Thursday, 15 November 2012

Is anyone listening? Not my former Psychiatrist... Sigh.

Ever since being diagnosed with Major Depression, I feel like what I say is dismissed. That I’m being dismissed by those around me.

I wonder if people look at me and say, “Oh, she’s depressed [whispered with a ‘knowing’ snooty smile]. Don’t mind her. Just ignore what she says because we know better than she does.”
I feel this way when I talk to doctors. I feel this way when I talk to counsellors and psychologists. And, I felt this way when I spoke to my psychiatrist.

Like what I was saying doesn’t matter. Like other people – in their infinite wisdom – know better than I do about my condition.

I’m not entirely stupid. I know the condescension. The snickers, the sneers, the ‘poor thing, she doesn’t know any better.’
It’s frustrating. And, it adds to my feelings of invisibility. Today's entry is about my now former psychiatrist.

Example One, most visits with my psychiatrist:

I say, ‘I’m feeling dizzy, nauseas, headachy and tired most of the time.’

The psychiatrist, ‘It’s just a side-effect of the anti-depressants.’

‘But when will those feelings go away?’ I ask.

‘They will,’ he explains. ‘It’s just a side-effect.’

The medication is done, and I still feel sick: dizzy, nauseas, headachy and tired most of the time; I’m barely able to function on most days. So, I go see a walk-in clinic doctor at my new doctor’s office.

‘Doctor, why do I still feel this way?’

‘I don’t know,’ the doctor says. ‘I think I should order more tests.’

‘Thanks!’ I say. Relieved to be heard and praying they find something and wondering if the Effexor was masking or creating other health problems.

Example Two, ALL visits with my psychiatrist:

‘I don’t feel anything.’ I say to the psychiatrist.

‘Oh, yes you do,’ he says. ‘I see emotion in you every time you visit. You’re not flat.’

‘You don’t understand,’ I start to cry. ‘Yes I get upset, but I’m just a ghost in this body. I do things, but I’m just a ghost.’

‘But you’re crying,’ the psychiatrist says. ‘That means you’re experiencing emotion.’

‘I don’t though,’ I try to explain. ‘I don’t feel any normal emotion. I haven’t been able to mourn the deaths of those around me – like a normal person should. I don’t feel any happiness, just sadness. I am a shell.’

‘See,’ says the psychiatrist. ‘You feel things. You don’t have anhedonia. Besides, do you really want to feel more sad?’

‘I just want to feel normal. Have normal reactions again. Or be happy. Experience life again. I’m tired of being a ghost.’

The psychiatrist nods and smiles like I said nothing.

I am still a ghost, faking my way through life and life’s situations.

Example Three, ALL visits with my psychiatrist:

Me: “The medication [Effexor] hasn’t made a difference. I still feel the same as I did before I started taking it.”

Psychiatrist: “No. You’ve improved. I see improvement.”

Me: “Huh? I don’t feel any different or any better. How can this medication be working?”

Psychiatrist: “It is. You are much better. Trust me.”

Despite being off the medication, I am still the same. The Effexor had little – if any - impact on my psychological well-being, and perhaps was detrimental to my health.  Groan.

Thankfully, my psychiatrist ‘fired’ me, so I don’t have to see someone who doesn’t listen to me any more (I hope). And, my doctor will refer me to a new psychiatrist (waiting list CRAZY long).  Sigh.

Of course, the psychiatrist isn’t the only one  to dismiss my symptoms, but you get the drift…

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Insurance Company Woes

I finally made a decision. I was going to roll the dice and continue with the long term disability.

It came after a fright... My line of credit wasn't paid by the insurance company. I really FREAKED out. I was terrified. How could they do this without telling me? It was horrible. I am still reeling. I was hysterical. Can you imagine? Stopping making payments with no warning. No WARNING, SICKENING. Still no proper explanation.

After this happened - my greatest fear happened - I thought I would have  to confront my insurance company. If it happened once, who is to say it won't happen again.  So, I called and was reassured that they wouldn't do it to me - stop payments without warning.  I told her I couldn't accept their settlement offer because I wasn't feeling any better than I was before. I was the same - despite the lack of medication. (How pathetic... I was taking medication for eight months, getting sick from it, and now feeling NO DIFFERENT! The doctor didn't listen to me enough to realise the medication wasn't working!!! What's this health care system about.) She said as long as I had doctor's notes saying I couldn't work, I'd continue to receive payments. Well. I hope so.

All of this sucks. Why does the insurance company treat me like dirt, making things much worse than I already do? I'm already in rough shape. Why do they torment me? Add more to my angst. I really wanted to end things. But, thankfully, I had an appointment with counsellors and was able to hold tight and survive to live another day.

I really think the insurance company wants me to die, so they don't have to continue paying me. That, or push me out before I'm ready. Sick. Sick. Sick. And, to think I honestly thought they were trying to help me. That they were in my corner. Now, in addition to trying to get better, I have to deal with the sneaky, underhanded, manipulative way they are handling my case. Yup. I'm paranoid. But wouldn't  you be?

How am I supposed to get better with this threat hanging over my head?