Mental health professional asked weird question when asking about my anxiety

Lilac98

Policy Enforcement
This has popped into my head recently. Ages ago when I wanted to try a new medication for my anxiety and I had to see a psychiatrist. I went with dad who stayed in the room with me and I wanted him there and she said it was fine. So she was asking general questions about my anxiety, what medication I've tried, I said people make me anxious. I explained it's not a thought about people that makes me anxious it's just like an automatic reaction, I'd see or hear a person and I'd panic. I said it's all people, people I know and don't know. Then she said out of nowhere, are you scared of men. I said no and said again that I'm scared of all people and she just carried on like that was a normal question. Dad looked really offended, I had to try not to laugh. I got a new medication to try and then I got sent a letter saying she'd given me a working diagnosis of social phobia. I just thought that was a really weird thing to ask. Curious what people think.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
It's just a question. You gave your answer. What would be weird is if she didn't accept your answer and kept on.

What's the reason this question in particular is on your mind after all this time? That might be the more helpful thing for you to think about.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
Hard to know, without having all the context, but I'd have found it slightly odd. But I completely agree with Movingforward. Since she moved on with her questions I wouldn't find it that odd. And it might be good to explore why you are still thinking about it.
 

Lilac98

Policy Enforcement
Hard to know, without having all the context, but I'd have found it slightly odd. But I completely agree with Movingforward. Since she moved on with her questions I wouldn't find it that odd. And it might be good to explore why you are still thinking about it.
That is all the context she didn't have any obvious reason to ask that that question I never mentioned anything about the alien and it wasn't on record that anything happened to me
 

joeylittle

Administrator
That is all the context she didn't have any obvious reason to ask
It's a specific screening question that is frequently asked of women; based on the (flawed) assumption that only men abuse women.

It's pretty safe to assume that would have been her next question, even if your previous answer had been that you were afraid of wide open spaces (or anything else).

If your gender wasn't female, you'd likely not have been asked if you were afraid of men.
 
This has popped into my head recently. Ages ago when I wanted to try a new medication for my anxiety and I had to see a psychiatrist. I went with dad who stayed in the room with me and I wanted him there and she said it was fine. So she was asking general questions about my anxiety, what medication I've tried, I said people make me anxious. I explained it's not a thought about people that makes me anxious it's just like an automatic reaction, I'd see or hear a person and I'd panic. I said it's all people, people I know and don't know. Then she said out of nowhere, are you scared of men. I said no and said again that I'm scared of all people and she just carried on like that was a normal question. Dad looked really offended, I had to try not to laugh. I got a new medication to try and then I got sent a letter saying she'd given me a working diagnosis of social phobia. I just thought that was a really weird thing to ask. Curious what people think.
That is a weird question! Of course, it's not that weird considering that you are both women, and unfortunately mental health professionals insinuate things in a way that offends people sometimes. Since your dad just looked offended probably means, and you tried not to laugh, probably means you and your dad care about each other.

She was basically trying to figure out if you've been hurt by men, unfortunately anxiety tends to have a feedback loops: If you're anxious, then other people get anxious, and that's not your fault. Despite whatever reasons you have for that phobia, the information you provided would lead lots of mental health professionals to conclude that you have a "social phobia", because all people make you feel anxious. I completely sympathize with that: sometimes peoples voices tend to really irritate for reasons i don't fully understand.
 

SallyO

New Here
This has popped into my head recently. Ages ago when I wanted to try a new medication for my anxiety and I had to see a psychiatrist. I went with dad who stayed in the room with me and I wanted him there and she said it was fine. So she was asking general questions about my anxiety, what medication I've tried, I said people make me anxious. I explained it's not a thought about people that makes me anxious it's just like an automatic reaction, I'd see or hear a person and I'd panic. I said it's all people, people I know and don't know. Then she said out of nowhere, are you scared of men. I said no and said again that I'm scared of all people and she just carried on like that was a normal question. Dad looked really offended, I had to try not to laugh. I got a new medication to try and then I got sent a letter saying she'd given me a working diagnosis of social phobia. I just thought that was a really weird thing to ask. Curious what people think.
With 1 in 4 girls being sexually abused or assaulted plus your state of anxiety, I don't think it is odd at all.
 
With 1 in 4 girls being sexually abused or assaulted plus your state of anxiety, I don't think it is odd at all.
Yes, but why not attack that directly in therapy (figuratively speaking) instead of breadcrumbing when lilac already answered the question? If you're afraid of people, you are afraid of men. "Sexually abuse" and "sexual assault" are vague categories for a very large set of behaviors. Women abuse people constantly in all sorts of different ways unfortunately, i've read a lot of the comments on other mental health forums about narcissistic mothers, and a emotionally screwed up mother has been the source of a lot of distress within my family. Statistical methods for helping people don't really work.

Just trying to have some sympathy for lilac here, i'm not insinuating that sexual abuse is not a problem worth addressing. I wish it were easier to talk about these things.
 

Charbella

Learning
Yes, but why not attack that directly in therapy (figuratively speaking) instead of breadcrumbing when lilac already answered the question? If you're afraid of people, you are afraid of men. "Sexually abuse" and "sexual assault" are vague categories for a very large set of behaviors. Women abuse people constantly in all sorts of different ways unfortunately, i've read a lot of the comments on other mental health forums about narcissistic mothers, and a emotionally screwed up mother has been the source of a lot of distress within my family. Statistical methods for helping people don't really work.

Just trying to have some sympathy for lilac here, i'm not insinuating that sexual abuse is not a problem worth addressing. I wish it were easier to talk about these things.
Seems like if her dad was in the room asking it directly would result in most girls automatic no response especially if dad had done it. The dr had already tried to get rid of dad so she’d be able to answer any question and she had declined so they went about it round about. It’s certainly an important question given the 1 in 4, and anxiety around people could be abuse of any kind or anxiety in general but if she answered no it’s only around women or yes then she’d have gotten a very important piece of info.
 

Lilac98

Policy Enforcement
Yes, but why not attack that directly in therapy (figuratively speaking) instead of breadcrumbing when lilac already answered the question? If you're afraid of people, you are afraid of men.
I thought it was particularly weird for her to ask that question considering I had just said I'm anxious around everyone and as you said men are included as part of everyone.
 
Seems like if her dad was in the room asking it directly would result in most girls automatic no response especially if dad had done it. The dr had already tried to get rid of dad so she’d be able to answer any question and she had declined so they went about it round about. It’s certainly an important question given the 1 in 4, and anxiety around people could be abuse of any kind or anxiety in general but if she answered no it’s only around women or yes then she’d have gotten a very important piece of info.
Fair enough, and if you are female, you are also more likely to be killed by a man or non-sexually assaulted too. However, whether it is weird or not is up to each person. I don't fault the therapist even though I guess she could have said, "are you afraid of people because someone has hurt you?", since that seems to be in line with how ptsd works.
 
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