I feel like crying.
My therapist D rescheduled our usual Friday appt. to Thursday evening (he had a surgery appt. himself on Friday). He asked me how my week had been and I croaked out “BAD”. (More on why later.) He told me that he had been in communication with the director of the mood disorder unit I had been on last year in February. He had been honest and told him I was interested in another course of ECT and that I was not on any psychotrophic meds(and I don’t want to be) and I was using cannabis daily. Well, Dr A. wrote back and told D he would not accept me as a patient because: 1. I’m not on any meds., 2. I use pot daily, and 3. it’s only been 12 months since my last ECT treatments. I really couldn’t believe it, I sat and tried to think about it, but my mind scattered and I felt myself floating away. A few minutes passed in mutual silence and D asked me “What are you thinking?”
D- “You’re done?”
*Nods* “I wanted my family to believe that I’ve tried everything to get better.” And I do. Granted, I was hoping I could feel better, even a tiny bit. I also wanted to experience how just ECT alone would make me feel as I desperately need to feel better and I think it is my decision whether or not to take medication. When I could think linearly again, I started to analyze Dr A.’s statement. As I recall, last Feb. when they admitted me to Dr.A.’s service/unit it had been 7 months since my last ECT(at another hospital), I was smoking pot daily, which they knew, and I was not on any meds. So, WTF? Was I a bad patient last time? Was I a difficult patient, did I do something wrong? I don’t know, I don’t remember most of Feb. 2013.
Ah… meds. Last time, I dutifully took any pill they thrust in my direction, without argument. That’s it, isn’t it? As long as we “agree” to be medicated into senseless twats they feel safer and in control.
Now. I usually try to see different opinions and perspectives. I tried to imagine what I would say to a client who came to me and asked me to treat their pet in a manner that I – 1. didn’t approve of or 2. didn’t think would be successful. Honestly, I do believe that clinicians should be able to refuse to be involved in someones’ care if that clinician believed it was going to be a clusterfuck.
That said, where does patient choice and self determination come into this?
Also, ****Hospital is a university-based, teaching hospital. I had hoped they would be more willing to go off the grid and try something different. Could I not serve, in some way, as an example of patients these newly minted psychiatrists are likely to encounter in their futures? Surely, not everyone will want to use medication. Does the practice of psychiatry fail at it’s core without medicated sufferers? Do they have nothing else to offer?
D asked me if I would agree to see a new shrink (last saw mine in May 2013 and D has made little attempt to hide the fact that he doesn’t like my old shrink.)
*Shakes head slowly no* Shrinks mean meds. Then he asked me why I don’t want to be medicated, had I done any research on psych. meds. (really, D?) I explained all this again.
So, for now, he has asked for my permission to contact Dr.A. and see if I can get into any research project currently ongoing. I suspect that I may have to reconsider my no meds. stance in order to access a higher level of care +/- ECT. Frankly, I’m becoming more ambivalent about further care by the day.
I, too, heard the sad news of the death of My Crazy Bipolar Life this week. Also Amy of iamfightingawarminejusthappenstobewithlife – has lost her life. Suicide, I presume but I don’t know. I didn’t know Amy as well as MCBL but I’ve been reading both of their blogs. I lost a close friend to suicide when I was in my twenties, but this is the first time someone I have never met but knew only through the internet has died. I am very sad. I know many people are too.
I am crying.