Anxious patients - just thinking - Women's Health

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Anxious patients - just thinking

BlackIsleGirl profile image

I'm an incredibly anxious patient. There's lots of reasons why which I won't go into, I'm having counselling etc but it's a long process. Anyway, I was in the supermarket the other day and I saw someone wearing a green lanyard with sunflowers on it which is there to make staff aware that they need extra help and I thought, as I do every time I see it, that's a brilliant idea, they don't need to explain that they've got a hidden disability. And then I thought why isn't there something like that for anxious patients? Something that will make staff aware that hospitals are really hard for you and you need a bit of extra help and support.

I mean I know it should be in your notes but honestly they don't have time to read everything and I don't think anyone has ever said to me "what can we do to help you get through this?"

I wonder if this is a good/practical idea? Does anyone know of something like this? Or am I just coming up with nonsense?

5 Replies
wobblybee profile image
wobblybeeAdministrator

🙂 The Sunflower Lanyard is available to anyone who needs help...it isn’t restricted to specific groups. The idea is to make the wearer instantly recognisable to staff..that they may need help, of whatever kind. If I went shopping/travelling alone I’d need to wear one.Personally, I feel that only one type of lanyard is appropriate...it can be difficult enough to cope with a disability (even hidden) without displaying the facts for everyone to see.

I can see the Sunflower Lanyard being useful in a hospital situation..staff are usually only interested in the specific condition they’re dealing with, they don’t have time to speculate about any other problems the patient may have. And, I have first hand experience of this myself..

I don't mean it has to be a lanyard and I certainly wouldn't suggest that anything should undermine the sunflower lanyard system and I don't think that having something specific for anxious patients would. After all we have flower badges for dementia etc.

I'm really just wondering out loud if there is something in place for people like me. I don't get anxious in the supermarket or travelling. I don't have a hidden disability. What I have is a crippling fear of hospitals and hospital procedures. To my mind that's a very specific circumstance and I feel it would be inappropriate for me to wear the sunflower lanyard. I just wondered if there was something out there to help the hospital staff help me.

wobblybee profile image
wobblybeeAdministrator in reply to BlackIsleGirl

🤔Have you ever considered you’re coping with a recognised phobia...

Nosocomephobia or Normal Anxiety

Since it's pretty normal to feel nervous before visiting a hospital, it can be difficult to tell whether your symptoms constitute a full-blown phobia. Only a qualified mental health professional can make this determination.

In general, however, someone with nosocomephobia may simply refuse to go to or enter a hospital, even in the case of major life-threatening conditions or events. In addition, they may realize the fear is irrational, but feel quite powerless to overcome it.

Other signs that may signify a fear of hospitals include:

Avoidance behavior or refusing to go to the hospital

Elevated heart rate

Excessive sweating

Feeling nauseated

Feelings of uncontrollable anxiety

A full-blown panic attack at the sight or thought of a hospital

Obsessive worrying

Shallow and rapid breathing

Yes, thank you, I am well aware that this is a recognised phobia. I'm even well aware of the name for it. I'm also getting counselling, as I mentioned in my post, from a professional that specialises in trauma and PTSD. And as I mentioned I've no wish, right now, to go into the details of why I feel the way I feel. What I'm trying to establish is wither or not there is some way of helping medical professionals help me without increasing the stress for everyone. I think I can probably say no there isn't.

wobblybee profile image
wobblybeeAdministrator in reply to BlackIsleGirl

🙂 I hope the counselling helps you with this..I’ve dealt with ‘white coat syndrome’ myself, not as ‘disabling’ as your own situation but still ..I suspect you’re right, although these situations are acknowledged to cause stress, for the time being it will be down to the individual to find a way of coping with this. I wish you well 🙂

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