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Anxiety preventing me from getting help

I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember. However over the last few years it has increasingly gotten worse. Through out this time I have not told anyone about my struggles and I’ve gotten to the point where I’m realising just how destructive anxiety has been on my life. In particular I really struggle with getting help from people and particularly seeking medical help, which I know is really bad and could become life threatening in the future if I develop a serious condition. Right now I am really struggling with the need to get glasses. I need them, I know I do and I have for some time, but I haven’t been able to overcome my anxiety to actually seek help. I know all I need to do is tell someone and I will be able to get help but I just can’t bring my self to ask. Have any of you gone through a similar experience and if you have, do you have any advice for me?

Re: Anxiety preventing me from getting help

It might not be much in helping you overcome this but I 100% understand. Since childhood, I have always had trouble asking for helping in all aspects of life, particularly with both physical and mental health. I've always felt uncomfortable around medical professionals and getting help and it has only gotten worse with age.

 

I've had pains in my back and various other things for over a year that I just tried to brush off and always told myself that I'll go get it all checked out by the end of the year. Long story short I passed that deadline but at the end of January I ended up REALLY needing to get it checked out. I still put it off for a week or so because I was anxious about having to call to book an appointment, but I'm glad I finally did. When it came to the time I really didn't want to go and the whole time in the waiting room I was incredibly anxious and sweaty but it was too late to back out now so I had taken the first step.

 

I still get incredibly nervous when booking and going to appointments and am still currently avoiding doing so, but I've learned a little on ways for me to cope. Personally, I need to move to help relieve some of the stress so when on the phone I shake my other arm around in the air a lot. I also always have something on my wrist or a sleeve so I can fiddle and take my mind off things when in appointments.

 

Having some coping methods is very helpful so maybe try and explore what works for you. What it came down to for me was understanding that my need for medical help was more important than staying in my comfort zone so I could rip off the bandaid. Take it one step at a time.

Re: Anxiety preventing me from getting help

Sorry to hear that you have been experiencing anxiety for a while @EchoO. It sounds like things have been quite tough for you lately. I can't imagine how hard that must be to go through. It's really great to see the support that @Rattata has given you already. I hope that it helps to know that others share similar experiences. It sounds like it would be helpful for you to discuss some of your anxiety and your concerns with someone who is supportive. Do you feel comfortable talking to anyone about these thoughts that you have?

@Rattata I am also sorry to hear about how anxiety has impacted you over the years. It is so great that you are here supporting EchoO through their concerns. I am glad that you have been able to use coping mechanisms to help get you through previous challenging times. Heart

Re: Anxiety preventing me from getting help

Hi @EchoO, I'm sorry for your experience, I have anxiety for quite a few years and I can understand how that feel. Are you comfortable with talking about why you are anxious about seeking medical help?

Re: Anxiety preventing me from getting help

hi @EchoO  and welcome

well done for reaching out

 

i have experienced debilitating anxiety around medical issues as well and it can be really tricky to manage. i remember i couldnt even think about going otherwise id have a panic attack. I actually needed glasses myself it took me ages to be able to go there. my optometrist is a mall so what i done was deliberatly going to the mall and just walking past the shop. didnt go in but just getting comfortable with the idea of walking past it then gradually standing near the shop, then i walked in to just browse and eventually made an appiontment to go.

 

can i ask why you get anxious or what sorts of things you think? perhaps we can help you work through your thoughts to help you work through your anxiety. 

 

I would also suggest reaching out to Kidshelpline you can talk to them online and anonymously if you like. it might be a good starting point as well.  

**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**

Re: Anxiety preventing me from getting help

Hi @EchoO, I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling to make that first step. I've got that at the moment for getting a blood test/ECG because I had a bad experience getting faint at one appointment and having to wait forever at others. One thing I find helps is to decide whether a new or old location makes you more comfortable. Would you be happier finding an optometrist (I assume) you've never been to, one you've seen good recommendations for, one you can book online for, etc? Another thing you could do is ask to bring someone for moral support either when you call or to go to the appointment. I hope that helps Smiley Happy

Re: Anxiety preventing me from getting help

Hi @EchoO, I'm sorry to hear that you are experiencing some anxiety issues! Smiley Sad In the past, I have also had trouble seeking help even when I really needed it. Although I have slowly started to get better there are times when I still struggle so definitely understand where you're coming from. (I'm 24 and my mum still makes my dentist appointments lol). I used to think that I was a burden to those around me and that they'd think I was annoying for asking for help. But I've come to realise that your friends and family want to support you, they are more than happy to help you! When I'm anxious and I need to make an appointment I find it easier to book online if i can or ask a friend/family member to call and book for me. Do you think you would be open to trying that? 

 

I hope you find my advice somewhat helpful and that your situation improve soon! Smiley Happy

ReachOut also has lots of resources on managing anxiety, definitely have a read if you've got time!