Dr: “You’re unlikely to experience pleasure in life”

captain 1911Just read the report from my psychological evaluation that I had done last week. The line I can’t let go, “His personality is such that he may have only a small capacity to experience pleasure in life.”

It feels and sounds true. Yet, reading it, so damning, part of me is devastated. A little of the hope I still have just died.

Below is a section of my psychological evaluation:

Psychological Functioning: The patient completed the MMPI-2, an empirically based measure of personality and psychopathology. His responses suggest that he cooperated with the evaluation enough to provide useful interpretive information and the resulting profile is considered an adequate indication of his present personality functioning.

The patient’s profile was developed using the D (depression), Pt (psychasthenia – fear, anxiety, tension, depression, intruding thoughts, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms); and, Pd (psychopathic deviant – rebellious, non-‐conforming; family problems; impulsive, angry, irritable, and dissatisfied) scales. Patients with this pattern tend to exhibit a pattern of chronic psychological maladjustment.

The patient appears to be quite anxious and depressed at this time. He may be feeling some tension and somatic distress along with his psychological problems. He endorsed several items related to suicidal ideation and should be monitored for risk. He indicated a history of impulsive acting-out and substance abuse for which he expressed guilt and remorse.

His personality is such that he may have only a small capacity to experience pleasure in life and tends to be pessimistic in outlook. It appears he is experiencing disturbed interpersonal relationships. Patients with this profile are prone to substance use and abuse disorders and all treatments involving medication should be carefully monitored.

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Dr: “You’re unlikely to experience pleasure in life”

27 thoughts on “Dr: “You’re unlikely to experience pleasure in life”

  1. Doctors of every kind are very cold and apathetic in their descriptions sometimes. I’ve been diagnosed with many illnesses, mental and physical, and I feel that the delivery of them in those straight forward, dead tones hurt just as badly as the diagnoses.

    Most recently after nearly two days in the ER, I was told I had a small tear in my spinal cord, then the neurologist promptly followed the diagnosis with something of, “you should really get on some anti-depressants because between this and everything else wrong with you, your life really fucking sucks.”

    I’m not going to tell you to not let it get you down, because that’s honestly ridiculous. But I do wish that your hope hasn’t died entirely, though it is certainly allowed to hibernate for a while after the experience you had.

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  2. Gathering paperwork for my disability case I started to read some of the doctors notes and was hurt by what I read. My therapist told me to stop reading them because they are written in a different manner than sitting down and talking to a patient; it can be very clinical and cold. Take that small amount of happiness and run with it… doctor can be wrong sometimes too. (((HUGS)))

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    1. I have to agree with Leigha66. The written report is going to be cold and technical, no matter who the therapist is. They are written for other doctors, not for regular people like us. I had exactly the same experience as I was applying for disability and found the report of my official diagnosis. I remember the therapist being very helpful when he talked to me about the results. He helped me get past my issues around medication and to understand why medication was appropriate and not shameful for someone with clinical depression, like I have, and also recommended counselors for me.
      I also remember he did not quote a single line of the report. After I read it, I understood why. It was perhaps the most depressing thing I have ever read, so that was an excellent judgment call on his part. Basically, he just told me what I needed to know to understand the nature of my condition and what kind of treatment he recommended. So ignore the report. If you know the headline (clinical depression, bipolar, whatever) and the treatment you need, that’s all you have to know. Anything more than that won’t be helpful.

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        1. That’s how it is with the depressed brain. Our vision tends to be dark, so we need to find light wherever we can. One thing I like about my religious tradition is it says our purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy God forever. God is for our joy and for our recovery. So keep turning toward the Light.

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        2. I’m glad you find strength in religion. However, we are all a product of our circumstances. There is no god. And I think a part of all of us knows that is true. There are about two billion Christians who believe to be blessed to have the true faith. Now replace “Christians” with “Muslims.” The truth is, none of us know what the fuck we are doing. All of us are just desperate for meaning.

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        3. Whatever you believe or don’t believe is fine. I don’t subscribe to an idea of one and only one way or one and only one truth. Even with my faith, I have felt lost at times. As you say, we are all desperate for meaning, so I just want to encourage you to find your source (or sources) of light and meaning.

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  3. I can relate to your report, especially the part you highlighted:

    “His personality is such that he may have only a small capacity to experience pleasure in life and tends to be pessimistic in outlook.”

    Fortunately I rarely get those feelings of hopelessness anymore. Remember, your evaluations may be based on how you were at the moment and not necessarily who you are.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So much to say to this… At the end of the day we are in control of our pleasure/happiness. Hardest thing in the world to accept and understand. We have to deal with our thoughts. How medicine moves through our bodies and “changes” those thoughts. But we are in control of how we experience pleasure. I just started reading your blog. You don’t know me. And, It usually pisses me off when someone comes trampling into mine telling me “you are in control” (imagine that in a cranky old lady voice) especially when that is the last thing I have ever felt in my life. But please don’t let a doctor tell you that you are unlikely to experience pleasure. No one is able to determine that but you. And it can be done… For a minute in a day, an hour, three days in a row. Who cares how long it lasts. You experienced and it is yours. No one else’s. But you get to determine that. No one and nothing else 😊😊😊 Thank you for sharing. Great writing.

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    1. Thanks for this, depression can be so isolating. I thought it’d be good to have a place to vent, but what I have found most importing about blogging is the community. No of us fight this demon alone, many fight successfully. I’m not giving up, I do feel pleasure at times. So screw the doctor who did that eval. I’ll prove her wrong… eventually… I hope…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had a doctor tell me I would live in a group home or need assistance the rest of my life and never work anything by a part time job. I have lived independently and teach high school math ever since. You can do it! 😊😊😊😊

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  5. I may be out of line because I’ve never consult a psychiatrist and therefore cannot back up what I’m going to say. Just because everyone else has given up on you doesn’t mean that you have to also. Sometimes even in your darkest hours, you always fight for that little ray of hope, trying to not give in your pessimist self, saying no I ain’t going to end up like that. It’s this feeling that makes me feel like a fraud sometimes when I’m down. I get that we’re not all the same, we experience things differently, the only thing I can say is take it one step at the time. If you take it all together, you might overdose.

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