Peeling back the layers, mental health

Peeling Back The Layers

Peeling back the layers

Seeing the light

So as I started peeling back the layers with this sense of relief, I phoned the doctor and made an appointment. This seemed the perfect time to go right? As the reason I had put of going to the doctors all this time was I thought I had a physical illness. I was scared to what the doctor would find. I guess I was worried about the doctor confirming what I was thinking.


When you stop to think about that reasoning for a moment, it’s alarming the fact that by only self diagnosing your problem and not getting clarification, you are letting your mind manifest the worst case scenarios. Without any hard evidence to back it up.

Thus pushing your mind deeper into believing what you are telling it and creating a mental health problem. I will delve more into this subject in another blog.

I tried

So with the appointment set, I left work to go and see the doctor. As I was driving I noticed my chest getting tighter, my breathing shallower, I couldn’t breathe. My mind straight away clicked back into what I’d been telling it for years, COPD. Not once thinking like I would now and think panic attack.

I was driving on the motorway when this set in, the breathlessness and need to get air in my lungs intensified, my heart was also beating out of my chest. I wound the window down, stuck my head fully out and was trying to get as much oxygen into my lungs as possible.

When I finally pulled my head back in the car, I was so lightheaded and dizzy, I almost crashed. I pulled over to the hard shoulder and just cried, I don’t know for how long but it was a while. How could it be the COPD symptoms were back present when 30 minutes prior they had vanished? I never went to my appointment that day.

Paranoia is strong!

The next morning I decided to take the day off work as I just couldn’t face it. After dropping my children of at school and my partner at work, I came home and went on a massive Google marathon. Looking at all sorts related to COPD, my brain was now fully convinced that this is what I had.

I mean that’s what I had programmed it for years. All kinds of thoughts were going through my head, I will talk about the thoughts in a separate blog.

Later that day I went to pick my partner up from work and bring her home. When we got home she could sense something wasn’t right. She had sensed something wasn’t right for ages but I was very good at putting on a mask, I mean I’m the man of the house, I can’t be seen to be weak. Can I? I didn’t want to burden her with the fact I thought I was going to die a slow and prolonged death.

She asked me what was wrong, and normally that question would of been met with “nothing” or a joke to try and divert attention. This time I burst out crying, eventually after much consoling, I have to say she was fantastic and so understanding. It was decided to book another appointment, this time my partner made sure I went by coming with me.

So, this was it

As I sat in the waiting room, my heart was literally beating out my chest. My palms sweaty, breathing way out of control. My partner calmed me down and if she wasn’t there I would of bolted for the door. The doctor called my name, well this is it, I thought.

After explaining to the doctor what was happening, he mentioned that he thought I was suffering from severe anxiety, depression and panic attacks. There it was again, this heavy weight seemed to vanish off my back. What a strange and wonderful feeling that was, if only for a brief time.


He arranged for me to see a councillor and he wanted me to do some tests to rule out any physical problems. I reluctantly agreed to do the tests, these were tests go rule out COPD. It was a machine you blew into to determine this. When the test day came around, I hate the fact they make you wait so long.

If they had done the test the day I went to the doctors, I would of managed it no problem. I had worked myself up so much, I couldn’t do the test as my breathing was out of control and I could hardly string a sentence, let alone blow into a machine.

It was agreed that I start counselling straight away and medication, sertraline, after a a couple of months I was to go back and take the test, safe to say when that day came, I passed it with flying colours. What had all the fuss been about?

In my next blog I will talk about coming to terms with it all. I will be peeling back the layers even more. Read part 1 here.

Peeling Back The Layers

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