The New Diagnosis
Well, according to the consultant psychiatrist I saw today, I'm not actually depressed, just suffering from some sort of personality disorder. Well, *that's* reassuring. As with all these "specialists" though, he has a pet interest - addiction. So of course, as soon as I'd said I'd done a bit of experimenting at University, he tied that in with my gaming and assumed it was some sort of addiction.
Well, there's no doubting that I play a lot online. But then again, if I haven't got access to the net, I'll be reading a book, or just sleeping - anything to get away from the boredom of RL. So my real motivation is not addiction, but escapism. Plus, my record of drug use is certainly not one that shouts "addict" - I've only really ever dabbled, experimentally, and never made a habit of going out every weekend to get smashed as 'kids do these days'. I went tee-total for 3 years and hardly drink these days. I don't gamble. If I'm an addictive personality, then I'm a terrible example.
The counsellor who I saw last year said I was definitely depressed, and all the doctors I've seen since my breakdown in 2003 have said that. Who'm I to believe? The guy who I've got to pay lots of money to?
Well, the good thing that's come out of it, is that he's going to recommend a CBT counsellor to me. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is something I touched on when I was first diagnosed by the NHS, but it was something to do while I was waiting to get into a therapy group. They basically stuck me in front of a PC and I had to go through the course on my own. Not very effective. It'll be interesting (if expensive) to have someone actually go through it with me.
Many miles away something crawls from the slime
At the bottom of a dark Scottish lake.
Things are happening. It's almost time to go to Canada; I have my Theory Test on the 3rd; seeing a consultant psychiatrist next Monday; going up to London to see Angel next weekend; and the Jobcentre people want to interview me about getting work.
I was hoping to get out to Holland to see Roger and Anneke this week, but the Benefits process apparently involves going all the way to the nearest Job Centre to confirm that what the doctor says on my certificate is correct. I've decided that the pills I was on (Citalopram) weren't doing anything for me, and as my GP was telling me to "just take the pills and do some excercise" that leaves me with very little actualy happening in terms of treatment. So I've decided to go and see a consultant who was recommended by a friend of Mum's. Not cheap, but hopefully he'll have some sort of clue where I should be going from here.
I haven't seen Angel since I got back from my last trip, so I'm hoping to go up next weekend and go out with her and Mandi, maybe to see a film or have a meal or something. It seems ridiculous that I can't go and see Angel at her home; maybe that will change some day soon. That will leave a couple of weeks before we both go out to Canada for two weeks. I've been seeing facebook entries from everyone up at the cottage and I'm hoping some of them will be around still when we get there :)
I sent off my old, paper Provisional License to the DVLA (given to me by my sister for my 17th birthday) and got back a shiny new photo card that probably tells every government agency where I am and what I had for breakfast... so I was able to book a Theory test. I still haven't gotten around to buying a Highway Code or the list of 600 questions they may ask in the test. I guess I'll swot up on that closer to the date.
To answer Shawna's question (am I an atheist or agnostic?) the answer is I don't know. I've never truly understood the difference, although I'm guessing I'm the latter. To be an atheist implies you have proof that god doesn't exist. Until I have proof for or against, I suspend judgement. And by proof, I don't necessarily mean the "seeing is believing" type of proof, but any hint or sign. But I guess saying I'm an atheist sums up what I currently (don't) believe, so that's the word I use most often.
As I see it, most Christians I know have been brought up as such and have lived in an environment that is geared towards strengthening their beliefs. Having been the only non-believer in the group all the time while in Canada, I can see how being outside the group would be hard, and breaking out of the group even harder. And why break out if there's no reason to? It's not like renouncing their faith is going to make their lives and easier or happier, so why bother? Having said that, I'm not exactly a 'group' sort of person, so maybe I thrive on being the outsider. But I do envy the support network the church provides, and I agree with most of the moral principles Christians uphold.
In fact, as I become more and more a 'grumpy old man', it would be easy to say that the church has it all right. Well, it does have a lot of things right, but then why formalise it to such an extent? Why have faith in some mythical being when you could just have faith in yourself and your friends? I guess it's harder because people change, and disagree, and betray, whereas a mythical being stays the same.
In fact, I'm quite willing to believe in some sort of 'higher power', but the problem is that this power can't communicate directly with you. All the things written about god (whichever one you want to belive in), and all the principles attributed to god, are written by men, and usually men with an agenda, that agenda usually being power. Christians talk about trusting 'the word of God', but that word was written by men - men that lived over 1500 years ago (none of them alive at the time these things happened). Not only that, but this 'word' was then translated by other men, who had a monopoly on the original texts. It's enough to ask to have faith in a god - to have faith in all these men communicating the 'word' of this god is taking it up another level.