I think it’s fair to say that I’m pretty open and candid on this blog about issues that people the world over still struggle to talk about but for some reason I’m struggling with this one.
Yesterday was the day of the scary doctor’s appointment. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go and then when that was decided I didn’t know what I was actually going to manage to say. With the help of a printable from an emetophobia help Web page I managed to explain the whole thing. There was a lot anxiety and some sobbing but I did it.
It’s what came next that’s the difficult bit to put out there on to the Internet – I’m being referred to psychiatry. This is a positive step as I’m being referred for advice, to see if a combined approach may be best. I’m not being forced in to anything and for the to being I’m relatively calm about the whole thing.
It got me thinking more about the stigma around mental illness. I’ve never been dissuaded from talking about it before. That’s not to say I haven’t faced stigma, only last week someone laughed at me for my anxiety and phobia, and growing up I was told not to tell people that I had it because they’d think badly of me. Thankfully in the main my experience hasn’t been negative however I think the word psychiatry carries all kind of connotations.
It’s no different than be referred to orthopaedics or cardiology, it’s just a different part of the bid but for some reason we say the word in hushed tones or carefully consider who we will tell. Well, other than my grandparents, I’m not hiding it from anyone.
I may end up chickening out and not pursuing any help from them but I’m not going to be ashamed of going to a psychiatrist. No one should be worried about other people’s reactions to their medical care.