Today is a very significant day. Today is the day that I told my boss (of all people) that I have depression. Apart from my wife and one friend, my boss is the only person to know this about me. My family and other people in my life most certainly do not know of my depression.
It is my life-long depression, that tends to crop up for several years every decade or so, that has finally opened my eyes to the prospect of having Asperger Syndrome. Basically, I have a fundamental knowledge that I’m not such a great chap and I lack the likeability that others seem to possess. From what I read, many Aspergers people have wider mental health problems. I don’t know any other people with Aspergers (apart from a cousin who I haven’t seen in years) to compare notes, but the premise is reasonable – if you lack the ability to properly connect with others, you’ll likely suffer the devastating psychological consequences of being unable to fulfil the basic natural need for human socialisation.
When I visited my doctor to seek a formal diagnosis for Asperger’s Syndrome, I discovered that this service has not been commissioned in my area (North Warwickshire). I have lost the post code lottery. The conversation moved on to my broader mental health as I ended my medication a couple of years ago. Citalopram wasn’t working. Now I am on Mirtazapine, which completely knocked me out for a week but seems to be stabilising me now.
On my GP’s advice I self referred to IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapy). This led to an initial 45 minute assessment by telephone. This took my away from my desk and made me very anxious indeed, so I just blurted it out to my boss. “I suffer from depression. I was on the phone arranging some help”. He was great about the whole thing, but to be perfectly honest, I really didn’t care either way. I am fast losing the energy to carry on pretending that I am normal.