Saturday, December 03, 2005


I sometimes envy the medical coding specialists I work with. It's like they can speak a whole other language. When somebody says 434.91, they immediately think "CVA". They throw around V57.1 and 781.2 the way most people say blue or air.

It also depersonalizes medicine. It's no longer a person with an illness, just a number.

Sometimes I think it's easier that way.

That number in the title? That's apparently why I've been a little...erratic lately. I wish it were just a number.

Yeah, I did something completely out of character and actually sought help. Apparently, I have generalized anxiety disorder.

I have to say I was surprised by that. I was expecting depression, but not that. I don't think of myself as an anxious person. I've always thought I was terribly laid back, perhaps even too laid back. But as the therapist explained the symptoms to me,a nd why he thought I fit that criteria, I had to admit to myself that he was spot on. I just didn't realize how...tense I had been, and how anxious I tended to be because it was just such a pattern in my life, and probably has been since I was a little kid. The way I obsess over small mistakes. The way I never think anything I do is good enough. The way I never think I'm good enough. I've had those thought patterns for so long that they've just become a part of who I am. It took someone who hasn't known me forever to point out to me just how screwed up my outlook on life and myself had become.

The therapist also said that either underlying or accompanying the anxiety is a certain amount of depression. He said it's kind of like a chicken and egg thing; there's probably no telling which came first, but now they just feed each other. Lovely.

He also said that it's a good thing I'm seeing my primary care doctor this week. He said drugs might be a good thing. That idea scares me, too. There's a really long and strong history of addiction on both sides of my family. There haven't been many who have been able to avoid it.

{sigh} I wish it were all so simple as changing a few numbers.

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