Anxiety and Medical “Professionals”…

{September 17th, 2018}

Welcome to my first proper blog on this site. Along with short stories and musings and poetry, I like to talk about mental health.

I’m pretty sure I was just born an anxious bubble, but I didn’t really seek out proper treatment until my early twenties after panic attacks became a very normal, almost daily occurrence for me.

This weekend I took off on a six hour adventure to southern Ohio to participate in the Lost Lands music festival. I’ve always been wary of music festivals because I am a person that needs to be able to control things or else I tend to freak out a little. But, since I began treating my anxiety like a real condition and not some made emotional boo-hoo, I’ve been doing my best not to let the worry of my mental health status dictate what I can and can’t do in my life. From spending a year in Japan, to traveling about without plans or money, I’ve been living a life the past few years that’s filled with many set backs, failures, and re-starts. But, I want these experiences to help remind myself that even when I’m not in control, each situation is a learning experience.

So anyway, here I am at Lost Lands. Towed car. Can’t get to my medication. No where to sleep. Can’t get our car for two more days. To spare the various details, we still wanted to enjoy our time the best we could and forget about the stuff we couldn’t do anything about. I had been having minor panic attacks since the Thursday we left for the festival. However, on the final day of the festival, one of the big boys took over. Lack of sleep, stimulation from the crowd and from the bass, and just wishing I could be home in my own environment by the end of the night.

Panic seized my body. I don’t know how it works for everyone else, but when I’m about to go full on uncontrollable panic, I start out with the a burning in my fingers that works it’s way up my arms and into my brain. We found ourselves outside of the medical tent where I didn’t want to go in because I felt already that a panic attack would just be an inconvenience to the staff that where trying their best to deal with the massive influx of ravers reacting poorly to their excessive drinking and drug intake.

But, I was met by kind female nurses who also experience anxiety and other mental illness forms, and assured me that I could come into the tent to relax and try to gather myself.

When I have a very bad attack, it can take hours or even a couple of days to settle back down to what I consider “normal”. I was afraid to sleep (for some reason this is also how I get in a panic) and anytime staff came to speak to me I started to hyperventilate again. We were nearing the very end of the festival hours so naturally, some people coming in were in bad shape with hallucinating and vomiting.

The male staff in the tent were having a good time with the party goers; taking photos for the kids on psychedelics, joking around, sitting around, etc. So eventually when they got to me, who wasn’t being very much fun, they weren’t sure why I was even there. When my boyfriend explained the various things that probably led me to this point, one staff simply said, “this isn’t some motel six you can just hang out at.” When another doctor came he told us we should just leave to a hotel or camp site and “deal with it”.

This got me thinking… Had I ever had a good experience with a male doctor when it came to my mental health? I don’t believe so. Not that there aren’t male doctors who do amazing with this topic, but mental health is still seen as something that should just be “gotten over” compared to other things.

When I had a bad reaction back when I was first starting anxiety medication and had to go to the hospital, the male staff thought I had taken other drugs or something bad was happening in my home life. On this festival night, the male staff just kept insisting that I must have had taken drugs or been drinking too much. They simple couldn’t believe that I had only taken two sips of a vodka red-bull all weekend because since my anxiety was already bad, I didn’t want to push it. The first time I saw a doctor regarding my mental health and told him I wanted to kill myself, he just stared blankly at me, like I was crazy.

And today, I’m curious why that is. Why is mental health still treated this why when almost every female and few of the men I know experience issues with their mental health. Why are we still treated as if it isn’t serious? Why do people just think we can shut it off whenever we feel like it?

On a good day, I like to just say that people can’t comprehend something that they’ve never experienced. A lot of people are lucky and only experience anxiety and depression in short bursts. (They think one or two months are torture!) Imagine living like this every day of your life.

Just a thing I felt like I wanted to write about today, and I hope that as time goes on, the mental health awareness and support in not just my country, but various countries can continue to grow and improve. I hope that as doctors spend time in the field they chose to be apart of, they try to remain kind to all of the various people they see. I’m sure there are many situations that are made up or simply ridiculous. But mental health is serious, and should be treated us such.

And to anyone that has found or finds themselves in a situation with a doctor that is belittling you for your situation, that doctor can fuck off. No one knows your mind and body the way you do. If any professional is telling you you are wrong, you are not required to see that specific doctor. I have walked out or spoken my peace to many professionals that tried to cut me down for the way my mind works. It is not your job to protect a professional’s “I’m always right” ego. It’s your job to protect yourself.

One thought on “Anxiety and Medical “Professionals”…

  1. buddy71 says:

    as a medical professional, im sorry you were treated so poorly.
    it is, i feel, a society issue on how we see and poorly treat mental health issues. there is a stigma attached unlike how physical health is treated and usually not have a stigma attached. and of course $$ is always a factor. hospitals are being built, but not mental health hospitals. short term treatment centers are around, but insurances including state/federal programs poorly fund these programs and those involved are essentially “treated and streeted”
    thanks for sharing this experience

    Liked by 1 person

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