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How are you supposed to get help for anxiety.. when you have anxiety?

by Hope342

I am kind of stuck. I’ve wasted an entire year at university but have been barely able to get out of bed let alone get a degree, so now I am redoing my second year. (I am writing a separate post about that)

All I want to know is, how am I supposed to go and get help from a doctor if I am too anxious? I know many people on here suffer from anxiety, how did you first go and get help? Like my nervousness is so crippling I can’t even think about going to the doctors!

I get stomach pains when I am anxious, and I know that it is this that is causing it. Whenever I have a presentation or meeting, or just a social event I’m nervous for, my stomach aches. I’m afraid that going to a doctor will make him suggest it’s a medical issue, and send me for a blood test. It’s embarrassing because I self-harmed 2 years back but still have the scars and I am anxious about having to roll up my sleeves for the blood test if the docs make me have one. Maybe I am over-thinking it, and I know nurses wont really say anything when taking my blood but just knowing that they see and what they’re probably thinking of me in their heads is enough to put me off.

Online it tells me my GP will likely look for physical causes to my problems before seeing if they could be mental. And that’s just worrying me. The other major worry is, what am I supposed to say? How do you even start a conversation about something like this with a doctor?

Apologies to you guys for rambling and expressing my worries, but it’s getting too much now and has been so long it’s like I am just a shadow of the person I was. I just want to know how to start that conversation and how to get help. I need it.

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Night In Atlantis 5/13/2016 - 11:59 pm

Doctors treat patients for mental health reasons all the time as they are really prevalent today, for them treatment is routine and the good ones tend to show compassion rather than judge. They are there to help.

If you are familiar with the symptoms of anxiety, you should be able to say just enough to receive medication for anxiety without in depth physical scrutiny. They will most likely test blood pressure, this can often be done through clothing if you wear a close fitting long sleeve t shirt. Blood tests are not always necessary and are often only carried out if another issue is suspected.
I think doctors are aware of the distinction between self harm and suicidality, if your scars become visible the doctor or nurse may ask you if you are suicidal as they have a duty of care but again self harm is sadly common and if you answer correctly it should be fine. There is of course an underlying risk that your pain is as a result of something else and by omitting this fact to the doctor it does not give them all the relevant information for correct diagnosis. Having said that, anxiety caused muscle tension is common and your analytical conclusion is possible. Also, if the pain ceases after medication treatment that is some validity. Keep in mind that medication takes some time to effectively work so assessment should really only be made around six weeks after administration. Serotonin works well with anxiety, just keep in mind that all drugs have potential side effects.

A little research into GAD, including symptoms and treatments should make the visit less daunting. Diagnosis is partly made upon symptoms.

I understand that a visit may provoke some anxiety, unfortunately this is just something that you need to factor in to reach recuperation. Anxiety is treatable and in a few moths you will hardly even remember the doctors visit and the anxiety that it provoked.

Trix 5/14/2016 - 12:29 am

It took me ages to see a doctor about anxiety and when I got the help I could only manage a couple of sessions before I quit. Having to talk about it face to face with a professional made me feel worse, but I was getting worse at the time already. The only way to get to the first appointment about it is to force yourself. It helped me sometimes to remember that in about half an hour it’d all be over and I wouldn’t be panicking about it anymore. If it’s making you so ill that you absolutely can’t bring it up with a doctor I’d look online for help. It can take a while to find help that way and I know a lot of people wouldn’t find it ideal, but there are people out there who could help and there are also programs you can buy where you learn how to get past anxiety from your own home. But with the doctor, I think the main thing is remembering that the anxiety about seeing them is temporary, however painful it is. It doesn’t matter how you bring it up, because for them it’ll be a normal thing that they see all the time. I’d just say you’re thet because you have really bad anxiety and it’s causing physical pain – the rest of it would probably be answering their questions. I hope you can manage that first doctors visit. Sometimes that’s the hardest part of the whole thing, and it’s a huge relief when it’s over.

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