off my children, hear voices telling me to off my children or voices of any other kind, etc. etc."  I respond to each question like a good little patient, even though they are annoying (and I think likely also questionnable tools for screening purposes.  But I digress). 

Then he asks: "Are you experiencing any guilt?"  I laugh.  And not like a delicate hee hee or even a nervous giggle.  We're talking full-on guffaw-y, snort-y, spit-flying-out-of-the-mouth kinda belly laugh here.  For a second, I think he is kidding around, being tongue-in-cheeky to distract from the seriously lame assessment schpiel.   Nope.

"Are you experiencing any feelings of guilt?" he repeat again, a bit louder and looking a little nervous, as if I've chosen that exact moment to lose my tenuous grip on reality.   Though I know it will probably scare the pants off the poor fella (who can't be more than, say, 24 years old), I find myself almost unable to stop laughing for a minute.   I'm a 35 year old mother of two, talking to a young man who may as well be a toddler, about my PPD (which I already know I have and just need a blooming prescription).   And it now seems exceedingly clear to me that whomever wrote the screening questions for PPD is most definitely NOT a mother. 

Find me a mother who says they don't feel guilty about their mothering, and I'll find you a big fat liar.

So apparently the whole lot of us are short some happy pills. 


  1. Totally different, but same sort of situation in that I dealt with a pup of a resident when I was expecting. At 32 weeks he asked me to please unbutton my pants so he could measure my belly WHILE HE WAS STARING AT MY FULL PANEL PANTS! Clearly, never encountered a pregnant woman before. I told him I couldn't unbutton it as it was a fake button for show and he looked at me like I had 3 heads.

  2. I snorted just reading that. Honestly. HONESTLY. If guilt is a screening question then all mothers are insane, and I should have been committed YEARS AGO!

  3. I was thinking a couple weeks ago how I know I'm getting older when about half the people who provide medical care for me are noticeably younger than I am.

    It's sort of depressing, really.
    You should have told him that he was actually contributing to your depression.

    I drink half a gallon of motherguilt daily.
    Who the hell doesn't??

    I just started on some anti depressants. Week ago today, in fact.

    But my doctor is a woman almost exactly my age.
    She didn't ask me anything.
    She just let me talk.