I found an article on the PTSD page the shares studies that verify that survivors of sexual trauma seek mediacal care more often than those that are not traumatized. I figure I could have told them that for free. I persevered through the article. Toward the bottom is a list of things a medical provider could do to help survivors feel less anxiety during an exam. I also recommend bringing someone with you that is trusted. Choose a doctor that you feel comfortable with, also interview a doctor if you get a choice. The section that caught my attention gives suggestions on what to do if PTSD symptoms occur during an exam.
If symptoms do occur
Despite your best efforts to provide a safe and comfortable atmosphere for your patients, posttraumatic symptoms may occur during an exam. If this happens, don’t panic. Try to use grounding techniques with the patient.
- Speak in a calm, matter of fact voice and avoid sudden movements.
- Reassure your patient that everything is okay.
- Continue to explain what you’re doing.
- If possible, stop the procedure.
- Ask (or remind) the patient where she is.
- Offer her a drink of water, an extra gown, or a warm or cold washcloth for her face.
- Go with her into a different room to provide a change of environment.
The cool thing about these techniques suggested for doctors, works. Becoming my own advocate in my medical are was a challenge. If your doctor is willing to talk over these suggestions and use them during an exam, you have a great doctor.