As I sat waiting in the psychiatrist's office yesterday I was nervous. I've seen many psychiatrists before. Some good and some bad. I have not been under the care of a psychiatrist in almost a year, since I moved to San Francisco.
The office was very nice. In a high-rise building downtown, the receptionist wasn't nice. I thought it only mattered how comfortable I felt with this doctor.
I have an amazing Family Nurse Practitioner. She is very nice and professional. She values what I say and we work on a treatment plan together.
Due to the fact that I've tried so many medications and I'm still struggling with the dreaded panic attacks, we both decided that a psychiatric consult was in order.
Many years ago, when I was an early teenager, after many differential diagnosises, I was officially diagnosed with Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder... wow, that's a lot of disorders! But they all made sense.
People don't just panic for no reason, or worry about everything and nothing. My inability to focus or concentrate was always there, as well as never being able to sit still.
My stress gets so bad, I cry. I also have agoraphobia. It's hard leaving my home and at one point I would stay at home for days, it was my comfort place. If I went to the store or anywhere, I would always have to bring somebody with me. The safety blanket.
Anxiety is nothing new to me. As a kid I would pull my hair out when I was nervous/anxious.
I go through the usual assessment from the psychiatrist. She asked me if I'm going to school or anything, and I said yes for nursing. She told me that was amazing, I even cracked a joke and told her my dream is to be a Nurse Practitioner because I like the nursing model of care and not the medical model of care and told her "no offense to you doctors". She laughed and she told me that she also like the nursing model of care and nurses are amazing.
My partner is supportive but when I get a panic attack, I choke up and can't communicate well and it generally causes some sort of argument.
I see an anxiety management specialist who is also a Registered Nurse in a couple weeks. I'm hoping that this will provide me with more "tools" in my "toolbox". I'm also in search for a new therapist. When I lived in Hawaii, I saw a therapist once a week for about a year and a half. I loved her, she was so wonderful!
Another day is starting and I still try to find the light at the end of the tunnel. I sometimes worry that once I become a nurse, what if the BON finds me unfit to practice, etc. I know I will make a great nurse because I truly care about taking care of people but I need to take care of myself, too. I have left the LVN program I am in to pursue a BSN, with the hopes to become a Public Health Nurse with an emphasis of HIV/AIDS care in the homeless/low-income/under-served community.
I love nursing and I know so much about the field already. I hope to be a pioneer one day just like Florence Nightingale (one of my heroes, lol). But I realized that if I'm not as long as I make a difference in somebody else's life, that's okay. Because even though I'm not a nurse, yet, I still feel like nursing has made a difference in my life.
And to everybody else who struggles with their mental health there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I haven't reached that light yet, but I see it in the difference and remain hopeful. Remember that there is a light, you may be far from it, or close to it, but there is a light and you will be able to be happy and live your life as you want it, not how the illness wants to live it.
Stay hopeful and have a good day everybody!