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Topic: I am so anxious about booking an appointment with my GP to discuss my mental health

2 posts, 0 answered
  1. etl
    etl avatar
    1 posts
    13 August 2019

    I literally have the booking tab open right now to book an appointment for tomorrow, but I just get so anxious when going to book and thinking about the appointment. My hands start shaking and everything. I was at my doctor last week for unrelated physical issues, and have been back quite a few times the last couple of months (at doctor request) to address physical issues - but I have never mentioned my mental health issues. Now I'm worried when I go back tomorrow the doctor won't believe me, or think I'm being dramatic, or won't really help, or think I just want attention..or that I will be too anxious and not be able to say what I want or explain properly. Or I'll be too embarrassed to tell the full truth, and worry the doctor will judge me or think me really unstable. My doctor has been very nice and capable so far, but I still can't help having these thoughts. I've been struggling with my mental health for years without telling anyone, but it's getting so much worst lately, I really need help.

    The only appointments available are for tomorrow or Monday. Maybe I should book for Monday and hope I don't chicken out.

    I turned 25 a few days ago, so I'm really on the older side for this forum - but just needed somewhere to vent. Anyone else had these anxieties about talking to a professional about their mental health for the first time? How did you get over it?

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Alexlisa
    Alexlisa avatar
    7 posts
    13 August 2019 in reply to etl

    Hello etl

    Welcome to the forums ☺️ Firstly I just want to say that it’s a great thing that you’re willing to talk about your mental health. Well done. I understand though that it can be quite nerve wreaking at the start. I remember the first time I opened up to a professional I was filled with many of the same worries as you. I especially worried that I wouldn’t be believed, which would have been so difficult to face as I’d been brave enough to be honest. I was very anxious, but it all worked out fine and I never had any regrets about opening up because it put me on the path to getting the help I needed. I felt such relief that I’d just done it, and I wasn’t going to be alone in coping with my mental health anymore.

    Its good that you already have a positive relationship with your doctor. Being able to trust the other person is crucial. GPs see a lot of people for mental health issues, so it won’t be a shock. If you find that your doctor isn’t receptive to your concerns or just doesn’t seem helpful you can always find another one who will listen.

    It might help If you write down what you want to say to the doctor, so that if you’re anxious when you’re there you won’t forget what you want to say. You could even write it as a letter that you give him and he can read it there while you wait. That’s ok too. Whatever you need to do to make yourself feel comfortable and give you the best shot of opening up.

    Many people find asking for help with their mental health hard. But I will say that in my experience, it gets SO much easier the more you do it. Sometimes it’s a case of breaking through that invisible wall that keeps it all in. Sometimes that wall is feelings of shame - that you think you should be able to deal with this yourself. But it’s not true. Mental health is just as serious as physical health and you deserve to be treated in exactly the same way. There is no need to feel ashamed.

    When you see your doctor it’s best that you ask for a Mental Health Care Plan which will give you to 10 reduced fee or free sessions with a psychologist per year. While GPs are a good starting point for getting help, it’s usually best to be referred to see a psychologist who has the most experience and training in the area. They are the ones who can teach you about what you’re experiencing and help you to build the skills you need to manage it.

    You’re being so brave doing this. Reaching out might be hard at first, but it can make all the difference. Take care.