One of my last visits to the doctor’s office left me uneasy in more ways than one.
I had a routine check-up with my doctor regarding the medication I’m taking that’s supposed to target my depression and anxiety. After 3 months on that medication, I decided this first round of medicine wasn’t working for me. I didn’t feel “super” depressed, but I still wasn’t eating, I was still feeling anxious all day for no apparent reason and anger became one of my only emotions. I didn’t like that medication and this visit was to switch medication.
Every single visit, I seemed to talk to another doctor than the last but that wasn’t the thing to upset me. I actually don’t mind that a few different doctors had their input because, from the start, I’ve been wary about taking medication for my mental health. In the beginning, they were considering putting me on bi-polar medication but decided against it because I don’t show any other symptoms other than anger.
One thing that did bother me about my last visit was this one particular doctor’s viewpoints and comments on mental health. He made me believe that the issues I was bringing up were normal things that just happen in life and were no big deal.
It didn’t upset me at that moment (something else took the cake) however, the more I thought about my appointment that’s when I got a bit more upset. This doctor was brushing off my anger issues as if it’s a natural thing that’s supposed to happen even though I have extreme outbursts and don’t trust myself when I’m in that mindset.
The more I think about it the more it makes me think about school shootings. My personal belief is mental health plays some role in the number of school shootings that occur in this country. School shootings aren’t the focus of this post however, I have to wonder how many of those individuals went to a doctor and was told that’s life just deal with it.
While at work I remembered my doctors visit and him telling me that my anger while driving is just normal or just apart of life and I thought, “Is that what you would tell someone before they shoot up a school? Oh well, your anger is just apart of life” and you’re just a doctor that gives TERRIBLE ADVICE.
I am someone you would NEVER expect to have anger issues. No one believes me. They see me as this 5’5” small, white girl and think ‘oh she looks so innocent and looks like she can easily be pushed around’ (because I get pushed around constantly), however, what they see is only my outside appearance. What they don’t see or realize is I get my anger from my dad and his side of the family, which is basically a long line of men with anger issues.
So really on the inside, I am my father, I’m a 6’5” tall, strong guy who does not want to be fucked around. But of course, no one sees that because I look like a sorority girl.
This experience at the doctor’s office made me take a step back. It’s really making me think because I understand the doctor probably didn’t want to over-medicate me but I also want someone to take my emotions seriously.
The other thing that happened while at the doctors’ office that got me upset at the moment was a “joke” the so-called doctor told me. I don’t remember the joke exactly but I know for a fact, that by the end of the joke he placed both hands on my shoulders and shook me. He told me this joke because I was getting visibly upset that something I thought was being worked on for months, in fact, hadn’t even started. What made me upset was he thought it was best to try and calm me down like I am some hysterical person. I’m upset because you weren’t doing your job and I’m not afraid to voice that concern.
It felt like I was being pushed under the rug and being walked all over, something I’ve gotten used to but I’m fighting back now because I’m sick and tired of it.
When the doctor was done with his joke (one that made ZERO sense by-the-way) he left the room because I gave him a death stare and turned immediately to Alec. I asked him bluntly if a doctor has ever touched him in that manner and he said no.
I said it more along the lines of:
“I’m so fucking pissed. How dare he think it’s okay to touch me whether I’m upset or not. Have you been touched in that sort of way ever at a doctors office?”
“No, never except for anything routine.”
The only time a doctor touched him for non-medical reasons was to give him a pat on the back. I’m honestly glad Alec was there because he can now finally experience first hand the kind of experiences I go through. I really want him to know that I don’t make this stuff up and I don’t do this for attention (and he, of course, knows that but he’s a guy who hasn’t experience inappropriate touching).
While I know it was just this particular doctor because I had seen 3 others before him, from that office and never experienced this with them. But to know there are doctor’s out there that aren’t 100% believing their patients or even just listening is quite unsettling.
You, the doctor, aren’t going through my experiences or in my mind. Why do you think you can tell me what I’m exaggerating or not?
I am very open when I go to the doctor’s because I know to give them more information is WAY better than not giving them enough, however, some people don’t think like this. When they visit a doctor or a therapist for the first time they most likely will not give you the whole story because other people have told them they’re overreacting or what not.
I’m writing about this experience of mine because it just made me stop and take a step back. It’s okay to realize and voice your concerns when you feel like something should have been handled better. It’s okay to get angry when you feel people aren’t taking you seriously. And it’s okay to be mad at doctor’s who think mental health is just everyday things that aren’t really serious. I don’t want people to feel like they aren’t being listened to. I don’t want people to give up on getting the help they need because when that happens we get people with lost souls who have nothing to lose.
A Simple Wildflower