If you’re happy and you know it
Clap your hands! I just got rejected from a depression study for not being depressed enough!
I’ve been dealing with “my version” of depression since adolescence and started looking for affordable therapy out here before I even moved to Seattle. After a series of non-starts, I finally got myself onto the wait list at the Psychotherapy Cooperative a couple of months ago, where I still sit. Remember me?
Anyway, moving across the country and looking for jobs and just generally being 23 is pretty stressful, so I thought a depression study with Summit Research might be able to fill in the gap between now and moving off that wait list into an appointment book. Summit offered to provide free mental healthcare to all participants and I thought they even paid–I spend so much time on Craigslist these days all the ads seem to blend together.
I arrived at my appointment early for once: it was walking distance from my apartment so I didn’t need to deal with a bus. The administrative staff was less than friendly and it took me about ten minutes to check in, but I spent my wait time happily reading the Oscar issue of Entertainment Weekly. About twenty minutes after my appointment was scheduled to begin, I was transferred to my own room with a fresh stack of old magazines. Waited, read, someone took my blood pressure, waited, read some more.
Once the doctor finally arrived, I soon realized I preferred reading about the lives of celebrities I’ve never heard of to talking about my own. It was odd to share my very personal life history with a strange old white man behind a desk. My responses started out cold and short, but the doctor somehow drew me out of myself. He didn’t say much and rarely smiled, but his tone was warm and he seemed to be really listening to and hearing what I had to say.
After talking about everything I never want to talk about, I was given the good news: I’m actually not depressed after all! Basically, I’m a moody, stressed-out person who doesn’t do well when bored or left alone. I think I knew that already! No sleep disturbances, no eating disturbances, I generally wake up in the morning feeling okay… It’s just if I miss a bus or buy the wrong candy bar or a friend flakes out on getting together, then I have no clue how to deal.
But I’m not getting upset about being rejected from this study. What if I got depressed about not being depressed enough to qualify as being depressed? Seriously, I am thankful. It’s the best outcome to find out I’m doing pretty okay.