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Depression Support Center Depression Support Center

Psychiatrists: How many have you seen?

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 10:13 PM
  • 21 Replies

I've been seeing my psych Dr for 7 yrs.  I suffer from depression and panic attacks.  I have tried countless meds.  My Dr is so nice.  I want to get a 2nd opinion though.  I wonder if a new Dr.would give me a different treatment plan.  I am so sad/numb.  Sleep a lot.  Don;t feel like showering.  Don't want to see friends or even talk on the phone.  Has anyone changed psychiatrist and got a positive result?

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 10:13 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 25, 2013 at 10:23 PM
1 mom liked this

Perhaps it would be good to see someone new if you have made no progress in 7yrs. 

ashleighmama
by Ashleigh on Jan. 25, 2013 at 10:26 PM
Im feeling as depressed as you right now. Ive had many psychiatrists, but Ive had depression for 25 years. Ive never changed drs for the reason you stated. Does your dr know how crummy you still feel?
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lancet98
by Bronze Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 12:18 AM

It's really up to you.   If it was me, I would sit down with the psychiatrist I had, and tell him or her that I think I shuld be feeling better than I do, and what does he or she recommend for changing my program. 

Having one psychiatrist for that long has the advantage that the psychiatrist has gotten to know you and what challenges you face - doc probably got you started on the meds you now take and was with you through various changes in your life so has collected a lot of useful info from what you've told him over the years.   Others might say that it is good to get a new opinion.  

For me, the advantages of having a psychiatrist for longer, often outweigh the advantages of 'a new opinion'. 

I would suggest you try keeping a diary of brief notes for each day for a few weeks, and jot down what was difficult and what was good about each day.   Take the diary in with you when you go to talk to the doctor.   This gives you actual data that you can point out to the psychiatrist.

SandyLaxner
by Bronze Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 12:28 AM

 


Quoting ashleighmama:

Im feeling as depressed as you right now. Ive had many psychiatrists, but Ive had depression for 25 years. Ive never changed drs for the reason you stated. Does your dr know how crummy you still feel?

She knows.  I do feel very rushed w/her appt's.  Not enough time to really talk.She takes phone calls during our appt's.  I don't know.

 

lyrick24
by Ruby Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 5:02 AM

 i have. i have actually changed about 7 times. some due to the dr leaving the area and some because i wasnt satisfied with the care i was getting. i am seeing a np right now and she is great. she actually listens to me. if your not satisfied i would get that second opinion and it sounds like you need more help than what you are getting.

lancet98
by Bronze Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 7:46 AM

 

It's ok for a doctor to take phone calls during your appointment, as other patients may have emergencies (feeling suicidal, getting worse, etc).   The doctor truly has many people s/he is responsible for.

No, I don't think it means a doctor should talk for 30 minutes to an old college chum who pops up.   But a quick check on his family, a quick word to his nurse, assistant or patient in crisis, then ok.   And if an emergency pre--empts your appointment, every effort should be made to reschedule it as soon as possible.  

However he or she should try to keep the call as brief as possible, and say, 'sorry about that' afterward.  It's best if the call comes from his nurse or assistant, so that person can be the one talking to the patient and explaining things in more detail.

Unless the doctor has no assistant or nurse, then s/he may have to handle everything him/herself.   That can be rough, but if everyone is understanding it can work.  

If there are things that you do not like about this psychiatrist, write them down on paper and dicuss them one by one with the psychiatrist.   Try to resolve the problems.   Don't just give up.   For one thing, you may help other patients of the doctor.  

He or she may say that it is unreasonable of you to expect no telephone calls during your visit, but may ALSO say that it IS reasonable for you to expect the doctor to apologize politely for the interruption.

Often, what we want to change in a person is VERY simple.   For example, I wouldn't demand that the doctor turn off all his phones during our meeting(I'd worry someone in crisis might not get help quick enough if I demanded that), but I WOULD expect a polite 'sorry', after the call.   Often what we want is just very simple and do-able. 

As a volunteer who attends many patient's psychiatrist appointment, I can tell you that phone calls during appointments are something that happens during EVERYONE'S appointments.  

Also state that you feel you should be able to feel better than you are feeling, and challenge the doctor for a response to that statement.

He or she may actually say that he agrees, and describe EXACTLY what you can do to feel better.

It's not always about a different medication.   Medication is the foundation of treatment, but if you add ontop of that, your own efforts, you can see a LOT of additional approvement.  

I compare it to breaking a leg.   When I broke my leg, I got a cast on it.   The cast took care of the fracture.   But the muscles around that bone were weak after that fracture.   I watched who got better in PT.   The people who WORKED, SWEATED, and HURT sometimes, even cried sometimes, got a far better result than the ones who just got the cast and 'waited to feel better' and didn't hump it in PT.   Without that case immobilizing the broken bone they would not have gotten ANYTHING, but the ones who got the cast AND worked, got 100%, not 80-90%.

You may also find that your doctor would like YOU to make some changes.   Taking medication every day, at the prescribed dose - many folks forget their medication or only take it when they're feeling particularly bad.  You may never get 'where you want to be' if you do this.   Showing up on time for appointments and participating more actively.  Keeping a daily symptom diary.   Taking a much more active role in treatment.

Here are a few more suggestions -

Try reading 'The FEELING GOOD HANDBOOK'.   this book actually shows you how to discipline your thoughts so you feel better.   You'll learn to 'talk back' to negative thoughts and to recognize the positive things you're already doing and give yourself credit for those things.

Try adding practical counseling from a professional who frequently deals with people with your same diagnosis.   It's amazing what a counselor can do to help, but prepare to be challenged and pushed, because that's what it's all about.   They can show you the way, but it's you that needs to take the suggestions and put them to work every single day.

Try adding meaningful activities that help anyone feel better.   By meaningful activities, I mean volunteering to help others, something that brings more meaning to your daily existence.   You need to feel that every day is meaningful, that someone looks for you and feels better because you are there.   Everyone needs that.   You may be walking dogs at an animal shelter or teaching prisoners to read or simply taking a neighbor to an appointment, it can be whatever helps you remember you are needed and important.  

Try EXERCISE.   It's amazing what sticking to daily exercise program can do.  Especially if you join a class that gets you out of the house and around other people.

Try EATING WELL.   Most Americans seem to have a poor diet, well that can affect your energy level.   Get rid of the sugar and fat in your diet, and eat fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and have much more energy.

Many people think they can passively take a pill and sit back and wait to feel better.   Medication can indeed be an essential part of treatment, but it only treats the biochemical part of your condition - the rest is up to you.   You can feel 'okay' and 'hang in there', or you can feel much better than that.

Studies have shown.   I don't know your diagnosis, but studies have shown that with many psychiatric disorders, medical treatment results in a 90 per cent reduction in hospitalization and improvement of quality of life.   But....you add YOU humping it and working at it every single day, and you see that pop up to 100%.   100% is good!

Be absolutely sure you're not falling into that common trap, and be sure to find suggestions and changes that help you feel better.  Then put them into practice every single day.

Quoting SandyLaxner:

 

 

Quoting ashleighmama:

Im feeling as depressed as you right now. Ive had many psychiatrists, but Ive had depression for 25 years. Ive never changed drs for the reason you stated. Does your dr know how crummy you still feel?

She knows.  I do feel very rushed w/her appt's.  Not enough time to really talk.She takes phone calls during our appt's.  I don't know.

 

 

 

ashleighmama
by Ashleigh on Jan. 26, 2013 at 1:12 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting SandyLaxner:


I would be upset if my dr took phone calls during our sessions, that doesn't sit well with me.
Ashleigh
queenbee1958
by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 1:22 PM
1 mom liked this
HUGS TO YOU!


Quoting SandyLaxner:

I've been seeing my psych Dr for 7 yrs.  I suffer from depression and panic attacks.  I have tried countless meds.  My Dr is so nice.  I want to get a 2nd opinion though.  I wonder if a new Dr.would give me a different treatment plan.  I am so sad/numb.  Sleep a lot.  Don;t feel like showering.  Don't want to see friends or even talk on the phone.  Has anyone changed psychiatrist and got a positive result?


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Serenity7
by Silver Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 4:22 PM

 I have seen the same psychiatrist for 7 years. She is the only one I have seen. I am happy with her

lyrick24
by Ruby Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 4:28 PM
1 mom liked this

 i would also be upset if my dr took phone calls during our appointment.

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