So I finally mustered up the courage to speak to a doctor about my anxiety issues. I’ve been suffering from some sort of anxiety for a while now. It peaked during my time in college(well my first time in college, cause I’m still there ha!). When I lived on campus I would have anxiety attacks if I had to eat in the huge cafeteria without someone I knew. I even went through it in high school, but it was easier because I would just not eat then. But in college when most of your meals are supposed to be furnished through the caf, having anxiety attacks upon entering the huge space with all these students I didn’t know would send me off into full blown panic modes. I would start to sweat, heart would race, and I would feel sick to my stomach. I’m not really sure why that is. Maybe I felt everyone would be like, “hey look at that overweight girl siting by herself in the caf, ha ha she’s going back for seconds, wait thirds!” So if my friends weren’t going, then neither was I. Well since my college mates schedules’ did not revolve around mine, it led to a lot of eating alone in my room. These sessions were usually pizza pies, followed by hot wings, not to be outdone by chips, candy, and soda. Now of course I don’t live on campus and I’m not even a traditional college student so I don’t run into those problems anymore. So now my anxiety has manifested itself in the form of driving. Whenever I’m on a highway bridge I freak out. The bad thing is where I live I am surrounded by water. You pretty much have to go to a tunnel/bridge to get anywhere. So since my anxiety seemed to be getting worse. I thought I was doing the right thing by seeking help. So I called the doc and made an appointment. When I get there the nurse asks me what is wrong, and I tell her I have been having really bad anxiety whenever I have to drive through tunnels and on bridges. The nurse goes, and I kid you not, “So you aren’t having vaginal irritation?” I’m like, “What?! No! Anxiety, I called and made an appointment about anxiety”. So she tells me that on the paper it says something different. Stupid making appointments for the wrong reasons receptionist! So I was completely embarrassed as she began to put away all the equipment that a doctor would use for such things as a pelvic exam back with an attitude. I guess its my fault that the receptionist mistook, anxiety attacks for a sexually transmitted disease. I should have took that as a sign to get out of there quick. But I didn’t so the nurse left, and in comes a student doctor/intern. He was kinda cool, he asked such probing questions about my anxiety. I was almost brought to tears because I felt like finally I would be getting relief. So he said he would be back in a minute with the doctor. So I lay back on the table and try to get some rest. I hadn’t ate or drank anything all day because I wanted to get blood work drawn, like cholesterol and lipids while I was there. So the doc comes in with the student. I describe my feelings to him as I’m driving over a bridge. I tell him that I start sweating, heart racing, tunnel vision, nausea, and just a really bad feeling to the point where I just want to pull over on the side of the road. He says,” it sounds like you are having panic attacks”. Well okay doc i kinda figured that out for myself. Then he says, “I won’t prescribe you any meds, because I think you can deal with this on your own”. I tell him for the last year it’s been getting worse, and each day of the week I have to cross at least one tunnel if not two to get where I have to go. He says, “too bad there isn’t a public transportation option that you can partake in, what about having friends or family drive you where you need to go” Okay now I was getting annoyed. So I should resort to being some freak show that has to driven around by others. I tell him at least two of my family members where almost killed in tunnel accidents, and maybe that is why I am freaking out so much. He says, “maybe but…”and looks like he is thinking. I already felt vulnerable, and a little nutty for admitting that I was having anxiety problems. Even though I know it runs in my family. But this doctor was making it worse. Little did I know it was about to good from slightly annoying to downright insulting. Then doctor what ever his name was (my doctor is on vacation and he is a stand in), suggested that maybe my anxiety was linked to depression and that if I lost weight I wouldn’t be as depressed, and therefore would not have anxiety. So I tell him that hey doc I’ve lost at least 81 pounds. He then asks me If I did it on purpose. That one caught me off guard. How the heck does one loose 81 pounds by mistake? I tell him I of course wanted to loose weight. I told him I went from being morbidly obese to being right on the obese/overweight line for my BMI. He looked pretty unbelieving, and wanted to know what I did. After giving him a rundown, he told me that If I lost more weight i would be less depressed, and I would feel better. Mind you I never once said anything about being depressed. He then asked If I ever thought about killing myself or if I had problems sleeping at night. So I guess within our little 10 min chat he was trying to peg me as suicidal too. Then he said maybe if I talked about my feelings with a therapist my anxiety would go away. Since I hold no Phd, I say sure I’ll try that thinking that he will give me a name or somewhere to start. But he wouldn’t even give me a number or a recommendation. He suggested I contact my insurance company and ask them for names of local docs because it all comes down to them. So he was no helpful at all. I wasted my time, and I felt even worse afterwards. So I’m going to call a therapist anyway, just to see what one will say. I figure it couldn’t hurt. But I’ve never come across a more annoying doctor. He’s up there with the doctor that suggested I try walking, when I came in for a yearly physical before I started to loose weight. Thanks doc, I know I was morbidly obese,but I sure never thought walking or exercise would help. Thanks for the breakthrough! Oh and thanks doctor no name for suggesting that my panic attacks where due to me being depressed and suicidal about not being a size 0. Thanks for nothing!
Thanks for nothing Doc! 08/17/2009