Since writing my last post I have now been to the doctor to discuss my mental health, and what a fucking disaster that was. It was everything I hoped it wouldn’t be, and if it weren’t for my amazing support around me, it could have made things a hell of a lot worse.
After writing my last blog, I felt better in ways but still not right. My irrational way of thinking was still in overdrive and I was still getting bouts of sadness for no reason. Having the looming doctor’s appointment subconsciously I don’t think was helping. I was also feeling guilty for not feeling like I was pulling my weight around the house, from either being out doing this after work or just not being able to bring myself to do things like the washing and the cooking and as such we hadn’t eaten properly in a week and the washing pile was making me feel anxious. Mitch has also been working his arse off in this humidity and is coming home knackered at night and needing to relax, so my not picking up the slack was making the guilt kick in.
So Thursday came and a sadness hit me on my way to work for no apparent reason, and I just couldn’t kick it, my closes friend listened to my panicked rant and tried to calm me but I just couldn’t do it, so I went home before lunch. I felt like I couldn’t face being at work and I needed to go home and do housework, my mind couldn’t let that go. By the afternoon the panic of going to the doctor’s hit and I was doubting myself, what if he didn’t believe what I had to say? What if he thought I was a loser dickhead freak? What do I even say? Lucky my biggest support, Mitch, called me to reassure me and promise me he would be home before I went and come with me if I needed it. He said I didn’t need to know what to say, the doctor would run some tests, and if he said I was a dickhead then I probably wasn’t speaking to a doctor.
So I walked into the doctor’s office and when he asked what he could help with I burst into tears. I explained what was going on, and his first question was ‘why do you think you do that?’and I was thrown off, like ummmm I don’t know that’s why I’m coming to you? I said about the mood swing that hit me this morning and he asked why I got sad, what was I thinking about, surely I was thinking about something to make me sad? It was becoming clear that this doctor did not know about mental health, and the real red flag was when he said he believed people were being too overmedicated these days. He put everything down to me just having a bad year last year, despite me trying to say that I had been feeling this way a lot longer than a year ago, things last year just wouldn’t have helped, and I in no way felt I was being listened to, even when I got really frustrated and said that I just want the mood swings to stop. I watched him write a letter for a psychologist as he felt ‘I just needed someone to talk to’ and even the letter he wrote made me feel like I wasn’t being taken seriously, it just said that I was ‘teary’ and had a bad 2016. He surmised from a 10 minute conversation that I wasn’t psychotic or going to hurt myself (apart from answering yes when he asked if I had thought about it in the past) and sent me on my way with a business card for the psychologist to call and make an appointment.
I also attempted to speak to him about going off the pill, as I have spoken to a couple of close friends who have done it and how much better they feel, how they’re mood swings have dropped, they’re sleeping better, and just feeling better in general, so I decided after 10 years on it I’m going to stop as well, just to see how my body feels without all those side effects of massive sugar cravings and crying for no apparent reason. When I said this to the doctor his response was ‘what will you do for contraception? What will you do if you get pregnant? You know that you lose the contraception side if you stop taking the pill’ like I was a stupid 16 year old! I tried asking if there’s anything I should take to help or if my body will go crazy as with any medication after taking for a long time you usually wean yourself off and it’s not healthy to stop taking medication but got no response, no help, and I had to bring it up several times just to get some sort of response out of him.
So all in all it was a completely underwhelming, disappointing, heartbreaking appointment. I left feeling worse, feeling like I was the loser dickhead freak for being a bit ‘teary’. What makes me so angry is I am incredibly lucky to have people around me that unanimously recognise that the doctor was shit with mental health and very clearly old school, whereas someone else who may not have a support system, someone else who finally took that chance to reach out and get help, someone else who isn’t going to openly say every dark thought that goes through their head upfront to the GP, could so easily feel that it’s all in their head if they felt the same as me that doctor doesn’t believe them, could say fuck the psychologist off I’m not calling to make an appointment and look like a dickhead in front of another stranger, and who knows what the consequence of that could be. I am extremely lucky that I have people around me encouraging me to see another GP, one that will listen and give me options, where there are many others that may not be as lucky as me.
So now I have the psychologist’s business card but I haven’t called. I was meant to call yesterday to make an appointment but I’m back to doubting myself again, because in a way I also don’t want to risk looking like a loser dickhead freak in front of another stranger, it’s most likely that won’t happen, but who knows, she may be just like the doctor. I don’t know if I want to take that risk. I’ll give it a few days.
Having written all of this out from my perspective I am stopping to read back. I know there would be a lot of people walking into a GP’s office demanding drugs using any means possible. I didn’t expect to be given drugs upfront. I guess what I was hoping to get out of it was the feeling that he was listening, that he understood, that he would do some basic testing rather than purely relying on what I was saying. And I did not feel that in the slightest. Especially when I made the appointment it was booked in to say it was about mental health, I saw it on his computer, so it wasn’t like it was a huge surprise that was what I was going to say. I’m not having a go at doctors or disrespecting their work, it’s just hard when mental health is a growing epidemic and is becoming such a common thing now, it should be dealt with the correct way.
My advice or life lesson out of this? Shit I don’t even know now. I tried to make it a positive out of the last blog to say you’re not alone if you’re feeling that way, but shit I reached out for help and I only wound up angry and disappointed and now I need to build that courage up all over again either to book to see a stranger psychologist, or a stranger GP and I know the anxiety cycle will kick in all over again, and I don’t want to go through that shit again. So I guess I’ll wait and see how I feel. Who knows, maybe once the pill stops having an effect on my body I will begin to feel better, maybe my body will go mental not having all those extra hormones and I’ll kill someone. I dunno. I’ll see how I feel next week because this week I’m exhausted.
Silver lining out of this is I have some amazing friends willing to go above and beyond, and my boyfriend is the most incredible, supportive, wonderful person, especially when I’m crying and freaking out for no apparent reason. I’ve picked a good one.
Lots of love,
Rooting for You – London Grammar
Another absolutely perfect, heartfelt, goosebumps inducing London Grammar song. They can do no wrong.