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Anxiety, hospitals, masks 

While waiting for a CT scan today, in a hospital gown, I had a I don’t know... something in the anxiety/panic attack realm.

I took off my mask, because I felt that doing so would help me breathe and calm down.

It worked.

But...

As soon as it did, I put the mask back on.

The mask wasn’t the problem (of course). The cannula that had been put in my arm, the uncertainty of the CT, and anxiety about what the results might be: those were the problem.

Anxiety, hospitals, masks 

@patrick that’s a good analysis of the emotional response process. I’m glad you found a way to more calmness.

I also suspect there’s something primal linking “face covered” and “can’t breathe”, so it’s possible in times of already high anxiety the “face covered” might be triggered as a concern. (I think I’ve even heard of it happening with oxygen masks when someone is very stressed.)

Anxiety, hospitals, masks 

@ewenmcneill I think you’re right.

I suspect I would have been freaking out anyway, but the feeling of breathing through the mask likely introduced a weird feedback loop to the situation.

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