When The Psych Dr Won’t Help

I had a horrible week last week. My mood began to plunge badly. I called my Psychiatry office to see if they could prescribe me anything to hold me over until my appointment scheduled for two weeks from now. They said that they couldn’t do that. I finally went in for help. I went up to the office and asked if anybody could help me, even the back up doctor I saw before. I said I really wasn’t doing well. Then the girl at the front desk, and you can’t make this crap up, looked at me and said, “Well you look well put together so you’re fine.”

I kid you not. They have someone that ignorant and condescending working in a psychiatry office now. She’s a new girl. I’m going to be taking this up with the practice manager. I was doing pretty badly and I really needed help. She told me I looked fine, and then sent me away with nothing after giving me a lecture about how they have to do things the correct way, as she called it, and couldn’t give me any meds without me seeing my practitioner. Well, I know the correct way to jump off an overpass so would she rather I have done that? And it was a whole bunch of crap to be honest. I’ve been seeing psychiatrists for about 10 years now. If you’re a new patient, then yeah they can’t help you until they’ve seen you. But when they’ve been seeing you for a while and know about what you’ve been on and know your history, it is not uncommon at all if you call with a really bad problem for them to either get you in ASAP or if they can’t get you in maybe the next day, they call in something for you to get started on and see if it helps you. While my request was undoubtedly a pain in the ass for everybody involved, it was not uncommon or unheard of and I am not the only psych patient to make such requests. It’s pretty much the norm.

Finally I got a call from the nursing assistant saying that my provider would see me a week before my regular appointment by seeing me over her lunch break. That’s still left me with more than a week of medication that wasn’t working. I started off depressed and then for several days I was suicidal and could not function. And I was just left like that. The only reason I have perked up and become more productive in the middle of this week is because I have been doubling up on both my stabilizer and antidepressant. They don’t always like it when you mess with your drug dosages on your own, but the fact is they wouldn’t help me and I couldn’t get through another week in the terrible state that I was in. I couldn’t do it. It was absolutely beyond me. So until I see my practitioner next Monday I am doing what I can to keep myself functional and able to live a good life. Or at least able to live. Today was actually a pretty good day. I don’t know what tomorrow holds.

I was and am horrified by the girl at the front desk. And the weekend that ensued was an absolute nightmare. For me and for my husband. I was doing really badly. And to think that no one would help me is really upsetting. I am a Rapid Cycling Bipolar 1. Bipolar 1 means that you can go psychotically Manic and that you have as many manic episodes as you do depressed episodes. Rapid or ultradian cycling means that your mood changes much more quickly. For some people who are bipolar depression comes on gradually. They don’t get up one day without the will power to live anymore when they were okay the day before. It comes on more gradually, and although they certainly shouldn’t be blown off either they don’t tend to drop off the deep end in the blink of an eye. I’m a rapid cycler. I can go from good to bad very quickly and from bad to worse even quicker. For me, and for other patients who are in the same situation as me, it is not okay to say gee just wait another week and a half and we will get to you. That’s unacceptable. That’s a lot of days to commit suicide between now and then. I was definitely discouraged because I realized how alone I can be when I drop or if I go too manic. My doctor back home was really on top of things and if I called her with a problem she would either get me in right away, or she would call something in to help me. She would give me something to get through the night so to speak. She did not leave me hanging day after day, and her wonderful desk staff Bruce would never say something so stupid or condescending as what the desk staff had to say at this office here. Bruce was smart, compassionate, and kind.

Previously, I have liked my provider. She’s personable and she’s a good listener. But I have no way of making sure that my severe mood swings match up with a hole in her schedule. And her lack of availability and her rigidity really scare me. Right now taking those double doses of stabilizer and antidepressant are holding me up enough to do okay. I actually even had a good day today. But the truth is these drugs are wearing out badly and I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to string that along. On top of that I found out that my provider is only working one day a week now, although she is considering working two days a week. So she will have very little availability to make regular appointments, and on top of that I really don’t have a hope of help. She could have called in a prescription without being in the office, so her short working hours are not entirely to blame for her not helping me. But even if she was willing to get me in quicker to help me the reality is the woman works one day a week now apparently. So it’s going to be a week of waiting at least before I see her. I hate to give up a provider, and every time you switch to someone new it’s scary. But that’s just not enough availability.

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