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How should I approach my doctor about my mental health?

By Anonymous July 20, 2009 - 1:04pm
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I don't have health insurance, and I make too much to qualify for any assistance, so I am reluctant to go to the doctor other than for my yearly exam.

Last year I mentioned to my doctor that I had been having mood swings that I have a hard time getting over. It was so hard to talk to her about it that I broke into tears in her office. Her advice was to exercise more, especially in the mornings, and it would boost my mood. If that didn't help, I should go back in.

I actually exercised 5-6 times a week for 3 months. It didn't help, and a schedule change got me out of the habit. Now I don't exercise on a regular basis. My mood swings are even worse now, and I haven't gone back in to see my doctor.

That time of year is coming back up again, and I'm nervous about talking to my doctor about the mood swings. I'm afraid she'll tell me I didn't exercise enough, or admonish me for not exercising right now. I really want to exercise too, I want to be active again, but by time I get the chance to do something, the mood has struck me again and I can't get the motivation to go out.

I know there's something wrong with me. I'm not the same person anymore. I used to be outgoing and optimistic, now I'm withdrawn and irritable. Friends I used to see every week, I now go months between visits. I no longer feel like I have friends that I can confide in.

How do I approach my doctor about this? Should I just hope that she reads my notes from last year and asks? Should I find a different doctor? My stepfather was recently diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and suggested I get tested, should I ask my doctor to test me?

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