For those who also suffer from anxiety and depression you will probably get anxious whenever you go to the doctors. I have a fantastic doctor who is very supportive however, I still find myself getting anxious. I suppose it is the unknown of what they might say and how it might affect my life.
I want to share with you what happened the first doctor’s appointment after I started using worry beads as I think it will help many of you. As I knew it was to be stressful I took along a set to play with whilst waiting in the waiting area. As with other stressful situations I felt better but far from fully relaxed. My doctor came out and called me into her consulting room. She knew I was there as a regular check-in to see how I was coping, especially as I had not seen her since Christmas, a particularly tough time for me. I continued to finger the worry beads as she asked how I had been. I said, “Not bad”, and went on to explain why I had worry beads in my hand. I was all ready for a cynical response as I thought the worry beads would be labelled as an alternative therapy. This was not the response I got.
She listened as I imparted how I had used the worry beads to tackle different situations and how by using them whilst relaxing I felt more relaxed that I had previously. Her response was to congratulate me on how well “I” had done. It was my actions that she was commending, instead of what my solution had been. After this she then moved onto the actual worry beads. She joked that they were hardly a new idea and she was delighted that they had worked for me. I nearly fell off my chair at her next comment. She stated that for that particular day all the patients she had seen could possibly benefit from worry beads as I had. In other words they were all stressed to some degree. An incredible statement bearing in mind the number of illnesses that exist.
Whilst my doctor is just a provincial GP I think many doctors and even psychiatric specialists can learn from her. For patients who have mental health issues or are suffering from stress the issues are so complex that a specific pill or treatment is very rarely the answer. By taking the attitude that if a treatment works even if it is “an alternative” then it should be embraced. She was in no way endorsing the use of worry beads however what she was doing was acknowledging that if they work for one person, they could well work for others. The assumption she was making was that very few of her patients would have tried worry beads and therefore they could possibly benefit from them. Let’s hope she is not alone with this view. By not judging me for trying worry beads and commending me for improving my life, however I did it, I feel really good and that is a rare thing to cherish.
If you have ever discussed worry beads with your doctor please add a comment to this blog or drop me an email if you wish to remain anonymous.
The English Worry Bead Co.