How to Recover Mentally After a Traumatising Medical Experience

in Health & Well-being

Being misdiagnosed, or worse, going through a surgical procedure you weren’t meant to have (or anything in between) can and is devastating. You are not in the wrong to be hurt, to be scared, and to want some form of retribution. You are also not wrong to be distrustful of the entire medical industry as a whole, though you owe it to yourself to work through your reservations. Some things can only be improved when you trust a doctor, but first, you will need to go through the healing process.

Seek Out Psychological Counselling

The first thing to know is that PTSD can occur after any traumatic experience, including a medical misdiagnosis. The severity of your PTSD might differ from someone else’s, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valid. You have a right to be scared to return to a doctor or hospital after being put through an unnecessary surgical procedure just because some forms were mixed up. You have a right to be distrustful if you suffered due to a misdiagnosis.

Claim Compensation if Applicable

Some traumatising medical experience is due to how your body reacted to the treatment. Chemotherapy or radiation, for example, is painful to go through at best of times and harder to return to if your cancer returns. On the other hand, if you were the victim of a misdiagnosis or other negligent medical mishap, then you need to visit before the three-year statute of limitations runs up on your claim. Getting financial compensation is key to paying for the advanced treatments and therapies you need to overcome the trauma.

Find a Support Group

There are support groups for every type of traumatic event or addiction, and finding the right one for you can be key to finally being heard and listening to yourself. Feeling like you are all alone is dangerous. Support groups can help you feel connected and give you plenty of great advice on how to overcome your fears.

What to Do When Returning to The Doctor

You cannot ignore doctors or hospitals, but that doesn’t mean you need to go in and trust them blindly. Doctors do want to help you, and in some cases that will involve going through a few extra steps and conducting a few additional tests to assure you that their diagnosis is correct and that the treatment is valid.

Be Firm With Your Requests

If you want an extra test done to give you peace of mind that a symptom you have is benign, then be firm with your request. If a doctor does not take your symptoms and concerns seriously, be firm, or find another doctor who will test you.

Be Honest About Your Past History

Be honest about your past misdiagnosis or mistreatment, so that your doctor can better understand where you are coming from and that your requests will help your mental health as much as your physical health.

You have a right to ask for multiple tests or even a second opinion. If a doctor were to protest, all you need to do is explain to them your past experiences and reassert your request. You cannot go through life distrusting every medical professional, but once you go through the healing process, you do owe yourself the luxury of being more strict and firm with your doctors in the future.

Image Credits: Ani Kolleshi

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