Overcoming Fear and Anxiety May Not be all That Easy

Overcoming FearWhen you are in hospital following serious surgery for a life threatening illness, you are often feeling afraid, anxious and emotional. Overcoming fear and anxiety is one of the real problems you will have to face. This anxiety is further increased if things happen to you in hospital which adds to your fear.

If you are feeling afraid or worried about anything while in hospital, ask to see the registrar. Nurses work in shifts and what you tell one nurse may not get passed on to another at change of shifts. If your concern is serious enough, don’t be afraid to ask to see the registrar.

But make sure that your problem is sufficiently serious before asking for the registrar; after all, you do not want to be known as a winger and consequently ignored. We have all heard the story of the boy who cried ‘wolf’!

You may wonder what could be serious enough to force you to call for the registrar. Such things as staff being aggressive to you or ignoring you; other patients attacking you; injury caused by the negligence of a staff member etc. Thankfully these things do not happen too often, but they can happen.

I was ‘King Hit’ by another patient the day after my brain surgery. As I was punched in the face, I was very lucky not to have been seriously injured. It is something I never would have thought might happen, but it did. In this instance the registrar came to see me as the same patient kept entering my room and I was quite frankly terrified! Overcoming fear and anxiety  became really important for me to cope with.

Just what happened and how I coped is covered in my book

Tips and Hints
It is your right to ask for help when you feel threatened or afraid while in hospital. Don’t just put up with what you consider is a serious problem and ‘suffer in silence’; On the other hand, don’t be belligerent or aggressive. It is in your best interest to keep the hospital staff ‘on side’ and keen to help you during your recovery.

34 thoughts on “Overcoming Fear and Anxiety May Not be all That Easy

  1. Peter Post author

    Being “King Hit” by another patient is certainly not what you would expect in our hospitals. I guess there are many factors at work here – what type of ward you are in, the staffing levels etc. The question of patient security is one of immense importance and I question if it is given serious consideration by Hospital Management.

    My daughter worked for a short time in an elderly peoples home and would regularly come home “black and blue” from dealing with dementia patients. The nurses are expected to put up with this to a large extent, but what if the dementia patient’s anger is turned onto another patient?

    Our hospitals seem to have somewhat confusing guidelines when it comes to violence on the ward. I have been told that hospitals in Australia are not permitted to use physical restraints on patients as it infringes on their rights as a patient. What about the victim patient’s rights? Others have told me that chemical restraints (sedation) can be used if authorised by a doctor. What if no doctor is available at that time? These are questions that need answers, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for them.

    Over to you Health Minister!

  2. Lisa Perkins

    My father almost lost his life from an undiagnosed Bleeding Ulcer located in an artery that was hard to do surgery on, and in a place where thery were unable to remove it…. He spent close to a month in the ICU, and was put in a self induced coma to heal…. Once he woke up and found out what had happened, his fears and anxieties were in overhaul!!! I’m pretty sure that he drove the Dr.’s and Nurses completely Crazy after he had woken up with all of his questions and frustrations, but it was good to see him as himself once again!!!

  3. Jane

    Great article. A lot of people do not understand how difficult anxiety is to contend with, particularly when they have not had to deal with stressful situations. It is always perfectly fine to speak to someone about issues that are causing distress.

  4. Wendy Mitchell

    I think there is a happy medium when it comes to this. Of course, if you feel staff isnt taking care of you correctly you can ask to speak to a patient advocate as well. They are there for the patient and help resolve problems.

  5. Debbie Boulier

    Unfortunately things do happen, but being hit is not good. Nurses and doctors get really busy, and yes things get forgotten or not written down so by all means talk to someone. A nurse, therapist or even a clergyman to help ease anxiety and stress. That can really hinder healing so it really needs to be addressed.

  6. Jack J

    Some really nice tips and information here. I totally agree that you need to ask questions and understand what is going on, but also not be aggresive. Sometimes this can be difficult staying positive during your recovery is so important.

  7. Yusuf Ali

    Anxiety is definitely nothing to be taken lightly, hence the need for specialists and medical aids for them. You’ve put out a lot of great tips and these are sure to help anyone in a similar position. Thank you.

  8. Ana B.

    I completely agree with you that if you’re in the hospital and you feel afraid or threatened, you should ask for help. No one should have to feel even more anxiety when they’re going through a tough time.

  9. Debra Owens

    This article gets totally deep into the matter! Makes you really stop and think about your beliefs.

  10. rose

    It is so tragic when things like this happen. You are correct in that we need to speak up and not be afraid. If we let it continue, who knows what might happen.

  11. Latifah Lewis

    Very good article, I will take your advice next time my grandmother has to get surgery on her other hip and keep going to the registar.

  12. caitlin

    Very good article. It is very important for a patient to protect themselves and not be afraid to seek help when needed.

  13. Chris W.

    Wow, I had no idea that you had to worry about violence in the hospital, but it only makes sense that it could happen. I agree that you should tell the registrar instead of suffering alone. You are already anxious enough as it is; you do not need other problems compounding the fear.

  14. Tom

    I feel for some people who don’t speak up when they need help, everyone deserves a helping hand. You can’t do it all yourself.

  15. sarah

    I did not know about contacting the hospital registrar instead of dealing with the nurses. It’s good advice.

  16. Kris H

    I often get extreme fear and anxiety when in the hospital, especially at night. This is some great advice, I’ll seek some comfort in taking to the nurses and ensuring they are up to date with my medical information.

  17. Sandra Harriette

    I’ve had some really bad experiences while in the hospital for sure. I think it’s important for someone to know his or her rights to care. After all, it is called health care.

  18. payal pokhrel

    well the tips are of great help, but you have to overcome your fear yourself have a positive attitude and all will be well at the end

  19. Samantha R.

    Anxiety and fear is something that tears us up when we let it overcome us. It’s always best just to have something to focus on to take are mind off things that are going on such as a book.

  20. Caitlyn

    Overcoming fear can feel like fighting your way through every moment of your life. When you are plagued by anxiety every step you take can seem like a monumental battle. It is so important to learn how to move past both your fear and anxiety in order to move on with your life and eventually prosper because life does have roadblocks and you need to learn to move around these roadblocks. Great article. A hospital should be a place that helps people overcome their fears and anxieties, not one that enhances this fear (especially is when being of ill health is scary enough on its own). If anyone ever feels threatened you should definitely speak up. I know I will.

  21. Graham

    It is very helpful and important article. Many people live in the world who don’t understand about this. Thanks for nice article.

  22. Rezwan

    When i stay alone in my house, i feel very scary. I thought that i am going to be a mental patient. But after reading this post & the answers i understood that it is quite normal to feel afraid while staying alone.

  23. Tarry Brown

    Excellent Topic! In the anxiety person should be open in front of other people to come out form stress, because in some poor community they have no Idea about result of over anxiety. Many people don’t know how to deal with stressful situation.

  24. Kristina

    Great advice on what to do when you are worried and afraid in hospital. After an operation we all feel a little scared about what is going to happen and we feel that we are in the way if we ask too many questions, but it is better to ask then to be worried about nothing.

  25. Chris

    Robert (comment above) very truthful, it is normal to feel afraid , but its good to read about someone who has went through it and is using her experience to get through it an help other people . Thanks

  26. jackson ripper

    I dont think i have ever heard of a registrar before , but usually when i have a problem doctors are very helpful.

  27. Jess L.

    I totally understand the feeling of suffering in silence. People need to know they can speak up.

  28. Swaolatul

    I think it is very normal for a human being to become afraid of anything scary. To overcome this we should make our mind more cheerful & active by doing productive works.


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