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argghghgh shrink (sorry, long post)

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summerstars

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
10
Location
lanarkshire
I'll start by saying i'm a 19 year old female. relevant? maybe later.

I've just been to see my new psychiatrist, Dr. D. I seen her at my initial appointment three years ago. she done the first interview then I got send to Dr. M. I've been seeing her every 1 - 3 months since but Dr. M. just left. I was supposed to see someone different from Dr. D on a tuesday morning but I had to change to a monday afternoon because of uni so i got Dr. D.

My first problem with her is that Dr. M told me before she left she'd make sure the next psychiatrist would see me two months later, that was in May. Two months later, still no appointment. So I went to my GP saying i felt i had to see someone soon, she sent a letter to Dr. D asking to get me seen and still no word. Meanwhile my GP gives me ambian to take every night to make me sleep and to try and help the sleep talking/walking/harming. Finally today I got to see Dr. D. Five months after my last appointment and three months after my GP wrote to her.

My second problem was the actual appointment. I got all the usual questions, "how are you sleeping?", "whats your mood like?", etc. but through talking to her though i just got the general feeling that she didn't really believe i was depressed, more like a bored teenager. she basically told me to "get a hobby". I've been depressed since i was 13, on anti depressants since. flouzetine, sertraline, mirtazepine, amitriptiline and venlafaxine which i'm currently on at the moment. i don't feel like the venlafaxine is helping but instead of switching it or putting it up she LOWERED the dose from 225mg to 150mg, saying that it was too sedating for my age and that's why i'm sleeping during the day. i said i dont think it's working, but i have a lot of stress coming up soon, so can i just stay on 225mg. she said it's my choice.

basically what i told her;
at uni during the week, when i'm off i sleep all day. I used to smoke alot of cannibis and binge drink to block stuff out. now i sleep all day instead. see my boyfriend and friends at night sometimes, just usually go round to their house and hang out. i feel down alot, anxious and completely exhausted all the time and that's why i sleep alot. i sleep walk, sleep talk and harm myself in my sleep.

it was clear she hadn't even bother to read my notes. the last time it took some fucking courage to tell Dr. M about my eating disorder and ocd stuff connected to it but she didn't even bring that up either.

third problem: she didn't even bother telling me when she'd next see me again.

I don't know what to do next. should i stay on 225mg? when i've wanted to stop meds before, Dr M always told me to stay on until i get switched because you might not feel like it's working but it's probably doing something. I just feel like so completely....lost, i guess. i'm sick of feeling like this. i thought i was over not being taken fucking seriously for my age.
 
keepsafe

keepsafe

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
13,623
Sorry you are struggling so much, I have been on all the meds you mention including one or two others. I am currently on ven 300mg, but my doc said they are a stimulant so not sure who's wrong there. I do stay in bed a lot but thats because I feel safer in bed. If the p.doc deifinitely saiid to reduce then I would think that it will be reflected in your next script - do you get one weekly or monthly? 225mg down to 150mg is safe I would think, why don;t you make an appointment to see your normal doctor, they should have all the info too.

Hope you are feeling a little better soon

Keepsafe
 
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telemetry9

Guest
Hello,

You're not alone in having negative experiences with psychologist....I'm afraid most of my own experiences have been negative. Three positive experiences in the past 20 years.

It's hard sometimes to know if it is our perception due to the illness but when I look back their words seem extraordinarily insensitive and uncaring. I can sort look back at it with incredulity. Unfortunately; I have another encounter with a new consultant looming in the future. I don't have much faith in them and I find their methodology now work against my mental health rather than helping me.

We expect them to understand but unless they have been through the depths of illness themselves - they can't. Without that empathy I now believe they are sort of doomed to failure as they don't understand mental illness. They've only read about it in books but unless it has touched someone they love or themselves directly then they can only assume and fall back on what they know. Their own prejudices and misconceptions.

Don't expect much from them and write down how you feel about your interactions with them. At least you will have a record of each visit in case you feel that they are actually working against your well being (albeit unintentionally).

We are dealing with a serious illness for those of us who live with endogenous and long term mental illness. They don't have the right to ride slipshod over our experiences with conditional support or conditional understanding.

Sometimes the greatest help can be to simply listen to someone - not expect them to jump through hoops they may have gone through a hundred times before.

I really hope your experience can be turned around to something positive.

best wishes
robert.
 
J

jamesdean

Guest
The way I see it they dont mind picking up the huge sums of money working in mh though whot seems to be there strong point is that mh isnt an exact science, so they get away with the abuse that they seem to love dishing out that its all our own fault, I've dealt with this stuff for nearly 40 years and its bloody tough you get yourself over a difficult spell n then it just hits you smack in the face, I wouldnt wish poor mh on anyone its kinda ruled myself.Thats very unfair really.
 
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telemetry9

Guest
I'm sure it helps other people as much as it helps me to know I'm not alone in my experience. It means a lot to hear words from other people who struggle with those who are there to help us.
There are times I just think I'm trouble and have brought all the negativity onto myself.
I really wish you all the best and hope and pray things will improve for all of us with MI. Better understanding and less judgment....from those who are supposed to want to help us.
 
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telemetry9

Guest
I can definitely say I am at the point were just the thought of going to see a new consultant makes my illness worse. They have made living with this illness harder because of their words and judgment.
Any advice you could give James on how to best approach a new psychiatrist or how to deal with the usual bull that they come out with would be appreciated.
Even before I go back to see them I can already hear what they will come out with. Demeaning and patronising.

1. "so you're here because you think you have depression"

2. "I've had patients here from eastern europe who have had their
relatives murdered in front of them"

just a couple of things I've been told over the years.

I'm very depressed at the moment so my apologies to anyone if this seems incredibly negative. I am struggling with these thoughts on how they have talked to me. I can't seem to get them out of my head.

Keeping myself busy and trying to hold onto something that there are positive happenings out there for people who need help.
 
Scared with BPD

Scared with BPD

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
362
Location
Within Four Walls
Also scared of appointments

I really relate to what you have all been saying about negative experiences.

I've got an appointment on Tuesday with a Psych who I saw years ago, who diagnosed me with BPD and put me on his mentalization group therapy. I couldn't stick it and when I went back to have a re-assessment I told him that I would like some individual therapy (I knew of others in the group that were receiving individual as well as group). His response was that I would have to go through the group only course again (13 weeks) before I could be considered for individual therapy. Told him no point as I couldn't speak out in group and also found it intimidating with other group members telling me stories of how some of the group had been violent on occasions with other MH patients.

Ironically I ended up working in the same MH hospital for the Chief Exec and so was aware of this psych in a kind of colleague capacity. When his side kick who had run the group sessions found out I was working there she said couldn't you find anywhere else to work, why this Hospital, you are a vindictive person!

As I have kept in touch with the Chief Exec, when things got extremely bad recently I emailed her and the psych asking for help. So, I'm going to see him on Tuesday but can't help feeling he is only going through with this to try and get some brownie points from the Chief Exec. Not sure how to behave and get anxious thinking about it. Also if he offers me "group" once more think I might bloody scream!

Sorry, this probably doesn't sound like much of a dilemma to everyone else and probably not as bad as some of the experiences you have gone through.

Sometimes feel that although these psychs have all the letters behind their names etc., they can never truly understand what we go through because they've rarely suffered MH issues. We are the true experts and can't tell you what a godsend it has been to find this forum to talk to people in similar situations.

Take care
Claire
 
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telemetry9

Guest
Hello Claire,

A man I met some time ago told me that the best strategy is to take someone you respect and who knows how your illness has effected your life; along to any consultations you have.

If they are only there as a witness and listener then even that can be a great help and I'm told that it focuses the consultant/counsellor to be as professional as possible.

It also stops any offensive or uncaring behaviour on their part as they know they are being recorded (in a sense). I intend to do this with my next consultation with a psychiatrist. I know there are good therapists out there but I'm afraid my own experiences have been negative.

Whether it is right for you or (right for me!?); I can't say - but I'm going to give it a try with someone that I trust and who knows how my illness has effected my life.

You're right in saying they don't have true empathy. No one is completely on our side in life but respect and consideration are all we ask for. It's not a lot to ask for.

Robert.
 
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jamesdean

Guest
I agree with respect if nothing else in life if we could only have the respect that we deserve that would be something.
 
S

swan

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Messages
117
Location
London, UK
I can definitely say I am at the point were just the thought of going to see a new consultant makes my illness worse. They have made living with this illness harder because of their words and judgment.
Any advice you could give James on how to best approach a new psychiatrist or how to deal with the usual bull that they come out with would be appreciated.
Even before I go back to see them I can already hear what they will come out with. Demeaning and patronising.

1. "so you're here because you think you have depression"

2. "I've had patients here from eastern europe who have had their
relatives murdered in front of them"
This is why im so terrified to get it together and see someone. Maybe it's easier without the stress of explaining yourself.
 
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telemetry9

Guest
I haven't been well and everything is very dark at the moment. So it's hard for me to see the positive in anything. I'm trying to think positively and do positive things but I still look for answers.
I don't want to put people off with my own experiences - so make sure you follow your own instincts and experience it for yourself. You might get a positive experience.
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Hi summerstars

Did you know that a common side effect of Venlaflaxine is vivid dreams and nightmares?

Also it causes insomnia rather than increased sleep, although a side effect can be fatigue.

The manufacturers themselves say NOT to use venlaflaxine for those suffering with Eating Disorders as it can cause weight loss due to decreased appetite and it is considered a stimulant (yet I was put on it when I was in an Eating Disorders hospital??!!).

It can also increase suicidal thoughts and ideation?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venlafaxine

I would question your shrinks qualification. They obviously haven't got their facts straight. When I have had issues like this I go to see the shrink armoured with the facts I have learned from looking up the manufacturers and others guidelines of when this drug should or should not be used. TBH it is the only way they have taken me seriously. I don't think it is to do with your age, I have had terrible experiences since a teenager throughout adulthood.

It is worth remembering that they are not Gods although they like to give the impression they are. Like someone who serves you at a check out, sometimes you get good ones and sometimes you get terrible ones. Mostly shrinks are terrible, well that's my experience anyway. I like to see them as an elevated drug dealer, it kind of puts me more on a level with them rather than feeling intimidated by them.

Have they not offered you any alternatives to meds? Again this is a road I would go down, I thought that the trend was going towards offering a holistic form of therapeutic treatment rather than just dishing out meds.

NICE has written some guidelines on this...

http://www.nhs.uk/Pathways/depression/Pages/Treatment.aspx

From what you said it does not seem as this is being followed by your shrink. I would ask them why?

Seeing any medical professional should not be a power struggle, they are there to HELP YOU. Not rule over you. If they make you feel intimidated or stupid then they are in the wrong. Again I would remind them of that, and don't take any crap from them. Just stick to the facts and don't be sidelined by them trying to put things back on your shoulders. If you weren't seeing them they would be out of a job. Your taxes pay their salary, you deserve to be treated better.

I hope that helps.
 
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telemetry9

Guest
That's a very helpful post with a lot of good advice.

Thank you.
 
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