Have you ever heard of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)?
It is one of the many autonomic illnesses that wreak havoc in peoples’ lives. Based on a 2014 study from Vanderbilt University in the United States, over three million folks got diagnosed with the disease, and the number most likely rises still. Most of its victims are young women who are already capable of carrying a child.
The thing about POTS is that it’s quite hard to spot fast. The patient may experience dizziness, increased heart rate, and migraine – symptoms which are easy to associate with various disorders. Hence, the specialist may require multiple assessments to figure out the real illness of the individual.
One can only imagine how crazy it must be to submit yourself to all of that for months. And if the person indeed has POTS, they need to deal with the fact that they may have the disease for decades.
In cases like this, the assistance of a psychiatrist is most wanted. Below are the aspects that the professional can help overcome the mental health of dysautonomia patients.
Transforming one’s thoughts will ultimately result in positive actions and behaviors in difficult moments. — Greta Gleissner LCSW
The ultimate issue that POTS sufferers face is the frustration that comes with waiting for the diagnosis. As mentioned above, it may take ages before a doctor can rule out other illnesses and pinpoint the disease. To make that happen, however, the individual has to get different tests first, which can be bodily, mentally, and economically stressful.
Being unable to give a name to the disorder also means that the patient cannot receive proper treatment. The physician may prescribe some medicine to lessen the headaches and other symptoms, but those are not enough to remedy the health problem.
The role of a psychiatrist at this point is to open the person’s mind to allow them to see a hint of positivity from this experience. After all, it’s better to go through trials and errors than to get a misdiagnosis.
It isn’t too far-off to think that POTS may cause depression. Knowing that you have an incurable illness can’t possibly give great vibes. The autonomic disorder makes even standing up a feat too; that’s why people who have this illness may isolate themselves and step away from their social life.
Going to a psychiatrist, luckily, may help patients realize that the disease isn’t the end of the world. Although there may be tough times ahead, they can learn to handle POTS symptoms if they have the willpower to do so. They may rebuild relationships as well in the process, which is never a bad thing.
The goal is understanding what happens in your brain and your body when emotions start to overwhelm you. — Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W.
The suffers may also worry about making a fool out of themselves in case others find out about their illness. Thus, they may be very cautious when going out or stay in defensive mode whenever someone asks them a question that may or may not have a relation to POTS.
What’s wrong with this attitude is that the individuals perhaps assume that people will dislike them for having an autonomic disease. While it’s understandable that it’s the need for social acceptance that governs these folks, they need to see too that others’ opinions don’t matter all the time.
The more receptive a person with POTS becomes around the psychiatrist, the faster it will be for them to get rid of their anxiety.
Lack of escape is a problem. — Tom Bunn L.C.S.W.
Lastly, POTS patients tend to be as fragile as anyone who just found out they have an illness that the medical world cannot cure today. Apart from medication, they deserve to receive counseling help to cope with the situation better. Otherwise, their negative emotions will overwhelm them too much and push these people to make irrational decisions.