A Psychiatrist you say…
Hearing the Physician’s Assistant (PA) tell me she thinks it would be better for me to see a psychiatrist to help me find an antidepressant that would work better for me, was a bit hard to digest. I wasn’t really surprised to hear her suggest a psychiatrist. In fact, I figured she would, but that doesn’t make it easier to digest.
The antidepressant that I’m currently taking just isn’t helping me to function in the way I would like. I’m on such a high dose the PA would rather a psychiatrist help me wean off of it so that I may try something different. I don’t really feel motivated to do anything during the day. Not being motivated to get things done isn’t an option for me. I have a husband, 3 kids (one of which is a toddler), a dog, a house to clean, and an on-line store I’ve opened up. I’m trying my best to balance taking care of my family, and making products for my on-line store. I’ve also had triggers lately that have been hard to deal with.
I know the medication I take isn’t fully helping me in the way I need it to. I know I need to see a psychiatrist who has more knowledge about medications to help me find something which will work better for me. As much as I wish there was a magic pill to make it all better, I know there isn’t one. I really don’t want to need to take medication for the rest of my life, and I pray I won’t have to.
There are very few psychiatrists in my area who take my insurance. Seeing a doctor who is going to be prescribing these types of medications is something to take serious. I don’t want to see the first psychiatrist that pops up on the list. It is important to me to see someone who I feel will make a good fit for me and my goals. I want to already feel somewhat comfortable with this doctor before I even sit down for my first visit. When I as a teenager my mom saw a horrible psychiatrist, and it just about killed her. I know the importance of making sure the psychiatrist I see is good at what they do.
What I’d like:
- To not have to drive 30 minutes or more on the highway to get to the doctor’s office
- A psychiatrist who specializes in the areas where I have issues (anxiety, depression, PTSD)
- Ideally a female; well, because I would feel more comfortable talking to a female
- This one is non-negotiable – must take my insurance
After looking on my insurance company’s website at the psychiatrists that are in network I’ve come to two conclusions.
- If I want to see a female psychiatrist I better be prepared to drive no less than an hour away on the highway. The psychiatrists that are closer to me that I wanted to see aren’t accepting new patients right now.
- Driving an hour or more is not worth it just to make sure the doctor I see is female. As it is, I’m looking at a 30 minute drive on the highway to see any psychiatrist who will take my insurance (whether female or male).
tell me, how does this make you feel?
Well, Doc, it doesn’t cause me to feel all warm and fuzzy; if that’s what you want to know. Reading profiles for doctors who treat “mental illness” can cause feelings of…well, wanting to hide. If you’re like me, and don’t really consider yourself as someone who is dealing with a “mental illness”, but of someone who just needs a little extra help to help you function at your very best; reading psychiatrists profiles can be overwhelming and scary.
It’s scary to read about the different “mental illnesses/disorders” they specialize in, and then to also read about which hospitals they have access to. Suddenly, it felt like I was just about to receive a label I’d rather not have. As though simply walking through the doors to a psychiatrists office is going to label me as crazy, and that I’d be treated as such. I feel judged and labeled; and I haven’t even made an appointment with anyone yet. I can see why people would be worried about the stigma of seeing a psychiatrist. After all, no one wants to be labeled or viewed as being crazy.
I’ve got to remind myself, those are just fears. There is nothing to suggest that I’d be treated as though I’m crazy. No one is going to give me a nice white jacket that helps me hug myself. Yes, a psychiatrist is trained to recognize all different types of mental illnesses and disorders; to know which medicine should be helpful in those situations. I’ve got to believe they are also trained to help those like me who need just a little extra help; who need to see a doctor who has knowledge beyond the popular prescribed medicines.
This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to look up reviews for the psychiatrists who take my insurance. I’m going to read those reviews with an open mind, and an understanding that any one review may not be a fair characterization of that psychiatrist’s practice; to look for patterns of complaints as well as complements. When available, I’m going to read statements from these psychiatrists where they talk about their desire to help people. I want to get a sense of who the doctor is before I see them. I want to feel as though I’m seeing someone who isn’t going to judge me for needing their help. I want to feel as though I’m seeing someone who wants to help people like me who need a little extra help, and aren’t looking for the next crazy person to diagnose and lock up.