Sunday, May 18, 2014

'Breaking a Link' It's okay to fire your psychiatrist

It's a long held belief that we are somehow subservient to whomever is appointed as our acting psychiatrist.
Have times changed?
Meet Paula Edwards a woman with long term psychiatric issues whose psychiatrist of three years retired.  Paula had been seeing a therapist in an office for 14 years, policy being your psychiatrist must work out of the same office as your therapist.  A new psychiatrist recently joined the office Paula had been attending for the past 14 years unfortunately based solely on the afore mentioned policy this new psychiatrist and Paula which Paula knew nothing about became linked together as patient and client. 
After two visits it turned out to be a total disaster. 
Visit number one:
Was informal as she looked at her computer asking me questions never really listening to or expecting answers.  Everything stays the same and we'll see you in five months.
Within a few weeks Paula entered into crisis mode.  Words were exchanged with person's helping Paula and soon she voluntarily found herself in the emergency room of the local hospital.  Paula was dealing with the existence of past traumas being a very real part in her life today as she was approaching a milestone in her life of turning 50 years old.  The approaching milestone was triggering uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms for Paula to have to deal with on her own. Voluntary short term psychiatric hospitalization was agreed upon.
During hospitalization prn medication that Paula relied upon to control symptoms was removed temporarily and carried over into discharge.  Which is normal and in the past Paula would return to her psychiatrist and the prn medication would be prescribed again.
Visit number two:
Emergency appointment; hearing voices and not sleeping.
There was a note in Paula's from her therapist in asking for the prn to be returned because in the past that helped deal with these symptoms. 
The psychiatrist insisted on not returning the prn but moving another medication for sleep issues into an evening dose against Paula's wishes.  Paula had experience with the medication and knew of it's ineffectiveness with these issues.
The psychiatrist began to raise her voice and triggered much of Paula's traumatic past issues of abuse and inability to speak for herself even though Paula knows what works best for herself at this time.
Paula left with a change in the medication she didn't want changed and without the prn she and her therapist knew out of experience she needed.
I ask:
Is this a case of bullying?
A case of stigma at it's pinnacle where one or the psychiatrist thinks the psychiatrist has all the power to make the changes that affect your life?
"I'm getting a new psychiatrist because she treated me disrespectful and I don't need any more explanation than that." 
Paula already knew the outcome of what the doctor insisted on doing.  She knew by experience it wouldn't work.  It seemed as though the doctor didn't care to hear any of that expertise information.

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