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Creating awareness of ptsd in medical field

Discussion in 'Medical' started by Enaila, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Enaila

    Enaila Well-Known Member Donated

    I had an eye specialist appointment a week ago. I was anxious about going to the doctor to begin with and then the waiting did not help. After waiting in a small dark room, which at least had windows, for my eyes to dilate, I was moved to an even smaller examination room without windows and the door was closed. I had been waiting about an hour prior to the move to the small exam room. I decided to open the door despite being told it was closed for patient privacy. I did remember to do some deep breathing exercises and right as I was ready to call it quits as the anxiety was getting to be too much, the doctor walked in. He asked how I was doing and he ended up getting a lesson about PTSD and how waiting may not seem like a big deal to some, it would be nice if people were informed about wait times. I mentioned being shut in a small exam room without windows can be a major trigger for some. The doctor hadn't even thought about the complications PTSD may have on patients there to get eyes checked. His assistant set me up for a followup appointment, which would be the first one of the day. She said perhaps it would shorten any waits and make my visits less stressful.

    I now know I am going to be more upfront and unashamed to mention the PTSD to places which may be a trigger. I am accepting of the fact I have PTSD and maybe with educating others, they will realize how difficult dealing with PTSD can be and learn to assist.
    Swift, LuckiLee, mumstheword and 2 others like this.
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  3. Katiesue

    Katiesue Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

    Sometimes we need to be our own advocate. I like how they suggested you to be the first appointment of the day. That was great on their part and I think will help you tremendously.
    joeylittle and EveHarrington like this.
  4. somerandomguy

    somerandomguy Learning how to be myself Premium Member Donated

    I think @Swift was working on some kind of guide for medical professionals. She's an expert on this subject and well worth talking to about it.
    mumstheword and Swift like this.
  5. Suzetig

    Suzetig Still the Staff Kitteh... Moderator Sponsor $100+

    I think the difficulty is that no two people with PTSD are impacted in the same way, so it’s always going to come down to us each asking for what we need.

    By way of example, the situation you describe would have been totally fine for me so a guide that says “people with PTSD struggle with waiting and may need the first appointment of the day”, isn’t necessarily true - in fact some folk with PTSD may not manage to get themselves together first thing to get to an early appointment. It works for you and it’s great that you were able to identify what wasn’t helpful and talk to them about it.

    I do think it’s important for people to really think about what they need and to be able to ask - as you did. I’m ok going to the opticians but recently had some medical tests that I knew would be hard for me. I chose a specific clinic that I knew had experience with sexual trauma, spoke to them about the specific things that might trigger me and they put some support in place for me. I didn’t go to my GP - who could easily have done the tests - because I knew the surgery wouldn’t have known how to support me properly with the specifics of my challenges.

    I think people being more trauma informed is a very good thing particularly in medical circles, I would hate that to turn into “people with PTSD need X...” because not all will need X and what works for you may not work for me. Which is the case regardless of PTSD - I guess my hope is that I can come to a place where I accept I sometimes need support. Not because I have PTSD, not because I can’t cope or manage but just because as a person I find some things hard sometimes.

    Recognising what we need and being able to advocate for that is a hugely important life skill, it sounds like you were able to do that despite a tricky eye appointment.
    joeylittle, Sietz and Swift like this.
  6. Swift

    Swift I'm a VIP

    Aw thanks @somerandomguy.
    Yeah, no two people with PTSD are the same... but there are general symptoms that come up...
    Imma start working on that thing when I get home.
    One of my ideas is a basic 1page form with checkboxes for what effects us, checkboxes for things that help. I'll probably put it up on here for suggestions. Thinking of two versions. One with space for a doctor/Ts signature for people who feel like that would lend them legitimacy, and one without. Maybe a fact sheet on the back, just general stuff about PTSD.
    The medical population as a whole is woefully undereducated about mental health. And woefully undereducated about non-combat PTSD.

    On the plus side, everyone I've spoken to has been pretty receptive to integrating things re: ptsd into their practice.
    Sietz likes this.
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