Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pyschological Evaluation

I see a lot of people post with questions about the psychological evaluation. This is what I experienced when I had my appointment at Duke.I think my process might have been a little different, my appointment was scheduled only nine days after my brother died and I was an emotional basket case. I basically told her that I was having panic attacks, not sleeping and taking xanax to get through the day and on top of that I was anxious about getting addicted to xanax because I was taking it daily. She assured me that .25mg of xanax two times a day, nine days after a death in the family does not make an addiction, and while I knew that on an intellectual level, it made me feel better to hear it. My psych tests were normal though I did score high on the anxiety and depression scales. I have struggled with anxiety my whole life and she made sure that I had skills to deal with anxiety and that the depression was situational and not out of proportion with the loss. During the session (which lasted about 2 hours) she asked me questions to see if I was prepared for surgery. She wanted to know if I had told anyone that I was having it. What changes I anctipated would happen after surgery. What my goals were? What made me decide to have surgery? etc. I think she wanted to make sure that this was a well thought out decision and not one that I took lightly. She said she didn't have any concerns about clearing me for surgery as long as I felt I was doing better over the next few months. So that is my novel, but if I can make it through in that state, I think most people can.

PS. When I went to Duke for my pre-admission testing I snuck a peak at my records. It did not state that I was a neurotic basket case, I was pleasantly surprised as I thought the woman must have thought I was completely insane.

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