delirium happy

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More medical shenanigans
In the post today, I receive three letters, all CCed to me, all from Dr Ashton (my local psychiatrist). They have a policy of sending copies of everything they send to other doctors to me as well, which is a thing of which I thoroughly approve. First there was one about arranging for me to get CBT, next was the funding request to the PCT, and finally a general sort of summary letter to my GP. Highlights of the letters include:

"...not only is she intelligent and sensible but is emotionally aware, articulate and capable of reflecting on her experiences."

 – Woohoo! I rock! Yeah!

"Diagnosis: Male to female transsexualism."

 – Shocking. I never would have guessed.

"[she] is currently doing an OU degree in physics"

 – Not quite! But given that that's the only actual factual inaccuracy across the three letters, I'll let you off. Apparently you actually did listen to some of the stuff I was saying, which is better than some health professionals I've seen.

"There are no perceptual or cognitive abnormalities"

 – I think that one means I'm sane, in psychiatrist speak.

"we had good eye contact and rapport"

 – That's a new one for me. I usually get the opposite. Will wonders never cease. Possibly I'm becoming better at that one with age.

"I think it is reasonable to keep an antidepressant in reserve. I have to say I did wonder if something like Roboxetine might be most helpful although we don't use it very often."

 – After a brief look on Google and Wikipedia, I'm presuming here that she actually means Reboxetine. Does anyone know anything much about that? Apparently it's a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, and while I can reasonably guess at what that would do based on knowing what adrenaline is and comparison with SSRIs, but I'd want to research it a little before deciding to take it (if I do decide to go down that route, obviously). If anyone happens to know anything about it already then that would be nice to save me the time researching.

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CBT really, really wins. It changed my life. In a non-sucky way, 'I hope you get in'.

As for just *one* factual innaccuracy, that's astonishing, it may well be the biggest success ever from NHS assement/referal letters. I tried to point out that they said I had half brothers and not, as they had written, step brothers (extremely relevant when they were talking about genetic predisposition to mental health problems) and they said 'meh, it doesn't really matter'. I sort of went 0_0 Woo! NHS is fun...

Edit: * I tried to point I had half brothers and not....

That is... really rather impressive. You have to wonder if they thought you were exchanging DNA by holding hands or something, like some freakish macroscopic bacteria.

Also, yay for non-sucky life changing things. I'm not sure if I know anyone else who's had CBT. I just know lots of people whose uncle's postman's hamster had it and found it really amazingly good, or something. I may be forced to ask you all sorts of questions about it, if I ever think of any.

I enjoy the image of a hamster undergoing analysis. 'Lol' on many levels.

Feel free to ask me questions, I am quite happy to answer. One thing I would say is that I found it exhausting - emotionally and physically. I used to get home from the session at 11:30am and go to bed and sleep for an hour. Often bursting into tears the moment I got in the front door. Obviously this does sound like a Bad Thing, but as I'm sure you're aware, it's well worth such hardship if you can end up in a Better Place for it. Just be prepared to lose a whole day when you have a session.

I had CBT. I was too lazy to make it work. (That's my own judgement, not anyone else's.) Don't be like me.

You arrrrr teh awes0mez.

also, what's CBT?

Cognitive behavioural therapy. The basic idea, as I understand it, is that you talk to a trained psychological type person, and they try to recognise negative thought patterns you have and stop you from having them, so you can feel better. Or something like that.

Ah, got it. I'm familiar with the theories, just didn't catch what it was from the abbreviation. :)

Wow... so in the past 2 days, the NHS has confirmed that you are both human, and sane. That's impressive. ;)

Not really. Fairly standard for the NHS to be so horribly wrong, I'd say.

You are beautiful, as is this. But you know that already. And this is really one of the best things I've read in a really long time.

Reboxetine is really really nasty. At least, it was for me. It's the one that made me completely unable to move around without collapsing. I have a tag for it. Anticholinergic side effects are really unpleasant if you get them to any degree, though I believe that's a risk with most antidepressants. I was unlucky with that one. It's very similar in structure to the ADHD med Strattera, or atomoxetine, and I was actually really hopeful that it would help me. Nada.

That's a really nice policy though, sending everything to you as well. I know they have to give you the information they've got stored on you if you ask, but it's nice to not have to ask or pay for the priviledge.

I am on Reboxetine and I like it. Mostly.

As I understand it CBT is quite an active type of therapy, ideal for people with a reasonable amount of 'insight' and ability and willingness to work with the therapist to identify the negative thought patterns and indeed actively willing to try coping mechanisms...

I don't think it always helps with 'chemical' depression entirely, but does seem to be useful in identifying stuff and perhaps improving self knowledge so that if/whenever your brain chemistry goes whacky that you can catch it before you sink too low as it were...

Congrats on mostly accurate wossnames. My medical notes are for the large part farcical. I have a cochlea implant from GOSH in 2002 apparently... Fuck knows what else, but I can't be arsed DPAing the entirety to scan for mistakes as it'd probably be too expensive.

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