Doesn’t Have 20/20 Psychiatry

, | Healthy | December 7, 2017

(I’ve suffered from mental health issues since I was young, but I wasn’t able to do anything about it because my family has issues believing that mental illness is real. A few years ago, while I was in college, things got really bad so I finally tried to tell my parents about it. It took a few months of frustration and arguing, but I eventually managed to convince them it was actually an issue. They found a psychiatrist I could see and I was excited at first. I thought I’d be able to get some help! I’d hardly walked in the door before I realized there would be a problem.)

Psychiatrist: *shaking my hand* “So, how old are you?”

Me: “I’m turning 20 next month.”

Psychiatrist: *laughs* “20? You’re far too young to have any problems! Why are you even here?”

Me: “Young or not, I actually do have a lot of symptoms I’m worried about.”

(I hand her a list I’d made of symptoms I’d been struggling with, including some rather severe ones. She sets it aside after barely glancing at it.)

Psychiatrist: “Why don’t you just tell me about yourself? Do you have a boyfriend?”

Me: “Um… no, I don’t?”

Psychiatrist: “Why don’t we talk about that. It might be causing some of your ‘issues.’”

(It was only downhill from there. She dismissed all my symptoms, including my suicidal ideation and dissociation, as nothing more than school stress or lacking a boyfriend. I was told I just needed to get out of the house more often and make a few friends, something my parents insisted was a cure-all as well. Ever since that day, nothing I’ve said has been able to convince them otherwise. The only reason I’ve improved at all — and mostly stopped being suicidal — is because of my college’s psychologist. I’d only found out there was a doctor on campus afterwards, and after meeting him, he was shocked I’d managed to make it as far as I had without any help at all. I’m living back at home now that I’ve graduated, only until I can find work, but he helped me immensely while I was still enrolled. I don’t think I would have survived school without his help.)

Will Need A Therapist After This Service

, | TN, USA | Working | February 19, 2016

(I’ve been suffering a serious lack of motivation, excitement, and other generally positive emotions recently, so I decide to see if I could get prescribed some anti-depressants, or something of the sort to help me start functioning. Being a person with relatively bad anxiety, I decide to try to contact my old psychiatrist that I had when I was being given ADHD medicine. After a bit of contact, I learn that since it’s been over a year since I last saw him, I qualify as a new patient, and am told he’s not taking new clients. However, the lady on the phone offered to send him an email, seeing if he might be willing to make an exception. Understanding that it was no guarantee, and that it was even unlikely, I accepted. About a day later, I receive a call from the psychiatrist’s office, this time from a different, older sounding woman.)

Secretary #2: “I’m calling [My Name] about a request to see [Psychiatrist]? I’m sorry, but I’m afraid he’s not taking new clients at this time. Would you like to schedule to see another of our doctors?”

(I’m a bit upset, but I understood from the beginning my chances of getting back in were low. I politely decline for the time being, intending to look more into the other doctors before picking one. About two days later, I get another call. This time, it’s from the secretary I originally spoke to, who offered to send the email.)

Secretary #1: “Hi. [My Name], I’m calling back about your appointment request for [Psychiatrist]. He hasn’t gotten back to reply yet, as he only comes in a couple days a week. Would you like to keep waiting, or go ahead and try another doctor?”

Me: *confused* “I thought he wasn’t taking new patients? I got a call telling me he wasn’t going to see me…”

Secretary #1: “Yes, disregard that. Sorry for the confusion. She didn’t see the note I left her. Your reply is still pending. Would you like to keep waiting?”

(I eagerly agree, glad that I hadn’t already scheduled an appointment. Again, about another day later, I get a call, again from the older woman from the first callback.)

Secretary #2: “Yes, I’m calling again to tell [My Name] that [Psychiatrist] is not taking any new patients.”

(Since the wording is so similar to the first time, I explain that I had an email sent and was waiting for a reply.)

Secretary #2: “Yes, I saw that. Unfortunately, he’s already incredibly booked and we’re lucky we have him the few days we do. He is not taking any new patients; this is an order from his boss. Would you like to schedule with another doctor?”

(Thinking this as final, I decline again since I’m nearing tears of disappointment. We hang up, and I start looking up other psychiatrists. However, again, a day later…)

Secretary #1: “Yes, I’m calling back about [Psychiatrist]. He has agreed to see you, so long as you agree to first make an appointment with one of our psychologists to get diagnosed.”

(I’m shocked.)

Me: “Really?! I was told that there was no way I was allowed; he had orders from his superior…”

Secretary #1: “Well, I apologize for the confusion, but I can assure you he has agreed. Will you come in for a counseling session?”

(I agreed, and we set up an appointment. Since neither secretary gave me their name, I couldn’t file a complaint about the one who, for seemingly no reason, was rather desperate to keep me from seeing the doctor I was comfortable with. Oh, well.)