Monday, January 6, 2014

Find A Doctor Who Really Listens - Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Find  A Doctor Who Really Listens


I remember about 2 years ago feeling extremely depressed, fatigue almost all the time and I had a lump right below my stomach. By then I was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) and due to my high level of anxiety and the severity of my symptoms I felt there was a need to let each doctor I visited know of my condition. I thought that by letting them know of my condition (them being professional and all) they would work better with me such as giving me early appointments where there was less traffic outside, allowing me to wait right outside the office if a panic attack was setting in, or just simply being patient with me when my anxiety kicked in. Boy was I wrong!

Someone needs to train these ordinary professional doctors in regards to mental health! It almost seems to me that many of them are clueless of what mental health is, like a foreign subject. What do they teach them in medical school I wonder.

For a whole year I went through many doctors telling me that all of my symptoms, including the lump, was due to me sitting for long hours in front of a computer and my PTSD. I kept searching for a doctor that would listen to me though, knowing in my heart that something was wrong with me. I don't know what would have happened to me if I had gave up on my search.

I finally found a doctor who took my issues seriously. It was benign tumors. Huge ones too! They were sucking the life out of me. The doctor knew I had PTSD but yet she treated me with respect and truly listened to my concerns. The good thing is that although many doctors are ignorant to mental health, there are plenty of good doctors who are educated on the matter.

Thanks to that doctor I had a procedure done and I felt a whole lot better. Don't give up on your search if you don't feel heard by a doctor. Find a doctor who would really listen to your concerns and validate them.

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9 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm glad you were able to find someone to take you seriously. I have been through the same thing: doctors assuming that all my problems were in my mind just because I suffer from depression and anxiety. It took me more years than I care to mention before I was able to get an accurate diagnosis for my stomach pain.

    My question though: How do you find a doctor to listen to you without making it seem like you are "doctor shopping"? I know that word gets around among doctors about "problem" patients. I've been told by someone who knows that they gossip about patients even though it is illegal.

    Thanks for this blog!

    Susan

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    1. Hi there Susan, I am sorry you had to go through that. It can be a difficult time trying to find a good doctor that takes your concern seriously. I am glad however that you were able to find an accurate diagnosis for your pain.

      I apologize for the delay in my response to your question. I went ahead and created a post that might help answer your question.

      http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2014/01/how-to-search-for-good-doctor-mental.html

      Feel free to let me know if you still have further questions or if you need additional resources for your country. I would be more then happy to help out =]

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  2. I have never had luck with doctors or psychiatrists when it comes to my mental health issues. My family doctor won't even address these issues, even when I have told her over and over again of suicidal ideation due to deep depression. She keeps shoving me off on psychiatrists who just want to write me a script and shove me out the door. I don't even know how many different psych meds I've been on since high school (I'm 35 now)....and none of them have worked, or they have just made me feel worse.

    A couple of months ago, a psychiatrist who I had seen for a total of three 20-minute sessions diagnosed me with Borderline Personality disorder, which she told me she based on my not "responding to treatment" after all the years of on-and-off depression. This woman knew absolutely nothing about me, having known me for a grand total of one hour. The last psychiatrist I saw for over a year did not give me a diagnosis as he was unsure what was wrong with me. When I contested the Borderline diagnosis from this new psychiatrist, she became enraged and began to argue with me. I left. She then put out a Form One on me which had the police come to my house to take me to the hospital under Suicide Watch (this from a woman who never cared or responded when I told her three times before I had suicidal thoughts, but no plan). I was kept for about 10 hours in a concrete room, treated like an animal, and totally ignored by the nurse. I was not even allowed to change my underwear in the morning. The nurse continually ignored my requests for my prescribed clonazepam as I was in a state of deep panic. I was not allowed to have my Kindle to read as this lightweight piece of plastic was somehow considered a weapon, and yet the woman in the next room (also on suicide watch) was given a pen to write with, which she kept in her room. The only real interaction I had with staff was the young nurse who actually scolded me for daring to argue with the psychiatrist. That nurse then left my room saying, "I need to leave. You're making me angry!"

    This experience absolutely traumatized me. On hearing the name of that particular psychiatrist who put me in that hospital OUT OF SPITE, I will immediately have suicidal thoughts and just cry and cry. I will never EVER go to a hospital no matter how depressed or suicidal I get.

    I had to see another new psychiatrist and I just broke down when I got home, even though he was courteous although not exactly friendly.

    I have done a ton of research and I now believe the entire field of psychiatry is a total swindle that hurts and kills people. At this point, I am done with meds and have vowed to only keep clonazepam as a PRN medication. So far I have been feeling a bit better, since my brain is cleared of these poisonous psych drugs.

    Sorry for the long post, but I appreciate having a place to share this story.

    God bless you for all you are doing, Sending you hugs and hoping you continue to heal with your PTSD and physical health!

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  3. I am sorry to hear about what you went through. I can't even begin to imagine your pain but I want you to know that you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to feel free to im me at JoshuanBanx@yahoo.com. I would be more then happy to listen, talk and share with you. Or if you are in second life, you can im me, Joshuan Banx.

    There are many ways to heal from depression. Medication is not the only answer. Try to find what best works for you. Also keep in mind that not every hospital operates the same, thankfully. Although you had a very bad experience in one hospital, it doesn't mean all hospitals are like that.

    I myself I had a horrible experience in a mental health hospital but then I went to another one and wow! what a difference. One hospital treated patients worse then bugs crawling up your bed while the other treated patients with the respect they deserved. What I am trying to say is don't feel afraid to try another hospital and see how it works out for you. You can google for the top, best known psychiatric hospitals in your area. Keep in mind to go by other patients reviews and not just some random article. Articles can be sometimes bias, especially if they are getting paid by the hospital to advertise them. Patients on the other hand will most likely just tell you the truth, even if it's a horrible truth.

    You can also google for best known outpatient care in your area and find a therapist that is willing to listen to you and treat you with respect. If you need any help finding these sources feel free to contact me and I will be more then happy to help you out however I can.

    Friendly hugs <3 and I hope one day all hospitals treat everyone with the respect and dignity they are entitled to. It is something I personally advocate for.

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  4. Anonymous, I have had similar experiences in hospitals to what you and Joshuan have had, and I agree it is very degrading and discouraging. Although I suppose it's some comfort to know that I'm not the only person who's been treated this way ... and that maybe we can help Joshuan in his crusade to end the stigma against people with psychological difficulties.



    I guess I live in the wrong part of the country for compassionate mental health as compared to where Joshuan lives though because I've been incarcerated in every hospital in the city (in fact, we used to have three, and two of them just merged), and they're all the same. The staff treat you like a leper or laugh and joke to each other about you from behind their protective, sound-proof glass, where they watch your every move. I've even been beaten by security guards for begging to leave and being told I couldn't until I was seen by a psychiatrist, and they couldn't tell me how much longer that would be because, "You're not the only patient in the hospital, you know, and we only have one psychiatrist." When I started beating my head against the wall after 11 hours in the freezing cold with nothing to do or read or look at, no bed to lie down on, not even allowed to have my clothes, four security guards strapped me down on a table so I couldn't move; all I could do was scream myself hoarse begging for help, which, of course, was futile because you're in a maximum security area where the "normal" patients can't hear or see what's being done to you. The hospitals' philosophy is "the floggings will continue until morale improves." One of the guards who was enormous, well over 6 feet and at least 300 pounds, while I'm less than 5'3", was near my head twisting my arthritic neck backwards, as well as my hand, while the others strapped me to the table and then got really vicious when I dug my fingernails into his hand because no one would listen to me and it was the only way to get him to stop hurting me. He then acted like a big baby, so they punished me more because he said I was dangerous and had scratched his arm all up. (I don't even have long nails!) I said to him, "Where? Let me see the scratches." Because I KNEW I had not been able to reach his arm, he had my hand twisted down so tightly. Of course, he wouldn't answer or show me.

    And I too had a totally uncompassionate psychiatrist who, when I called her to tell her I was depressed and feeling suicidal, called an ambulance and had me taken to the hospital against my will because she was too busy to talk to me. Not only that, but then I get stuck with unaffordable ambulance and hospital bills.

    Since the law says that if you express suicidal thoughts, any mental-health or medical professional is *required* to call the police, who are the opposite of compassionate and create a huge scene for the entire neighborhood to gawk at after they break into your house and haul you away against your will, the next time I have suicidal thoughts, I will not confide in anyone; I will simply act on them. I have been subjected to the same treatment too many times and learned the hard way that this onerous law gives me no other option. I don't advocate suicide, but I fully understand why people do it after they have begged the system for help only to be treated this way. ...

    Susan

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  5. Sorry, I ran out of room for my long post ...

    In addition, you are very right to take clonazepam *only* as needed. I tell that to everyone. The same psychiatrist who called 911 on me also got me addicted to clonazepam (I had nearly tapered myself off of Ativan, but she told me clonazepam was easier to get off of, which is not true because in changing my medication to a stronger benzodiazepine, she doubled my dose, unbeknownst to me until it was too late, and put me right back where I had started with my taper!). I've now been hooked on it for eight years and am stuck in a constantly worsening state of tolerance withdrawal. Clonazepam is just one of a class of benzodiazepine drugs, and I highly recommend to *everyone* to avoid them as much as possible. They may have their place now and then on an as-needed basis, such as if you feel a panic attack coming on, but be very very careful not to fall into the habit of taking them every day, or you may end up like me and never be able to get off of them. (If you're having trouble sleeping, I recommend actual sleeping pills. Zolpidem has been working great for me for 10 years, and it has no physically addictive properties, as opposed to when I go more than eight hours without my dose of benzos.) Benzos, on the other hand, are more physically addicting than heroin. (For more information on them, the most comprehensive and truthful website I have found--too late--is www.benzo.org.uk, which includes the Ashton Manual, the only proven way to get off of benzodiazepines safely, and also "The Benzo Book" by Jack Hobson-Dupont, www.thebenzobook.com. He explains in a very readable way not only his own harrowing story of benzo addiction, but the mechanism by which they destroy your body's own GABA receptors so that your nerve cells can only use the GABA (a calming chemical that counteracts your body's fight-or-flight response) from the drug rather than the GABA your own body makes naturally and also how the pharmaceutical industry got this horrible drug put back on the market after it was found in the late 1960s how addictive Valium was. Clonazepam/Klonopin, lorazepan/Ativan, Xanax, etc., are all just reformulated versions of the original "mother's little helper," Valium.

    Regarding your reply, Joshuan, I'm really glad you were able to find five-star doctors who treat you with respect and dignity and have been able to help you with your health problems. I wish every city in every part of the world had such resources. You certainly have my support in your advocacy, even if I'm relatively powerless against the God-complex doctors in my area. (My chiropractor told me this is one of the two worst cities in the country for doctors with God complexes.) I hope the Zocdoc site takes off and covers the entire country soon, before one more person has to suffer the indignities and suffering that we have.

    Susan

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    1. I am sorry for the very! delayed response. I been so beyond busy these few days. I hope as well, that one day every city and country has better health care that understands mental health and it's affects to patients in a more empathetic way. We will continue to raise our voices and spread awareness and education in hopes that one day things will change =]

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  6. Well, it's happened again ... except this time, the police responded to a false 911 call that I was threatening suicide, determined there was no need for the call, and were handing me over to my parents' custody when an ambulance showed up and the EMT literally kidnapped me against police orders. "Because of the way you were brought here," the hospital staff kept telling me, I was not permitted to leave for over 12 hours while I had to wait for a succession of three separate professionals at the hospital. They maintained that I had been arrested (a special kind of arrest I later learned is called a "Mental Hygiene Arrest"), which was false. I kept insisting I hadn't been arrested, but they kept me in the psychiatric ED all day. I later called the police department and confirmed that there was, in fact, no police report and therefore NO ARREST. This happened three months ago. I still have PTSD over the event because I cannot get justice and the ambulance company has the nerve to keep billing me and threatening to ruin my credit rating because I'm not paying the $800 for a wasted ride to the hospital that has led to lasting mental anguish and PTSD. How can I possibly ever feel safe when an EMT can disregard the direct orders of the police and literally kidnap me in front of a room full of witnesses and then have the hospital deny me due process or the "Patient Bill of Rights," which they said does not apply in the psychiatric ED. (I maintained throughout the entire ordeal that it was a mistake and I had never threatened suicide, but no one would listen to me.)

    I need a lawyer, but I cannot find one willing to take the case. Can you please tell me how I can get justice so that I can feel safe from being kidnapped and held prisoner in horrible conditions (constantly being threatened with being put in restraints for raising my voice--it's THEIR fault their walls are paper thing--and having anxiety that THE HOSPITAL caused me)--for no reason by crooked ambulance companies just out to collect "fares" for their bottom line?

    Everyone keeps telling me to put it behind me, but I can't when I know it can happen again at any time and I have no rights. (In fact, why does the Patient Bill of Rights not apply in the psychiatric ED? I was treated as though I was guilty until proven innocent, and even the hospital refused to confirm that there was NO MHA *or* return my therapist's phone call. These seems like a clear case of discrimination and a civil-rights violation to me.)

    Can you please tell me how to proceed and where I can find a lawyer? I've had two lawyers tell me that I had a good case but that I had only a limited time to pursue it, and neither of them could take the case. Five others told me they couldn't help me at all. I got most of these lawyers' names from the local bar association's lawyer referral service. Thanks!

    Susan

    Susan

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    1. Hey Susan, sorry that it has taken me a while to respond. Send me a message at Joshuanbanx@yahoo.com and I will send you some resources =] You do have legal rights and patient bill of rights does apply to psychiatry as well. I hope to hear from you soon. I am sorry you had to go through this.

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