Looking for some advice about an awful psychiatrist.

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Teacup91

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May 8, 2019
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Hi guys, this is my first post so I hope I manage to get everything right. I had a really awful experience with a psychiatrist yesterday and....I dont know if I'm overreacting.

I have been ill for about a decade, and last saw this psychiatrist in 2011. The last couple of years I had a breakdown but couldn't get an appointment with him no matter how hard I tried, so my medication was managed by his care team. Last year I started a new medication plan - to come off Sertraline (I have awful side effects) and to increase my Pregabalin for anxiety. I left the appointment feeling pretty hopeful about the new plan, and slowly tapered off the antidepressant with guidance from my CPN. When I eventually reached 50mg, he advised me to wait until we had organised a replacement for it, so in September I asked for an appointment. Apparently the psychiatrist wanted to see me before I proceeded, so I had to basically put it on hold until I got the appointment. It was incredibly frustrating to even get seen, as my CPN is very forgetful (more on that in a minute) but I finally saw the doctor for the first time since 2011, yesterday.


And oh boy, it was worse than I expected. He accused me of relying too heavily on medication, and asked me if I'd bullied my GP into prescribing my current meds. The answer was no, of course, because his team were the ones who gave me my current regime, and everything I've ever taken was recommended by them, after my mental breakdown nearly killed me twice.

He then went on to say that my childhood abuse was nothing compared to sexual assault victims, or physically abused children. He then questioned the surgery I had just three weeks ago, and said I shouldn't complain as it wasn't like I'd had a road traffic accident or been left paralyzed. (Said surgery has meant I've been unable to drive or visit friends/family and has genuinely affected my day to day life)

Then he started saying, to my partner, that he's seen relationships like mine fall apart all the time because of the depressed person not trying enough.
Then when it came to actually asking my opinion, he said I couldn't be experiencing side effects because my dose was too low - even though it should be on my record that I'm extremely medication sensitive. He said I could still have my increase in Pregabalin but made it very clear that he would be prescribing it because "I see it as an easy solution" and that he thought I was drug seeking. Again, his team were the ones that prescribed it. He said it was very powerful and I must've begged for it. He also said my current medication combination could kill me?! Like, they prescribed me it! How am I supposed to know what goes with what? And I was under the impression that refusing the medication they prescribed runs the risk of them discharging you for noncompliance.

Finally he topped it off by saying I wasn't trying hard enough and that unless I'd improved in eight weeks, they would be discharging me. I was stunned. I've been trying so hard to stay sane, I've been to therapy, I've been trying to get to support classes (not many where I live, unfortunately) and I was genuinely starting to do better until my wrist injury/surgery that's basically left me isolated for a year. My CPN has been visiting and said I could start this employment course but he himself didn't think it was worth it until I was recovered - now him and the psychiatrist are saying that's down to my failings? I'd like to add that my CPN has been visiting every two weeks, never with anything to help with/work on, and has been telling me that I've been doing a good job handling this. So this appointment and the verbal dressing down I received really threw me off because I'd been led to believe that the psychiatrist *wanted* to see me and that I'd been doing ok, but needed a bit of chemical help.


Honestly, I'm in a bad place. I came home and sobbed all afternoon, stuck between a panic attack and the urge to throw myself off the cliffs. If my partner hadn't been with me, I don't think I'd have been safe. My CPN is now on holiday for three weeks, and I don't feel good. Am I overreacting?! I feel like a total failure, he really made me feel like garbage and the things he was saying were almost mirrors of what depression tells me - that I'm not good enough or trying enough, that I'm the failure.

Is it me? Are they all like this? My mum suggested I complain but what if they're right and I've been doing this all wrong? I don't want to cut myself off from the care team but honestly this has been the icing on an exhaustingly incompetent cake. I'm tempted to just discharge myself, but at the same time I still want to kill myself and they're the people you're meant to talk to about that?! Is it me that's wrong?

Any advice would be appreciated. I'm alone and exhausted and overwhelmed. Thank you.
 
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barmcake

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Nov 6, 2016
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The psychiatrist shouldn’t treat your illness as something to be ashamed of or judge you. You were treated by an absolute idiot who has no understanding of mental illness. Do you feel strong enough to make a complaint? Please don't blame yourself as I would feel exactly the same if spoken to in this way. Am hoping you can see another psychiatrist and get your treatment back on track. Sorry you had to go through this.
 
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Prince Charming

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This psychiatrist if you can call him that is blaming you for everything. It is not your fault you are ill. You are a good person trying hard to survive and have been treated badly. I would deffinitly complain in writing about their atitude to you. This could help you get better help and treatment.You deserve their best care, Please remember this can get a lot better. Prince Charming😍🐕🐯
 
Shadow-one

Shadow-one

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Hi Teacup

:welcome: to the forum....

My stress levels have been slowly increasing to boiling point after reading you post... :eek:

Oh my God what sort of incompetant idiot had you the very bad luck to meet...? I just cannot believe the way he spoke to you... But he obviously saw you as an easy target because of how depressed and down you are, which leaves little room to fight bullies like him...

IT IS NOT YOU.......

Please don't let this guy make you question yourself.... He is COMPLETELY in the wrong. How on earth could he question your meds, when his own team perscribed them?? What an idiot.... And as for saying at least you weren't in a car accident - WTF is that all about???? I think he's the one who needs the bloody meds :mad:

And I agree with you, if I didn't take the meds recommended by my psychiatrist, I would be very worried about being discharged too.... Naturally!

And how dare he say that your 'abuse' wasn't as bad as others..... I think that is the biggest insult and blow.... Who is he to judge how YOU felt back then? The cheek of him.....

Just wondering if your partner said anything during the meeting (not that I'm saying it's bad or good either way - just wondering) Like when he accussed you of not trying enough....

He is just a bully..... A big bully who uses his authority to undermine people who aren't confident in taking him on.....

So if it were me......... I would speak to my CPN first - but you're very unfortunate that your's is away.... If you can wait do - but regardless of the CPN, I would absolutely make a complaint about this guy.... You might find others have done this too - hopefully they have and he will be investigated....

Nobody deserves to be treated this way.... You have your partner to back up your story... Write it all down like you have here and put together a letter of complaint.Do this anyway, even if you don't feel you can file it now, you have it at least if you find yourself more able to do it when your CPN is back....

Again, I feel so sorry that this happened to you..... Please don't blame yourself.... He's just a jumped up phony abusing his power....

:hug:
 
claude

claude

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Teacup, that psychiatrist was a total bastard. What an awful ordeal for you, I'm so sorry that you went through that.

Personally after a bit of recovery time, I would consider making a complaint about his incompetence - fundamentally this psychiatrist is the one who is responsible for the medication prescribed to you, if he is now saying that it is a dangerous combination then that to me shows gross negligence. Unfortunately complaints about rudeness/cruel attitudes on psychs tend to get nowhere because the patient just isn't believed (we are mad after all and so very easy for the NHS to dismiss us) but this admission of his that his team (which he as the psych is responsible for) have been prescribing you dangerous combinations of medication is something i think would be harder for them to dismiss. Obviously include his outrageous behaviour in the complaint as well but the medication danger is what I would emphasise. Yeah, I would get in touch with PALS.

But first, take it easy for a few days - drink lots of warm drinks, take a bath and a walk and let yourself process and recover this horrible encounter. :hug1:
 
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Teacup91

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Thank you so much guys, I was so frightened that it was my fault for....I don't know, handling my depression wrong? I've had a nice walk and I think I'll take your advice, cool my head for a few days, and then see about talking to someone/putting in a complaint. It just really shook me, I was holding onto hope for the appointment because I've been wanting to drop this medication for a year, and instead I got shouted at by someone who's clearly not read my file.

I'm worried that I live somewhere where he's my only option though. I can't afford to go private but I'm worried that if I complain I'll be left alone without any support.
 
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so sad

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Feb 24, 2016
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Hi

That is just awful and I agree - he is a total bastard.

I would definitely look into making a formal complaint. I know it takes energy but he shouldn't be allowed to talk to anyone like that. I raised a complaint about a care coordinator and they did investigate and the next thig I knew he'd gone 9probably moved and not disciplined though).

He was totally in the wrong and is in the wrong job if he thinks that is acceptable

I'm so angry for you

xx
 
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Teacup91

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Does anyone know the process if I make a complaint? I should have mentioned that this is the NHS, I don't know if I've got the option of seeing anyone else.
 
write

write

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I'm sorry you were treated so appallingly by the psychiatrist. He shouldn't be in his job. I agree with what others have said. Please don't let him affect your health if you possibly can.
I think if you look on your mental health Trust's website there will be links to PALS and the complaints procedure telling you how it works and the steps to go through.
I made a formal complaint about my care - therapy in my case, it was a whitewash and the trust defended their staff and didn't uphold my complaint. It is easy for them to do and hard to challenge them as an individual with an experience of a confidential appointment with no other witnesses. If your partner was there then you have a witness, which is good. They didn't investigate enough to understand my concerns. I wrote to say how they hadn't taken on my points, restated my case and was told I would have to go to a meeting. I wasn't up to doing that. It is still unresolved, I am still dealing with the fallout, two years on. I would recommend getting an advocate to help you through the process. It is very stressful but I think you have a case. You definitely have the right to see a different psych.
I wish you good luck and am so sorry this has happened xx
 
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Confusedandanxious

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What a horrible horrible person he is! He is in the wrong job!
I am so sorry you have had to deal with that.
You are not wrong in the slightest and you are not a failure. You are doing everything right and everything that is expected of a patient. You are trying. You prove that by taking your meds, attending your appointments, seeing about med changes if and when they are needed.
He sounds like he has a chip on his shoulder and you've received the brunt of his own misery.

Definitely put a complaint in if you have the energy. If not, please make sure you ask to be seen by a different psychiatrist in the future.

Most importantly- ignore everything that arse has said.
 
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