I thought I’d write a “Part 2” to my previous blog, ‘The Men in Mental Health”, and I feel there may be more.
It’s far too common, and not enough is being done about it, despite a very positive gain in momentum of charities and high figure public figures getting behind mental health awareness.
Not long ago I saw a gentleman triaged as a Category 2 in Emergency for Palpitations. (Note: Category 1 is most severe, such as a cardiac arrest, and category 5 being that 3 month old stubbed toe that you’d thought you should get checked out at 4am).
It turns out this gentleman had been experiencing palpitations on and off for the last few years, but a recent relationship stressor really kicked his anxiety symptoms to the next level. His ECG showed his heart was beating fast although regular – a truly physical manifestation of a psychological condition.
With a simple question, “How are you feeling”, tears began to flow.
It was immediately clear that this gentleman was experiencing extreme anxiety, and sadly had done nothing about it – for years.
Mainly because he felt he couldn’t, with fears his partner would leave him or not understand him suffering from anxiety.
Unfortunately I’ve seen this before.
I found it incredibly sad myself that such severe psychological strain could bring about such severe physical symptoms. After a heartfelt conversation and emotional download, the gentleman quickly calmed down and the physical symptoms resolved.
A simple joke or two even revealed a great smile in amongst the tear washed face – a seemingly transformed person.
I realise anxiety is tough to deal with, but it’s far more tough to deal with it when it isn’t acknowledged. All those stored up emotions simply snowball, and in some sad and severe cases, can result in suicide.
Sometimes all you need is that neutral person for that emotional download, so I would encourage anyone who may be reading this and suffering from anxiety to seek help and discuss it with your doctor. It simply isn’t worth suffering in silence for fears others may not accept your personal circumstances or fears you won’t be understood.
I can assure you, we healthcare practitioners understand.