Almost Aced The Anxiety Test…

Met again with my therapist yesterday and we got a chance to tally and discuss my results on the anxiety and depression tests. According to the anxiety test a 31 to 50 indicates a severe case of anxiety. I scored a 41. This, coupled with the fact that I’ve felt my anxiety increase over the last few years, has led the therapist to diagnose me with a chronic case of severe depression. On the depression front I scored a 16 which is within the mild range of 11 to 20.

With these lasts tests outta the way it’s pretty clear that my mental health is in tatters. Still having a fully worked up diagnosis is a big relief. I feel like my actions and feelings make sense, in a twisted sort of way, when viewed in light of OCD and my level of anxiety. I’ve found a source for my issues, it’s been named, and now I can actually move forward and try to find ways to manage it. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I even cried on the way over to pick up the Wifey after the appointment. Not because I was sad but because I found a bit of hope that things will get better.

After going over the diagnosis we discussed treatment. The inpatient option was taken off the table first since there is not treatment programs offered for OCD in Colorado. That leaves us with medication, behavioral/cognitive therapy or a mixture of both. I was dead set against simply popping a pill and leaving it at that. The therapist was in agreement with this so she let me decide whether or not to try medication with therapy or therapy alone.

I’ve actually thought about the medicinal stuff quite a bit over the last week so I was ready to pretty much make the decision once the question was posed. Since I feel that there is a physical component that hasn’t responded to coping techniques I’ve learned in the past such as breathing, visualization etc. (learned when finding ways of dealing with IBS) I want to include it in hopes it allows me to tone down the anxiety faster. From there I hope to achieve a baseline which will make the behavioral/cognitive therapy more fruitful.

I’ll touch base with my family physician to discuss the specific drug this week but I’m well aware that it probably won’t have a positive effect until a few weeks after I start taking it.

My homework at the moment is to work on an autogenic exercise to help decrease my overall anxiety and depression levels. At first glance it seems a little hokey but I’m gonna give it a go since I’m unwilling to dismiss anything out of hand that may turn out to make life a bit more positive for me.

So, in short, I’m making progress. One little step at a time.

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