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What kind of relationship do you have with your psychiatrist?


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Hello dudes,

I would be interested to know what kind of relationship you have with your psychiatrist. I live in the UK and have been seeing a consultant psychiatrist on the National Health Service (NHS). I have mixed feelings about my psychiatrist; on the one hand, he is always great when I want to see him (always a quick response to my request for an appointment). He also allows me to trial with medications of my choice, which is very helpful. On the other hand, however, after a consultation I seem to always have negative feelings about how things worked out; as though I'm an irritating burden kind of feeling. As I absolutely need medication, I am basically dependent on my psychiatrist; he seems powerful to me because of this.

Can anybody relate?

Edited by Monoamine
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Guest Vapourware

I can relate. To be honest, a pdoc IS powerful due to the power they have over their patients. I've had various documentation that required official letters from my pdoc as supporting evidence and he could easily have turned me down. He has the right, after all. At one point he was debating whether to put me onto an involuntary order and send me to a locked ward, because that is within his power. I'm lucky that he is a very nice and understanding man.

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I have a complex relationship with my pdoc. When I'm very ill he can be my 'enemy' due to paranoia. But he can be a friend as he enjoys talking about english lit and HBC with me. I ALWAYS feel like a burden and a waste of time, so much so that I have, in the past been 'better' to please him. My last appointment he actually said that he was under the illusion that it would be a quick appointment, it was slightly longer than he planned as everything wasn't 100% on track - that made me feel guilty. Just as I started to tell him the truth about everything again. Damn.

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My pdoc and I work well together. Had him since 2003, and not only have I stuck with him at my worst points with him, he also has stuck by me no matter what. He gives me a lot of space to try meds, and lets me have a say in what I take (to try different meds i mean). He ultimately has the final say, but if I really am adamant about taking a certain med, he listens and looks for another one that might work.

I think it is like a 40/60 relationship, with him being the 60 because he is the one with a little more control prescribing meds or not. Otherwise it is a give and take thing. I wouldn't trade him for anyone because even though it is a professional relationship, he does. My other ones (2 in particular) either cared too much (out of boundaries), or too little (made me feel like dirt, didn't see any big picture ... just one appt to another. Almost like a bandaid being changed each time I saw him).

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Teamwork. He often recommends what I had planned to ask him about. Always says "Is there anything you had in mind". Very observant and interested in my reactions to meds and my thoughts about them. Realizes after doing this for decades I have developed my own knowledge and skills. Spends as much time as I need and pay for. Very expensive and takes no insurance. Worth every penny. Has yet to prescribe something that did not work well.

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My pdoc and I are a team. He uses that term. The thing is, I've been doing this for about the same number of years that he has been a pdoc. Actually, I may have a couple of years on him. We work together. We both make med suggestions. Certainly, he is the one that writes the prescriptions but the thing is, I'm the one that has to take them. He has learned over the years that unless he has my "buy in" for something then I'm apt as not, not to do it. So, we come to a consensus. We always have a backup plan as well. I'm free to call him 24/7 in case a plan doesn't work out. Although at this point in time I'm more likely to call his answering machine and tell him how I'm going to change something (the backup plan). I always tell him before the change and tell him to call me if he is totally against it. So far, he hasn't called. Then again, I see him weekly. Nothing is going to get too far out of hand in a week. Not with both of us watching for problems.

I am already dreading the day my pdoc retires. I've been with him for a long time. Having to find another one will be tough. I'm certain that he'll help me find one but I really dread the day. He is in his 60's.

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My current pdoc has only been my pdoc since August. I would say we have an adversarial relationship at this point which I am trying to change. I do not feel he is on my side and I am certain that he doesn't trust me. While I doubt this has to do with me personally (it is a public health clinic and I am sure he has formed opinions about the poor and homeless), I do wish I could get a new pdoc at a different clinic. My previous pdoc in Vermont, was outstanding and we worked together for several years. I always felt we were a team. She trusted me, and I trusted her.

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We have to remember that we are the customer. Lots of times we feel we are wasting there time but remember they are lauging al the way to the bank.. Write questions down and just be brave and ask the questions. Don't say you are better just to make him/her happy. You are only hurting yourself. If the doc seems put out then get a new one.. Take up for yourself, you owe it to yourself not them.

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my current pdoc and i have a good relationship. he listens to me whine about various side effects but also considers changing stuff so that i may be more compliant. he has suggested some things lately that make me resistent towards it (ie long-term hospitalization). overall he does listen to me and keeps promising me that we are on our way to straightening things out. in a few months though, i will have a new pdoc as my program will end. then i'm going to have to start all over again, for the third time. but i appreciate the pdoc i have right now. he honestly does care.

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My pdoc is pretty good about working with me. He knows I research on CBs, but he took a look at CBs it (not often!), and said all the information that I was bringing in was correct, and encouraged me to stay here. He says he has referred others, but of course I don't know if they are here.

He usually goes over what happened on our last visit, what I think about my cocktail currently, how we want to tweak it if it needs it, and a quick summary of what is going on in my life. He always says after he has talked about medications, "Do you have any ideas you'd like to discuss." He usually agrees with me, although it turns out he reallyreallyreally doesn't want to prescribe seroquel. I really like him. I really like his never-ending answering machine (only available the days he works, but still), and that they always get me in within two days if there is a crisis, even if it means seeing a covering pdoc.

My pdoc in Pittsburgh was kind of a rival of my father's. My dad trained him, but my dad was always in trouble with the administration. But he thought enough of him that he asked him to be my pdoc. I really didn't like his personality, but he was a really good pdoc. I would have liked it if he didn't show distaste for me, but he was actually better because he *didn't* fawn all over my father, whereas every other pdoc and tdoc I saw did so. I had very little input on meds, but outside of trycyclics (I can't spell), MAOIs, there weren't a lot of options, he didn't want me on them, but I hadn't heard of anything except MAOIs and trycyclics, so I had nothing to contribute.

The one bad thing he did (and it was pretty bad) was he didn't send me to the hospital when even he agreed I needed it, because I wouldn't be able to go to the *good* hospital, as I had no insurance. I actually have never forgiven him for that, but I wasn't with him much longer.

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I just saw my pdoc for the first time earlier this month. I took in a list of my concerns, and a description of my symptoms as I saw them, and she read it right there. Then she asked what I felt I needed to help myself function, and listened to what I said. When I had finished, she asked me some clarifying questions about a few things I had said, and then she gave me her assessment based on what I'd said. Then we discussed that. She had some excellent suggestions, and she gave me a whole stack of reading material to take home, along with encouraging me to call her office and check in with her nurse as to how things are going.

I left the appointment feeling relieved. I felt she listened, and respected my input. She suggested a course of action, she didn't dictate. She offered all kinds of resources online, and recommendations for supplement types. She even worked with me proactively on payment options, since I have no insurance at the moment. I'm going to keep seeing her. It felt positive to me.

Monoamine, maybe it would be a good idea to tell your doc what you said here. Having things on the table can't hurt, and they might have some feedback, or some suggestions that you can use to help yourself feel better. Of course, if the relationship doesn't work so well, you are well within your obligation to yourself to find a different doc, also.

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Good mostly, certainly much better than the last one. She says she wants the relationship to be equal (though inevitably it can't quite be since she has, and has used, the power to detain me). Usually she comes up with a range of options we can try, and I choose between them.

But appointments are few and far between and it is nearly impossible to get hold of her in a crisis (I'm in the UK)

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I have a pretty good relationship with my pdoc. She listens to my suggestions and she strongly takes my family history into account when she makes decisions. She agreed with me that I should try Abilify because my sister (who has bipolar I) takes it with great success. What do ya know, it works for me!

Whenever I ask her questions she pulls out her iPad and shares current research with me.

The only thing I don't like about my pdoc is that she has over exaggerated facial expressions. Like, she makes really funny faces at me, which I sometimes accidentally copy. It's bizarre. Otherwise, she's a very nice lady. She is obviously a bit crazy herself, she just has that air about her.

Edited by Parapluie
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After seeing to crazy themselves pdocs I was able to switch to a APRN. Shes fantastic not cheep but fantastic as she does not take insurance. I feel blessed that I can aford to go see her(she is afordable). When I first met with her she took an hour to get a full full history and took my input as to treatment. She is also consious of the cost of medications and is quick to jump to generics (if they will be the best RX) she also does a lot of work over the phone so I dont need to worry about going in. I <3 her.

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My pdoc is fabulous. She's young, extremely intelligent, empathetic (to a professional extent), and truly cares about her patients. She doesn't take insurance so she can practice "concierge care" and I can see her for as long as I need to whenever I need to, I just send her an email. She takes into account my medication suggestions and questions and addresses my concerns without talking down to me. I've hated every other pdoc I've been to, truly hated them. She is in a league of her own.

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I like mine. I've only been to him a few times, but he respects my need to be cautious with meds, and always tells me it is my choice whether to up a dose or to take the meds at all. This permissive attitude might not work for everyone, but it's just what I need to feel comfortable enough to take the meds at all. I am more compliant because I know he will listen to me if there is a problem, and not lecture me if I am scared to take something.

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I love my pdoc. He has seen me both at my best and worst. When I overdosed he was at my bedside in the ER before I became stable enough to move to IP. He is always full of energy it seems, in great health, great sense of humor, and is in his 60's and no desire to stop working anytime soon. However, at the last 2 appointments, I've felt a disappointment to him, (as my up and down mood swings and neglect in personal care, my continued drinking, as well as my recent honesty just these past few months about the extent of my self harm). He told me he couldn't provide all I needed, aside from meds and some encouragement, which he then directed me to DBT. I am currently in a dbt program.

This post makes me think I could be brave enough to tell pdoc my fears about being a disapointment to him..though I probably won't because I don't want to appear needy or put out some creepy clingy vibe across.

Edited by Teacup
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My pdoc is great. He listens, he takes suggestions, he treats me like the knowledgeable person I am. He's of the same mind as myself when it comes to medications and dosages.

I, on the other hand, am my own worst enemy. I'm not as honest with him as I should be. I doubt myself and what I'm experiencing, and so don't mention it and under-rate my mood. As a result, I leave feeling guilty and shameful every time. I feel like a disappointment, but such is my own fault since I'm not being honest with him.

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