Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Acceptance of Diagnosis

In Lauren’s case, the problem is not acceptance of the diagnosis. Rather the problem is that her identity has evolved around her depression, which is likely, in part, because it descended on her at a young age (12) and she admits to feeling unhappy even further back as a young child (age 6 or 7). Lauren expresses ambivalence about losing her identity as a depressive and with it all the creative energy she believes it brings. This experience of ambivalence about recovery from mental illness is one of the themes of PROZAC DIARY.

Lauren says that when she does her creative writing it is from the different personas that live inside her (e.g., the blue baby). Lauren was in a graduate creative writing program but was unable to continue because of the symptoms of her mental illness. She is impaired to the point of being unable to keep even a menial-level job. Despite these impairments, she does not embrace getting well for fear of what she might lose. However, she does keep taking Prozac as recommended and for her, it does indeed act like a miracle drug; she describes the sudden lifting of depression that the antidepressant brings about within a couple of weeks.

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