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  • Shared Experiences

    My life changing diagnosis

    Hi, I'm Anthony. I'm 46yrs old and what I can say firstly is how fast life can change. After losing my last sales job(around 13 different positions in 12 months?!) I thought I was going mad, when all I wanted was to sleep and sleep and so i literally slept till at least 2PM(on a good day?!) everyday, for around 2 long months.

    Eventually, I dragged my overslept, sun deprived self to a local GP and after some CT chest scans and multiple blood tests, the doctor said I had emphysema(ever so softly,almost a mumble?)and also depression and anxiety. Next move, was to offer me anti-depressants, which i didn't take due to being way too worried about the side-effects? And, yet, I do admit im not scared of those illicit smoking drugs. That, as well as cigarettes which got me into this life changing mess in the first place.

    So, what now? How will my life change after this diagnosis? They say not to stress, but I already feel as if my life has changed forever…
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    • Dr Simon Easterbrook-Smith
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    Thanks

    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease ... View Profile

    Hi Anthony

    I think that you may have two (maybe related) things to deal with here.

    As far as your emphysema is concerned, you could ask your GP to give you a referral  to a specialist with knowledge of pulmonary function - s/he should be able to help.

    *Not* writing as a health professional, but I am a bit concerned that your GP wrote you a prescription for an anti-depressant. They can be helpful but they are usually indicated in severe (compared to mild-moderate) depression.

    I suggest that you get back to your GP and get him/her to draw up what is called a Mental Health Care Plan with you. That will give you a number of Medicare-funded sessions with mental health professionals.

    My inclination would be to go for a clinical psychologist.  S/he will be able to assess you and offer you advice as to whether anti-depressants are a good idea or whether you would benefit more from “talk-therapy”, which a clinical psychologist can offer, for your anxiety and depression.

    All the best.

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