Why I’m anxious about seeing a Doctor

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I’ve been putting off seeing my doctor for ages.

Why?

I’m afraid. Afraid that they won’t be able to help me. That they’ll fob me off with a ‘just keep doing what you’re doing’ response. Anxious that they’ll want to change my medication. Again.

I’ve had a difficult year with medical professionals. Long story short, I was discharged whilst feeling suicidal. I made an official complaint to the hospital, and they investigated. The outcome; the psychiatrist denied his behaviour and that I agreed and was willing to be discharged. So he lied, to save himself. I was left without support from mental health services and had to fend for myself. I carried myself through that bout of depression and I’m still here. But that’s not the point. I felt let down, isolated, alone, and incredibly fearful for the future.

This year has been tough on my mental health. I decided to go full time as a freelance writer, giving up the security of a regular wage. Mental illness has kicked my arse. A few months ago I was depressed, and suffering from tactile hallucinations for the first time. I was scared, terrified of these crawling sensations on my skin. It meant I couldn’t sleep. Insomnia is painful. It seeps through your very being and leaves you hollow. I was sleeping maybe 2 -3 hours a night. For months. I tried everything I could think of before heading to the doctors. With the help of medication, I could sleep again. The hallucinations dissipated and the relief washed over me. I felt like I could breathe again.

Despite all this, I can’t bring myself to talk about mental illness with a doctor.

I didn’t mention the hallucinations to my GP (general practitioner). I knew they would refer me to mental health services. The idea of this fills me with anxiety. The number one thought that goes through my head is,

“What if I end up with my last psychiatrist?” The same one I made an official complaint against. Surely there would be some form of animosity from them. I’d be on edge and be distrustful of their competency. So then I’d have to explain this whole story to my GP, before they referred me. I might have to wait even longer than usual to see a different psychiatrist. What if they are the only one available? What would I do? I can’t afford to go private. There are so many questions going through my head, and the process just makes my head ache, and fills me with anxiety.

I know I need to see a doctor. I’m experiencing some weird symptoms that I think might be connected to one of my medications. I don’t want to have to change meds. On the whole, they’re doing a good job. As long as I keep stress in check, they work and keep me stable. It took years to find the right combination and I’m so afraid of losing this balance I’ve achieved.

Again, I need to see a doctor. There’s no way I want insomnia to come back. I’m scared of psychosis and how it could manifest. I need to work through these feelings and book an appointment when I feel brave enough.

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