Weird psychiatry appointment today

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Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
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   Posted 12/21/2010 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I was scheduled yesterday to see a Psychiatrist due to another patient cancelling their appointment. At this point I am unsure about this man. I didn't really care for him in many ways. He asked my opinion about things, but spent the majority of his time talking about why he was "labelling me so we have continuity of care." In other words, he gave me a diagnosis of Pain Disorder even though I may not suffer from pain disorder, but it is easier to stick it on there since my depression gets worse when I have pain. It left me wondering if there is something seriously wrong with me and that the depression shouldn't get bad when I have bad days.
I agreed with his diagnosis of Major Depression. Who with CP doesn't have issues with depression at times? Also with the PTSD and History of Anxiety Disorder in remission I was on board with those. We discussed my ideal medication regimen and came to a compromise.
Then he asked me if I could kill myself how would I do it!?!  smhair WHAT? I don't feel suicidal! I don't cut myself or overdose. I even fear taking my b/t meds at times because of the sedating effects and the foggy feeling. Then he made it worse by asking me Why wouldn't you want to die? What is the point of living?
I got angry. When I get very angry my face flushes. Then he follows with that if I don't want to change, then nothing will change. I explained that I had been very depressed in the past and knew this time it was time to get help early before it began to get bad. I asked for help and had been going to counseling before the insurance decided I had enough, and then sought free counseling from my pastor. I have done everything told to do, even putting myself through the hell of a medication that didn't provide pain relief and made me vomit everyday. I think if I didn't want to live I wouldn't be here. I bawled like a baby. I was so angry and hurt at this man. He explained that he understood I had a bad childhood and had been abused in my marriages and wanted to be sure I was able to understand that my life meant something.
I explained as coherently as possible that I want help and that was why I asked for it. I had psych services at this facility 3 times in 15 years. I felt as though he was telling me I hadnt tried hard enough each time I needed help and if I had done it right, I wouldn't be back for help.
After that he let up and we discussed my extensive list of allergies to meds. He is focusing on the point that I am allergic to SSRIs and he wonders why. I couldnt help answering sarcastically "that is like asking why your hair is gray and thinning while another man has a full head with no gray. "
Another thing that got me was his asking why I couldn't work if I am so active in my church community. I crochet shawls at home, on my bad days of little activity. I coordinate a craft once a month for 15 minutes at a Mom's group. I make flyers and posters for out Outreach team and help with craft organization. Not the actual doing of anything any more. It hurts too much to participate many times. I explained it all to him and that I am in school to work from home so I won't be disabled. He didn't seem impressed.
So here is my dilemma. I was on a waiting list to see a Psychiatrist. If I choose not to see this one, I go back on the waiting list for at least 4 more months. Maybe I got him on a bad day? Maybe he pushed to see what I would take? I dont know what to do. I spoke with one of the office managers before I left also and told her that I felt a bit abused. Why would he ask me how I would attempt suicide? How is that going to help me?

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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 12/21/2010 10:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mindy,

First off, I'd like to say, in my own personal opinion, a psychiatrist/psychologist/therapist, whatever, should NEVER make you feel bad about yourself. You are there seeking their HELP. Obviously, you know that you have issues that need to be address. It is the psychiatrist's job to help you work through your problems -- whether that be through individual therapy sessions, medication, lifestyle changes, etc. But you shouldn't let them force anything on you, or be condescending in any way.

I do think that it is normal to ask about suicide, when someone is depressed. But if you answered no, you are not, nor have ever been suicidal, he should have left it at that. There is really nothing more than needs to be said on the subject. Move on.

Maybe this guy was just having a bad day, or maybe it's just the way he is. One way to find out would be to see him one more time, and then make your decision as to whether to stay or go.

I can honestly say that the first psychiatrist I ever went to was a JERK. He was awful. I hated him after just 10 minutes, but I didn't know any better. He was the only one in town & it was convenient, and I was a busy college student. Well they guy was careless with his prescribing habits & had me so drugged up that I could barely function. At that point I decided to stop all my meds (on my own, because this guy wouldn't even tell me how to get off them, because he didn't agree with me stopping them). I went & saw him one more time & tried to reason with him, and he was totally degrading, so I got up in the middle of the appointment and said "GOODBYE" and left & never looked back.

It took me several months to find a new psychiatrist, but it was well worth the wait. This guy is an absolute gem. I feel so thankful to have found him. It's taken a lot of time and hard work between the two of us, but we are finally starting to get my depression & bipolar under control.

So why did I tell you all this? Basically I just want you to know that you don't have to put up with this guy. There are better docs out there & you want and need one that respects you and truly wants to work with you to get you better. Don't settle for less if you don't have to.


spinal soldier
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 12/21/2010 10:52 PM (GMT -6)   
that psychologist or psychiatrist i guess is a joke. i think it's real dumb you get a new doctor and they see you have debilitating conditions and they want to know why your not working/that makes perfect sense. they have found the neurotransmitters; seretonin and norepinephrine have a big role in the transmission of pain signals. good luck getting a better doctor.
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
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Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
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   Posted 12/21/2010 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
      Umm... well goodness. I must say if anyone uttered out the first few sentences of your conversation to me, I would have to get up and leave. I would be very alarmed and taking closer look at this "Psychiatrist". I kept expecting you to say "just kidding!". That is... gosh. I don't believe anyone has approached me in such a manner. I wouldn't allow any contact to continue with anyone who chose to speak to me in such a manner. Sorry. I am not much help.

   I have had odd run-ins with questionable physicians.. but the conversations were ended rather quickly. The last one... I got up, thanked him for his time and hoped he had a pleasant day. Shook his hand and promptly excused myself before any further damage. He did come to me later. Apologized profusely infront of many other staff members on my way to surgery. I know he was and still is very sorry. All the same, I did accept his apologies but again asked that he leave please. I had quite a bit on my mind and it wasn't a good time to talk about what had happened. He does work within the same medical group as all of my other physicians within my private hospital chain. At the time of our first interaction apparently he didn't have "date of birth" correct and no one had gotten my file. Never the less! There is no excuse for that type of behavior.  I shudder at the thought of him treating anyone in the dismissive /  mocking manner in which he tried to treated me. He is always very polite and kind now when I see him these last three years. Usually very concerned over the progression of my spinal deformity and how I am "holding up".

   As you can see I am far too tired and far too sick to waste precious time with...well many things and situations. If I were in your shoes I would have ended the conversation quickly and excused myself. There really is no reason to allow anyone to treat you in that way.

     I do realize that 4 months is a very long time... all the same, there are university hospitals that you can go to for the same services while you wait for a new psychiatrist. I am unsure what "pain syndrome" is and I am unsure if you have to find a specific doctor to treat that?


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator

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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 12/22/2010 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I was wondering what "Pain Syndrome" meant, so I searched and found one definition:
"Chronic pain syndrome (CPS) is a common problem that presents a major challenge to healthcare providers because of its complex natural history, unclear etiology, and poor response to therapy. CPS is a poorly defined condition. Most authors consider ongoing pain lasting longer than 6 months as diagnostic, and others have used 3 months as the minimum criterion. In chronic pain, the duration parameter is used arbitrarily. Some authors suggest that any pain that persists longer than the reasonable expected healing time for the involved tissues should be considered chronic pain. ....

Chronic pain syndrome can affect patients in various ways. Major effects in the patient's life are depressed mood, fatigue, reduced activity and libido, excessive use of drugs and alcohol, dependent behavior, and disability out of proportion to impairment."

So I wonder if the psychiatrist meant he didn't believe there was really that much pain and that depression is causing the "impairment." Do they all believe part of the pain is in our heads? Not that we don't feel it, but that we are causing some of our own problem? That might explain why some of my docs don't seem to have any empathy when I see them.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 12/22/2010 10:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Monty's Mom,
You should not be treated that way. I'd find a new doctor.

In response to your question "Do they all believe part of the pain is in our heads?"
IMHO, I believe that to people who are not experiencing what we are experiencing they can't seem to phantom what we are going through. Sure there is the "pain scale", but even that is subjective. What might be a 10 to some is a five to others. What could be a three to some others would yell it's an eleven. It's all in how our bodies interpet the pain signals.

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 12/22/2010 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Alcie, At times I do feel that many doctor's think it is all in my head. This doctor did say I have a physical reason for my pain, but feels that I am increasing my symptoms with the way I act and things I do. He wasn't interested in hearing that if I do anything, walk, sit up, or move it increases my pain. He was stuck on trying a new "miracle drug" for Pain Disorder that would "fix me" but allergic to SSRIs and I refused it.
I went to my normal counseling with my Pastor today. He explains the reason for the questions about suicide. He was making sure I hadnt made a plan to hurt myself because if I had, then he would know I needed to be hospitalized or have immediate intensive talk therapy. He said the same as most on here, that if I felt bad about myself or that he wasn't hearing me, then I should change psychiatrists. I pay him, he doesnt pay me to be there. I pay for his time, his services and his opinion. If I do not like him, we will not be able to work together to make me better and will eventually end up at odds and in a worse place medication-wise. He also suggested I call the office, make an appointment with another psychiatrist there and wait. Also, to keep my appointment with him and tell him how I felt after leaving and thank him for his time and get my meds refilled to last until I see his associate. He is required to provide those by the statues of his practice group until I see the other psychiatrist.
So I rationalized that I took it the wrong way, he wasn't being rude I am just fragile, but that is not the case. Dani is right and so are others. I should not be treated that way or spoken to as though I am less than anyone else. He is one of the most sought-after psychiatrists in the area, so I will find a much more humble and eager doctor who is in need of regular patients. My fiance and I talked about how I felt and how I felt he was gracing me with his presence and his consent to treat me! He should be grateful he has patients!
There are times that I feel the men and women in our medical society are so burnt out, over scheduled and unsympathetic that they do many people harm rather than good. There are many who take that time and make sure their patients feel special and honestly care. I thank God I had this support to come to and hear many opinions other than my own. If I hadn't it would have been easy to slip deeper into depression simply from what this doctor had said.
I didnt ask for CP, depression, or my life situation right now. I am the only one who can change it yes, by asking for help when it is needed. That is admirable in any person or any situation and feeling bad for asking for help is wrong. That doctor should not make ANY patient feel as he made me feel.
Thank you all again!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16779
   Posted 12/22/2010 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
The only thing I can say is I agree with what Skeye has posted on this visit. Whether you feel it is worth another appt is only something you can decide. I am not so forgiving with drs as other people are, lol. Granted they are human just like me and can have a bad day, but the bottom line is when a patient seeks care from them, they should provide a decent service to the patient and I just don't think this cat did. My thoughts are how many other off days will he have in the future. Too often these drs are just too full of themselves and they are disgusting.

Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 12/22/2010 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   
To play the devils advocate, I think he may have just been trying to figure out if you had ever seriously considered suicide. If you had, you probably would have thought about "how" you would do it. Also, asking you why your life was worth living, he may have been looking for you to explain the positives in your life. (something to build on) I think everyone with chronic pain has thought about ending it all at one time or another (I know I have) , so the threat is definitely real. ( Honestly,  If you were seriously thinking about it, would you tell him?)

I think there are much more tactful ways of getting this info out of you, but I guess he is just really blunt. One would think with all the training they have to go through, he would be able to figure those things out by just talking to you.

I am sorry you were upset, and like the others have said, only you can decide if you want to pursue treatment with this Dr.
(just my opinion)

Post Edited (JNO2) : 12/22/2010 12:14:36 PM (GMT-7)

Joan M
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2052
   Posted 12/22/2010 4:02 PM (GMT -6)   
for my two cents, i would report him to the medical director...he sounds abusive and a sickie. unfortunately some of the shrinks are sickies. i have had three sickies who i have seen and three good ones. needless to say i stuck with the good ones.

hey that is why they are attracted to the field...they are sickies themselves. don't see him again...try to find a female who has compassion.

peace on

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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 12/24/2010 5:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Your psychiatrist was out of line, in my book, anyway. I am in my 50's, and I have met some strange, strange people in the medical field from time to time. One dentist drugged me up and I woke up in the dentist chair w/him on top of me. One MD was more interested in me trying to convince him there is a God than treating my medical issues, etc etc etc. He knows I am a believer, and he kept throwing out challenges to me. I actually fetl bad changing to another doctor, becuase I felt the one I was seeing was "lost". But I just wasn't up to answering all of his questions every time I saw him. One thing I have learned, don't hesitate to find a new doc when the one you have now is making you uncomfortable or just plain not helping you.

So sorry you had to go through this experience.

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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 12/26/2010 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Girl!! I think your Shrink is suicidal!! I'm agreeing with you that I don't know many people with CP that don't go through depression... many have it all the him talking to you that way is should tape the next appt. and play it for your regular Dr. I think that you are fine...
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