I've had issue's with self harm in the past and recently it has esculated to a point where i am worried about my safety. I have decided to suck it up an visit a GP. I've recently moved to the country so i don't really know what services are available in my town and i guess seeing a doctor would be a good place to start.
I'm quite anxious about making an appointment and i've had trouble in the past (for something simple like a doctors note) where i would ring up then cancel or go to an appointment where my hands would shake and feel sweaty, i feel like throwing up and the doctor always coments that i must be nervous when ever they take my blood pressure.
I have tried various self help methods like distraction, mindfulness,delaying calling helplines and some of these helps sometimes but i feel that they are only band-aid solutions. Does anyone have any hints on how to be less anxious about seeing a doctor?
Re: GP Blues
Welcome to ReachOut.com and to Australia (where did you live before you moved into the country?)
It must have taken a lot of guts to visit the doctors for blood pressure tests I am usually apprehensive when I see someone new, so having some anxiety before an appointment is normal.
I can see you have tried a lot of self-help strategies. Good work on all of them, I used the helplines too when I need some extra support. You are right when it seems like some of these strategies are only short-term solutions. I think this is when seeing a professional comes in.
Have you tried writing down some of things you need to say to your doctor before the appointment so you are distracted from the anxiety and have a goal to focus on instead?
I have tried the upfront honesty with a few psychologist, telling them I don't want to talk to them about certain aspects of my life. They acknowledged that and would work around the "forbidden" topics which help alleviate some of my anxiety of them forcing me talk about things I don't want to think about.
So you could try telling them you are anxious seeing them. I am sure they would work with you on making you feel comfortable.
Fill us in on your thoughts and your progress
Re: GP Blues
Welcome to Reach Out.
It's great that you are so self-aware and understand that you need some professional help for your self-harming. That shows so much strength!
It's COMPLETELY normal to be a bit anxious about seeing a new GP. Your GP is your "go-to-person" for so many life problems so you need to find someone you trust and can be open with. I really hope this GP you go to is well suited for your needs but it can sometimes take a few before you find that person (which is made even more challenging in the country!).
Do you have anyone else who could ring up and make the appointment for you if you are unsure if you can do that? I went to a new GP once and I text a friend constantly before I went to the appointment, even in the waiting room - we talked about random stuff, which took my mind off the appointment. Could you do that? It was nice knowing I wasn't alone while in the waiting room. You could even bring a friend to the waiting room?
I also find bringing notes is useful when seeing a GP. That way I can't forget about what I need to tell them and I don't have to think too hard while I'm feeling nervous.
Also, I think it's really important to treat yourself afterwards... I often use a nice warm hot chocolate and a couple of marshmallows as a reward! It makes me feel much better after and is something to look forward to!
I wish you all the luck with seeing this new GP. I really hope they are helpful to you.
I'd really recommend that you keep using the distraction techniques in the meantime, even though they only seem to work sometimes, it's better than nothing!!
Re: GP Blues
Thank you for all your support. I printed off your replies and a fact sheet about self harm and brought them in with me just to remind myself that I was worth looking after. I nearly walked out after waiting 45mins after my appionment time. The GP I saw was very kind and even bulk billed me (I'm not eligible for a healthcare card) because he want me to come in more regularly. He also put me on some kind of health plan to see a psychologist next week. Thanks again.
Re: GP Blues
So glad to hear that your GP was helpful!!! That's absolutely fantastic! Great to hear he has put you on a health plan (they're fairly common). And I'm so glad our responses helped.
Let us know how you go with the psychologist!
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