In Health on
21/09/2018

So, I went to see my GP about my anxiety…

see my GP about my anxiety

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I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog this week. In real life, I have fallen off the radar too. This is a scary post to write. We are living of an era of increased transparency about mental health. There is a lot on social media about talking openly about the struggles we are happening, which I read and nod in agreement. Yet, here I am, a hypocrite, unsure whether or not to write about my own experience. Well, here goes: this week I finally went to see my GP about my anxiety…

I have always been a worrier, but since having kids, it seems to be getting worse and worse. About three months ago, I made an appointment to speak to my GP about how my anxiety levels were sky rocketing. Ironically, the idea of discussing my anxiety with a medical professional was giving me worse anxiety than I had ever had in my life, so I made the decision (in the waiting room) that I would just ask her about a lump on my finger instead. A few weeks later, I made another appointment, but then cancelled it. On Wednesday, I went online to make another appointment, fully aware that I would probably end up cancelling that one too… unusually, there was an appointment available for the next day. I knew that if I booked it I would have to go. Because, of all the things I worry about, letting someone else down is probably up there at the top.

I booked it. Then promptly vomited from the stress.

So, probably several years after I should have, I finally went to see my GP about my anxiety on Thursday.

I described to her how I feel, and gave her some examples from the last few days:

I woke up at 6am, and even though we didn’t need to be somewhere until 11am, I already felt physically sick at the possibility we might be late.

There is an article in the news about a boy drowning on holiday, and I start losing sleep about our upcoming holiday (at a place with a pool). I vow that I will not take my eyes off the pool area during the day, and that I will check multiple times throughout each night that the doors and windows are locked. Any excitement about my holiday quickly dissipates and I start dreading it instead.

Normally I would drive to the GP, but I feel sick about there not being a parking space, or there being unexpected roadworks to make me late. Instead I walk the 40 minute walk. Even though I get there 20 minutes early, I still worry the whole walk that I will somehow be late.

In a moment of feeling ‘normal’, I arrange a play date at my house for Monday. I then spend all weekend on edge because of the house being untidy. I start resenting the kids for making mess. The utility room acts as my sanctuary where I go to sob several times a day because everything feels so out of control.

I am scared the GP will just tell me that I am being silly. Or to come back in six months if I’m not better. I couldn’t have been more wrong. She heard me. She asked me what I want the future to look like. Diagnosis: Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I have started taking a daily 20mg dose of Fluoxetine (a generic form of Prozac). It has only been two days so far, so it’s too early to see if it is helping. What I can say is that just opening up to her and being listened to has been hugely beneficial. Later the same day, I was at the counter at the Post Office when the systems went down, and a huge queue slowly formed behind me. This would normally be my worst nightmare – my chest would tighten, my cheeks would flush, my heart rate would sky rocket. And yes, those things did happen… but now that I have a diagnosis, I was also able to rationalise with myself in a way I wouldn’t have been able to do before. It’s not your fault. No one blames you, and if they do, they are just being mean.

I am seeing the medication as being like my arm bands whilst I learn to swim. They will keep me afloat whilst I explore CBT, meditation, exercise and other avenues to manage my anxiety. Hopefully at some point I can take my arm bands off. But there is no shame in being on medication long term either. I don’t know what the future holds but I am looking forward to it an awful lot more now. I was also given a list of helpful resources, one of which is the free CBT available on Living Life to the Full, which I am excited to get started on this weekend.

So, if you are feeling like I do and you are scared to talk to a medical professional, or you feel like you are wasting their time – remember, that is your illness talking, Please speak to someone – I am so glad I went to see my GP about my anxiety.

I’m taking part in the Wellbeing Wonders linky with Becca from Beccas Blogs It Out and Emma from Sunshine and Rain.

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18 Comments

  • Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

    Well done for plucking up the courage to go and seek help, that was so brave of you. Having suffered from anxiety myself, I know what impact it can have on every day living. I hope the days treat you kind and things get a little easier for you. x

    Thanks for sharing with #MMBC. 🙂

    22/09/2018 at 3:30 pm Reply
    • mumonabudget

      Thank you for your kind words. It’s been amazing how much support I have got since writing this x

      23/09/2018 at 9:42 pm Reply
  • Cheryl | TimeToCraft

    Well done you for going. Must be the hardest thing to do. I’m sure lots of people must book and cancel for just the same reasons. I’m so glad the doctor was able to help you and took your worries seriously. #MMBC

    24/09/2018 at 10:19 am Reply
    • mumonabudget

      Thank you – I feel so glad I went, can’t imagine how I would be feeling now if I hadn’t taken the first step x

      24/09/2018 at 2:45 pm Reply
  • Kim Carberry

    Well done you for seeking help! That first step is the hardest. I hope things are better for you now x

    24/09/2018 at 11:55 am Reply
    • mumonabudget

      Thanks Kim – I am so, so glad I took the first step towards getting better x

      24/09/2018 at 2:52 pm Reply
  • Michelle

    The one about the pool – I’ve been there. Even though my boys are older I still have anxiety that hits me out of nowhere where my boys are concerned. I’m a bit obsessed about their safety so when I’m not with them sometimes I have horrible thoughts about what would happen to them with me not being their to protect them. It was a lot worse when they were younger but I am also in recovery from PTSD. I still get the occasional anxiety over these things but I like what you did. You told yourself it’s not your fault about the line. I have to do something similar when mine pops up. Good for you for taking the first step to helping yourself with your anxiety:)

    24/09/2018 at 12:46 pm Reply
    • mumonabudget

      Thanks so much for your comment. I think it’s normal to worry as a parent, but my levels of worrying were definitely not normal.. it sounds like you have had the same struggles too x

      24/09/2018 at 2:54 pm Reply
  • Michelle

    I don’t know if you got my last comment because it didn’t pop up that it is waiting for moderation but I’m popping over from #MMBC

    24/09/2018 at 12:48 pm Reply
  • Becca

    This is such a brave post! Well done for sharing. And thank you for being so bravd, because your post might help someone who was too scared to ask for help before. I hope the medication helps you and that you feel better soon. I found CBT very helpful alongside medication 😊 #WellbeingWonders

    26/09/2018 at 8:27 am Reply
    • mumonabudget

      Thanks Becca. I really hope it helps someone who is struggling. I am trying an online CBT course too which I think is helping already x

      27/09/2018 at 8:36 am Reply
  • Emma

    Running late is one of my major triggers too. Flying for me is particularly horrible, not because of the actual flight but because of timing, I get so sick! Do you also then feel really daft each time when you turn up ridiculously early and have to wait in your car/sit in the waiting room for forever? I was also put on Fluoxetine when I saw the doctor. It helped balance out my moods and my worrying a lot, although it did give me some funny dreams. I chose to come off it after about four months (with Dr guidance) but having a clearer head helped me to see I didn’t have to put up with anxiety. Thank you so much for opening up. You might find that just talking about it helps dramatically! I’m looking forward to hearing how you get on 🙂 #WellbeingWonders

    26/09/2018 at 10:18 am Reply
    • mumonabudget

      Yes, I am the same with flying – I get to the airport so early and still worry about missing the flight! Glad to hear the meds helped you – I am the same with the funny dreams though, it’s hard to tell what really happened and what was a dream. I really hope my post helps someone x

      27/09/2018 at 8:38 am Reply
  • Emma

    Firstly, you’ve taken the first step which is always the hardest and things WILL get better from here on in. Be kind to yourself. A lot of ‘invisible’ illnesses are absolutely crippling and affect everything you do. I’m looking forward to hearing of your progress, but for now I think you should give yourself some praise for being brave enough to seek help.

    26/09/2018 at 6:30 pm Reply
    • mumonabudget

      Thanks Emma. A week on, I feel so much better already – just taking that first step of talking to someone helped so much x

      27/09/2018 at 8:39 am Reply
  • Loretta

    This is so very inspiring. I have struggled tremendously with seeing someone about my anxiety. Thank you for your words of inspiration and your courage to put yourself out there. I will be calling my doctor this week. Its about time I took my mental health seriously.

    27/09/2018 at 12:32 am Reply
    • mumonabudget

      Oh it makes me so happy that this has helped you. Please, make that call to your doctor. I am here if you want to talk to someone in the same situation x

      27/09/2018 at 8:40 am Reply
  • Alison

    So brave of you to write this post and to finally get the help you need from the doctor. I’ve suffered from anxiety myself in the past. The last time I went to the doctors I felt so stupid, as if there wasn’t anything ‘real’ wrong with me. I wrote down all my symptoms and went through the list with the doctor (whilst sobbing). It is such a hard thing to do but once you do it you realise that the medical profession DO take this seriously and there are things that can help. I hope you start to feel better – CBT is really helpful and it is definitely worth investigating meditation too.

    30/09/2018 at 2:59 pm Reply
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