18 thoughts on “The World’s Most Eye-Opening Psychiatrist Appointment

  • July 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I’m so sorry that this was your experience. This is nothing like my experience with my psychiatrist. My doc met with me for an hour for our first appointment. Our follow up appointments are supposed to be 15-20 minutes but he never rushes me and I have often spent up to 30 minutes working with him to figure out how to treat my difficult, treatment resistant depression. He returns my phone calls promptly and has occasionally even surprised me by answering his office phone himself when I have called. He has also called me himself, even though he has office staff to do these things, to change or move up an appointment or to confirm information.
    He discusses my situation with both my individual therapist and my group therapist to make sure that they give me the best treatment possible.
    I feel like I am very lucky to have the mental health treatment team that I have and I wish you luck with your future mental health care.

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  • July 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Nice essay! Very humorous, but informative about how bizarre some doctors can be. Nice writing job!

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  • July 11, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Julie,
    You need to report this physician to the corporate head or the AMA. SOMEBODY! This is not appropriate nor ethical. I wish I had answers for you, but I do have advice – REPORT THIS MAN! It’s one thing to be rude, but when you see a doctor who tells you to look up some meds you want to be on, and then return in five weeks and we’ll discuss them? Screw that! My mom killed herself because her depression was never addressed. Would five weeks have saved her? We have power now. Even if it’s just the power of social media. Tell everybody the doctor’s name, the company’s name, your problems encountered. If we don’t save ourselves, then who will?
    God bless!
    Linda, R.N.

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  • July 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Hi Julie,
    Just read your story with a mixture of amusement and horror. I feel for you, trusting a professional is not easy made even harder by not having options as you said for a 2nd opinion (I’m sure you’ll get one). Don’t want to spend much time talking about this psychiatrist, clearly he is inept, half educated and does not have the qualities of a citizen whom you can trust your wellbeing with.

    I’d suggest you send this very “informative story” to: a) ISBD, the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (Pittsburgh); ADAA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America; c) DBSA (Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance.

    I have been with BAD for 26 years and I do manage it quite well with the assistance of a great psychiatrist that I see 3 times p/year and keep in touch on the phone and by email.

    My experience is, you are best or better suited retaining “control of your treatment and management regime”, always with a professional close by. This is an on-going battle.

    Best regards,
    Enrique

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  • July 12, 2014 at 12:18 am

    I am an independently licensed social worker. Unfortunately, I hear and see this go on in the field, but you need to find another doctor. Get on a waitlist, and also find a really good therapist. A Licensed social worker or Counselor that you can see weekly who is knowledgeable about diagnosis, symptoms, med management, symptom management. People confuse treatment as only being provided by the Psychiatrist, and as this case points out, the Psychiatrist theses days is a very small part of the treatment team. Most of the work is done with the therapist and patient. If you develop a good relationship there, they can diagnose, help with recognizing symptoms, and advocating for you with your prescriber or helping to find you a new one. Most importantly, you need more than one person on your team and you need a network of supports as inpatient is only for the truly suicidal or homicidal patients. there are outpatient intensive programs and support groups that may also be helpful as options for you. Here is also a link to a national organization for bipolar and depression: http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home. Most importantly, remember that you matter, and that you deserve the best. There are people out here that care. Jenn

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  • July 12, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Thanks so much for all of your comments. I really appreciate all of your advice. It gives me hope that I can find some real help!

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  • July 16, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I am so sorry you had such an incompetent dr for your first experience with a supposed professional. He should lose his license to practice. There are many other psychiatrists who care about the integrety of their field and are truly there to help you. Please report this man and pursue a dr. Who has an interest in helping you. I have worked in this field for many years and never heard of this kind of malpractice. You need help and should be able to get it.Look up the dr’s credentials and get a referral from your pcp before picking a name from the phonebook. You were mistreated by this person who should not be practicing any type of mental health.
    Do not give up. There are good docs out there. You just need to find the right one.

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  • July 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Julie – Please, please, please, report this guy to your state medical board. This is NOT an appropriate or therapeutic way for a physician to behave in an appointment. (Do not bother with the AMA – contact the licensing board in your state.) With just some identifiers and a few dates, you can file your blog entry as the complaint. I am sure that this is not the first time the medical board has heard this about this doc!

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  • July 16, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I am so sorry about your experience with this pathetic excuse for a psychiatrist. Every patient deserves one like mine: a doctor who genuinely cares about his patients, who takes the time to study them and learn their individual quirks, who returns their phone calls promptly and personally.

    He was the first psychiatrist I’d ever seen, and it was good that my first foray into the world of mental health was so positive. I was in a bad way when we first met, and I know if the experience had been like yours, I’d never have gone back. As it was, he put me at ease within about 30 seconds and we had a full 90-minute session.

    So yes, there are great doctors out there who actually care about being doctors and doing the best they can for their patients. I hope you find someone like that SOON!

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  • July 16, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    (I have GAD and am on Lexapro)

    In today’s world, generally speaking Psychiatrists give the meds, Psychologists do the talk therapy, and the twain shan’t often meet.

    My psychologist is outstanding. He’s very sincerely caring and empathetic; A very kind soul with an elegant mix of friendly normal human being thinking and clinical knowledge. My psychiatrist is also decent, but not quite as impressive. But, as far as psychiatrists go, he’s more than I would expect.

    In my experience, psychiatrists tend to be more egotistical/arrogant, as if they’ve seen it all and know everything, and on top of it, consider you to be somewhat of a joke for your troubled ways of thinking. Psychologists tend to be more empathetic and caring. There are advantages to both but I tend to prefer dealing with psychologists. While you might say psychiatrists are smarter, psychologists are wiser. I went through three other psychiatrists before I arrived at my current one, and all of them, to a greater or lesser degree, frequently looked disinterested, rolled their eyes, smugly smirked, etc.

    There must be something about psychiatry that attracts those types of people. Anyway, as I said, I went through three before I found one that I wasn’t a complete jerk. There’s no shame in continuing to look for the right one.

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  • July 16, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    About 15 years ago I had just spent the night in the psych ER during a manic episode (the police had dragged me in). They only let me out the next day because I had an appointment with a new psychiatrist. At our appointment- he didn’t want to know my history. He didn’t know what meds I had been on or even what meds I was taking. He said that I had to be off of all meds of 6 weeks and then he could give me a diagnosis. I still don’t know if he was a genius or crazy. At the time I thought crazy, and I screamed and cursed at him, told him that I hoped he didn’t think he could bill me for this, and stormed out. I was manic. The non-normal me couldn’t have done that.

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  • July 17, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Wow! What a nightmare. I’ve had some pretty bad pdocs before, but this guy takes the cake. I agree with most of the advice given here.

    I have a great pdoc nowadays. He came highly recommended by my long time psychologist. She is the one who diagnosed me correctly (after 40 years of misdiagnoses) as having bipolar illness. It wasn’t the pdoc I had at the time or any other pdoc from the past.

    I got on the wait list for this pdoc. I kept my old one in the meantime, who kept insisting on ONE method of treatment only, when there are literally 100 others to try.

    When I arrived at my first appointment, much to my surprise, this pdoc took my blood pressure, pulse, weight, and had me hold out my arms to see if my hands shook. He took his time with the intake and LISTENED. I fired the other pdoc.

    I am now on the right meds for ME. Every meds check, my pdoc also does the physical things stated above. It took four months of meds tweaking (I feel blessed, because it can take longer)to find the right cocktail. When I’ve had to call, he’s always returned my call the same day.

    The worst pdoc I ever had kept increasing Xanax until I was on 6 mg. a day. The highest dose recommended is 4 mg. I became addicted. Ended up in the ER. The doc there had me committed on a 72 hour hold. He said I was ‘abusing’ Xanax. He would not believe me when I said I was taking it as directed. That was back in 1996 and it was a nightmare! When I got out, I swore I would never be hospitalized again. I haven’t. I rode it out.

    It took over a year for me to get off the Xanax. During that hospitalization, all of my meds were stopped. I then went into severe withdrawal from the Xanax. I started hallucinating and was delusional. Luckily, I was able to hold it together somehow and get OUT.

    By all means, report this idiot to the state medical board and get on a wait list for another pdoc. Ask around for recommendations. Ask your therapist.

    If I hadn’t read your story with my own eyes, I’d think it was made up. You can’t make this stuff up.

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  • July 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    CALL YOUR COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH OFFICE!!! they will help you and report that ass____

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  • July 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I am an RN working in regulatory enforcement and I urge you to report this man to your state board of medicine at a minimum. We investigate this type of gross incompetence and misconduct but it can only be investigated if it is reported. Your report can be anonymous.

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  • July 18, 2014 at 2:19 am

    WOW! That psychiatrist is a complete idiot. I’ve been seeing my psychiatrist for six years and my experience has been the complete opposite of yours. There have been no changes in my session time, which generally average an half hour. He asks relevant questions about my physical and mental health, changes in my life, my relationships (including my marriage), as well as how well all of my meds are working or not working.

    I don’t get to cherry pick my anti-depressants but I do have a say about when a change in meds or dosage is needed and how to go about the process. It’s truly a good mix of a med discussion with a therapeutic session. I’ve never had problems with insurance coverage. The only problem is I have to wait a while in the office for my appointment, so I bring a book.

    I have trigeminal neuralgia, which was diagnosed JUST this year. I’ve had this disease for 10 years and it took this long to get a diagnosis from a physician, even though I had diagnosed myself many years ago. So I understand how dysfunctional the medical system is and I have seen many incompetent doctors and some truly skilled healthcare providers.

    This psychiatrist should be ashamed of himself. He is truly doing a disservice to you and his other clients, and he could be harming them with his poor care. You might want to try contacting your primary care doctor and have him or her help you get started with medication if needed until you can find a new psychiatrist who is available and highly recommended. Crazymeds.com is a great web site for info about meds

    BTW, I recently found out that my therapist has bipolar disorder and is unmedicated, and it shows. After several years of treatment, I discovered she doesn’t take treatment notes, which is not entirely unacceptable but something that should be disclosed. She also refused to pass along a summary letter to me that was lost in the mail, and sent me a very erratic and unprofessional email insisting I pick it up from her office. Duh, I’m sick. Can’t you mail it again to the right address this time?!ill pay for postage.

    Anyhow, I wish you the best mental health possible and hope you can put together a good team of medical professionals to ensure that you can feel good and be the best person you can be.

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  • July 18, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Sometimes when you report a person for misconduct, it becomes hard for you to get another professional to take you on. I had a therapist who exposed himself to me. When I reported him to the police and then went searching for a new therapist, I discovered it very difficult to find one. That whistleblower tactic can get you even if you are a patient and are in the right. For some reason, even if you explain the circumstances, many are afraid you might do the same to them and are hesitant to take you on. It is a shame to the profession that it is so, but it is. Hopefully, not so with psychiatrists, or psychologists, as it was with psychotherapists.

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  • July 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I am sorry you had this experience. I laughed whole-heartedly while reading your essay, while commiserating with your experience. Experiences like what you have been my experiences, as well. If there were choices? I don’t live in some remote part of the world, the choices of Psychiatrists simply do not exist and the psychotherapists don’t take insurance. My terrible experiences with the mental health profession has kept me from getting help for years. I can invalidate myself, thank you, without having a psychiatrist invalidate my personhood.

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  • August 16, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I’m so sorry you had this experience. I wouldn’t couch this man’s clearly pathological behavior with lack of empathy as ‘truth’. I don’t put up with behavior like that out of anyone. He devalued you, stigmatized you, invalidated you. That’s never okay by ANY professional standards, yet I know it happens often. I am so sorry you experienced this.

    First, psychiatrists are there to ‘diagnose’ and send you packing with pills. That’s it.

    Psychotherapists are there to LISTEN to you. It is very very difficult to find one and it takes WORK. this is even harder when you don’t have insurance or your insurance does not cover it. THANKFULLY, I have medicaid as I am disabled and I have a fabulous therapist who saved my life. I have PTSD and major depression. I HATE it when mental health problems are designated as worse than others, or not as bad if you’re not hospitalized. What that is, is bullshit. I’ve lived with these two disorders most of my life and it is HELL…I’ve been in a psyche ward before. NOT. FUN. In fact, it exacerbated my symptoms. I find it interesting that being hospitalized is equivalent to ‘severity’ of one’s condition. That is just CRAP!

    I really don’t know what your situation is with insurance, but I think understanding the levels of care and who can provide it is very important.

    I didn’t have great luck with mental health providers in the past. Desperate after coming out of my last abusive relationship, I went from one therapist to the next. I was so desperate and determined, and having no luck after seeing two therapists, that I called my insurance company and got REAL specific. I need a highly skilled, trained TRAUMA therapist. I need someone who ‘gets’ personality disorders, such as borderline, narcissistic and antisocial (I come from a pathological home and have had pathological relationships my entire adult life until four years ago).

    I got a call within the next several days. I found a wonderful therapist. I am very very blessed. But it took FOOT work. It sucks but it often takes many visits with an assortment of therapists before you find the right one, but it is SO SO well worth it!

    I don’t know why, but it seems many psychiatrists are complete jerks, lacking in empathy. But that doesn’t mean we have to put up with it.

    I hope you don’t give up. Somewhere out there, there IS the right person for you. Maybe giving your insurance company a call and speaking with an advocate there, might help? If you’ve not done so already? Anyway, I wish you lots of love and much peace…

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