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I felt too whakamā to go to the doctor

ACTIVE TO 01 Aug 2024

Purpose

Ka uaua i ētahi wā te toro atu ki tētahi kaiwhakarato tautiaki ā-hauora, he take i pērā ai. Tērā pea e whakamā ana, he wheako mōrihariha rānei ōu. Kei te hia rongo mātou i ngā kōrero mō ngā wā i tōna tikanga kua kitea e koe he tākuta engari kāore i pērā. He aha i kore ai koutou ko tō whānau e whai i te tautiaki i hiahiatia? Me pēhea e māmā ake ai?

It can be difficult to reach out to a healthcare provider for lots of reasons. Maybe you’re embarrassed, or you’ve had negative experiences. We want to hear stories about when you should have seen a doctor but didn’t. What stopped you from getting the care you or your whānau needed? How can we make it easier for people?

Project Stories

I find it really hard to know when my kids are sick “enough” to go to a doctor. I have rung Healthline or Plunketline and they say my child needs…

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Ive had both good and bad experiences over the years I havent had the same GP for a long duration due to moving Doctors can be very different to one…

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I don't know if whakamā is the right way to describe how I feel about going to the doctor now - maybe it's more māharahara or mānukanuka. When I experienced…

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It's too expensive to see a GP. We don't qualify for a Community Services Card, but times are tough and $65 for a 15 minute appointment is too much to…

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In my 20s I was put on an epilepsy drug that's well documented as causing weight gain as a side effect. In a short period I time my weight literally…

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I have been very dubious about going to the doctors in the town I live in for many years now, I only go when I absolutely have too. Years ago,…

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For many years I had the diagnosis/label of borderline personality disorder, and I was also dealing with a very real (and potentially life-threatening) chronic physical condition that meant a lot…

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I have a bladder disease and I should go to the doctors, but they had three years of constant visits by me to diagnose it, but never did. Dr Google…

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I feel prompted to share my experiences after reading about the heartbreaking experiences suffered by Dr Huhana Hickey in her attempts to get a diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS. Her…

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I decided to share my story because of a comment Nichola Willis made in the media - that "New Zealanders don’t turn up at the emergency room thinking about their…

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After my second baby was born I realised my mental health was struggling. We’d just survived our first Covid lockdown and I had 2 small children. So I went to…

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I burst my eardrum in my sleep on the 1st of Jan. After 3 months of constant leaking and pain and presenting myself up at AnE I finally got something…

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The hospital system may be lacking and not enough money but every time I visited the staff have been fantastic and caring and I was not judge by the colour…

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Five years ago my teenage daughter started to loose a lot of weight, her hair thinned, sore stomach and was very emotionally unstable. We thought it may be due to…

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We are constantly being told to visit a GP if bowel movements have changed or if you have blood in your stool for more than 2 weeks. I had this…

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2 years ago in winter I had a chest infection. It was at the beginning of the illness and I do get these infections a lot, but the moment the…

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Six years ago I attended a GP in Wellington for migraines so severe I had to take 7 months off work due to the chronic migraines and chronic pain. I…

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For many years I didn't realise I had mental health issues I used alcohol and drugs to deal with my pain. Once I started using meth I knew there was…

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I have suffered with horrendous periods and hormonal related mood instability for many, many years. Suicide attempts, job losses, relationship break downs are all products of the after math of…

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I went to a doctor on Monday ..I’m waiting on a c t scan…priority…the pains getting worse.can be a ten out of ten my mental health is suffering which I…

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I have been accused of being a drug seeker by my GP because she gave me narcotic pain relief which only worked for short periods rather than medication for the…

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The saddest part about trying to write a story was having to pick which one I wanted to tell. I'm tired of fighting to be heard by people who are…

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My cousin from Hawke’s Bay required surgery to get 3 stents put in. They flew him down to Wellington and he waited 2 full day while several others having the…

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I was raped as a teenager and several years later went to my go for help after feeling severely depressed and suicidal. She told me I wasn’t depressed because people…

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How come when I go to see the Dr the next week people at the Marae know about what is wrong with me. Does Māori people not deserve privacy? Who…

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I switched practice to a new Māori GP in my area thinking it would be beneficial to be in the practice of someone more aware of my culture. I had…

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I have a history of bad experiences with doctors. I am a Māori woman in a leadership position within the public sector, 31, birthed 3 children naturally and will avoid…

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I stopped going to the doctor for anything other than my regular prescriptions for a long time, after a very negative experience. I was going through a nasty divorce at…

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My son who is only 4 saw an ear nose and throat specialist back in January. He had severely enlarged tonsils and after a sleep study have found out he…

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I have persistent pelvic infections. For the past 8 months I have lived every day in pain. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and I keep being fobbed off because…

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Just ringing trying to get appointment (when they answer phone!)...easier to get to the moon best to go in and see them. Recepionist wanted to know problem...is she medical trained…

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I have a lump in my back that can cause pain, stiffness and general all round discomfort, well had seen 2 GPs now about this and ohh it’s just tense…

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I avoid the doctor as much as I can. I actually have quite good self-advocacy skills but there is still a high chance of me experiencing some kind of ignorance…

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I avoid going to the doctor despite experiencing even severe pain due to embarassing perspectives such as it will come right, it's likely to be something small, common, and will…

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I'm pakeha, but being female, neurodivergent and overweight my story is like many others here. I likely have endometriosis which aggravates bulging discs in my spine but have never had…

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I always hold off going to the doctor for anything due to fear of being "fat shammed" and being told things wouldn't happen if I lost weight. Going for a…

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Because I had a mental breakdown after losing my brother to suicide two days before my first baby's birth as a solo mum, that's on my medical notes and seems…

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I was reading your stuff article today and I was shocked how much of the article resonated for me with the experience my partner has had through the health system…

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I was always a sickly child. Constantly home from school with infections or a cold or the flu. One year was different, I never recovered from that illness. I am…

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I'm embarrassed but I work and can not afford to see my GP. And when I do, I end up with a debt. I don't always see my GP, I…

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My GP has left me feeling uncomfortable going to see him, he smirks at the word 'period' so I feel like I can't even talk openly about my complex health…

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I think I'd not been eating well, I'd felt stressed out, exhausted. I'd ignored the fact that I was likely anaemic for a while. Midway through spending a week at…

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I have a rare neurological disorder that is poorly understood to start with not just in NZ but globally although NZ is really behind in catching up. It makes it…

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My stories are too many to really get a whole picture. But long story short it took GPs 18 years to give me a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and…

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When I was 19 my best friend and flatmate of the same age became unwell. Typical cold and flu symptoms but she felt terrible. We were worried it might be…

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I had an ingrown toenail and tried to do a DIY fix. It would feel relieved for a day then get bad again. In total, I suffered for 6 months…

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I went to my GP for a UTI which was the tip of the iceberg really and for the first time in my life I ended up disclosing the state…

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Got this new doc about 2017 when mine left for Oz. I have a family history of high BP and I, myself had been on meds for about 20 years.…

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I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Doctors just don't know what to do or just think it's in your head because there is no test that says yes it's CFS/ME. They…

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In my late teens I had cancer cells burned from my cervix, and later developed endometriosis. My doctor in a large town (location withheld for privacy) was well aware of…

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I have a long list of things I need to see the dr about. Things that I've been experiencing for years but either there's no appointments for months, I can't…

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I have been battling mental health issues since the age of 12. They started me on heavy medication at that young age. Every 6 months I was having to up…

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I have been dealing with fatigue for over a decade. Finally brought it up to my dr and asked to get my thyroid checked after an ED dr told me…

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I have autism (low support needs) and find the environment stressful and overwhelming. I also find it hard to identify what is wrong, which makes communication difficulties with medical professionals…

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It's just depression and anxiety they say. I didnt ask for that stuff to happen to me. I have severe fears of abandonment and it's not normal get upset each…

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It's hard, everytime I try to tell my doctor that something is wrong. I just get given a blood test and told everything's normal. I do have anemia but I…

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In 2020, around May I experienced what I thought was a bad headache, I debated going to A&E but thought paracetamol and sleep would help. It didn't. The following day…

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I've been treated like a dog trying to get the professional help I needed.I went to my doctor for help on Friday. I had been fighting woth them for years.…

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In 2016 my life changed forever when I had an accident at work. In 2018 after constantly fighting the medical and ACC system I was finally diagnosed with Complex Regional…

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I have a story to share don't know how far it will go or if even read.. I have suffered for over 15 years in and out of a&e, not…

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Frequently as a disabled woman I am turned away from the ER when having anaphylaxis so I am on the floor struggling to breathe (lucky to have asthma meds always…

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I’ve been experiencing side effects from medications. The doctors and nurses keep gaslighting me - saying it can’t be the pills. That I must be mistaken. They deny that I’m…

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Don’t listen, don’t read notes, just tell us what to do but they’re not listening. I constantly have to advocate, not even for what I need but just for my…

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I’m not stupid, I’ve got a brain tumor but I’m not stupid, so don’t talk to me like I am – that’s what I get when I go to the…

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Lets talk about the misappropriateness of assessments. Everytime I go to the doctor the nurse asks me the family violence questions, every single time, even though they know I live…

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I have to constantly reshare personal information and I don’t know whose reading those notes. That’s what contributes to the whakamā, not knowing where all this personal information is going…

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I do go because I know how to advocate for myself, only cause I’ve got a background in nursing so I know my rights, but my 82 year old aunt…

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Its all about relationships and trust, if I don’t have that I don’t go

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I go to the doctor with my whanau to advocate for them cause they’re too whakama to do it for themselves. You know, they get given all this medication but…

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What I’m seeing these days is some people and organisations have got these fancy Māori titles but I don’t see them honouring the kupu, you know you’ve got this fancy…

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I have been dealing with fatigue issues since I was a teenager, and multiple doctors have dismissed my experience entirely. Whether under the regards of mental health issues, weight, medications,…

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My doctor treated me with doubt and suspicion regarding my ADHD medication. She would make comments like “You know you’re on a really high dose” and made me sign a…

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Like anyone who’s overweight - I know it. I went to an after hours doctor as I had a gastro bug and needed a doctors certificate as I was going…

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My doctor has downplayed my symptoms in the past. It took hospitalisation for my doctor to realise that my mental health issues were past the point of just talking it…

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I have been struggling with my mental and physical health for years. All my doctor's tell me my blood tests look fine and I'm managing to hold a job so…

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I once had a swab taken and the doctors must have lost or misplaced it - it took over 1 month to get the result. They rang me and told…

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I had just moved to a new city for uni and was constantly sick and tired for more than a year and had gone to the doctors 5 times. They…

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I went to the doctor for a cold, they pulled up notes from a "confidential" counselling visit where I said I was stressed about University and they told me I…

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The last time I went to the GP she was rude and uncaring. My blood pressure was raised (I explained that this always happens at the Drs (white coat syndrome)…

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i have really struggled with wanting to go to the doctor as i have been misdiagnosed in ways that really hurt me and have been through a lot of mishandling…

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Went to public mental health as my life is falling apart and I have no where left to go for help. The follow up letter they sent my doctor was…

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I told my doctor I was treated so badly by a mental health professional it caused me to have a breakdown and selfharm for the first time in many many…

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I was in my doctors office, tears streaming down my face, saying I don't know what to do any more, I can't function, life is so hard. They said "well…

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Last time I was on antidepressants the wait to see my GP for a repeat prescription took too long I ran out. I gave up trying to see my GP…

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Going to the doctor is a waste of time and really embarrassing. Nobody likes talking bout their bowel movements but a couple of years ago I “bit the bullet” and…

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Portrayed as a lazy bludger - how embarrassing! A recent ACC Case Review report came back with 12 pages of “conclusions” regarding my 3-year recovery from a head injury, many…

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I hate the way medical professionals make assumptions based on incomplete information or statistics and guidelines rather than treating people on a case by case basis. I got a copy…

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About 30 years ago I had some “eating issues” and a diagnosis of “bulimia nervosa” was listed in my medical records. When I gained online access to my records I…

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Why is everything done by telephone or email now? Why have we just become a number/case/file instead of a living breathing real person? Who decided that kanohi-ki-te-kanohi was old fashioned,…

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For almost 2 years after a “concussion” I had been suffering from undiagnosed BPPV, (a form of vertigo). I would have “turns” almost daily where everything would spin, I’d want…

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I haven’t been to the doctor for many many years. 20+years ago I had a great doctor who then retired , i was unregistered at his practice, I rang once…

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I had always had very painful periods. I had my daughter at 16 yrs old. I am now 35. I had been rushed in to emergency plenty of times and…

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I still continue to avoid going to the doctor about my potential external hemmroids. They have caused me significant pain and discomfort for over 15years. I do not feel comfortable…

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I went to the dr because my anxiety was out of control and depression was creeping in fast. My child at the time, was about 13 months old and still…

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I’ve felt too whakamā to go to the doctors multiple times in my life. I am a māori woman with a rare disability & also endometriosis. Anytime I go I…

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I have a phobia of medical appointments after a history of negative experiences. I avoid going to the doctors when I’m unwell and I worry frequently about any undetected conditions…

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I can't go to the doctor about my acne or pimples, doctors don't take that stuff seriously when you're 40. Only teenagers care about their skin. It's embarrassing to be…

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I went for a cough, I couldn't sleep because of it, my ribs hurt and I had sharp pains. I used to have asthma and after 4 weeks of coughing…

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When I got my first period, it was crazy heavy and extremely painful. I had no previous experience and all my Mum said was "oh, you take after your grandmother".…

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I had an emergency csection 5 years ago and woke up from it deaf. Kept in hospital for a week due to stroke risk but fobbed off about my hearing,…

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I've had 4 children , and after my last child's birth, which was brutal to say the least, I've suffered from incontinence. Which as a female, is super embarrassing to…

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I was only diagnosed with ADHD at 45 after my son was diagnosed. It took a self assessment to get an GP referral then almost a year and large amount…

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I’ve only just now received an ADHD diagnosis just about 27 years old, after years of waiting for my doctors incorrect info about referral acceptance - and after years of…

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I know that I have ADHD but growing up I didn't and until I was 37, I didn't know. I just thought I wasn't as good as other people at…

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Any illness I went to the doctor with would always end up with the answer to be, 'lose weight and we need to check for diabetes as you are an…

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For years I endured painful swelling in my lower legs and knees, chronic pain in my hips, chronic lower back pain, and the gradual onset of debilitating chronic fatigue. I…

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I am trans non-binary. Every time I go to the doctor I have a non-affirming experience in terms of how I am spoken to/about. This, combined with body dysphoria, means…

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I experienced sexual trauma as a child and experienced ADHD like symptoms, hypervigilance, anxiety, nightmares, poor sleep, low mood, negative self assessment, difficulties at school, and anger. I could not…

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Have lost count on how many times I have tried contacting Mental Health services requesting the Mental Health Clinician to contact us regarding medications for my son who has a…

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I have lost confidence in doctors, feeling like I always have to justify being there taking up their time - which is new to me as I had good experiences…

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I arrived here when I was one years old, however going to the doctor was always an intimidating process. My family would change jobs frequently, and every time we shifted…

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My relationship with alcohol wasn't a problem. Not as far as I knew. I was normal, fitted in with my family and friends, drank almost any beverage on offer. As…

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As a trans person I am tired of feeling like I'm having to fight my doctors. Its been two years now of begging but they give me crumbs and expect…

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When I went to the Dr for hormone therapy he refused for 6 months because he refused to read updated guidelines for informed consent

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I choose not to go to the doctor because when I do I am treated and spoken to as if I'm negligent or an idiot. I have an extensive history…

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As an immigrant, when I was on my student visa or work visa, I felt too WHAKAMĀ to visit the doctor because if they were to discover any serious health…

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Back in my mid-20s, I was working multiple jobs. I would wake up early and finish late, after which I would participate in drinking and casual drug use. I became…

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I feel whakamā when I visit the doctor for my insomnia. It's been a constant struggle for me, and I've seen many GPs about it. Their advice is to exercise…

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I felt like I had to wait for symptoms to get worse or unbearable because they minimise the pain and almost always give me paracetamol and antibiotics and thats it.

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I live in a very rural community, our district has fewer than two people per km2. Over the past four years, we have gone from having three doctor’s offices to…

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I have children, children have accident. My son fell off a stool that shouldn't have been in the kitchen (thanks other children). Had a cry gave a hug and was…

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I felt a hard lump in my breast it was small and hard and getting more uncomfortable, I thought to myself this isn't good. I told a friend of mine…

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I noticed was a difference in the texture under my skin in my sternum area, felt like hard lumps - Im a Registered Nurse so dutifully went to my GP…

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I was extremely disappointed how my Tane, Maori Male Mid 40's, was stigmatised and discriminated against,ed disrespect, arrogance, and racism practices. The non-Maori registered nurse, did not know how to…

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Every time I go to the Doctor I am judge, and asked questions I don't understand. - Young Mum

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I avoid going to the Doctor because I can't afford it. I would rather go through the pain and suffering, then spend our money on seeing a doctor for 5…

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I'm a māmā of four boys living in ***** (location withheld) and I've put off visiting the doctors for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is I don't trust…

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I migrated to Aotearoa from overseas as a skilled migrant to fulfil a skills shortage. On signing up with a PHO I arranged for my overseas doctor to send my…

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Hello there, I am a mum of 3. My oldest daughter is 19 now and she is suffering from anxiety and depression. What I would like to share is how…

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My kōrero is more about an experience that has now made me too whakamā to kōrero about it again. I went to see our local doctors and wanted some support…

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It’s so hard to get an appointment for that day you need it. Multiple times I’ve called and they have no doctors or are fully booked.

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When I called to make an appointment with the GP I tried to give them some info so they didn’t misgender me. I told the lady on the phone my…

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The lady on the desk is so rude, always get the hit up for costs, “YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO SEE THE GP BECAUSE YOU OWE $133. $133!! YOU”RE GOING…

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I hate talking about myself. I get overwhelmed with all the questions. My aunty tells them she will speak on my behalf, but they still ask me questions – even…

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When my mum was young, a chiro pinched a nerve in her neck, leaving her with a permanent tremor in her right arm and neck. Years later she was misdiagnosed…

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For a long time, I was having a really rough time in my relationship – my husband was violent and angry with me and the kids. When I was at…

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I went to the GP about perimenopause. First question: Do you smoke? and then he prescribed antidepressants. “You think you’ve got menopause? And what makes you think you’re in menopause?…

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Heaps of times I’ve gone to the docs sick and been asked if I’m a druggy or alcoholic. Like they think I'm just there to feed a drug addiction. I’ve…

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In my family, we’ve been taught to believe that you basically had to be dying before you’d even think about going to the doctors - there’s a GP shortage, they’re…

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