For several months Anon’s overall anxiety levels have been high, but worse is that about 4-5 days a week, she has the highest level of panic I have ever seen.
A lot of times she can’t even talk. She is overflowing with anxiety, is absolutely panicked and doesn’t know why, and if the slightest thing goes wrong (eg. she can’t find something she wants) she bursts into tears. When you’re already trying to cope with so much, it only takes one thing to push you over the edge.
Today she was so overwhelmed with panic that she was curled on the footstool with her arms over her head, just trying to survive minute by minute. It is excruciating to watch.
Anon cried at me today that she needs help, but we can’t get it as she is too ill to make it to any appointments, and the NHS are unwilling to help us overcome that – they have said no to home visits, email contact and video calls.
We can’t live like this.
Today I phoned our GP surgery and asked for an urgent telephone appointment, where the Doctor would talk with me. I’m getting a call back in a few hours, which is weird as normally they try make us wait 5+ days.
I’m nervous about this phone call. Firstly because the last time I had a telephone appointment, the Doctor was absolutely disgusting as he couldn’t talk with Anon. And also because if something goes wrong with this call, it will break Anon.
My hope with this phone call is that we will have an understanding and sympathetic GP.
I will spell it out: Anon is too panicked, anxious and scared to physically get to an appointment. This is our problem!!
Not only is she terrified of appointments after abhorrent treatment, but her terror is so bad she can rarely leave the house now, and certainly can’t cope with busy places (this is why dog walks are usually safe: Anon is with a dog (which almost always helps her), she’s in the countryside, there’s lots of open space and very few people).
Obviously we can’t get treatment until Anon’s panic has been reduced. I would like Anon to start on an anti-anxiety drug (such as an SSRI or Tricyclic antidepressant) to see if we can reduce her anxiety, and see how she is then. It’s my hope that we can then get further help and attend appointments.
Not too hard to understand, I hope.
I imagine they will bring up the point that Anon has been diagnosed with bipolar, and so a anti-depressant could trigger mania in her.
My response will be: At this point mania would be far easier to manage than this constant fear and psychosis. With mania Anon gains confidence and motivation, and in general low-down appointments are a breeze.
Secondly only one antidepressant has ever made Anon manic, and it wasn’t an SSRI.
Also we are not sure how much the diagnosis of bipolar really suits Anon anymore. She no longer has clear or long-lasting mood episodes (rather it seems she’s just constantly fucked mood-wise…) and she has constant psychosis. Not exactly bipolar.
Finally, if you’re not willing to prescribe something to help her panic…what do you suggest then?! Because all I’ve been advised so far is “just bring her to the appointment”, and that really isn’t happening.
The other thing I’m concerned about is that he won’t be willing to prescribe anything without seeing Anon at an appointment. I’d basically be replying that if he wants to see her he will have to do a home visit, and he’ll have to do it soon because we can’t cope.
Whilst reading about anti-anxiety medication I ended up discovering ‘panic disorder’, which was something neither of us had heard of before.
I’d always thought panic attacks were short in duration and usually involved hysterical crying / hyperventilation, but according to the NHS site with panic attacks…
“You may experience an overwhelming sense of fear, apprehension and anxiety. As well as these feelings, you may also have physical symptoms such as:
- a sensation that your heart is beating irregularly”
Hmm, that’s a lot of Anon right there…
I hope this phone call goes well, and I’m almost 100% certain it won’t 😦