Psychiatrists and the “I Know Best” Attitude, re-revisited

Last night my daughter had a nightmare. She’s only five, and nightmares are scary, so she woke up and started screaming for Mum.

I only know about this because my partner told me this morning.

‘Drowsiness’ doesn’t even start to cover what I’m like at night. I can’t be so out of it that I can’t wake up when my baby needs me. I can live with a whole lot of problems with meds, as long as it’s just me they’re hurting. Not when they affect my family. That’s a step too far.

So I did what I’m supposed to do if I’m having trouble – I contacted Mental Health. I don’t have a psych appointment scheduled, because I complained about the psychiatrist I saw last time, after he would not listen when I told him that this medication had side effects that I couldn’t tolerate. As a result, I’m in psychiatrist limbo.

My case manager is on holiday this week, so I was given another name to ask for if I needed anything. And I needed something. I need my brain back.

He told me that the psych that made me feel an inch tall was a good doctor, that he’s worked with for a long time. He told me that I could get in to see that doc on Monday. He said that if I didn’t want to see him that there was nothing he could do, and I could maybe try on Monday when my case manager gets back.

When I told him I felt trapped, because I was not going back to that psych and there were no other options, he told me I was not trapped because I could go to that psych. When I tried to tell him that I could not tolerate these meds any more, he told me that they were good meds. That because I wasn’t glued-to-the-couch depressed, they were working. That the doctor knew what he was doing when he put me on them. I felt like my complaints were trivial, compared to the depression I was feeling. That at least I wasn’t suicidal any more.

The truth is, I don’t feel the empty misery and suicidal thoughts. Instead, the problems I’m having are so debilitating that I’d rather die than carry on. Instead of passive wanting to die, I actively don’t want to keep living the way I am right not.

The options feel like they are: change the ‘way it is’, or change the ‘living’. But I’m struggling to find the support to change the way I’m living. All it takes is a doc to listen and try something new. Is that too much to ask?


3 thoughts on “Psychiatrists and the “I Know Best” Attitude, re-revisited

  1. aviets

    It breaks my heart that you’re receiving this kind of treatment. I’ve seen such arrogance in many professions – there’s a kind of closing of ranks and belittling of the client, patient, student, parent – whatever -that I think comes from losing touch with the very real feelings and needs AND the legitimate expectations of those being served. I hope you find the courage and energy to keep standing up for yourself, or that your able to enlist someone to advocate for you. I’m thinking of you.

    1. aviets

      Oh, heavens I have a misspelling in that comment. Please imagine “you’re” instead of “your” in that last sentence. How embarrassing. Or perhaps I should be a little less concerned about grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

    2. Wombat Post author

      I understand why it happens – they’re short of staff, they’re under a lot of pressure, they don’t have many options – but it means that the people they’re meant to help get forgotten in the mess. It hurts the patients, far too often. I wish there was a way to change the system so it was more centred around patients, rather then being rushed and centred on getting everyone seen and everything done.


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