I was reading a Facebook’s friend post about her friction with her doctor over her weight, and I found myself nodding in agreement as I read. I’ve shared my own horror stories about insensitive doctors and my weight, and I’ve had several, but one really sticks out in my head. At the time, I was trying to find a anti-depression medication that worked to no avail. I’ve had good luck with SSRIs in the past, but each only worked for roughly a year. Once I ran out of new ones to try, my therapist* and I decided to try Prozac again. It was a disaster. I was deeply suicidal, so I quickly got off that. Tried Celexa, but with the same result. All I could do was think about killing myself. I’ve been suicidal before, but it’s always been a more passive kind–“I wish I were dead.” This was hyper-aggressive, and I had to physically restrain myself from slitting my wrists, ramming my car into a median, leaving the car on while sitting in the garage, etc.
This went on for a month. Needless to say, I wasn’t eating during this time. Nor was I sleeping much (even less than I normally do). Again, I wasn’t doing much more than making sure I stayed alive. After a month of this and the second SSRI to reject me, I went back to my doctor to try something different. Now, remember, I hate going to the doctor is the first place, and I often delay it just so I don’t have to weigh myself. I know it sounds stupid to someone who doesn’t have eating disorder issues, but just accept that this is a thing. Anyway, I got weighed facing away from the scales as always, then was taken into the examining room. I was totally depressed and dispirited, but I knew I had to try something. It was my last gasp, if you will.
My doctor bustled in all perky and energetic. Her specialty was weight management, which should have been a red flag to me from the start. She was a relatively new doctor, and I had left the one before, whom I adored for a long time, because she tried to cite the BMI at me. I told her she knew it was bullshit, and she admitted she did, but she had to say it because their new health insurance manager required it. I cannot abide someone lying to me, especially knowingly, so I regretfully left her to find a new doctor. Anyway, the new doc looked at my chart and burbled that I had lost 19 pounds in a month and how great it was. I stared at her dully and said it was because I was actively suicidal from the SSRI, and she said, without missing a beat, “Who cares how it happened as long as it happened!”