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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 10/27/2008 8:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sitting here pondering the days events.
I had an appointment with my psychiatrist today. The first one since July. I was in and out of his office in 7 minutes. (my husband timed it because he's so impatient rolleyes   ) Now....what in the heck did he learn about me in 7 minutes? I walked in, sat down and we smiled at one another. Then he proceeded to ask me how I was today. I told him fine....which is how I felt today. He then increased my Celexa from 10 to 20 mg.....changed my Lithium 600 mg to Lithium SR 600 mg....left the Clonazepam as is, passed me the prescription paper and proceeded to tell me that he'd see me again in January. I looked at him, opened and closed my mouth and left. I was flabbergasted! confused   I just don't know what to do. There are only 2 Pdocs here...I have already had dealings with the other and decided to switch because that one liked to keep me sedated. I felt a whole lot worse while seeing him.
The medical protocol here in my area says that I have to see one of the 2 Pdocs that are available to me here, and they're a hour drive away. Any others would be 5 hours away and I would need a referral from my present Pdoc. I feel so frustrated!! I really don't know what to do. There are no therapists or psychologists here either. They are 5 hours away. Moving is definately NOT an option. I feel as if I'm about to explode with emotions here.  What should I do? How can I have better communication with my Pdoc? Thank goodness my family doctor will take the time to listen when things get rough for me. If there's any concern over medications that my Pdoc has prescribed, my family doc will contact the Pdoc and ask questions and find solutions for me. The problem there is, my family doc is so busy that appointments with him has to be booked weeks in advance. This may sound silly but I feel so umimportant after visiting my if I shouldn't have even bothered making the trip to see him. I have Fibromyalgia and just making the one hour trip there is a task on good days....bad days its almost next to impossible, but I try and drag myself there anyway.
Would anyone care to share some of their wisdom on what I should do or how I could approach my concerns with my Family doc and Pdoc?
Bipolar II
Lithium 600mg/daily
Celexa 10mg/pm
Clonazepam 0.25mg/pm
Ativan 2mg/as needed

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 10/28/2008 2:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm so sorry your experience was bad. Psychiatry is a service related industry and it's unfortunate that some pdocs treat it as though it's Jiffy Lube and you're merely coming in for a tune-up. My fiance had a pdoc appt yesterday and it lasted half-hour...mind you every half hour = $150, but this man came out of retirement b/c he so enjoyed practicing and listens to my fiance (and me when I'm there about our concerns).
I'm not shy, so any wisdom I have would be to explain clearly to your family doc your exact concerns about your pdoc and try for a referral. Or, if the referral and logistics aren't feasible, have your family doc do your bidding for you to the pdoc (explain that you're uncomfortable w/ the 7 min appointments and would like to be able to feel like you can explain what you're feeling, and have your med Qs asked). Could you get your husband to come in next time?

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/28/2008 7:54 AM (GMT -7)   

My advice would be to be a whole lot pushier. This may take some discomfort on your part, but you have to do it to get adequate care. 1. Write down your concerns on a piece of paper before you go to the doctor, and show the paper to the doctor. Make sure he covers every one of those concerns before you leave the office. 2. Ask questions, even if you feel they're "stupid". It's his JOB to answer questions, so disregard any feelings of doubt you have, and just ask them.

I'm really shy about my doctor too, and struggle with this, but these are a couple of techniques I've used, and it's hard to be pushy, but my gp is a super-busy, push-you-through-the-office type doc, and if I don't do this, I never get the kind of response I want.

Hope it's helpful,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 11/4/2008 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   
lorraine: you inspire me because I have exactly the same situation with my pdoc. He doesn't discuss what he is going to add or subtract from my medication cocktail, just does it and hands me the prescription as he stands in the doorway ushering me out. Then when I run into difficulties, he won't return my calls. I too, have Fibro and I too have to drive for about one and three quarter hours each way (almost four hours return)  to get to my GP. My GP discusses what he's doing at least. I just wanted to tell you that you're not alone in this situation. Also, always the problem of the meds for Fibro sometimes are not compatible with the neds for BiPolar. It's like you have to choose, physical pain or mental anguish. Sheesh.

Precious Gem
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 11/5/2008 2:11 PM (GMT -7)   

Seven minutes?  That is just not right.  I wish you had more options in your area.  Where I live there are notorious bad PDoc groups that have the reputation for herding people in and out.  I am lucky enough to have found a great PDoc and it was in complete desperation one day when I was at the end of my rope, could not even get the bad ones to see me within a reasonable amount of time, that I just kept calling and going through the phone book.  I left a message on this PDoc's answering machine, he called me back in 20 minutes(i am sure he heard the distress in my voice) and saw me that same day even though I was penniless and had no insurance at the moment.  He trusted me to pay him at the end of the month and I did!  I was and still am so grateful for his help.  I feel mental health resources need a big overhaul.  Even in the city i live which is not hugh but fairly large, our local mental health department would not see me for 6 weeks even though it was very obvious that I was in trouble, physically and mentally.  I just don't understand........

I often wonder what I can do to change this problem for people.  I am sure there are alot of people that need help and can not get it due to economics and in no way can wait 4-6 weeks for a visit.

I hope you feel well today.

Later turn

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 11/6/2008 7:55 AM (GMT -7)   
My Pdoc tends to be a little bit short with me when he has a busy schedule. I do not let him get away with it though. If I am going to pay $150 for a visit, I get my moneys worth. When we talk and he asks how I am doing, I do not give him a chance to answer me right away. I ramble off all of my problems. Once I get through them all, he may ask me more questions about how I am feeling. When he does, I am very honest with him. The last visit he added 5mg of abilify to my 100mg of Lamictal, because I have been having some down days. I immediately questioned the addition of another drug over upping the dose on the Lamictal. He explained to me that since I am still having downswings and not manic episodes, I need an antidepressant. I get the answers I need. You should not simply sit and accept those changes to your medications without questioning your doctor. You need to know why he is making changes and how he expects those changes to affect your mood. BE PUSHY - it is your right as a patient to ask questions, and it is his responsibility as your doctor to answer them!
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