Wow, I have had my share of psychiatrists throughout my mental illness journey, both as an inpatient and outpatient, beginning in 1994. I won’t list them all, simply the ones who stood out.
#1-Dr. C. I’m convinced this man was 80, coughed his brains out with every visit, and actually asking “are you sure this is depression you have”? Hmmm…..He left me feeling desperate, confused and asking myself if I did have depression. I know I did, others doctors confirmed the diagnosis. He was the only doctor available at the time so I was ‘stuck’ with him for a couple of years.
#2-Dr. D. He was the lead psychiatrist who was responsible for my care during the severest years of major depression and hospitalizations. Opting for quick visits while an inpatient, his attention appeared to be given to more youthful patients. Dr. D. was forever ready with a script pad for a refill or new medications and believed in the power of useless ECT’s.
I believe I was over-medicated or he’d either switch/increase/decrease meds so frequently without giving them a chance to see any changes or improvements. Phone calls were seldom returned for his over-booked outpatient clinic, two-four month follow-ups and a 4-minute appointment if lucky. Outcome: I fired him.
#3-Dr. H. I won’t go into specifics, but he proceeded into snooze land during our third session, woke up and said, “I guess our hour is up”!. I had to pay him also. (All of his plants were dead inside his office, and that should have been a red flag).
#4 Dr. W. She was an odd duck, military trained and pro-ECT. The word narcissist describes her, the arrogant, snooty, and gruff manner which had me questioning why she was a psychiatrist in the first place. Thankful she wasn’t my therapist also, and a sigh of relief when she transferred to another city.
My current psychiatrist is excellent. Finally, a psychiatrist who is knowledgeable actually pays attention during my visits and is hesitant to issue or change meds. In fact, he eliminated numerous meds when I was first referred to him 3 years ago. Another encouragement: he actually smiles.
Sometimes you are hesitant to change doctors for insurance reasons, costs, or in certain cities, they are in short supply or have extensive waiting lists.
Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy