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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5083
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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how do I overcome the trauma of a medical exam? I had it yesterday

Customer Question

how do I overcome the trauma of a medical exam? I had it yesterday and ended up cutting afterwards. My therapist knows and is trying to help, but I can't be with her all the time. What do i do in the meantime?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello again

DoctorZ :

I am so sorry that you experienced this cutting behavior after your medical exam, was this a result of your alter that mentioned during our last chat?

DoctorZ :

So last time we chatted I believe you mentioned that one of your alters was going to hurt you because of that exam and were trying to figure out a good and effective way to communicate with the alter, I am wondering how that went?

DoctorZ :

I see that you are offline right now, but I would like to continue this conversation since we have a history in previous chats and I want to help you overcome this and feel better regarding your medical exams that you have to undergo, so if you respond in the chat I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Customer:

Yes, this was the same alter, but this was a different exam than the one I was previously worried about. The alter completely took over during the entire exam and it turned out horribly. Plus, the doctor didn't really listen to the alter when she told the doctor to stop. The doctor tried her best, XXXXX XXXXX still left us traumatized to the point we felt like we had to do something drastic. To top it off, I'm still in physical pain from the exam done yesterday, which is a constant reminder of what we went through. If it were not for the pain today, I probably wouldn't still be this upset by the exam. I just would like to know how to make this experience less traumatic for all of us.

DoctorZ :

I am sorry that you went through that trauma. Was the alter upset because she did not know about this medical exam?

Customer:

no, we were all aware of what was going to be done...........I think it was partly my fault. I didn't listen to my little one inside who didn't want the doctor to touch her...........I went ahead and gave the ok for the exam to proceed

Customer:

i just wasnt' expecting her to get so upset

DoctorZ :

Oh, so you alter got upset with you because you said okay. One reason that she reacted the way she did is because she felt that you ignored her.

Customer:

it's so hard, because I knew the doctor had to do what she did, but the little one didn't understand

Customer:

and it scared and hurt her like she was hurt before

Customer:

then, on top of my error of not listening at the beginning, when I finally did listen and say stop, the doctor didn't

Customer:

she just kept on plowing through the exam

DoctorZ :

I am sorry that the doctor kept on with the exam after you said no.

Customer:

and she flat out lied to us, too

Customer:

said she wasn't gonna touch the tummy, but went ahead and touched anyway

DoctorZ :

Now your alter did have a right to be upset, that is something we must acknowledge, but we have to teach your alter to express herself in appropriate way, like the journaling we mentioned.

Customer:

yeah, I agree

DoctorZ :

Remember this is going to be a long process for your alter to get used to, but she has to learn to communicate her anger and frustration

Customer:

I just didn't have any means to journal at the time I felt like cutting and I did have my implement of choice readily available

DoctorZ :

One thing that she also must realize that by cutting yourself, she is causing more trauma that will hurt both of you

DoctorZ :

I understand, and this will take time to get used to. But lets try to make journaling a habitual thought instead of cutting

Customer:

thankfully, I had an appointment with my therapist afterwards so we debriefed a bit. but by that time I'd already left marks

Customer:

ok, I like that way of thinking

DoctorZ :

That is good that you saw your therapist. So maybe this time before and after a medical exam you can bring a journal with you

Customer:

that's a good idea.......

Customer:

ok...........................I hate to say this but I think I gotta stop talking.................someone inside is getting upset again

DoctorZ :

Okay, I understand. You can come back to chat later if you prefer

DoctorZ :

Try some of those relaxation exercises we discussed too

Customer:

will do......thanks...........

DoctorZ :

Anytime, always happy to help

Customer:

that's very much appreciated

DoctorZ :

I just want to be there for you, so you do not have to go through this alone.

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5083
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

so tempted to self-injure right now............don't have any real reason..........just got triggered............how do I know when it's bad enough I need to go to the hospital? If I went every time I was tempted I would be going a couple times a week.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
I understand, since you are not sue if it is bad enough I would advise you to go to the hospital because you do not know. Then afterwards we can work on a system to figure our when the self-injuring is bad enough to go to the hospital. If you are still concerned and not sure, then try the relaxation techniques that I provided for you, if they do not get rid of the urge then definitely go to the hospital as your coping techniques are not being effective to help stop this urge to self-harm.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

it's bad........I don't even care enough to try and use the coping strategies right now.............but going to the hospital scares me, too, so I don't wanna go......I've been told (a number of times) by various people that they believe I'm just self-injuring for attention............what's the chance that they are right? Like I said, I have no real reason (no distress, no anxiety) to want to harm myself......I just do.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Even if you may want to self-injure for attention it is still a serious mental health and medical issue that should be addressed at the hospital. Remember the self-injury behaviors as you described it could be a way for your alter to get your attention. If you feel that you do not want to do the coping strategies then I would advise getting evaluated at the hospital for your safety.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok........I sincerely appreciate your response. I don't drive, so I'll have to see if someone is willing to take me.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
If you cannot drive, you can also call 911 and an ambulance can take you, but ambulances are expensive if you do not have insurance, so you can also called a cab too. I truly hope you feel better and remember they should have no reason to touch you on your body because you are going to the hospital for mental health reasons.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok.......I'm grateful for the suggestion........I'd rather not take an ambulance if I don't have to, but we'll see.


And thanks for the reminder about touch...........

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Anytime, I wish you the best and I hope everything works out well for you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

are you always online???? It seems like it. lol.


I'm wondering.........I know I've asked this before, but I'm still unsure......when would you say it's time to go to the hospital? I haven't gone yet but came super close to it today.........But my Mom keeps trying to talk me out of it............so when do I put my foot down and demand she take me there? She said she would do that if it was necessary, but she doesn't seem to think it's necessary at this point. How do I convince her it is?

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,

Yes I am online pretty often, I guess I am pretty dedicated :) Well there is not set warning sign to go to the hospital for you because you do have thoughts/urges to hurt yourself often, and you cannot go to the hospital everytime. What I felt was a good rule for you is that when every coping mechanism that is supposed to prevent you from hurting yourself does not work and you still have that strong urge to hurt yourself, then that would be the time to go to the hospital. You will have to tell your mother that you have tried everything to help yourself and that you have worked on all the coping mechanisms to no avail and that going to the hospital would be the best option to keep you safe. In addition, you can also try this problem solving sheet to help you decide if you should go to the hospital or not as well.

http://media.psychologytools.org/Worksheets/English/Problem_Solving.pdf

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Well, I'm glad you're dedicated.....


Thanks for the tips and help......I'll take a look

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Okay, let me know how it goes. I hope your coping mechanisms work, but if they do not then going to the hospital would be the best choice to keep you safe.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I will, thanks

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Anytime, I am always here when you want to talk or need advice. I wish you the best of luck and be safe :)

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