Is it time to fire my psychiatrist? It has been an ongoing question hanging out in my mind. It felt very much like I was ending a bad relationship where I felt I was getting the raw end of the deal. I felt neglected, misunderstood and very alone. I never would have tolerated any relationship that was (in my mind) somewhat abusive. I should have done it sooner.
I haven’t been to my psychiatrist for about 7 weeks. The thought of making the appointment to see her was agonizing. I shouldn’t dread going to see her. I shouldn’t feel like I have to suit up in armor just to make it through the session.
Then the decision became clear. It’s time to take a new path.
I found a doctor who specializes in psychiatry and sleep medicine. So far after one appointment, she is fantastic. She actually listened to me (many times with her jaw hanging in shock) and she was very empathetic. She listened to everything I had to say, and even extended the appointment an additional 30 minutes because 50 minutes just wasn’t enough time. That is the kind of relationship I deserve when we are dealing with my life.
It will be a process, somewhat starting from scratch because my other psych was a pill pusher. She has agreed to do anything and everything in her power (with minimum sessions of 30 minutes) to find a medication that will work well with my other health problems. I am excited.
She also diagnosed me with Narcolepsy, based on symptoms I am having. She will send me for some testing but she is certain I have it. She feels strongly that once I get the sleeping problems under control I will be able to find a more effective treatment for bipolar.
She also started me on Saphris again. I was scared because I was so drunk on the medication when I first tried it. That was also my old doc’s fault. She started me off on 10mg, which is a really bad thing to do for someone who is very sensitive to medications. My new doc put me on 5 mg. She really thinks I will benefit from the medication in two ways: it has a major sedative effect which will help with the sleep and it helps with mood stability. It is not known to cause weight gain or an increase in blood sugar too. All of those factors make it a perfect medication.
I took my first dose last night and had MAJOR restless leg when trying to go to sleep. It was awful; I couldn’t even lay down. I ended up dosing myself with some ativan and an ambien to get to sleep to avoid the RLS. What a pain!
I did feel very good this morning though. I felt rested, calm, and really relaxed. I did really well!
I am so glad that I finally got up the guts to fire my old psychiatrist. I need support and comfort from an understanding doctor, not ridicule and bullying from a pill pushing doctor.
Needless to say, I am proud to finally take a stand in my own mental health care. I don’t do it often enough, maybe I should try it more.
Photo by Daniel Novta, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.
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Last reviewed: 14 Oct 2011