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Hi Everyone--

My fiance and I have recently begun preparing our offshore Prospective Marriage Visa application. We had no idea it was such a lengthy and complicated process, and I'm so glad to have found this forum for advice and support.
My primary concern is the medical portion of the application. Although I am completely healthy, I have a past history of depression and anxiety for which I was voluntarily hospitalized on three occasions. Many years ago, I was prescribed an anti-anxiety benzodiazepine drug by a GP. These drugs were wildly over-prescribed in the 80s and 90s and are very dangerous because not only are they highly addictive, they actually cause anxiety in-between doses which prompts doctors to continually increase dosages. They also cause depression and many other complications with long-term use. After 13 years on this benzodiazepine (and several other psychiatric medications I was tried on for depression), I was finally told by a psychiatrist that I had to taper off the drug, as he thought it was the very cause of my problems. The withdrawal process from benzodiazepines is very difficult, and it took over a year to feel myself again. It has been five years since then and I have had no problems at all with depression, and my level of anxiety has been completely manageable. I have not consulted a psychiatrist since then and I feel wonderful.
My question is: How detrimental will my past psychiatric history and hospitalizations be when the Australian government is assessing my present and future medical state? Can they take into account my own report that my problems with the depression (and to a large extent, the anxiety) were the direct result of years of negligent prescription of psychiatric medications and misdiagnoses by several different doctors? How can I prove such a thing to them and would they even take any proof (such as a letter from my current GP, a statement from the psychiatrist who told me to taper off the benzodiazepine, etc.) into account? If I were to referred to a Panel psychiatrist for evaluation by the Panel doctor who does my medicals, I am not sure he would be able, much less, willing to speculate about whether or not my past psychiatric problems were caused by wrongfully prescribed benzodiazepines. Psychiatrists are generally staunch proponents of psychiatric medications, because that's what they do, they prescribe medications.
Anyway, as I mentioned, I am completely healthy physically and mentally, and I should add that given my experiences, I certainly do not foresee any future need of psychiatric care! I'm just not sure how I will be able to communicate all of that given the bureaucratic nature of the application process. Is my situation something that should be handled my a migration attorney in Australia?
I would really appreciate any advice or thoughts that you all might have.
Thanks!
 

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