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Help! How do I first approach the subject of anxiety and/or depression with a doctor? Watch

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    (If you don't wanna read by story skip to the last paragraph, I still really need to know how to talk to a doctor about this!)

    Okay so for so long now I've struggled with a range of things. Self-doubt, low self-esteem, and chronic shyness. It's gotten worse. I started feeling generally 'ill' in year 11, so 4 years ago. I couldn't explain why but I felt off, and my stomach was constantly hurting. Whenever I was nervous about something it would get worse and my pain would increase. Looking back now it was probably to do with exam stress, but at the time I couldn't pinpoint how or what I was feeling. I went to the docs with my Mum and they did blood tests, and even an ultrasound was done! They found nothing, and gave me some pills for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and that was it.

    As time went on, I felt better- exams were over and I felt happier and in less pain. Then suddenly in year 12 I felt awful. My friends weren't very kind and I felt very lonely. This is where the 'depression' fits in. I hate self-diagnosing which is why I need a docs help, but depressed is the only way I can explain it. I'm saying that because I began self-harming, and became increasingly erratic in terms of my down moments. I'd get angry, or start crying for no reason. Looking back on me throughout those two years- I feel like I am looking back on a different person. I felt like I wasn't me, like I was watching myself from a distance- like now, I look back and think 'that wasn't me'... but it was.

    Sure, I probably should have got help at the time, and my stomach aches came back whenever I had a class I didn't like or a presentation (I once completely cried and found it hard to breath after a big presentation at the end of year 12), and I just got worse. I cried when my Mum couldn't come to the hairdressers with me! But, I didn't get help then, and I can't change that. Again, it got better. I was nervous to start university of course, and I was pretty much accustomed the the stomach aches by then- I knew it was to do with being nervous, but I was used to it and just let it pass.

    Long story short, I began uni, made some (I thought) solid friends, and my 'anxiety' subsided. However, as the year passed, my 'friends' had pretty much al ditched me, and constantly purposely left me out of things. One day I had enough and found a new friend and left them all to it. I was tired of feeling all my life like I'm not good enough. The feelings came back and for a long time I sat in my room at halls. I never washed, I didn't eat properly (or I binged), I barely left the room. I was so anxious that I never even met half of my flatmates- I got the reputation of being the one person who they never see. I never cooked once in that halls, not once. The second year it only got worse. New flats, but barely went into the kitchen. I was living with 12 people but I only ever spoke to TWO people (and that was only like a hi, hello thing). It's terrible, I know it is. But I can't help feeling so damn shy. Once again I didn't wash for days at a time, which I thought was okay because I never left. I once again binged off junk foods from my local supermarket- never ate or cooked in the kitchen. I made a couple of new friends off different courses who I saw outside of Uni, but I felt lonely. I stopped going into university- I lied and pretended I had no work so I could avoid showing it to the group. My old 'friend' group make me feel anxious and stupid so I ended up missing my WHOLE second semester, didn't hand in anything, and am now having to redo the year.

    So my question is- how do I approach this subject to my doctor? I know I can't let this continue, I want to pass my course. I need to. I'm not sure what I have, if anything- so I really need to get across how I feel. I booked an appointment for tomorrow, but God knows what I can say. I was thinking of starting it off with "Hi, so I don't know if it's anything but my friends and university tutors suggested I speak to a doctor so I thought I'd explain myself..." and then go on to say "It's about my increasing shyness and inability to do things, it's getting worse and I thought it might be time to speak to someone?"

    Does that sound stupid? What would you say? Has anybody been through this difficult conversation and can give me a few tips? I've wanted to come to a doctor for years, since I started self harming (I did completely stop after 2ish years, after my parents found out, and have been clean now for another 2 years). I thought I was okay but I need help, I can't afford to ruin my life! Thankyou (sorry for the long story)
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    (Original post by Mazzii342)
    (If you don't wanna read by story skip to the last paragraph, I still really need to know how to talk to a doctor about this!)

    Okay so for so long now I've struggled with a range of things. Self-doubt, low self-esteem, and chronic shyness. It's gotten worse. I started feeling generally 'ill' in year 11, so 4 years ago. I couldn't explain why but I felt off, and my stomach was constantly hurting. Whenever I was nervous about something it would get worse and my pain would increase. Looking back now it was probably to do with exam stress, but at the time I couldn't pinpoint how or what I was feeling. I went to the docs with my Mum and they did blood tests, and even an ultrasound was done! They found nothing, and gave me some pills for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and that was it.

    As time went on, I felt better- exams were over and I felt happier and in less pain. Then suddenly in year 12 I felt awful. My friends weren't very kind and I felt very lonely. This is where the 'depression' fits in. I hate self-diagnosing which is why I need a docs help, but depressed is the only way I can explain it. I'm saying that because I began self-harming, and became increasingly erratic in terms of my down moments. I'd get angry, or start crying for no reason. Looking back on me throughout those two years- I feel like I am looking back on a different person. I felt like I wasn't me, like I was watching myself from a distance- like now, I look back and think 'that wasn't me'... but it was.

    Sure, I probably should have got help at the time, and my stomach aches came back whenever I had a class I didn't like or a presentation (I once completely cried and found it hard to breath after a big presentation at the end of year 12), and I just got worse. I cried when my Mum couldn't come to the hairdressers with me! But, I didn't get help then, and I can't change that. Again, it got better. I was nervous to start university of course, and I was pretty much accustomed the the stomach aches by then- I knew it was to do with being nervous, but I was used to it and just let it pass.

    Long story short, I began uni, made some (I thought) solid friends, and my 'anxiety' subsided. However, as the year passed, my 'friends' had pretty much al ditched me, and constantly purposely left me out of things. One day I had enough and found a new friend and left them all to it. I was tired of feeling all my life like I'm not good enough. The feelings came back and for a long time I sat in my room at halls. I never washed, I didn't eat properly (or I binged), I barely left the room. I was so anxious that I never even met half of my flatmates- I got the reputation of being the one person who they never see. I never cooked once in that halls, not once. The second year it only got worse. New flats, but barely went into the kitchen. I was living with 12 people but I only ever spoke to TWO people (and that was only like a hi, hello thing). It's terrible, I know it is. But I can't help feeling so damn shy. Once again I didn't wash for days at a time, which I thought was okay because I never left. I once again binged off junk foods from my local supermarket- never ate or cooked in the kitchen. I made a couple of new friends off different courses who I saw outside of Uni, but I felt lonely. I stopped going into university- I lied and pretended I had no work so I could avoid showing it to the group. My old 'friend' group make me feel anxious and stupid so I ended up missing my WHOLE second semester, didn't hand in anything, and am now having to redo the year.

    So my question is- how do I approach this subject to my doctor? I know I can't let this continue, I want to pass my course. I need to. I'm not sure what I have, if anything- so I really need to get across how I feel. I booked an appointment for tomorrow, but God knows what I can say. I was thinking of starting it off with "Hi, so I don't know if it's anything but my friends and university tutors suggested I speak to a doctor so I thought I'd explain myself..." and then go on to say "It's about my increasing shyness and inability to do things, it's getting worse and I thought it might be time to speak to someone?"

    Does that sound stupid? What would you say? Has anybody been through this difficult conversation and can give me a few tips? I've wanted to come to a doctor for years, since I started self harming (I did completely stop after 2ish years, after my parents found out, and have been clean now for another 2 years). I thought I was okay but I need help, I can't afford to ruin my life! Thankyou (sorry for the long story)
    It's really really great that you've decided to get some help with this! Doctors have seen it all, so whatever way you choose to approach it they've probably seen. Some people even just write down how they're feeling and that they want help, and have the doctor read it. The first thing you suggested yourself seems fair enough, but remember not to play it down! It all matters, and you want help. Just make sure they know that and it'll be okay. In my experience, I turned up for the appointment shaking and I could hardly breathe. I've worked myself up about it for months. I went in, tried to say 'I think I need help', but all I could get out was 'I think' before I just couldn't speak. He sat there with me quietly for a couple of minutes while I composed myself a bit, and we were able to have a quick chat about it and he got me the help I needed. I actually left the appointment completely shocked. I left with a prescription, some advice, and a leaflet. Things didn't get too personal or anything and it was really okay. Good luck, hope it all goes well!
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    (Original post by chelseadagg3r)
    It's really really great that you've decided to get some help with this! Doctors have seen it all, so whatever way you choose to approach it they've probably seen. Some people even just write down how they're feeling and that they want help, and have the doctor read it. The first thing you suggested yourself seems fair enough, but remember not to play it down! It all matters, and you want help. Just make sure they know that and it'll be okay. In my experience, I turned up for the appointment shaking and I could hardly breathe. I've worked myself up about it for months. I went in, tried to say 'I think I need help', but all I could get out was 'I think' before I just couldn't speak. He sat there with me quietly for a couple of minutes while I composed myself a bit, and we were able to have a quick chat about it and he got me the help I needed. I actually left the appointment completely shocked. I left with a prescription, some advice, and a leaflet. Things didn't get too personal or anything and it was really okay. Good luck, hope it all goes well!
    Hey! shame I read your comment too late it's very helpful! I went, I too was shaking and explained that I didn't know how to explain it.. I called it 'shyness' lol. I said it was impacting my life a lot though and she started to see where I was coming from. She was nice, definitely supportive, but something tells me she thought it was over the top. She kept saying things like "yeah a lot of people feel like that sometimes" or "when you get better..." I was like not really what I want to hear! I want advice! But she gave me some book recommendations and some medication so it was good in the end. My doc did get a little personal, she asked me if I liked my family haha (which wasn't personal cause I have a good relationship with my family) but she did ask me if I had hurt myself in the past and I didn't really wanna delve into it, but she has to ask these things I guess!

    I'm glad you went and sought help also, keep going! Thanks for your help x
 
 
 
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