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Crossroads

I’ve been playing phone tag with Psychiatrist C-1 for over a week now. He said, “I’m unlikely to answer when you call because I’m with clients all the time, so let me know when’s a good time for me to call you.” So, I gave him a few hours today, which I spent within arms reach of the phone. Nada. He couldn’t take 5 minutes between clients to call and make an appointment.

Now I’m at a crossroads. I have a strongly-worded voicemail prepared in my head, which includes the following:

Are you even taking new clients? If not, please let me know. In fact, please find a colleague who is taking new clients and have them call me. If so, call me back with a day and time to meet next week, and I’ll be there.

Yeah, I’m pissed. Dunno how much it comes through in the typed version of the words, but if I spoke them aloud, you could tell that I’m pissed.

I’m glad I’m pissed. The anger gives me energy. So much better than sleeping all day.

The thought occurs that this is a really crummy way to start a new therapeutic relationship. I’m already resistant to going to see a psychiatrist, if I’m angry with him I’m more likely to do stupid things like not show up for appointments, or not take my meds. That would be such a waste. Maybe I should call him and say:

If you couldn’t take 5 minutes between clients to call me today, then clearly you’re too busy to meet my psychiatric needs. Please have a colleague who is accepting new clients call me.

Or maybe now just isn’t the time for me to be dealing with psychiatrists. What do you think?

In other news, I decided to take a course called “feminist theory” at my school. It’s not directly related to my major, but I’m insanely curious about it. Just as if not more importantly, it keeps me matriculated with part-time status, so I can still get health insurance at a remotely-affordable rate from my school. Win!

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6 thoughts on “Crossroads

  1. This psychiatrist doesn’t have an office staff to make appointments? That seems very strange to me. Therapists make their own appointments all the time, but psychiatrists, whose sole purpose appears to be to dole out meds, are generally part of a larger medical facility and have full-time staff scheduling appointments, billing, etc. The only time we have spoken to Goose’s psychiatrist on the phone was when he was on call for emergencies.

    I mean…it’s hard enough getting an appointment when there ARE people answering the phone. I can’t imagine trying to play phone tag with the psychiatrist himself. Unless he is one of the few psychiatrists that acts as a therapist–that is, actually speaking to you for THERAPY rather than to figure out what meds to give you. Those kinds of psychiatrists are few and far between…I believe I have seen ONE listed in my area.

    If he is the normal type that is only there for medication management, then I’d say find someone else. If he is the rarer sort, I’d say you should think about it carefully.

    And I definitely would not suggest the strongly-worded voicemail (though I would be likely to do the same thing). I’m not sure if it’s just the ridiculous mental health professionals around HERE or what, but “strongly-worded” anything can get you coded as “belligerent” (thus making it unlikely you will get help). Apparently people who are struggling are supposed to be super polite and nice and easygoing or something–but that’s just our experience in our neck of the woods.

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    • He seems to have a private practice – though I think he’d benefit greatly from having someone else make appointments for him. I’m not sure if he gives therapy or just meds, but what I’m looking for is kind of in between: someone with the interpersonal skills of a therapist but whose focus will be on figuring out what meds to suggest and, ultimately, prescribe. I don’t feel as much need for someone to provide therapy because I’m very happy with my music therapist, but perhaps a second therapist with prescribing privileges will be good. Once I’ve found someone I can make an appointment with who understands what I’m asking of them and whom I feel comfortable sharing all relevant information with, my biggest concern will be whether / the degree to which they are able and willing to collaborate with my music therapist.

      Thanks for the warning not to do anything that might get me labeled “belligerent;” I really don’t need yet another obstacle to finding the help I need. How they expect patients with psych issues who are voluntarily seeking medication not to be at least a little bit angry or short-tempered is beyond me.

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      • Goose’s psychiatrist is not the least bit interested in collaborating with her therapist, even though her therapist is VERY actively involved with Goose and has been seeing her for almost two years. I hope you are able to find a good psychiatrist, and wish you the best of luck!

        And yes…the “belligerent” issue is just…horrifying. I hope it is not a problem in your area, but it is definitely a problem around here. I have a feeling that most of these offices we are trying to work with are more interested in treating people that don’t have serious issues…they seem puzzled when people are upset, in crisis, etc. Silliness.

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  2. Pingback: Third 3-Month Review | a day with depression

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