I mentioned a while ago that I had been referred to a Clinical Psychologist as part of our fertility treatment. I had put off making the appointment but a few weeks ago I finally decided that enough was enough and something needed to be done. I was a little surprised at how quickly I was able to get an appointment and it was only due to me working extra hours that the appointment was made for today and not several weeks ago.
Being the initial appointment they suggest that you bring your partner along so any queries or concerns can be raised but I wanted Christian there so I wouldn't feel so bloody scared. I hate doing things for the first time and a psychologist appointment is one of the more scary things in life.
The lady we saw was extremely nice and put me at ease about being there. She explained that she would make an initial assessment and then next week she takes her notes to a board meeting that consists of psychologists, psychiatrists and clinical nurses and my case is discussed there and a decision is made about the best course of treatment.
After that we started talking and she asked me a billion and one questions and explored almost every avenue of my life. We obviously covered the fertility treatment and my feelings about being unable to so far fall pregnant and what the next step in that involved. That of course led to my battle with weight loss and the binge eating that is sabotaging my attempts.
We discussed at length my childhood, the sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of a family friend, growing up in a remote community, my schooling and the melt down I had in year eleven that saw me drop my TEE. My final year of high school was one disaster after another and she lingered on that painful time for quite a while. Although that year saw me meet Christian and would lead to the happiest times of my life it also marked the deaths of my grandfather and a friend I grew up with who committed suicide, my anorexia, the separation of my parents and the final blow, the hit and run death of Christian's best friend Rob as they walked home from basketball one night.
My family history was also discussed and she was a little surprised to find that most of my extended relatives are all nutters. With family like them, really there was little hope for me.
The stress I feel from work also rated a mention and the panic attack I suffered there was dissected. Most of my panic attacks stem from my obsession about being on time and the doctor came to the conclusion that time is a huge factor in my life. I have to always be doing something, I can never just relax and chill out, I must be moving from one thing to the next or I feel as if I'm wasting time. Sleep ins are almost non-existent for me and I'm incapable of being late for anything.
At the end she discussed the questionnaires I had completed before starting the session and from there she concluded that I have moderate depression and moderate-to-high anxiety. She warned me that the psychiatrists she confers with will most likely suggest anti-depressants since my issues are causing a physiological problem as well as psychological ones, mainly Middle Insomnia and binge eating. Apparently if you're just suffering from feeling sad and anxious etc they are quite happy to just use therapy but when it's causing physical symptoms they get much more concerned.
Christian and I are both of the opinion that we would prefer to try just therapy to begin with and if that doesn't help then move on to a tandem approach and the doctor was quite happy with that. She said that in therapy the issues we would deal with first would be giving me tools to help deal with my anxiety and also ways to help stop my binge eating. She also suggested that if I feel the need I should contact SARC (Sexual assault resource centre) to help deal with any unresolved issues from my childhood.
All in all I was really happy with the way the appointment went. I was in tears for half of it but Christian was there for me and that made all the difference. I feel much better knowing that I'm going to get some help and it's so much of a relief to know that I don't have to do this alone.
I'll keep you posted on how it goes.