New to groups, loads of help needed!

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HI, I'm new to the group. Any advice would be really helpful.

I have suffered with anxiety for several years now. My GP has been helpful to a point. They are a big practice so it is hard to get to see the same doctor each time and really hard to get specific appoitnment time. They have in the past offered me anti-depressents and to be put on the waiting list for CBT. Other than this they haven't been very helpful. 

Is this normal or should I expect better care? Whilst I understand that I do not have a physical condition my symptoms are very real to me and If I dId have a serious physical condition I would have been refered to a specicialist by now. Is there such as thing as a specialist in anxiety conditions within the NHS? and do I have a right to request futher help? they have never really even givem me a physical health check either, so I don't know if anything else is contrbuting to my anixety? 

Thanks, any advice appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Jenny..i posted my experience of anxiety and what it has done to me. From my experiences the care available on the NHS is very poor. You will only be offered care other than CBT if you are considered a threat to yourself or others. Psychiatric and Psychological care are only offered as crisis care and the waiting list is ridiculous. Unless you are admitted to a mental hospital tou will not see a Psychiatrist for at least 9 months (following 6 - 12 weeks of CBT, then referral from your GP to Psychiatric services an assessment id done by a none professional and then finally an appointment...but they don't understand anxiety conditions at all well). Keep going
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  • Posted

    Yes you do have the right to request further testing it's easy for a doc to say anxiety when they are not living with the chronic real scary symptoms everyday

    It's so hard for the mind to accept chest pain shortness of breath and shaking ( just small examples ) could be anxiety and easy for a doctor to say it's just anxiety if you are like me I would rather have a thorough check out that it isn't anything serious an once it isn't I will swallow any pill or do any treatment they suggest for anxiety but until I have my mind convinced no amount of family friends or doctors will be able to help me this is jus me though others are probably less stubborn lol but you should defo push for tests if u are unhappy

    Hope this helps x

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  • Posted

    They were the same with me, I take propranolol and I have had cbt and I did find this helpful although the second time around wasn't or more the person I saw wasn't helpful. This was a few.years ago now and for me it kind of wore off, as I say to people I find people are much more sympathetic If someone for example broke their arm they are much more caring as they see the physical pain of that person. However someone who struggles emotionally with anxiety and you can't see it, it's as if they can look at you as if nothing is wrong. Treatment should be taken much more seriously, Jen
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  • Posted

    Hi Jenny, I am sorry that you aren't feeling you best right now. I dont know if there are "anxiety specialists" in the NHS. I think if you are under 21 you can be referred to CaAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health services) but if over 21 then I think it will be the referal to psychological therapies as your GP has already done. Do go along when the appointment comes through - CBT is quite hard - but it may help you understand why you are feeling this way. I doubt that your GP means to be unkind and will know your symptoms are very real (I would imagine many Doctors suffer in the same way - no one is immune to anxiety). His/her frustration in the lack of political will to improve the time waiting for appointments for counseling may be why you felt they were unhelpful. Perhaps you could make an appointment for a GP that you like ( do they do double appointments at your practice?) and say what you would like from them while you are waiting for your appointment for CBT. Perhaps you could ask for a physical health check - blood pressure, pulse rate and a blood test for thyroid levels and blood count are simple to do IF your Dr thinks that they would be worth doing. Tell the GP that you are concerned that there may be another reason for you feeling anxious and can he/she exclude those reasons and reassure you. You will feel a bit better if you tell him/her whats troubling you. While you are there pick up leaflets and information about diet and exercise too as these may inspire you while you are waiting for that precious appointment. You do have the right to request a second opinion too. Other mental health specialists are psychiatrists - I think they specialise in treating other severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar, with medication. Does your GP have a webpage with links to other websites along with this one that we are on? Time to Change, CALM ( for men but worth a look), and the Royal College of psychiatrists sites may be worth a look. All the best 
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  • Posted

    Thanks for your kind advice. I am 32 now and this started a number of years ago. I know that I have anxiety not having a heart attack etc, but did wonder if my gp should have at least tested my general physical wellbeing just to check that there wasn't any contributing factors. I just feel a bit fobbed off. When I ring the Drs which is rare because I find the whole process so stressful I have to speak to a receptionist about the problem who then gets a clinician, not sure who that is? To ring me back to and often they ask me if I need an appointment when really I just want them to tell me if I do or not and then if I am given one it has to be on that day so I have to be off work and it is with which ever Dr is available. They don't do pre bookable appts with certain Drs anymore. So I don't have any kind of relationship with a gp who I feel I can talk too :-(
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  • Posted

    That does sound really unhelpful. I suppose there are 2 things you could do. Phone the Dr's and when you speak to the receptionist and he/she asks you what the problem is, say politely "I'm sorry but that is confidential, please can I speak to a clinician". When the "clinician" ( could be a nurse or Dr) phones you back ask who he/she is ( they should introduce themselves anyway and how rude if they dont!), then explain that you have been diagnosed with anxiety and you would like to make a booked appointment to chat with the Dr but not an "on the day" one as you cant take time off work. Explain that you would like a check over as you are concerned that there may be other causes to your anxiety. If they say they don't do booked appointments then ask why not as other patients of theirs must also find that really inconvenient too? They are a large surgery, perhaps there is a senior nurse you can book an appointment with perhaps?. If you get no joy then go to plan 2. Go on the NHS choices webpage. Add in your postcode and see what other GP surgeries are available where you live (I'm assuming that you are in the UK). Ask friends where they go, phone the surgeries up and ask them what their appointment system is like, speak to the practice managers too. Then fill in the forms and change your GP. When thats all done go back on NHS Choices and give your old surgery a write up explaining their shoddy system. Good luck. Your confidence has taken a knock - we can all sympathise with you - we're with you on this, you have every right to ask for help from your GP
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  • Posted

    Hi, the system my gp operates is called triage, not sure if common thing to do these days. You basically have speak to someone on the phone first to determine if you need an appointment, I guess it filters out people that don't need one and makes the system more efficient.

    I was having fairly regular appointments when I first became very ill but I found the Dr to be very patronising. Telling me I couldn't have any kind of calming medication because they can be addictive, going on about alcohol intake etc. I get that she was right but I was in such a bad state and she basically did nothing. So i gave up seeing her.

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