Mind Over Chatter

FOSIS Mind Over Chatter campaign is here to provide a platform for discussion on mental health and equipping ISOCs with tools and resources of their own. Share your personal experiences so that others can understand the picture. You may have looked after a family member, experienced depression or anxiety yourself, or have tips you've learnt from others that can improve one's mental health well being. We can share your experiences on our Mind Over Chatter blog for others to benefit from. Alternatively, you can also choose to submit anonymously using an anonymous tag name.

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1st February 2019

Appointments

I have always struggled when going to the doctors.

From making sure I get to the appointment on time to having to wait in the waiting room with other people, there is a long list of factors that add to my anxiety, and by the time my name is called I am sweating.

I’ve been going to see the same doctor for the almost two years now, yet every time I have an appointment, I still need to check the directions on the wall to check I am going to the right room, to avoid another potential error.

The room is the on the second floor of the surgery, which means that I have to either take the lift or use the stairs. Now if I use the lift there is the risk of it stopping and getting stuck, plus its only one floor and that will make me seem lazy to people that are passing by. So instead I choose to take the stairs, which are right next to the waiting area, this means that as I walk up the stairs those people that are waiting will be watching my every move right? What if I trip and fall? What if they notice that I’m shaking?

By the time that I’ve made it to the door of the room it feels like it has been an eternity. Frantically I will check the time assuming that I have taken too long and missed my allocated time. But it’s only been three minutes. Right, so now this means that I now have to actually go in and see the doctor.

A general follow up appointment consists of having to answer any questions as honestly as possible, needing to go over how I have been feeling since my last appointment. Recalling all that information in tiny room that can be suffocating, is almost the same as re-living and feeling it all over again.

The appointment itself usually lasts up to 15 minutes, following a discussion of what to do till the next appointment, getting a new prescription if necessary and saying the mandatory ‘see you soon’s’ and ‘take cares’ – you step out into the corridor and you’re left to fall into the black hole all over again.

During my normal day to day life I will avoid thinking or talking about triggering topics, however it may be necessary to discuss them during the appointment to aid my doctors understanding of how I am doing. I understand the doctor’s point of view but it can be tough to have to bring all of those things that I’ve been pushing to the back of my head, back to the surface for me to be confronted with following the appointment.

To someone reading this from the outside it may seem like a bit much, there’s no need to read into every little thing is there? It’s a simple check-up, just get there, do what you need to do and leave, right?

But it’s not always that simple. What may seem an easy task for some, can be overwhelming for others. So keep that in mind next time you’re quick to judge someone for what you may think is them over-reacting.

Be kind.