10.06.2011

New Psychiatrist

I decided that I needed a plan to stay out of the hospital. My idea was that this would give me more of a sense of safety in general and particularly in regard to wanting to come off medications as much as I can.  I didn't want one of those plans where I write a list of things that will help me cope through various states of distress, but ultimately still leaves the hospital as a last resort. The hospital needed to net even be a last resort. Current-psychiatrist is very quick to shout, "hospital!" so I needed a plan that would circumvent that.

Not knowing any psychiatrist who I could be honest with in a plan like this, I came up with a sneaky plan: when hospital becomes an imminent possibility, I would go into hiding (so that my psychiatrist could not find me to send the police for a "wellness check" or anything), I would act as my own psychiatrist in regard to handling medication changes, and I would buy any necessary medication on the black market. This is not a particularly safe or legal plan, but it is still a lot safer than using the hospital as my back up plan, in the way I understand and experience safety.

Therapist (previously known as "new-therapist") gave me a recommendation for a new psychiatrist instead. She said he is less quick to hospitalize his patients and he is more willing to acknowledge that the hospital cannot help some people and he is more willing to look for actual alternatives. Therapist says he is the best psychiatrist she knows, that she recommends him to almost everyone she knows, even her own family. Dietitian works in the same office as this psychiatrist and gives him similarly high praise.

I went to see this new psychiatrist last week. It went well. It was mostly just me giving him the history of my crazy (which is much easier when I am not in crisis, which is when I am usually giving this history). He reacted to me like a real person, took it at face value when I said that the hospital usually leaves me worse off, joked with me. When I mentioned my no-hospital plan, he mentioned camping in an Ohio forest as a hospital alternative. While I'm not sure that is the particular solution that would work for me in crisis, I am glad for him to have mentioned it because it showed that he took my no-hospital plan seriously and is willing to work with that. After talking to him, Therapist said he enjoyed me, said that I am the sort of person he likes to work with, characterized me as sardonic.

It is weird now to have a whole team (Therapist, Dietitian, Psychiatrist) of mental health care professionals who actually like me and like working with me. I've met so many who have had an antagonistic attitude toward me. So many have blamed me for the failures of their treatment, lied to me, ignored things I've said, not taken me seriously, assumed random things about me, attributed random (usually negative) motives to me rather than asking me, etc.

Having met so many professionals like that destroyed me in a lot of ways. For a while, it destroyed my sense of what was true about the world. When they contradicted my observations of reality, I assumed they were right, I was wrong, and that I was crazier than I was. It destroyed my sense of myself. When they called me manipulative and I couldn't see that in myself even with deep, honest introspection, I concluded that they were still probably right because the manipulative person herself is probably wouldn't recognize that in herself. They destroyed my sense of how I relate to others. Up until then, I had thought I was a generally likeable person. There had been so few people I had ever not gotten along with decently well. Then there was this huge group of people who seemed to loathe me. I was the common denominator, right? So I was more tentative about my belief that I am generally likeable and easy to get along with.

Now I know that my perceptions of reality are fine and always were. Now I know that I am not manipulative and never was. Now I'm learning that I'm generally likable. I'm still tentative about that last one. I still don't know why so many professionals dislike me so much. I've got a lot of hypotheses (I challenge their power, I don't get better the way they expect, they feel threatened by my intelligence, I recognize their lies and lack of respect for patients, etc.). It could be different for every professional who has disliked me, a different combination of little bits of different things, some of which could be among my hypotheses. (It has always seemed to me that there should be one big, over-arching explanation, since this dislike has been so consistent, but there might not be.)

My new psychiatrist like me, respects me, and is willing to work with me on my, not unreasonable, terms. That is a great thing. It is a weird thing. It is a sad thing that this is a weird thing to me.

3 comments:

  1. Yay for an awesome new psychiatrist!

    Miss you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for this post: lots of people going through that kind of stuff, and doubting themselves, can probably be saved from a lot of pain just by reading a post like yours and getting some affirmation that their perception is true, even when it's continually dismissed by those with more power who don't want to share it. These are political struggles, fought on psychological turf. Great that you've found some allies "in the system". :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that you are proactive with your stay out of the hospital plan! So great to see you participating at such an interactive/proactive level with your care. I just did the same thing with my son.
    There are so many people working in the mental health field, when you get a dud, MOVE ON! Too bad for them. They lose you and your money. Ha!

    ReplyDelete