Stream of Consciousness

Doctors That Didn’t Treat Me Like a Human (it’s scary)

I recently had to get tested for covid (as I’m sick and someone around me came up positive) and what really struck me was the TREATMENT I received.

And not just me, my entire family.

My body thinks it’s job is to attack itself, so I’m not a very healthy person. I see a lot of doctors. And there are two times recently that doctors have just blown my mind in a bad way.

The second, was when going to get tested. It was outback of my doctor’s office, where they pointed for us to park, then disappeared for half an hour.

They were nervous, that was obvious, and I get it. I don’t want to catch the corona-virus and they don’t either. But they barely even looked at me or my family as we were getting tested. They had us get out of the car and sit in this little area they constructed right in front of us without saying a word.

They stood there talking with one another and entirely ignoring me. Like I’m not a human who is nervous that I might have a virus that is killing people, who’s sick, and about to have a swab jammed up her nose into her brain.

It’s like I wasn’t there. Like I didn’t matter. Like their fear of getting the virus was more important than the fact that someone was sitting there.

And again, I get it, doctors can’t get too attached to their patients or they’d get emotionally torn up. But pretending I’m a robot or not even there at all, is messed up.

To not even speak to me except to tell me to look forward and I can go now, is not okay.

 

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I see a lot of doctors who are AMAZING. So I know it’s not impossible to treat me like I’m a person with feelings and fears, too.

 

The first time this past month that a doctor blew my mind was when I went in sobbing, to talk about my mental health. To ask for help, again.

And INSTEAD

I found out from my primary care physician that my last psychiatrist has entirely messed up my medical history. It says I took a medication for a year, which I took once. It doesn’t detail why I had to quit taking mood stabilizers due to extreme symptoms. It doesn’t detail that he told me I needed to be committed and he couldn’t help me anymore.

Which – at the time I believed him, so I went to the hospital. The people who interview you to commit you or not were blown away and suggested I see a different psychiatrist. They said they’d get laughed out of their boss’ office if they tried committing me, and that I was doing great for all the health issues I was dealing with.

They also suggested I go see my regular doctor because they believed I was hallucinating simply due to lack of sleep, caused by a sudden case of restless leg syndrome (a symptom of the mood stabilizers, which no one ever mentioned, even though it’s a health issue my family all has). I DID go see my doc and she gave me a prescription and POOF I could sleep. And what do you know? My hallucinations went away.  Because of restless leg syndrome. Even though my psychiatrist said it was my bipolar and I needed to be committed.

 

Safe to say, I never saw that psychiatrist again. He didn’t listen to me, didn’t tell me what possible symptoms could happen, or really hear anything I had to say. I was pretty scared of the idea of seeing a psychiatrist ever again. So I just didn’t go see him anymore. I kept up with therapy and for years, I’ve been doing totally fine.

Yeah, depression and anxiety mess with me. But the mood stabilizers caused my other health issues to keep me from functioning at all and didn’t actually help the depression or anxiety AT ALL. So not taking them wasn’t a big deal to me.

Until I had a job that was messing with me for several bad reasons. It was a very unhealthy situation and I was in a lot of pain.

 

So here I am, asking my primary care doctor for help and then finding out my last psychiatrist had messed up my medical history.

But this was all backstory. This wasn’t what upset me!

It was my primary care doctor’s response to me.

She acted like I was a lying crazy person who obviously just didn’t have any integrity or memory power.

As if my psychiatrist was right and I must have…. FORGOT that I took a medication for a year??? Or that I was lying and filled a medication I wasn’t taking for a year (because, yeah, she insinuated I’d filled it and just not taken it)??? When in fact, I filled it ONCE and never again…

I’m on the bipolar spectrum. I don’t have the scary Bipolar 1 or 2 that some people have to deal with. Or even that third one that starts with a “c”. I’m simply on the spectrum.

I don’t have hallucinations unless I’m only getting 20 minutes of sleep a night for a month straight because of restless leg syndrome, caused by a mood stabilizer because my psychiatrist didn’t pay attention to my family medical history and decided to give me a medication that CAUSES restless leg syndrome if the patient has a family history of it. … (And restless leg syndrome didn’t go away just because I stopped taking the mood stabilizer. I now take a pill for it DAILY that helps most of the time.)

I don’t EVER have mania, only hypo-mania. I NEVER have had a psychotic break or delusions of grandeur or anything like that. I just feel A LOT of depression and anxiety and I FEEL TOO MUCH.

But my doctor was acting like I was a full blown crazy person who just must not remember what she did. *in a huge condescending tone*

I was blown away. How do doctors like this handle people who DO have psychotic breaks? Do they just believe those people are incapable of knowing the difference between life and hallucinations? I mean, how is it that a DOCTOR can treat another human being like they’re an idiot who knows nothing? Or are all lairs because they have a mental illness? The huge wall that I just felt go up between us was depressing, to put a word to it.

Like I was suddenly an unreliable narrator in a story and couldn’t be trusted.

And what’s so infuriating is that I’m such a goody two shoes! On purpose! I hate lying!

 

It was just too much for me. And after all that, my primary care doc didn’t actually help with the depression or anxiety, but referred me to a new psychiatrist, who I’m terrified to see.

On the upside, my therapist agrees that I’ve had terrible experiences and understands why I’m now afraid to see another psychiatrist.

Although, now that I’ve quit that job, I’m feeling much better and don’t feel as pushed into NEVER ENDING MISERY as I did a few weeks ago. So do I even need to see a psychiatrist? Do they TALK to you or just throw meds at you? Because the meds make my health worse. (which by the way, can we talk about how i legit thought you could take anti anxiety or depression meds and they just fixed you? without any symptoms?? aaaahhhhh…. the naivety…..🤣🤣 …. I wish I’d been smarter and looked into possible symptoms or interactions on my own, years ago, before starting that journey.)

 

And then I went on twitter and between the coronavirus and all the hate…. I just couldn’t anymore.

So I had to take a mental health break. From everything, everywhere. Because sometimes life just hurts. And all I can do is hide under my shell like a turtle until the hurt doesn’t outweigh my own ability to breathe.

And if you need to do that? No shame. Social media has a way of putting a megaphone to things, whether good or bad. For someone who already FEELS THINGS MORE INTENSELY cuz I’m bipolar… not good. Add bad health and feeling out of control of my own life.

Just too much.

So I took a week off twitter and blogging.

and it felt GREAT, to be honest

 

but yeah, i just needed this all off my chest. there are FABULOUS doctors out there. but this really scared me. i find it hard to be honest with doctors BECAUSE of situations like this.

(and no, i don’t have my covid test results back yet 😫)

I’m not saying don’t see a psychiatrist, I’m just saying, find the right doctors for YOU. Who SEE YOU as a person and treat you with dignity and respect. 💜

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2 thoughts on “Doctors That Didn’t Treat Me Like a Human (it’s scary)

  1. Sorry I’m late reading this. It’s been that kind of a week.

    And so, so sorry that you had to go through this. I’m on the milder end of the bipolar continuum as well so I can very much relate to a lot of this, even though I don’t have the other autoimmune issues. I’ve had doctors who were great—listened, heard me, cared, found the right solutions for me—and those who were pretty awful.

    All you can do is continue to advocate for yourself and not stick around if they aren’t treating you right (and try not to let it get to you, which is easier said than done). And when you find a doctor who does listen and truly hears you, hang onto them! Hugs!!!

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