psych doctor lets patients choose medication, is this normal??

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jaked35
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/27/2009 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   
has anyone ever heard of this? my wife is currently in a mental hospital for bipolar disorder, she has been on a low for about a month now, she was on seroquell, zoloft and topomax, and the seroquell hasnt been working she got to the point to where she couldnt even finish a sentence without getting confused she couldnt think and was hallucinating and paranoid. she went into the local hospital for 2 weeks and was not improving so i called the psych doctor there and asked him if he had any idea what was wrong because i hadn't seen her like this before. his answer to me was "i dunno" i said well do you think you will be able to figure it out he said "probably not" i said ok well do you think it could be the medicine? he says "no" i said so you just have no idea what could be wrong? he said "i would just be speculating" i said ok well then please do! he said "she's mad" i said ok what does that mean? he said i dunno i thought maybe you would know better than i would. I said well your the doctor thats why i called you and he said " thanks for calling" and hung up on me! I called administration and filed a complaint about the conversation because i thought it was very unproffesional of him and felt that he did not care to talk to me and did not seem interested in what was wrong with my wife at all. well not much was done the counselers invited me to a group session with 3 counselers , my wife and mysself to try to figure out what was wrong but not much progress was made. the doctor sent her home a couple days later still in the same condition. 3 days later she was back in the emergency room. they had no beds available so the same doctor added geodon to her meds cocktail and sent her home. the same afternoon she called 911 and had the ambulance take her to a hospital out of town, unfortunatelly the same doctor works at this one too. well a weekend doctor finally changed her medication took off the geodon and the seroquell and added abilify to the topomax and zoloft, a couple days after taking the abilify she called me and actually had a decent conversation ,she seemed to be getting better, at least she could finish a sentence. well she was paranoid that they were still giving her seroquell but i told her its not and that the abilify looks a little similar to the seroquell and that it is the right thing they are giving her. this past saturday she started on the abilify and i dont know why but tuesday only 4 days after starting the abilify and starting to show signs of improvement the doctor took her off of it and put her back on geodon, and then wednsday stopped the geodon and she now says he is putting her on respiredal. according to her and one of the nurses i talked to he did it because my wife asked him too. now my question is why would a doctor allow a psych patient who doesnt even know what year it is or how old she is and who thinks she has been in the hospital for years instead of only 3 weeks pick and choose what medications she wants to be on?? especially when one that she was on was showing signs of improving the condition! and why change a medication after only 3 days of taking it, when these meds take time to work?? it doesnt make any sense to me at all? now when i complained at the first hospital about the doctor letting patients choose there medications the head rn there assured me that this wasnt the case. but yet the same thing is happening at this hospital also and has been confirmed to me by the nurse who i talked to on the phone. i asked her why the doc changed the medicine after only a couple days, she said "cause your wife asked him too", i said " yeah but i dont think she is in any condition to make those types of decisions" she said " well you can talk to the doctor about it if you want" i said "no thats ok i already talked to him once before and it didnt go to well" so i will be calling administration tommorow and ask them why he is letting psych patients pick and choose what medications they want to take like its a candy store or osmething" anyways has anyone had this sort of experience with a psych doctor before because this doesn't seem normal to me seems like something is wrong with this doctor any input would be appreciated and also advice on what course of action i could take to get this to stop

sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 8/27/2009 8:29 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello jaked35,

Welcome to Healingwell's bipolar forum.

I agree with every concern that you have!  I also think you are taking the appropiate actions to get to the bottom of all of this as well.  Her doctor is one that I would absolutely keep her away from.  You need to get her under a new psychiatrists care immediately!

I would then suggest that you have a discussion with her new doctor to let them know that you and her have agreed for you to remain very closely knit regarding all of her medical care and any medication changes.  There is a law where your wife can put your name on file to discuss all things medically related back and forth with her doctors.  This way you can continue to stay abreast of any changes and discuss your concerns with her doctor.

If you feel it is appropriate. you can get a power of attorney for her healthcare so that you can be making all the decisions for her.

Hope some of my ideas have helped.

Best of luck. blush


~sukay~
 Bipolar - 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 
 
Leo Buscaglia


bipolarempress
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 8/27/2009 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   
If your wife couldnt even finish a sentence without getting confused she couldnt think and was hallucinating and paranoid that is very serious.  I do not have BP that badly but I do know others that do.  It takes a good psychiatrist and careful monitoring.  As far as choosing our own meds that does not sound right and I understand why you are upset.  It does take time for the medications to take effect.  If I am experiencing mood swings my doctor will suggest other meds to try and it is up to me to decide if I want to try them.  But I just cannot pick a medication out of the blue and say I want that and the doctor gives it to me.  It has to be a medication that works for my condition.   I am having a rough day today and stayed home from work.  Life is tough.  Good Luck! There are alot of medically knowledgeable people on this site to help you.

mommy.michele
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 8/27/2009 7:30 PM (GMT -7)   
You have some very valid concerns, and are doing the right thing by filing a complaint. You need to find a new psychiatrist for sure.
"Just because you're in the driver's seat, doesn't mean
you have to run people over." ~ Fred Pausch


Kristiana
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 8/27/2009 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Topomax, while it is a mood stabilizer, it has a history of being referred to as "dopa-max" by the patients and some doctors.  It's because it works on the part of the brain that prevents seizures and that is in an area that effects memory at times.  A lot of the drugs that are mood stabilizers are anti-seizure meds as well.  Topomax has the added effect of making it difficult to finish your sentence.  I had the same problem on that medication.  Everyone seemed to go around calling it Dope-a-max for that reason.  There are other mood stabilizers such as Trileptal (I'm on this one) Lamictal, (has a very good outcome with many people), Depakote, LIthium, Tegretol, Zyprexa (very sedating), Geodon (not so great), and a few others.  You sometimes have to go through the different meds til you find one that works best.  That takes time and is very very frustrating.  Doctors usually start with Lithium because it almost always stabilizes a patient in a short amount of time.  Then the patient can either be weaned onto a newer mood stabilizer or stay on Lithium.  When my doctor put me on Zyprexa and it had me so tired I couldn't think, I also asked him to change it to a different one.  He told me the different ones available and the side effects.  It's letting the patient make an informed decision.  But if the patient is in no condition to make that decision, the doctor usually tells the patient that there are other medications out there, and that he will find one for her that will work best for her.  A HUGE part of the hospitalization is involving the spouse or family so everyone is on the same page.  It helps when people don't feel out of the loop.  If your wife has signed a paper saying the doctor can talk to you, then you should have the right to talk to him.  If she won't sign it, then he can't, by law talk to you.  It's all these HIPPA laws and such. 

Well, I probably didn't answer your question too well, but I've noticed that the private psychiatric hospitals seem to know a lot more about what they are doing rather than the general hospitals with a wing of one floor devoted to psychiatric issues. 

Kristiana

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