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Scared about tackling/not tackling mental health

(41 Posts)
Marasme Sat 25-Nov-17 20:44:13

I am not sure whether what I feel is a normal part of life, or not - I guess not, because it is not fun. I have been trying to tackle the way I feel, but I am not progressing well just now. I manage to keep a lid on things at work (99.99% of the time) and function well there. It is a job which is public facing, with a lot of responsibilities - I do quite well at it, up to now. Everything breaks down at home though.

This is how I feel / what I feel on a daily basis:
- I am exhausted, always. Go to bed around midnight, and faff on the internet or netflix til 2pm as am struggling to switch off. Get up around 8am for work.
- I snap at DC and DH at every opportunity
- I am extremely irritable, and very sensitive to noises
- I have very little appetite
- I have regular mini-panic attacks, which started about 2 or 3 years ago. They come and go, but I am in one of these phases

In the last 2 or 3 years, my anxieties have moved from travel and terrorism (I even cancelled work trips about this), to health anxiety (any pain I feel is a terminal disease, for example). Life is stressful, but no more than 5 years ago. I have a good job, relationship with DH is stable, DCs are well. Two grandparents passed away last year, and this took a little toll, and my DF had a health scare, but that was months ago.

Since the summer, I have suffered some pretty big hair loss, which adds to my worries and feeds the panic attacks at every shower or sight of hairs on the floor, or the brush, and thinning patches. I have tried to find explanations for it. I have mustered the courage of going to the GP three times this year. On each occasion, the GPs have brushed the anxieties and panic attacks as a symptom of my overactive mind and tiring profession. On the last occasion, I tried to make more of a point about it - the GP gave me pamphlets to read and told me I would not want to be on drugs if hair loss was a concern. She ordered a blood test, which has shown nothing out of ranges.

I don't speak about it at all with DH - I can't find the words, and a ball forms in my throat. He has never been the listening type, and if he dismisses my concerns, or does not hear me, this will make me even worst. I don't know if he has noticed the hair loss, even. Just thinking/typing about it makes me nauseous.

I just want to feel better, healthy and happy, and have a good family relationship. I am just not sure how to go about it.

Marasme Sun 26-Nov-17 13:09:32

I am sat on my chair just now in a sort of torpour - and I can feel the anxiety rising, and squeezing my insides.

It's like am I afraid of a not very defined impending doom - that's what I would like to shake off.

AureliaDeLuca Sun 26-Nov-17 14:34:13

Hi, you do sound quite depressed at the moment and depression and anxiety are two sides of the same coin.
Could you see a different doctor to discuss this again? You might really benefit from medication and/or counselling. My depression manifests itself primarily through anxiety and panic attacks so I can really identify with what you are feeling. I find all the responsibilities I have overwhelming at times and you sound like you are in a similar position. You must be exhausted from a lack of sleep too which won't be helping things at all.

Fairydust26 Sun 26-Nov-17 14:37:12

I think maybe it might be a good idea going back to the gp and letting them know how your really feeling. When I first went about my anxiety they basically just fobbed me off and it took me years the build up the courage to seek help again. I found a gp I felt comfortable with and basically broke down as soon as I got Into my appointment (felt like a right tit afterwoods) but it was such a relief that something was actually being done about my anxiety. My gp suggested that I tried sertraline which I’ve been on for 5 months now and even though I’m not fully anxiety free yet I’m defiantly better than I have ever been. So don’t give up hope go back to your gp and try and kick anxiety’s butt!

Marasme Sun 26-Nov-17 15:06:38

Thank you so much for your replies - you are both right regarding GPs - when I first joined the practice, I saw one of the partner GP who was good at listening. It was the first time I saw her (or went to GP for anything else than my DC's illness) and I was put at ease. She started the process of investigating something that caused me particular worry and took time to speak about it with me. I was very grateful. Just typing this makes me cry sad - ridiculous.

Unfortunately, my surgery allocates GPs at random for appointments, and do not let you choose who you see. Since then, I have seen a very junior young male GP who noted the anxiety but chose to focus on the "physical" secondary problem I had, and lately, another very young female GP who recommended the leaflets.

I find it very difficult to get "in the zone" to speak about my problems - I get panicked about phoning for an appointment (in case they think I am a time waster/resource abuser), I am scared of phoning in for results, I am scared of them phoning me for anything (I am always worried sthg happened to the kids), it's ridiculous. Before I walked in my appointment, I had been waiting on my own in a secondary basement waiting room (odd setting) practicing breathing exercising and trying to focus on what I would say. But then she called me in and was already asking me what the problem was before I could take a seat and remove my coat. And all the words got stuck in my throat - I tried to say it. The awful panic, the impact on my family, but what came out was probably meek and small and not specific because I got leaflets and a blood test (for which I am grateful of course).

Sorry for rambling on - at least it's a little bit cathartic smile

Fairydust26 Sun 26-Nov-17 15:25:10

Ramble all you like I find posting on here helps me when I feeling rubbish😊. Is there somebody you could take with you? I took my Dm who did all the talking as I sat there and cried and it was one of them proper I ugly cry’s too so wasn’t one of my finest moments ha! Or write down everything and hand it over to the gp that way you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything.

Marasme Sun 26-Nov-17 15:44:46

My DPs are far and not very involved in our lives, unfortunately, and DH is a man's man (or whatever the name is - a shed man, cave man smile ). He has little interest in the problems he cannot fix with a hammer or a drill!

I might try to write down the list the next time I go in to make sure the GP understands where I want to "go"

Wolfiefan Sun 26-Nov-17 15:46:39

Yes. Do write it down.
Can you not request seeing a particular GP? Even if you have to wait?

Marasme Sun 26-Nov-17 16:00:36

I did ask for the first GP but the receptionist told me that this was not surgery policy to book appointment like this, unless it was the GP who themselves requested to see a patient again.

I will make a little list - and hope to see someone friendly the next time I go (whenever I muster the courage) - I have one more result (non-MH) pending on Monday, which may or may not prompt a follow-up appointment...

AureliaDeLuca Sun 26-Nov-17 16:32:45

I have broken down in front of my GP several times and now refuse to feel stupid about it as I reckon it just proves how bad I am feeling. Take a list with the points you made in your first post about how you are feeling and show it to them if you can't get your words out. GPs really are used to this and it gives you a few moments to draw a deep breath before you start talking. If posting here helps you and is cathartic then keep posting here! You really are not alone in feeling the way you do x

Wolfiefan Sun 26-Nov-17 16:37:40

Can you use the Monday appointment to start dealing with these issues or try and get to see the person you want to?

Marasme Sun 26-Nov-17 16:46:25

Hello Wolfie - on Monday, I'll just be phoning the receptionist for the result, not seeing anyone. Depending on what they say, I'll have to ask for a follow-up appointment.,,

Fairydust26 Mon 27-Nov-17 15:22:34

How you feeling today? marasme did you manage to make an appointment.

Marasme Mon 27-Nov-17 16:38:46

Thanks Fairy - I am a bit better just because i forced myself to go to work where i am not being very productive but at least occupied in little menial tasks.

I called the surgery - the GP can see me in two weeks :/ however my last test came back and look bleak with low ferritin and super low B12. I am hoping that this, in itself, will push her to see me earlier?

Wolfiefan Mon 27-Nov-17 18:19:27

Is it the GP you wanted to see? That would at least be positive. Could she put a note on your file to say you can ask specifically to see her?

Fairydust26 Mon 27-Nov-17 21:23:44

I’m glad you felt better todaysmile I’m sure being vitamin deficient doesn’t help and makes you feel pretty lousy too!. It might not seem like it now but it really is a brave thing seeing your gp hopefully you’ll be able to get an appointment sooner but if not try not to worry gives you enough time to gather your thoughts for your appointmentflowers

Marasme Mon 27-Nov-17 21:35:12

thanks Wolfie and Fairy
no this is not the GP i d like to see but the one I saw last (I believe). My understanding is that a "physical symptom" will make the surgery more likely to take my "case" seriously - but might also be a way to simplify how I feel... i ll cross thay bridge when I ll come to it!

Wolfiefan Mon 27-Nov-17 22:52:53

Shame. Would've been easier if it had been the one you hoped to see. Good luck.

nightshade Mon 27-Nov-17 23:08:07

I think it is helpful to know that this can be dealt with if u are prepared to work with it..

Do you find there is any seasonal link?.

October November can be difficult due to lack of light...

Try and build a couple of self help things in..

A good nutritional breakfast if u aren't eating well and try to factor in a walk at some point everyday..

Don't overload yourself with lists of things to do...keep it simple..

Sometimes anti depressants short term are necessary to get the energy to try and changexplain routines a little..

Marasme Wed 29-Nov-17 15:03:46

my appointment is friday morning with someone (male) who i have never met. Very likely to be a junior doctor. I need to tackle both thebiron deficiency butbalso put accross that I need help tackling my anxieties. I hope they won t say I need another separate appointment :/

Wolfiefan Wed 29-Nov-17 15:46:50

If they do could you use it as a chance to request the person you would like to see or this same doctor again if you end up feeling comfortable talking to them.

Fairydust26 Wed 29-Nov-17 19:23:34

Maybe see if you can book a different appointment to discuss your anxiety that way the gp can focus solely on that and you may be able to see the gp you feel more comfortable with? Hope you’ve been feeling bettersmile

Marasme Wed 29-Nov-17 19:43:22

can I ask you whether you think medication is ever a good idea in cases like mine, or whether I should stay clear?

worried about side effects and also not being able to come off them without aide effects. I am very ignorant of mental health and its management - it was something that my DF mocked endlessly when I was a child and remains a big taboo in my family.

Fairydust26 Wed 29-Nov-17 20:12:46

I’ve been on a low dose of sertraline an antidepressant since the summer for my anxiety and it really has helped. The side effects for the first few weeks weren’t pleasant but didn’t differ much from the physical symptoms you get with anxiety and it takes a few weeks to settle in your system. Medication wasn’t offered to me at first but it got to a point that maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try. Medication is really trial and error one that works well for one person might not work well for another ect, Can’t give any advice on coming off them as I haven’t crossed that bridge yet.

anna231a Wed 29-Nov-17 20:16:54

Hi Marasme. Firstly I wouldn't worry about seeing a " junior "doctor. In my experience young doctors are very understanding about MH problems. As far as I understand your doctor will want to rule out physical conditions like anaemia, vit deficiency before they start to look further so I think it's routine to have some blood tests first and doesn't mean they are not taking your anxiety symptoms seriously. I agree absolutely with the other posters who have suggested that you take a written list of points that you want to raise if you find it hard to speak.

There is medication that you can take for anxiety and if you are amenable to taking medication then ask specifically (add it to your list) if there is anything they can prescribe. I have been prescribed antidepressants which are also designed to deal with my anxiety but I know other people who have medication that they take specifically when they are feeling very anxious and panicky.

Regarding your DF - I understand where you are coming from because my mother was (is) the same. She still doesn't know that I take medication for depression and anxiety and I know what her reaction will be if she finds out. Her attitude put me off going to get treatment which I should have had years ago. So, ignore and forget what people who don't really know/understand say. Remember that 1 in 4 people suffer with some sort of MH problem during their lifetime - you won't be the only person your GP will have seen with anxiety this week, and remember that modern medication is a vast improvement on what was prescribed even 20 years ago

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