Friday, April 01, 2005

Doctors Orders

I finally got my referral through for an assesment with a counsellor last week. I spent about 45 minutes with her so that she could try to gauge the best course of treatment for me.

I had to go through the whole history again but she was a very understanding listener. She did make one fairly startling observation though. She doesn't think that the Anxiety is the illness. It's just a symptom and that the illness is actually depression.

This was a bit of a shock. I know my doctor mentioned it earlier but it was just in passing "you have anxiety and mild depression". This time it was "I think you're suffering with depression and the anxiety is just a symptom".

As I thought about it some more I had to agree. All the symptoms I had :- lethargy, low self esteem, tiredness, are all symptoms of depression. The good news was that the outlook was still very positive.

I had a choice of treatment, I could join some group sessions for depression counselling or go on some one to one sessions with a CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) specialist. This was geared towards people that have had 3 clear separate "episodes". Apparently this makes a difference in the long term prognosis.

If you're constanty depressed and worried and never get out of it then the CBT doesn't really have a chance as by it's very nature, CBT requires you to start thinking positively. Having the "clear" space between episodes means you are feeling better before you start so will be more receptive to the ideas and thought processes that are part of CBT.

I've gone with her recommendation of CBT treatment which will be at Farnham Road Hospital in Guildford over the course of about 12 sessions. She's referred me on so I just have to wait for the first appointment.

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