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Forums / Anxiety / Health Anxiety coming back (I guess it never went away?), feel like I'm a burden to my doctors, can't get a psychologist/psychiatrist booking

Topic: Health Anxiety coming back (I guess it never went away?), feel like I'm a burden to my doctors, can't get a psychologist/psychiatrist booking

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. 44Max44
    44Max44 avatar
    166 posts
    26 October 2021

    I thought I had my health anxiety under control, but over the past month I've gone into the doctors maybe 10 or so times for various reasons, and honestly, if I could go in everyday, I would. It all started up again around a month ago when I felt a small bump on the inside of my mouth, since then I've been to 3 different doctors to get it checked and all 3 of them said it was nothing to be concerned about, but I kept saying to myself "They didn't have a proper look at it. They aren't taking me seriously because they see my medical record and see that I came into the doctors a lot before for no good reason. They just think I'm imagining it again".

    On one hand I don't want to waste the time of these doctors if it is just my health anxiety acting up again and I'm just blowing it way out of proportion, but on the other hand I don't want to risk it if it is something serious and it goes undiagnosed.

    I just feel like I'm being a burden to them. I feel like every time they see me book an appointment they think "Oh boy, it's this guy again, what bs has he got for me this time?". I obviously need to see a mental health professional, but right now due to Covid (and even before Covid) every single psychiatrist/psychologist I tried to book with was booked out. It feels like a one step forward, two steps back type of thing. I finally get the motivation to better myself and work on my mental health issues, find a psychiatrist/psychologist, call them up, and get the same 'Sorry, we're at capacity' response and it throws me right back to where I started and I lose all motivation again.

    I don't know what to do at this point. I don't want to keep going to see the doctors if it's unnecessary to do so, but I also don't want to just go 'you're just imagining it, don't worry' and then possibly have something go undiagnosed because of it.

    How can I see a psychologist or psychiatrist (psychologist to deal with my health anxiety, psychiatrist to get what I suspect to be ADHD diagnosed) if they're always fully booked? I feel like at this rate I'll never get to see one.

    Thanks if you've read this far. I appreciate you.

  2. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    2333 posts
    26 October 2021 in reply to 44Max44

    Hi Max

    You sound so incredibly well tuned into your body. Not a lot of people possess the ability to sense or recognise the slightest of changes to their physical form.

    May sound a bit strange, putting it this way, but I think some GPs don't fully realise how seriously wonderful some patients are. It's like you can have some patients who basically wonder about changes and some patients who seriously wonder about changes they feel or discover. As you'd know, it does get serious when the kind of wondering you're stuck in leads you to incredible levels of stress. I think some doctors should have a better education when it comes to helping a patient manage this level of wonder and concern.

    Any doctor who writes a patient off with thoughts of 'Oh here he/she comes again! What's wrong this time?' should be questioned. When your newly discovered change leads you to focus on it and nothing else, it's mentally challenging to live through this degree of distraction in life. When the thoughts and stress are impacting your chemistry and nervous system in such an ongoing way, it becomes serious. While some doctors see themself as a practitioner of treating disease, they may be forgetting about their role in treating serious dis-ease (a serious lack of ease). So, it's like you can be going to see your GP for years with serious concerns about everything, which can in turn have such high levels of stress continuously fatiguing different systems in your body (including your sympathetic nervous system). Then at some point you go and say to your doctor 'I don't know what's wrong with me, I'm just chronically fatigued all the time'. They may say, after observing your symptoms of fatigue for 6 months or so, 'I've reached the conclusion you're suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. Unfortunately, there's no known cause for it'. Crazy when you think about it. Chronic dis-ease can lead to chronic disease in some cases, recognised by a GP who holds a more holistic view, one who tends to look at the overall picture (how the mind and body interact).

    The question should be, for any doctor, 'How do we help a patient who is seriously wonderful (full of a serious amount of wonder), who has the ability to recognise even the smallest of changes?'. Perhaps, finding a practitioner who has the ability to help manage each consultation constructively is the way to go. One who holds qualities of a good investigator and teacher, teaching you how to manage, could help make a difference.

    :)

    1 person found this helpful
  3. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3116 posts
    26 October 2021 in reply to 44Max44

    Hi 44Max44,

    I appreciate you sharing what's going on for you with us; health anxiety is so hard and I can completely relate to the push pull and constantly wanting the reassurance that things are ok. It sounds like you're pretty familiar with your health anxiety so I take it that you've had lots of symptoms in the past that have gone away in time? How did you know that you have health anxiety?

    It's really tricky with the GP's, because they have to balance out what's going to be helpful and what's not- and it is important that they do validate and look into your experiences. Have you ever shared how you feel with your GP? I wonder if that might be helpful, so then they can reassure you with what they actually think instead of what you think they think.

    With the psychiatrist/psychologist, one thing that I did was bulk email a heap of people- so copy/paste and ask about their availability. It took a lot less energy than trying to call each one so maybe that could be an idea next time. Maybe your GP can also recommend someone who can at least put you on their waitlist.

    Here's a really good resource in the meantime; (all free) it's all developed by psychologists as well -

    https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself/Health-Anxiety

    https://www.headtohealth.gov.au/mental-health-difficulties/mental-health-conditions/anxiety-disorders

    Hope this helps

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  4. 44Max44
    44Max44 avatar
    166 posts
    26 October 2021 in reply to therising
    In reply to therising:
    Yes I think finding the right doctor is definitely something I need to try and do next. At my local GP there are about a dozen doctors I can choose from, and I've tried to see all of them at least once to see if any of them click with me. Out of all of them, only one of them actually asked how I was doing and how my life was going, that was nice, it seemed like he actually cared about me and my concerns. All the rest were all professional and just wanted me in and out as quick as possible, but I don't blame them really. I think I need to start seeing just that one doctor and build a proper doctor-patient relationship with them so I can be more open with them in the future, and so they can get to know me better. It's just that I have that thought in the back of my mind that I'm a burden to them, so I try to divide the work amongst all the doctors instead of going to just one of them with all of my problems. I think I'll book an appointment with the doctor I like and this time be open with them about my concerns, that's much easier said than done, though.

    ~~~
    In reply to romantic_thi3f
    A few years back is when I had my first run in with health anxiety. Before that point I hadn't really ever cared about my health all that much, I guess because I was young and because it was my parent's responsibility to bring me to the doctors whenever I seemed sick, but as soon as I became independent and the responsibility became my own, I started worrying about my health a lot.
    It all started pretty much the exact same way all those years ago; I felt an unusual bump that I had never felt before which ended up being nothing, but from that point forward I kept imagining that I had pretty much anything and everything under the sun. Every single day I'd convince myself that I had some new problem with me, ranging from a lump in the throat feeling, trouble breathing, aches and pains anywhere and everywhere, what felt like issues with my eye(s), seemingly random muscle spasms, and the list goes on and on... seriously, in around a year I had gone to the doctors maybe 50+ times, and out of all the tests I got done pretty much 99% of the came back negative (one came back positive but for a minor issue).
    This time around I can definitely manage my anxiety a lot better, I'm not in a constant state of panic or anything like I was a few years back, but it's still an issue.

    Thanks for the bulk email advice and those resources, that's very helpful.

    Ty both.
  5. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1559 posts
    29 October 2021 in reply to 44Max44

    Hi 44Max44,

    Im sorry you are feeling this way I understand health anxiety can be difficult to deal with.

    I suffered with this also I was for ever finding things on my body that I’d worry about and then go to the doctor and have it checked I’d be told it was fine but I’d still keep obssessing over it my anxiety was also high due to all of the worrying.

    My gp was always very caring and supportive of me when ever I would go in with something. I don’t think gp s would think negatively about a patient I think they would understand that our worries are valid and want to help us in any way they can.

    It came to a point in my life that my worrying and obsessing began to get out of control my anxiety was severe……. I was later diagnosed with OCD… obsessive compulsive disorder… I have now recovered from this condition and I now no longer worry and obsess over things.

    Im here if you have any questions

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