Living With Grief

Not Depressed, Just Grieving

Repetition (noun): The action of repeating something that has already been said or written

My NHS counselling sessions ended in July, so in order to access sessions via my private medical insurance, I needed to get a referral letter from my doctor. Because all the GP stuff is online now, I had to fill in this annoyingly long questionnaire, just to get the referral note and I cannot tell you how frustrating it is that ‘bereavement counselling’ isn’t an option.

I’m not depressed, I’m just grieving.

I had to fill in the form trying to strike the right balance: I needed to prove that I’m sad enough for them to give me a referral, but not too sad, so that they think I’m clinically depressed! (My friends who are doctors are going to roll their eyes and say I’m the worst type of patient!)

I’m not depressed, I’m just grieving.

Question: In the last two weeks, how often have you had suicidal thoughts?
Answer: Occasionally

Question: In the last two weeks, how often have tried to harm yourself?
Answer: Never

I’m not depressed, I’m just grieving.

I clearly triggered something about anxiety, because I got a whole heap of those questions too. Then right at the end…

Question: Are you pregnant?
Answer: No

Actual answer: No, definitely not. I’m grieving three losses and I need your help to figure out how the heck I can get into the head-space of trying again!

Urgh. If I just could have spoken to a human being, I could have spared myself all this!

I’m not depressed, I’m just grieving.

When the letter eventually came though, guess what the referral said?

Condition: Depressive disorder

Holy smokes.

I’m not depressed, I’m just grieving.

So yesterday, I toddled along to my introduction counselling session with my new prospective counsellor (it was on Zoom, so I actually just toddled over to the guestroom). Armed with this inaccurate letter of allegation, prepared to defend myself, yet fully aware of the irony, given that the first stage of grief in the Kübler-Ross model is, in fact, DENIAL.

I’m not depressed, I’m just grieving.

A new counsellor. Urgh. There is SO much to cover. I’m tempted to ask her to read this whole entire blog so that she can quickly catch up and indeed diagnose that:

I’m not depressed, I’m just grieving.

Aren’t I?

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(3) Comments

  1. Claudia says:

    Mine was anxiety – triggered by going back to work and being overwhelmed

    And I completely get the balance – I was certain I did not want it show I am clinically depressed. Because I know, in my heart, I am not. Just grieving ❤

    Good luck my love!

  2. I hate that appropriate mental health is so hard to access across the board. I hope for you that this counselor is a good fit. I can relate to how frustrating all those hoops and the dang questionnaires are. I also hate how much even professionals don’t understand grief.

  3. So frustrating, and an unfortunately common experience. Thank you for talking about it.

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