This isn’t really an educational article. This is going to replay the last few weeks of my fight to get help.
My psychiatrist retired immediately after changing my meds and leaving me with nobody, except my GP to refill the prescriptions. My GP has referred me to every psychiatrist in the area, I have done my own research, and be damned if I can get in with a new shrink.
I like to have things set out and planned. I like knowing what’s going to come next. This lack-of-psychiatrist while going through bad restlessness from the Abilify (it works great, but I am restless as hell) just doesn’t work for me. My GP seemed fine at the beginning, like he’d prescribe everything for me, he took care of the diabetes insipidus, he’s been great. Except, he will not change any of my psychiatric medications.
He told me to take Cogentin for side effects, but Cogentin has worse side effects than the medication causing the side effects you’re trying to get rid of. So I was prescribed Artane, same deal, then Mirapex, which seemed good, until I read the PI sheet. “May cause you to fall asleep at random”. No. I eventually settled on generic Benadryl, and it takes the edge off. (Many people take beta-blockers for the restlessness, but my blood pressure is low, even lower with the HCTZ, so there is a chance I’d pass out)
I got in with a psychiatrist, all my problems were solved! No, she does a one time consult, reports back to your GP and makes a suggestion. She had no suggestions for me, really, except to swap antipsychotics, which was my idea, too. But my GP doesn’t feel comfortable doing this. I was referred to Telemedicine. They do a one time consult, I’m not even wasting my time, and their time, either.
So after I saw the first consult psychiatrist I decided to go to the ER of W-town, the city I was in at the time. It wasn’t busy and I was immediately put into Seclusion, where my boyfriend kept me occupied with his Nintendo DS, and I texted my friend to see if we could bump lunch up a little later, I was in W-town and to get back to S-town it would take extra time.
A doctor came in. i explained my problem, I needed a psychiatrist, I need a medication change. So he orders blood work and an EKG, which I refused (BIG mistake) because I just wanted to leave. By this time I knew I wasn’t going to get anything sorted out. I sat and waited for them to discharge me, and a nurse came in and we got into an argument over the blood tests. I said, I just had them done 2 weeks ago at a physical, they test everything, call my GP. She bitched at me, I finally asked “How long for the results?”
Okay, I can live with that. I let her take my blood, which she did really fucking badly, I’m not sure if it was because she’s incompetent (I very rarely, if ever have had anyone screw up drawing my blood that I can remember and I get blood work done very frequently, at one point, it was twice a week) She leaves, the doctor (it was his first day) comes in holding a piece of paper.
It was a form 42. 72 Hour Hold. Involuntary. I hadn’t been hospitalized since 2008 and this jackass, on his first day had just committed me. I demanded to speak to a patients advocate (that’s my right as a patient) and he refused. I called my mom to get her to call her lawyer, they took away my phone. So I ended up in the psych ward for 24 hours, left with a “Call Dr. P and take more Xanax”
Need I say that they refused to give me Xanax while I was under their care? I went into withdrawal, I was shaking, and they blamed it on recreational drugs, even though I tested clean.
I got out, gave up. I tried talking to my GP about all the bullshit, he can’t really do anything.
Nobody will do anything. Psychiatrist 1 sends me to another, to another, back to GP, to another. Etc. It’s a circle.
There is a huge amount of discrimination via doctors with mental health. Especially since I’ve been in the system for so long. 14 years. I was told before being discharged that I would not get a psychiatrist to see on a regular basis and “well, life’s not fair”.
My old psychiatrist always told me, “you’ll never be 100%, so why don’t you settle on 70 or 80% and live like that?”
Still jumping through hoops. I can’t afford a therapist, though they can’t do shit about my meds, they do help. My GP won’t alter my meds, nobody will see me more than once.
They have no clue whatsoever. I have been chewed up and spit out by this system and I really can’t take much more. I was put on a 72 hour hold because I attempted suicide 11 years ago. I was calm and fairly collected (I didn’t run around yelling and screaming) during the intake process. I didn’t rip the Form 42 up and kick Dr. First Day in the balls. I complied, because I know what happens when you don’t comply. It’s not pretty.
On the other hand, I broke my shoulder last year and there’s a 9 month waiting list for physio. My insurance doesn’t cover most physio and at $150/hr, yeah, right. My shoulder is, in medical terms, “very messed up”. So I suppose the mental health system is no better than the entire system itself.
Also, they wrongly diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder (something that has been discussed since I’ve been in treatment) by asking me only borderline personality disorder questions. Then they’d ask “why do you THINK you’re bipolar?” Because, um, well, 9 psychiatrists and 4 psychologists have assessed me (once was over a period of 6 months inpatient) and they TOLD me I was bipolar. I don’t want a disorder!
I tried to speak up. I tried to ask for help. It was denied. I was put in a locked ward and denied a medication I need. I’m more irritable. I’m afraid of telling the truth so they won’t lock me up again.
Something has to be done.