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How do I open up?

(13 Posts)
imwithspud Wed 08-Jul-15 00:04:03

I'm the kind of person who 9 times out of 10 will play down anything that might be going on with me in terms of mental health when asked how I'm doing by someone, be it a healthcare professional, friend or family member. I've been thinking about this lately and I think the reasons I do this are probably because: I don't want people to worry about me, I don't want people to think I'm an attention seeker, I worry I won't be believed and I worry about embarrassing myself. It mostly seems to stem from me worrying about what people think, which is stupid really - especially when talking to a HCP as they have literally seen and heard it all. I have no idea why I'm so worried about my conduct around a doctor ffs. They're there to help, not pass judgement.

I have my six week post partum check up with my GP on Friday and whilst I don't believe I have PND I do think I may have some form of anxiety/depression and that I have been suffering for a while, even before pregnancy/babies. I've either been in denial or been unable to pluck up the courage to actually get help and talk to someone about it. Whilst I don't believe I am suffering on a severe scale I do find that sometimes it can affect my daily life/others around me and I am starting to recognise that how I feel isn't 'normal' and that maybe some sort of medical help will be of great benefit to me.

Has anyone else found it difficult to go to the Dr about mental health stuff? Some people seem to matter of fact about it, they realize something isn't right, that they may be suffering from depression or anxiety or something. Get a dr's appointment and they get sorted. So why does it seem to be such a challenge for me? What's the secret? Maybe this silly fear is part of my suspected anxiety.

I've always been better with the written word. Would it be weird to write a list of my 'symptoms' and take it with my to my appointment and hand it to the doctor? Sometimes it seems I'm physically incapable of speaking up and my mind draws a blank when put on the spot so to speak.

Tobermory Wed 08-Jul-15 09:48:35

I'm sitting in the Dr's waiting room as I type this... heart racing, weird breathing feeling VERY apprehensive about going in. It's a dr I've seen before, he wrote my sick note and I first wept on him in an anxious state about 6 weeks so why am I so nervous? !
Your feelings are entirely normal. Completely understandable and I think a lot of people share the same worries. For me because mental health is hidden, you can't see it, it's hard to measure it, it's maybe harder to talk about. Harder yo complain to someone about. If you had cough they'd listen to your chest, listen to your breathing take your temperature and it wouldn't b so reliant on you describing your symptoms.

I think definately write your symptoms down. Let them read it and that would make a good starting point so they'll know what to ask. You'll also know that you've covered all your worries and they know all the things your concerned about.

imwithspud Wed 08-Jul-15 15:32:46

Thanks for your reply. That's exactly how I feel, the fact that it can't be seen or 'looked at' by a doctor in the same way a physical alignment would, makes me apprehensive to seek help. After all I could just be making it all up, some days I feel fine - what if they don't take me seriously because of this? What if I get told to just deal with it? Etc. I can be quite defeatist at times and if I were brushed off it would probably put me off trying to get help again or at least for a while.

I will have a go at writing things down. I'm just worried that I'll be having one of my positive days and I'll end up bottling it and not saying anything. In a way I want to be feeling low as I'd be more likely to be honest, as warped as that sounds. Today I'm feeling pretty good and I know that if my appt was today I would go in and say everything's great, whereas tomorrow I could be feeling the complete opposite.

iamnotaponceyloudperson Wed 08-Jul-15 15:44:40

Yes definitely write things down. I haven't suffered like this but have supported my Dsis through. She wrote an 'on a bad day' list in detail and resolved to give it to the doctor to read regardless of how the appointment was going, knowing that depending on the day she might dissolve into tears and feel unable to talk or minimize to the point that she came away with a mild pep talk rather than action.

I went with her to make sure she did hand over the list, what happened was that she walked through the door and just kind of thrust it into the docs hand and it was a great time saver and started the conversation on the right track immediately.

Tobermory Wed 08-Jul-15 16:43:56

Why dont ypu have a go at starting a list...
You could think back and add things as you remember them. I'm the same - today had been v up and down. Half an hour ago I was listless and weeping, now I'm ok... well not jumping for joy byt my eyes are dry!
Think back to the last 2 or 3 days are there any things that upset you? Jot them down so you don't forget then at the appointment. I tend to gloss over things, forget then in the heat of the moment. If they're in black and white you won't b able to.

They won't tell you to deal with it. Absolutely definately not. This appointment is there to make sure new mum is ok, they want to know if you have concerns .

imwithspud Thu 09-Jul-15 00:14:56

Thank you, all your replies have been so helpful. I will start my list tomorrow. Been having quite a good week this week, although since booking my appointment last week and deciding enough is enough I have become more aware of the symptoms which I don't really notice as much as its kind of like they've become a part of me if that makes sense.

Things like being a bit snappy unnecessarily (usually involving dp asking me a simple question), apathy, struggling with motivation and a short fuse at times. All a bit contradictory with each other when written down like that. I recognise now that I can't go on feeling like this forever. It's not normal, healthy or pleasant for me or those around me - especially my two DC. I realise now that having a good couple of days doesn't necessarily mean all is well.

Tobermory Thu 09-Jul-15 21:13:32

imwithspud, how are you feeling about your appointment tomorrow?

Have you managed to start your list.

imwithspud Fri 10-Jul-15 09:07:50

Hi, I'm feeling okay about it. Thanks for asking.

I've not had much time to write my list yet, and now I have a spare five minutes whilst my toddler is eating breakfast and baby is content I can't think of what to putconfused

Strange as it sounds It doesn't help that I'm feeling quite positive at the moment, this week has been quite good. I don't feel like anything is 'wrong' with me so I'd feel a bit like a fraud iykwim? I even managed to pick up the phone yesterday and make a phone call which is usually something I struggle to do unless I absolutely have to. Even oh was surprised. There are some things I've said in this post that that I could mention to the doctor though.

imwithspud Fri 10-Jul-15 16:43:10

I bottled it. Oh well, at least I got my contraception sorted outblush

Tobermory Fri 10-Jul-15 20:32:39

Well done for that.

Why don't you keep your eye on 'you', jot down anything a that worry you. Anything a that you do that rings a teeny tiny alarm bell, if you end up with a list you could always make another appointment. You'd have a list to take to bang at the dr.

imwithspud Fri 10-Jul-15 22:38:56

Thank you, writing things down over time is a good idea. I seem to have this habit of being really chirpy and outgoing when I see a doctor or medical professional. I remember having a midwife appointment the day after I found out my granddad had terminal cancer and although I'm sure my mw could see something wasn't right (red eyes and blotchy face from crying being an obvious sign), I still managed to put on my chirpy persona.

Tobermory Sat 11-Jul-15 07:46:11

I'm the same normally, I find it very easy to put on the mask and gloss over the hard bits. I'm currently seeing a counsellor and it feels surprisingly good to just spill, just talk without thinking or editing what I say before it comes out!

imwithspud Sat 11-Jul-15 20:29:31

So glad to read it's not just me who does that! Counselling sounds good but again it's just plucking up the courage to get the ball rolling.

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