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Please help advise me on what my wife needs for her Paranoia? (Long)

The_Sun_Shines

The_Sun_Shines

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Hi

My wife has always been the most lovely sweet, relaxed and happy person, ever since I met her 10 years ago. She's a very rare human being, incredibly rare these days it seems. Her heart is so pure and good.
She only really had a problem with controling her emotions during her period but that was it. Nothing major.
However, during a period of about 2-3 years that were we separated, she developed some sort of stress disorder in this time.

Our first break up (mid 2014 to early 2015) stemmed from our immaturity, with her unable (at the time) to control her period mood swings and me unable (at the time) to let an argument go. This led to us distancing and eventually I broke up with her and then got involved, for a brief time, with someone she knew - which I suspect may have been the beginning of her distrust issues with people and perhaps even the earliest developments in paranoid/suspicious thoughts, although she did on a few occasions suspect me of being disloyal before this when I hadn't been.

However, we kept in contact and, lucky for me, she wanted me back. I realised along the journey of our troubled relationship that I love her with all my heart, more than I've ever cared about anyone in my entire life. I realised she is my heart and without her my life just seemed so empty.

Unfortunately, we had some more misunderstandings and broke up again in 2017 and aside from almost getting back together in December 2018, this was the major break up that seemed like the end. From 2018 to 2020 it was.

I'd tried to reconnect with her over the years but emails and texts became unanswered. I didn't know she was already developing, in the early stages, a stress disorder and wasn't allowing me space in her life due to unreasonable demands she put on herself to appease her family who no longer approved of me for her.

She came to the UK from another country, she's worked as a nurse and has been very hard working.
The relartionship we had unfortunately caused her losing social connections, as our relationship was very full-on and required most of our tiem to maintain and keep it going. So as of today she doesn't have many friends (outside of facebook) and any friends she does have are now generally too busy with their own commitments, children, marriages etc.

In September, I just happened to run into her in town by chance. As I sat next to her at the back of the bus we recognised each other and started talking. She told me that someone had tried to kill her. This immediately made my blood boil as I'm very protective over her. Even though I have a brother who has paranoid schizophrenia which I experienced first hand growing up with him before he was diagnosed, I never assumed that my wife was experiencing paranoia, as my brother was. So I took her to a public bench, took out a piee of paper and pen and started to ask her who had tried to hurt her and I started to piece the story together. What made this harder to identify as paranoia, was how my wifes nature is to give brief answers and not really cover detail unless encouraged to. Regardless, I soon had a lot of names and information on this page of paper and I intended to sort this matter out for her by any means necessary.

But then I remembered, whilst on the bus, she had mentioned that "they" were watching us on the buses CCTV camera. Now, I had always been Mr Security concious and always encouraged home security etc, as did her dad coincidentally, back home in her country of origin. So I didn't really pick up on this CCTV comment right away.
However, when I went back to her place and asked her more questions as I sorted through my notes/information,
it became clear that this was an ever-extending spider web network of plots against her and that it was not rational thinking. Then I realised it was paranoia.

First my brother, then my wife. I couldn't believe it. But I've had to man up and except this and deal with it, which have been doing out of love for her.

I have did some research on persecutory delusions and it seems to fit her symptoms, although I do not yet know the speicifiic cause of her parnaoia, the source of what triggered it or what type of paranoia it is.
I can only speculate and it seems that her trust issues and suspicious thinking and feelings of isolation, similar to what she expeirenced in our first break up in 2014, were triggered again during the first lockdown this 2020.

Her paranoid thoughts included: Attempts to kill her while she was out, because I car cut in front of her while she was jogging. Fake friends conspirign to set her up in some way. Video tapes existing that were taken via hidden camera from when we were intimate together, and these videos sent to her family via social media. Plots to harm her family. A general distrust that people in the UK are trying to take advantage of her and people from her country of origin (men taking advantage of forreign women who aren't street wise to their ways). Hidden cameras in her bathroom (so she showers only in the dark and sometimes won't even turn on the light to brush her teeth).

I believe this paranoia/living in suspicious fears, combine with living alone, led to the development of anxiety and some degree of agoraphobia/fear of leaving the house. I believe this anxiety then became the cause of her insomnia as these bad thoughts and fears affected her sleep and she would be very jumpy in bed and wouldn't sleep for hours.

Another symptom she's experienced is flashing images, usually of her family members being hurt, injured in some way. Some of these images are graffic and traumatic for her and may stem from a form of PTSD that she may have developed when working as a nurse back in her home country as she witnessed patients coming in with brutal machette hack injuries etc.

At her worst, she had to leave her house for fear that it was unsafe and it took a lot of persuading from me for her to return to her house, as she believed it wasn't safe to return. I then had to convince her that I wasn't her enemy trying to convince her to go back to a dangerous place. Without medication, this was a nightmare for her and for me. It was truly heartbreaking to see her this way. Worst of all, despite the lockdown period most likely being the tirgger, I felt, partly responsible for her having developed paranoia and trust issues about people, since back many years ago I was broke her trust myself when I left her for another woman in my immature younger years.

So I phoned an out of hours doctor one weekend in the early hours of the morning, asking for some sort of emergency medication that helped anxiety/paranoia/insomnia.

The out of hours GP was a joke. He kept demanding that she answer his questions on the phone herself.
I tried to explain to him that I was calling on her behalf because she didn't even want me to phone the doctors as she is paranoid about phonecalls too. But the out of hours doctor was so stubborn that he ended the call rather than talk to me on her behalf. I was disgusted, enraged and couldn't believe what a horribly useless service I'd received.

So, next morning, was fortunately a Monday and I called her own GP. This GP, was rational and listened and talked to me. Her GP prescribed her with Citalopram 10 mg tablets and Zopiclone to be taken combined at night time before bed to help with her sleep problems but he said he couldn't diagnose her so soon on the phone without further assessments. He organised an appointment for her to talk to a mental health worker who was to arrange a psychiatric appointment in coming weeks.

However, just a few days into this medication and she started expressing to me that it was making her feel spaced out and light headed, as if she was having hallucinations in her sleep. She also experienced palpitations. So we discontinued this.

I then phoned the GP surgery again and got a female GP on the phone. I explained the importance of getting something for her trouble sleeping and that the Citalopram/Zopiclone combo had bad side effects.
This GP then prescribed Diazepam.

The diazepam helped her sleep and I was relieved to see her finally sleeping again. However, it could wear off during the night and she'd be up again.

I took her to the park and I thought (hoped) the diazepam was working. On the way to the park she was fine. She went for a jog and I kept watch nearby so she felt protected. As we walked home she suddenly turned on me. Out of nowhere I was being accused of working with "them" and she was pushing me away, starring at me with this heartbreaking look of confusion in her beautiful eyes. She asked why I was helping her. I then had to calm her and convince her that I was not her enemy and was helping her. Eventually I got her back home. I called her friend who is also a nurse and she advised me to take her to the A&E at hospital. I was hestitant to do this because I didn't want her being sectioned under the mental health act as my brother had been. Especially during this "Covid" time, as visits would be restricted and I knew with her personality she would find this very scary.

So I postponed this idea and kept trying to speed things up via her GP.

One night she took her fridge magnets down and put them in a bag and left them outside her door because she thought there was tracking equipment in them that could endanger her family.

She had her first phone call consultation with the mental health care worker, a one hour call by appointment. During the call she got emotional and started crying. I filled in the blanks for the mental health team worker and was thanked for this. However, we were left in limbo, told that it would be another week or so before her next phone call assessment with a psychiatrist. This meant meantime there would be no revision of medications.

All she was getting was my comfort and love by day, providing her with food, distraction techniques (colouring books etc) paying her rent, but she'd stopped going out and didn't feel it was safe.
Then she had another bad relapse one night and couldn't sleep.
I had to convince her to take the night dose of Diazepam and eventually she reluctantly did.

The next day I decided to take her to the A&E. The advise from her nurse friend was that this A&E hospital had its own mental health care unit, that they could diagnose her and revise her medications and prescribe to her with what she needs right there and then. None of this was the case. As it turned out, the hospital didn't have any mental health care unit, doctors said they couldn't diagnose her, and it was excplained to us that no medication could be revised or prescribed. Instead, we met nurses that ecpected her to wait alone seperately to be seen (due to "Covid" and I had to stubborning hold my ground, and her hand, telling them that I wasn't leaving her alone.

We were eventually met by a couple of Healthcare workers and from this point on, I was basically being told to hush up and let her do all the talking. Despite her nature is quiet and she doesn't elaborate much on details.
Reagrdless, I refrained from interferring and once against I only filed in the blanks and helped her remember details she forgot to mention.

She was then put on a home vitings team of doctors. Regardless, one good thing did come out of this, and that is she was prescribed Quetiapine 25 mg (2 in morning and 2 at night) (100mg per 24 hours). This was to replaced the diazepam. Then a few weeks later she was prescribed Mirtazapine 15mg because she was still having trouble sleeping. The combination of the Quetiapine and Mirtazapine helped a lot in reducing her anxiety and fears and with her sleep. But paranoid thoughts and feeling monitored/observed etc that has continued on/off.

These Nurses/doctors/care workers would come in pairs of 2 and would ask to be left alone in the room with her, meaning I would have to wait outside the room. Personally I think this proceedure was completely unennesary, left me in the dark, and made her more nervous and afraid. I can understand maybe wanted to see her in her raw form of illness unsupported once, but they continued this routine with every daily visit in comings weeks. She wasn't happy about this strategy either. She preffered me by her side holding her hand.

They generously granted me 5 minutes or less to return to the room to throw in my 2 cents at the end. I've been taking care of her 24/7 since September when I met her again, and I have great insight to how she's doing.
But I could tell they had no interest in what I had to say. The doctor then tried to trick her into agreeing to being an inpatient for a couple of weeks in the hospital. When i say "trick her" I mean he painted it up like it would be outpaitent appointments and only revelaed what he was really trying to get her to agree to when I asked for him to clarify what he meant.

She told me in front of them she'd be scared. I told them she would be scared too. And that was that. They couldn't force her to go in as she, fortunately, hadn't broken any laws. But from this point on, the doctors viewed me as an obstruction to their plans to make her an inpatient (for their convenience and total control).

From then on, every doctor, nurse, care worker and even their admin switchboard phone number took a negative tone with me. I had always been polite, never inteferred, had been as helpful and informative as she let me be, and yet they were treating me like I was a problem.

To make matters worse, her own family members, who talked with the team, beleived the lies and tactics of this team and then they too accused me of interfering and refused to talk with me, only with her.

It was a nightmare. But my love for her has endured all this and continues to, because I set pride aside, I have no problem with ego like her friends/relatives. And as she was not able to rationally keep in contact with them, they left themselves in the dark. They;d text her "How did it go with you GP appointment" when she was weeks into her home visit treatments. I kindly informed her friends and family in detail how she was doing, how I was helping with rent and supporting her emotionally etc, and no thanks was given to me, not a single shred.

I realised how immature and narcisistic some of these relatives/friends turned out to be.

I argued with the team as they started leaving threatening messages on her answering machine if we missed a visit appointment, threatening to come for her to lock her up, if she didn't get back to them - although they painted these words up as "otherwise we'll have to do a welfare check".

Another time, some absolute scumbag so called nurse, a total creepy weirdo, purposesly acted rude, aftet they basically bullied her into agreeing to a second blood test. Although she agreed to this with it being understood that I would accompany her throughout the blood testing process, this creep objected to this, looked me up and down and then whilst taking her bloods, collapses her veins, screwed it up and then accused me of putting him off by being in the room, even though I sat exactly where he asked me too.

Anyway, fortunately, not long after this grim incident, she was discharged by the one decent doctor of the place.

Finally she could breathe again, we both could fianlly relax knowing not another ballbreaking home visit was due.
Still a few members of this team tried to bust balls, and even threatened to call to her house for her if she didn;t respond, even after she as discharged, but these few corrupt workers (who had really tried to demonise me) fianlly admitted defeat.

It's so bizare even having to use words like "defeat" in this situation, but we were unfortunately met by some truly corrupt idiots who caused her a lot of adddional stress due to their horrible attitudes and control strategies.

So now she is continuing with treatment on a voluntary basis and only now, fianlly, after weeks of threats and ballbreaking invasions of her peace and privacy, does she finally feel she can start to open up a little to the voluntary care workers.

By the way, right in the middle of this, just before she got discharged, she was a victim of bank fraud and got robbed of all the money in her account and they even took out a loan of 15,000. All this we had to sort out. The fraudsters plan also involved scamming her cousin in the same trick and her cousin, being immature, starting ranting and raving on the text to her, this being while she is trying to relax. She started asking me why her cousin thought she wa behind it and asked me why her cousin was accusing her.

So, about 30 phone calls with the bank and 3 weeks or so later, we finally got her bank fraud issue sorted.
Talk about getting kicked when we were down.

So, as it is now, we are still awaiting a diagnosis (since first contacting doctors in early September), which will be needed to claim benefit moneys as she is unable to work and I've been paying her rent and buying her food, gas, electric etc.

More importantly, her illness needs properly diagnosed. Because up until now, the idea of her illness that doctors have conjured up is this...

Intially, when she was prescribed the Citalopram/Zopiclone combo via her GP, it was on the basis of this...
Lack of sleep = Causing Anxiety = Causing some paranoia...

This was all wrong, and if Doctors weren't so stubborn and egomaniacs, they may have listened when I explained that this is how it seems to be...
Paranoia = Causing Anxiety = Causing lack of sleep.

The reason the Mirtzapine night dose was prescribed (on top of the Quetiapine night dose) was to "ensure a full undisturbed nights sleep", as a "lack of sleep" was being thought to be the root cause.

This asumption that lack of sleep was the root cause of the anxiety/parnaoia came from a 5 minute phone call with a GP when he drew up this assumed conclusion. The GP aid himself "It's hard to diagnose on the phone so quicly."

So far, all she has been prescribed medications for is: "Anxiety".

Does that mean Anxiety is her diagnosis? What about the Paranoia? The Insomia?

How about "Persecurtory delusions" & "Anxiety" & "Agoraphobia" and "Insomnia"

or how about: "Paranoid Schizophrenia"?

because "Anxiety" just doesn't cut it. Especially 3 months in to her being treated and being unable to work.


Currently, she is still showing with the light off, and having varying degrees of relapses each day.
She's still sleeping better, can do some wrokouts, doing art work, keeping occupied, but the paranoia continues.

This continued parnaoia mans, she'll block friends on facebook for no reason, then later asked me how to unblock them. I advise her to avoid social media, but as her family live in another country it's really her only means on keeping in touch with them.

Her parnaoia also means she doesn't feel she has privacy in her home and feels judged for doing anyrthing sexual as a result. So needless to say: No sex. (Sex is not my main concern, but I know we used to really enjoy it and it's part of a normal healthy relationship, but now sex has been replaced with prayer time and bible studies, anything other than sex actually, and I didn't suddenly become less attractive to her).

So, bottom line she is not 100% better yet and although the Quetiapine and Mirtazapine help her with reducing her anxiety, enabling her to sleep, and go outside without the intense feelings of fear she was having, unfortunately there is still a signficant degree of paranoia.
I realise she may never be 100% better again, but as it is at the moment, she's only round 65% to 70% improved.

I am grateful for this improvement but I want to see her happy again.

I got her a proper treadmill too. I'm always doing everything I can to help her.

Any helpful advice is greatly appreciated!
 
On Fire

On Fire

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It sounds like she is wrongly being treated for anxiety with very low dosages of Quetiapine, when actually she needs higher antipsychotic level dosages of antipsychotic. The antipsychotic effect of Quetiapine only starts at 300mg/day.
 
The_Sun_Shines

The_Sun_Shines

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It sounds like she is wrongly being treated for anxiety with very low dosages of Quetiapine, when actually she needs higher antipsychotic level dosages of antipsychotic. The antipsychotic effect of Quetiapine only starts at 300mg/day.
Thank you so much. Bless you! Please tell me how much Quetiapine you were on before this was changed to Aripiprazole? And how did you find it working? Thank you so much!
 
On Fire

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Aripiprazole is far less drowsy than Quetiapine. I take 15mg/day of Aripiprazole and it stopped my delusions. Even 10mg/day worked, but I feel more comfortable on 15mg/day.
I used to be on 400mg/day of Quetiapine and still got psychosis. I personally did not find Quetiapine effective at all, even at the supposedly therapeutic dosages (300mg/day and above). Other posters here might want to defend Quetiapine and say it works for them.
Aripiprazole is mostly non drowsy and mostly non weight gaining. However it is difficult to sleep in the first months of being on Aripiprazole, and it can cause restlessness.
 
NWiddi

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Hello @The_Sun_Shines, are you familiar with the National Paranoia Network?

They may have resources that are helpful.

 
The_Sun_Shines

The_Sun_Shines

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Aripiprazole is far less drowsy than Quetiapine. I take 15mg/day of Aripiprazole and it stopped my delusions. Even 10mg/day worked, but I feel more comfortable on 15mg/day.
I used to be on 400mg/day of Quetiapine and still got psychosis. I personally did not find Quetiapine effective at all, even at the supposedly therapeutic dosages (300mg/day and above). Other posters here might want to defend Quetiapine and say it works for them.
Aripiprazole is mostly non drowsy and mostly non weight gaining. However it is difficult to sleep in the first months of being on Aripiprazole, and it can cause restlessness.
Thanks so much for the information. Aripiprazole sounds promising, aside from the restlessness.
I wonder would a good combo be Aripiprazole 15mg And Queiapine 50mg in the morning and Quetiapine 50 mg at night with mirtzapine 15mg at night.
The Quetiapine and Mirtazapine have remedies any trouble sleeping but I wonder would the a morning daily dose of Aripiprazole take away her paranoia during the day time which would be most beneficial.

The big issue I’m having is convincing the social worker of her primary care team that my insight is valuable and that the paranoia element of her illness has indeed been overlooked from the beginning. Because they tend to defensively assume I’m trying to diagnose and medicate her myself (without being professionally qualified to do so) - even though this has never been the case and this bad idea about me stemmed from just one or two bad eggs within the treatment teams who made sure to poison the perceptions of me to everyone else.

Her social worker cancelled todays appointment due to sickness and have a number for a “Duty Practitioner” as she may be off for 2 weeks. SMH.

We asked the social worker if she’d contacted the prior team to find out her diagnoses (as she said she would a week ago) and she just said she hadn’t yet. The level of incompetence is staggering.

🙏 Thank you
 
The_Sun_Shines

The_Sun_Shines

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Hello @The_Sun_Shines, are you familiar with the National Paranoia Network?

They may have resources that are helpful.

No I never heard about it. Thank you so much for the link! I‘ll look into it.
Bless you 🙏🏻
 
On Fire

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Mental health services in the UK are frequently of shockingly bad quality. I think the people they serve best are simple text book cases, but if you are slightly unusual like your wife is, they have no clue, and the care is awful.

Mirtzapine is on it's own quite a powerful sleeper, so I would suggest ditching the Quetiapine and just go for Aripiprazole 10mg/day or 15mg/day as the antipsychotic if she can. You can only really have two antipsychotics on the NHS at the same time if you are quite a bad case, maybe somewhat treatment resistant.

We are all meant to love the NHS, just sadly for mental healthcare it is frequently poor quality.
 
On Fire

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How old is your wife? Schizophrenia can develop later in women.
If she thinks there are hidden cameras where there are not, that's quite serious paranoia. It could well be schizophrenia.
 
daffy

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Any advice posted on the Mental Health Forum website or forum is for support purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor, psychiatrist or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding a mental health or other medical condition.
 
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squizofrenia123

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I take aripiprazole also. It has done me well but I still hear voices every two to three years. I am working as a teacher and have szaffective disorder. I am doing ok these days and am hearing voices occasionally but am working still. I believe out of all the medications I have taken aripiprazole has been the best in terms of effectiveness and low side effects. Best wishes!
 
The_Sun_Shines

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Mental health services in the UK are frequently of shockingly bad quality. I think the people they serve best are simple text book cases, but if you are slightly unusual like your wife is, they have no clue, and the care is awful.

Mirtzapine is on it's own quite a powerful sleeper, so I would suggest ditching the Quetiapine and just go for Aripiprazole 10mg/day or 15mg/day as the antipsychotic if she can. You can only really have two antipsychotics on the NHS at the same time if you are quite a bad case, maybe somewhat treatment resistant.

We are all meant to love the NHS, just sadly for mental healthcare it is frequently poor quality.
Yeah the NHS isn't all it's cracked up to be. I've had very serious injuries that went missed until my 7th visit where they finally found where a fracture was. I've been sent back home without so much as an xray for a broken bone before too. Other than that they generally treat me like the Titanic crew treated the 3rd class steerage passengers, not sure why exactly.

Well I will be trying to get the point across to the health team that the issue with her sleep and anxiety was caused by paranoia - not the other way around.

Hopefully then they will revise her medications. I imagine if she gets something that eliminates the paranoia she'll be back to sleeping like a baby, as she always did before it developed.

I imagine then there would be no need for sleep medication. My worry is that the team involved with her care are proving to be very incompetant and unreliable, and by the time they reconsider her diagnosis as parnaoia and possibly schizophrenia, she may have built up a dependancy to the sleeping aid and may not be able to sleep without it - especially if given Abilify with it's restlessness side effect.

The last time we spoke with her social worker and asked for her to find out her diagnosis, she told us she would find out. A week later she said she hadn't even called the previous team to find out. It's pathetic. I'll have to call that team myself, but they were horrible toward me and may refuse to give me that information just out of spite because I managed to help guide her out of their controlling clutches.

Worst of all, I'm paying her rent every month because we can't even apply for benefits until her diagnosis is established and correctly established. As the benefits agencies are the most cold an corrupt they've ever been and I know "Anxiety" alone won't get her what she needs.

I imagine its only down as "Anxiety disorder ?" with a side note of "Sleep disorder?" on her GP files.
Where it should be something more like: "Paranoid Schizophrenia" or "Persecutory Delusions" or "Paranoid Delusional Disorder" something like that with "Anxiety" and "Sleep disorder" as side notes.

The curse of the situation is that the team who worked with her are arrogant idiots who think they are smarter than they really are, dismissing my insight and following their little text book routine of ignorance and rudeness.

How I'm going to get this muddle up straightened out I don't know. Hoping for the best.

Thank you for your support on this :help:🙏
 
The_Sun_Shines

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How old is your wife? Schizophrenia can develop later in women.
If she thinks there are hidden cameras where there are not, that's quite serious paranoia. It could well be schizophrenia.

She's in her 30s same age as me. Yeah sadly I think it's quite possible that she developed schizophrenia. I honestly think that schizophrenia can also develop from stress somehow, as well as the hereditary type being more likely to have it. Plus the link to crappy un-pure weed.
My brother developed it just a year or so after getting into a very bad fight were he lost a lot of blood. Although it may have been his isolation period because he stopped socialising after that as he no longer trusted "friends".
 
On Fire

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Your wife could ask to be moved to your local Early Intervention in Psychosis service. They are normally better.
 
The_Sun_Shines

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Thanks, I'll have a look into that but at the moment it seems the services we've been put on to are the only option. I will try to find alternatives though. Bless you 🙏
 
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