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Subject: RSI-UK Mailing List FAQ
Section - 9. Is it psychological?

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Q9.1.  My doctor says it is all in my head. What do I do?

If it is your GP then:

	If you are in a group practice try seeing one of the other
	doctors in the practice. Doctors' sympathy/interest varies
	greatly within a practice. If you have no luck, then transfer
	to another practice in your area. You are entitled to do this.
	Before you join, interview the doctors at the new practice to
	find out their attitude to RSI.

If it is the consultant:

	You are entitled to a second opinion, so ask for one, but not
	from one of your consultant's best mates!

Q9.2.  I *feel* that my doctor thinks it's all in my head -- or else
that I'm just inventing it -- even though he doesn't actually say so.
I get the same feeling from my boss and from my work colleagues and
even from some of my friends/family.  Am I going crazy?

No.  If you get the feeling that people are sceptical, they probably
are.  You may find that your boss keeps ringing you at home to ask when
you're coming back to work, your fellow workers don't bother to send
you a get-well card, your friends seem to watch your every movement
with a critical and judgmental eye.  Even your partner may get a little
tight-lipped when you say you can't cope with the washing-up.  And you
may worry -- with good reason -- that your doctor won't explore all
avenues for treatment if s/he isn't convinced you're really ill.

Your gut reaction to this atmosphere of disbelief may understandably
be one of rage, but think twice before you explode -- it might just be
seen as proof that you've lost the plot.  Concentrate instead on
showing that you're determined to get better and get back to work.
Keep pressing the doctor about treatment possibilities, ask informed
questions, and try to describe the pain as accurately as you can,
erring on the side of understatement rather than overstatement.
Get the PACT team in to talk to your employers about how you can
be helped to return to work -- the PACT team will assume you are
telling the truth, and that may help convince your employer.  In
the meantime, try not to take the scepticism personally, and remember
that if the positions were reversed, you too might be feeling some doubt.
Everyone who suffers from an "invisible" ailment has to cope with
this to some extent.

Q9.3.  I can't sleep, I can't eat, I don't feel like seeing anyone
or doing anything.  Even when the pain goes away, I don't feel
any better.  Am I going crazy?

No.  You're probably suffering from depression.  RSI can bring a lot
of problems with it: physical pain; short-term and long-term financial
anxieties; anger about being treated unfairly by employers and healthcare
professionals and colleagues; loss of independence; isolation; loneliness;
and fear.  It's too much to deal with all at once; some of us react by
becoming depressed.

If you have any of the symptoms of clinical depression, it's
essential to talk about it with your GP.  It will be much harder
for you to recover from RSI as long as you're depressed.  Anti-depressants
can help, though you may have to experiment (under medical supervision)
to find the right one.  Support groups (whether for RSI or for
depression) can also help.  If you have a religious faith, now is
the time to lean on it.

It may be suggested to you, by your GP or by others, that the RSI
is caused by the depression.  While this is not impossible, it's
important to remember that for most people it's the other way
around: the depression comes about as a response to the many
practical, financial, and social difficulties that can follow in
the wake of a diagnosis of RSI.  If your doctor wants to treat
the depression but not the RSI, you may have to find another
doctor; both problems have to be treated together.

Even if you're not clinically depressed, remember that it's
perfectly normal to feel scared or lonely or angry when you're
trying to recover from RSI.  You're not the only one who feels
this way; as you learn to cope with the physical problems, the
emotional turmoil will calm down.

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Top Document: Subject: RSI-UK Mailing List FAQ
Previous Document: 8. What treatment can I get for RSI?
Next Document: 10. What support is available in the UK?

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM