Friday, November 5, 2010

Doctors and psychologists

Thank you all for your comments and support. To be able to have a place where I can share my thoughts and get feedback is really something I value right now.

As I'm sure you've deduced by the title of the post I want to talk about my experience with doctors and psychologist.
To be fair I'll start off by saying that I am very skeptical when it comes to medical professionals in any field. This is for several reasons. Some of them try to play "God" and they assume they know what's wrong with you before doing a thorough examination - which leads to mistakes. Others are into the "quick fix" solution - they prescribe you antibiotics or medication that takes away the symptoms without working on the cause. Because they ARE human and as such make mistakes. And because they are influenced by the money involved in their job. The last reason is probably pretty unclear, so I'll clarify. What I mean is that they need to do their part to support themselves and the way they do that is by having people come back to them. This sounds horrible, and I don't want to generalize and say that all doctors do this, but some do. In a way it's understandable - if they were to provide the perfect cure to most illnesses first time around they would be out of a job. In any case that's my stance on doctors.

I've had a number of questionable experiences with doctors in the past. When I was put into a hospital at the beginning of this year I was lucky enough to get possibly the best psychiatrist on the staff. He was good, but the faculty he worked at wasn't. Oh I have traumatic tales to tell about that faculty - the low quality of services they offered, the ignorance of ED's and treatment methods, the negative ways I was affected by the "treatment" and atmosphere - but I'll save that for another post.
Now I'm seeing a doctor that I'm not sure is qualified to handle my situation. From what I'm gathering she has never treated a patient with an ED before. Our relationship is also unique because she is my aunts best friend. So she has a less professional approach to my situation then she should in a lot of cases. I haven't spoken to her personally in months, because she asks my aunt about me and relies on her information. To complicate the situation let's just say my aunt and I don't have a close relationship. This doctor referred me to a psychiatrist, who turned out to be the worst psychiatrist I've met. I had a 20 minute time slot because there were a line of people outside waiting to see him. He asked questions but didn't listen to the answers, he cut me off when I tried to talk told me that his job was just to give me a prescription for medication, the rest I should cover with my psychologist. Let's just say I never saw him again.
Now my doctor is recommending IP. The funny thing isn't she doesn't know I've gained weight, she hasn't spoken to my psychologist (they work at the same faculty) and she hasn't spoken to me. But she has spoken to my aunt and told her to try to convince me because it would be "good for me". Right now I feel like I can't trust my doctor and her advice, because of all of the mentioned above factors. Unfortunately my family puts their unwavering trust in her, and are all pushing me to act on her advice. I am trying to schedule and appointment just to TALK to her and get some things straightened out between us. But I'm still unsure if she is the person I should be relying on to help me right now. It's so complicated :(

On the other hand my psychologist is the first one I've met that I feel truly comfortable with. She doesn't focus so much on the "anorexic" label and she does on the factors that will help me overcome this ED. This is important for me, as when I am constantly labeled as "anorexic" I feel more compelled to engage in behavior that such a title constitutes. On the other hand when I focus on all the other areas of my life I do much better. She understands that. Besides for the first time in my life I feel like I can trust her as a medical professional, I feel like she cares about ME as an individual. And she is my main support right now. If I were to put into IP (which she believes is unnecessary and even detrimental) I would lose one of the most helpful people I know.

I think it's important to have a good support system when overcoming an ED - one you can feel comfortable with and trust. Maybe I'm too cynical and distrustful of medical professionals. On the one hand I feel like it's good for me. While I was in the hospital I was forced to totally rely on the medical professionals there. I wasn't forced to fight on my own at all. So I never recovered in mind at all. Now each step I take, I choose my battles and celebrate my victories. I know as a fact I am stronger now then I was then.

Do you think it's really wrong that I rely more on myself then the medical system? What are your experiences with doctors and psychologists?

1 comment:

  1. I can completely understand what you are saying here. I have always felt as though I know more about what I need to do in terms of moving forward than that of my GP or therapist. My therapist, who has worked with EDs in the past, just sees me as an another anorexic sitting in her chair, and thus treats me as such. She expects me to have all the same issues as well which is not the case. I feel like I am a unique case and that I am an individual.

    My GP has never worked with an eating disordered patient before so she never thought that my constant exercise could be the reason as to why I wasn't gaining weight to begin with. Pssh. Professionals, eh? Can't live with 'em but ya can't live without 'em.

    As I read this post, I can tell that it's YOU talking and not your ED. I can tell that you are concerned that you are not being treated fairly as you are trying considerably hard to overcome this disease and yet nobody is willing to take the time to see that you have been successful of late. Personally, I feel that for you to be able to re-normalize healthy behaviours, you need to learn these healthy behaviours in your own home and not somewhere foreign like at IP. Because it's so easy to come home to a place where you don't know any better and fall backwards again.

    Those are just my thoughts, anyway :) Sorry for rambling!