So, a few years back I did an interview on depression for a local television news station.
Now, “Big whoop,” you might be thinking. In fact you might even shrug and act like you weren’t even just a tiny bit jealous.
But, I would know the truth…
I grew up watching the news on this particular station. It was a big news outlet and honestly, ever since Willy Wonka sent chocolate by television I just knew it was for me.
I was star struck!
I was finally going to play a doctor on TV. Maybe this would be my big break! Maybe now my patients would listen to me like they listened to the evil Dr. Oz?
In the days leading up to my debut, I waited anxiously for the talking points I had been promised. They never came. The night before I found myself cramming the diagnostic criteria (SIGECAPS for anyone who has not gone through med school) into my brain and scouring old scholarly journals for interesting tidbits.
On the day of interview taping, the intense traffic to the downtown studio caused me to arrive 20 minutes late. Then I waited in the studio lobby for another 30 minutes before someone came to collect me.
Fortunately, it was not a live spot.
At long last, I was sitting in a comfortable chair across from a blonde, plastic Barbie type. The hair and makeup people did a quick touch up on her as I looked on, then scurried off. I nervously wondered if maybe I should take the time to powder my own nose.
But then I realized my purse was across the studio…
Fine beads of perspiration began forming across my brow. I like to think that was due to the intense heat radiating from the stage lights, but I could have been mistaken.
She, on the other hand, was not perspiring. Not one bit.
How did she do that?
My blouse soon stuck to the skin under my suit jacket as drops of sweat coalesced and ran down my back, tickling until they reached my butt crack.
If you have ever tried to concentrate while sweat has run down to tickle your butt crack, you know it is damn near impossible.
The camera started rolling and it was time to talk about the diagnostic criteria for depression. I found myself stumbling over the acronym, stuck on the “G” of SIGECAPS.
After I explained that women suffer from depression more than men, the interviewer asked me, “Why?”
This was not on the talking points. In fact, there were no talking points!
It was then that the words came sliding out of my mouth… what I would say to a patient if we were in an exam room. Only this was not a patient, we were not in an exam room, and I was supposed to be behaving like a “professional”.
“Well, Jane (not her real name), if you give a man a uterus and a period, hormone fluctuations, pregnancy, and then forced him to breast feed, I expect the depression numbers would end up pretty much equal.”
How did she do that?!?!?
“Ok. That’s all the time we have! Tune in next time when…”