Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Dealing with PD Parents => Topic started by: waterfalls on June 18, 2020, 09:01:27 PM

Title: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: waterfalls on June 18, 2020, 09:01:27 PM
Maybe this is a little off-topic, but I don't have anywhere else to turn. I post here from time to time (I'm an HSP and have an NPD mother). I'm not normally an anxious person, but the pandemic is starting to get to me (like many of you, Iím sure).

Iíve been working from home for 3 months, but Iíve been doing even more work than I normally do when I actually am at work. What was especially stressful was having to document in detail what I was doing for each and every hour I was working in order to get paid. I know that compared to many, I was lucky to be able to work from home and keep my job, but working under those conditions caused me to have tightness in my chest.

I recently went to a new GP to check to make sure that it wasnít my heart (I have a history of heart disease in my family) or perimenopause. I explained to the GP that I was feeling stressed because of my current work situation, but wanted to make sure the way I was feeling wasnít due to my familyís heart history or perimenopause.

My EKG turned out to be normal, but I found out that the GP put down in my chart that I have GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), ignoring what I said about feeling stressed because of my work circumstances during the pandemic. I contacted the GP, said a mistake was made about the diagnosis of anxiety, but the GP said it wonít be taken off my chart.

My husband is good and supportive, but Iím afraid heíll have enough of me being stressed during this pandemic. In all honesty, though, my husband has contributed to my stress in some ways.
He normally works from home (he has a home business); with us both working from home, I found I was doing not only more work for my employer but more work at home cooking, baking, cleaning, etc. around my job-work that I was doing from home. If he remembered to help around the house, he did, but otherwise, everyday I got ďWhatís for breakfast?Ē, ďWhatís for lunch?Ē, ďWhatís for dinner?Ē since there was a stay-at-home order in my area (normally, I balance between cooking and buying ready-meals out, but this wasnít possible). I hated that my work was constantly interrupted while he was able to work in his home office uninterrupted by someone asking about their next meal or the dryer buzzing.

I also was the main person to go out for groceries and the mail, even though Iím immune compromised, because my husband couldnít be trusted to keep his hands away from his face even with a mask on (normally, he helps out getting some groceries while Iím away from home at work).

Then my NPD mother, with whom I try to have the best relationship I can, hears the stress in my voice over the phone and tells me that I must have anxiety and I better take something to control myself or my husband is going to get tired of me eventually and leave me.

Please tell me, is it me or is it the world thatís crazy right now? Do I need to worry about my marriage? Do I seriously sound like I have GAD and not just situational stress? Thank you for listening.
Title: Re: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: Andeza on June 18, 2020, 11:55:41 PM
Well, the world is definitely crazy right now. No doubt about it.

Let's ask a different question. I'd like to turn it around. When there's no pandemic are you stressed? When there's no pandemic is your marriage healthy? Do you feel this way, the way you felt when you posted this, when there's no pandemic? If the answer is no to all the above, then you're probably just having a very understandable rough time right now, because of the situation around you. I'm generally chill and not much ruffles my feathers, but even I'm feeling a bit of the strain. You're not alone.

I'm so glad your EKG came back normal. That is wonderful!

How dare your mother try to stir the pot though. That's all she's doing, trying to make you question yourself. And what a horrible way to do it too! Telling you to get control or your husband will leave you is inexcusable. After glancing back through your post history though... it's quite par for the course with her. I'm sorry you're dealing with that.

Is it possible to sit down with your husband and have a candid conversation? Is he the sort that you can just smile, say "Hey dear, can we chat a moment?" and then tell him that you're feeling a little overburdened and would appreciate help with meal prep, even if all he does is make himself a sandwich now and then, and maybe grab his own laundry here and there? I don't know anything about your marriage and wouldn't presume that you're in a place where you can have that conversation. I hope you can, though.
Title: Re: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: waterfalls on June 19, 2020, 12:54:05 AM
Thank you, Andeza, for your reply. I was feeling quite alone, and I appreciate you helping me to see things from another perspective.

No, when there is no pandemic, I am not normally stressed the way I've been over the past few months and my marriage is a good and healthy one. Maybe as a woman, I feel that it's expected of me that I need to take care of things. With all the different and restrictive parameters we all had to work in during the pandemic, I had to do more things than I normally would do when there isn't a pandemic (more cooking, baking, being the designated person to do grocery shopping, etc.).

I have asked my husband to help me out (like taking turns bringing up the laundry or helping out with breakfast/putting a frozen pizza in the oven). And he does help out...when he remembers (I just returned to work this week, and I came home to find out that at lunch, my husband had left out the meatloaf I made; he forgot to put it back in the fridge, so I had to throw it out and do more cooking I didn't plan to do). I'm sorry--I don't mean to be whiny, I'm just tired.

But to be "labeled" by a GP I just met that I have GAD, not just situational stress, and for my NPD mother to tell me I have anxiety and to take something so I can save my marriage, it was just too much. I feel overwhelmed by all this as well as everything else in the world that's impacting me and so many others. I'm probably not the only one who just wants things to get back to normal, but I realize it will be a long time before that happens.

Thank you again--you've really helped.
Title: Re: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: Starboard Song on June 19, 2020, 11:03:52 AM
Please tell me, is it me or is it the world thatís crazy right now? Do I need to worry about my marriage? Do I seriously sound like I have GAD and not just situational stress?

Gotcha: the world is crazy right now, and everyone is feeling increased stress because of it. The stress you are describing is situational: we can tell because you very carefully described the situations and proportionate stress.

Andeza nailed it: asking you to go back and time and ask, "how were things going in February?" was exactly right. I am glad it helped. And anyone who brings up marital dysfunction first is stirring the pot with a stolen ladel. That was not appropriate on your M's part.

That said, I do encourage you to take this stress seriously. This isn't situational stress over a public speech, that will be over in 20 minutes. This, uh, well, we may be doing this for a while. I think you need to find ways to ensure your daily life is more balanced so you can hold up and not build resentment.

If you share all this with your H, he'll probably accept some adjustments to ensure you are both in it for the long haul: together.

Title: Re: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: Blueberry Pancakes on June 19, 2020, 02:08:08 PM
Waterfall, I think you have gotten great replies already and I do not have much to add except to say that you are not alone in feeling higher levels of anxiety right now. Sometimes I feel like there is a vast vengeful ball of energy spiraling around looking for someone to own it. For those sensitive to energy, it makes you able to feel emotions of others as well as your own, which is a lot to carry. As easy as it is to overlook, I think focusing on self-care and being kind to yourself are good ways to manage. I think we are in a marathon here, not a sprint. Put aside time each day for what gives you peace. Sometimes simple things like getting outside, taking cleansing breaths, and taking a few minutes to let your mind just be still can help.
Title: Re: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: treesgrowslowly on June 20, 2020, 11:01:59 AM

I get it. It would really bother me too if my GP insisted on putting down something on my chart that I don't agree with. It could be to ensure you get access to some treatment more quickly down the line for all we know. There is so much that is due to policy or other things they do that isn't about the patient but more about other things like insurance paperwork or something like that.

All that said, what is it about him writing GAD on your file that upsets you?

Keep in mind that if you are worried about it, this entry is dated and everyone will always see that a GP assessed this during a global pandemic. If you ever need it taken off your chart in the future hopefully you'll find that other GPs maybe even this one will put it into context.... Who doesn't present as GAD some days right now? During a global pandemic? Are we not all having GAD type moments here and there?

 The thing that is important is how you actually feel. Not how your GP says you feel and not what a NPD mother says you feel. She seems to be gaslighting you with these remarks about your marriage.

You said it yourself, things can get overwhelming right now.

My guess is that some doctors hear a wife talk about overwhelm and they hear "she's anxious". Well those are two different things! Feeling overwhelmed sucks, but being able to see it and talk about it is really great. Counsellors and therapists are much better trained to talk with us about overwhelm than GPs I think.

 It would have been more helpful for your GP to discuss the resources he can offer you for how you are feeling right now. But in labelling you in this way he's now lost some of your trust maybe so he has made himself just your GP who does your EKG tests.

My bet is that he has doled out plenty of scripts for anxiety medication lately and may be labelling everyone he sees as GAD so they can get said meds they want. Who knows what other factors related to his decision to put it on your chart.

Since you didn't want medication from him he didn't have much else to offer. Sadly i do feel this is where we are at with a lot of medical care. Pills are the only thing they have once our bloodwork and other tests come back normal. I agree with others here- your EKG being normal is news to celebrate!!

I've had some super insensitive doctors visits. They really can be so upsetting because here we are asking for their services for our health and they don't always understand us. I've had good doctor care too don't get me wrong.

Bur for psycho-social stuff and pandemic related overwhelm I myself would do exactly what you are doing. Finding others beyond your GP to discuss things with.

Title: Re: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: waterfalls on June 20, 2020, 01:53:42 PM
Starboard Song and Blueberry Pancakes--thank you for your replies and for your suggestions. I'm doing the best I can right now, making sure I do some gentle yoga and reading a few pages of a book each day. Even doing those things, it's difficult sometimes when I'm pulled in all directions, more than usual. I will try to remember what you said about this whole pandemic time being a marathon, not a sprint. That's a good way of looking at things.

Trees--thank you for taking the time to answer me and for your reassurance. The reason why I'm upset over the PCP (who was actually a Family Nurse Practitioner, not an actual doctor) is that she diagnosed me with GAD and put it on my chart based only on 6 questions about how I was feeling the previous 2 weeks, not months, not before the pandemic started, but 2 WEEKS. I explained my working conditions during the pandemic, doing more work, having to detail each and every hour I was working in order to keep getting paid (doing that was like a job in itself, something I never have to do when I'm actually at work).

This was the first and only time I had ever seen this FNP (who was recommended by a friend). She literally never touched me--no listening to my heart, hearing my lungs, feeling my glands, etc., the normal things you would have done (she wanted me to schedule a second visit to do these things, that way another copay would be collected). Her assistant did the EKG on me, just stuck the leads on me blindly without measuring where they should go. The FNP couldn't read the EKG herself, just read the computer's interpretation, and told me my EKG was normal but I had previous heart damage. When I asked her what did she mean by that, she told me she couldn't tell me more than that. Her ineptitude sent me to a cardiologist, who did his own EKG in his office (which was normal), listened to my heart, and told me that everything was fine with my heart.

I have no confidence and trust in an FNP who I've seen only once, doesn't know me, never examined me, and based on 6 questions, labels me even though I had explained to her that I've been feeling stressed with the way I've had to work during the pandemic. If I felt stressed like this all the time, pandemic or not, I would understand that I have anxiety. But to immediately be labeled something based on 6 questions and a 2 week window, I find that unacceptable. No pills were prescribed, nothing was suggested; all I got from her visit was a label on my chart and a misdiagnosis of previous heart damage. I'm not returning to this FNP and I'm afraid her listing "anxiety" on my chart is going to follow me to whichever GP I find next.

It's very scary what healthcare is becoming in the U.S. It's big medicine, all about getting the most money from people and their health insurance, not actually helping them out.
Title: Re: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: FromTheSwamp on June 20, 2020, 03:05:44 PM
I only discovered I had been diagnosed with GAD after reading the doctor's notes which I requested.  He never said a word to me, and didn't ask me any specific questions about my anxiety.  I thought that was pretty sketchy.  It was part of a pattern for him.  He also had things written down about what I told him that were in direct opposition of what I actually told him.  It was very distressing.

I think it's always going to be upsetting when someone doesn't listen to what you say and draws conclusions about you based on incomplete or just plain wrong information.  I think it's especially upsetting when you come from a background where you were regularly not listened to or believed, and wild scenarios about you were made up to form a narrative that somehow benefited a personality disordered parent or parents.

That being said, if you do turn out to have an anxiety disorder, that does not mean you're crazy.
Title: Re: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: waterfalls on June 20, 2020, 08:52:25 PM
I'm so sorry to hear what you went through, FromTheSwamp, with your doctor. If you ask me, it's unethical for him to not listen to you, draw conclusions, and give you a diagnosis without your knowledge. That is pretty sketchy. I hope you're now seeing a doctor you like who listens to you.

I've had a difficult time trusting doctors since an incident I had in my early 20s. The GP I saw for 10 years before trying this FNP was good until I had issues or questions; then he started dismissing me. It's so difficult to find a good PCP who will listen and not jump to conclusions just to pad their bill.

Thank you for sharing--I am grateful.
Title: Re: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: treesgrowslowly on June 21, 2020, 10:27:39 AM
Hi Waterfalls.

Ah yes, the inept health care provider. What you describe from your visit doesn't inspire me to think that person was helpful for you overall.

I once had a friend tell me oh my new GP is awesome so I went to see her. She was awful! So who knows what my friend was referring to.

Like i said if anyone sees the GAD on your chart in the future you will be able to tell them that it was not a doctor and it was written there based on really slim assessment. And the date will show them that- yep in the middle of a pandemic you were stressed. Again, anyone with good common sense will understand you when you tell them how that got onto your chart.

Title: Re: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: Spring Butterfly on June 22, 2020, 09:11:01 PM
In addition to all the wonderful thoughts you've had from others, another thing to consider is when it comes to diagnosis codes something needs to be put in the chart. I'm not sure what other diagnosis code could have been used if there was no obvious physical cause found. Another thought, sometimes a diagnosis code selected affects what the doctor would be paid by the insurance. Just some things to consider that may alleviate your concerns... Or maybe not... Either way I totally understand where you're coming from and not liking the diagnosis code selected.

As far as your DH I'm not sure what the dynamic was before the pandemic. It sounds like though there's a lot of dependency on you in general before the pandemic. I may have that wrong but that's how it sounds to me.

Over my Out of the FOG journey the past few years I've disconnected from certain responsibilities. DH and I had some heart to heart talks. When asked what's for lunch I've been known to respond "I'm not really hungry but feel free to make whatever you wish for yourself." Sometimes I'd say "oh I'm just going to have an apple but go ahead and make yourself a sandwich if you'd rather." I've given up folding clothes as well just tossing clean clothes on the bed, putting away common use things like towels.

Forget about the weather or what time it is. Google it. If I have to stop what I'm doing my standard answer is "I have no idea" because if I have to stop what I'm doing to answer a question then certainly the person standing there asking the question could pick up their phone and look for themselves.

It may seem harsh and a bit hard line but I really feel like I'm not doing anyone a service by making them completely dependent on me to survive and live their daily life. whatever I do say I say in the kindest tone I can because I'm not annoyed in the least and very sincere in my response. DH agreed when we discussed it that he's grown enough to care for himself and I have his buy-in which was important so it didn't wind up a fight or surprise. It's actually enriched our marriage.
Title: Re: Am I crazy or is it the world?
Post by: waterfalls on June 23, 2020, 08:51:41 PM
Thank you, Trees and Spring Butterfly--I appreciate your input and your suggestions. As the daughter of an NPD and controlling mom, I guess itís become second nature for me to try to do whatever to 1. prove that Iím capable of doing different things to be validated and 2. to avoid conflict.

Somehow, it seems I translated that to my marriage even though I have a good DH who does offer to help. I often feel like Iím a failure if I need to ask for help. You are right, SB, my DH has grown accustomed to me doing things around the house and Iím beginning to feel overwhelmed doing everything and working FT. I think I need to start accepting DHís offers of help