I saw my new therapist today

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterbee, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    And I need your opinions on whether I am reacting too strongly. I am not able to be objective in this case.

    Let me start by saying that I don't like therapy. At all. It's a necessary evil. Plus, this is a male therapist and I've never seen a male therapist for me before and I'm really not too crazy about men. By that, I mean men in general...taken on a case by case basis, my opinion is subject to change. So, I was apprehensive to begin with, but I have a strong personality that can be off-putting (so I've learned) to women in that they feel intimidated (so I've been told - am always surprised at that one). I'm not a mean person. I'm just direct, tend to speak my mind and don't take any cr@p. So, I thought a guy might be a good change.

    On to the appointment. I don't do vulnerable so going in I was very uncomfortable, but it wouldn't have mattered who I was seeing, I still would have been uncomfortable. He seemed nice enough and said, I suppose, the right things, but it came across - to me - as patronizing. Which sets my teeth on edge. I was on the fence with him.

    Prior to going in today, I had to fill out some pretty comprehensive paperwork and some of the questions were about alcohol and substance use/abuse. For alcohol I noted - 'socially - rare' and for substance use, I noted - 'none'. Which is accurate.

    As, I was leaving he had me sign some releases to get my records from other therapists/psychiatric hospital from years ago and among the things checked off that he was requesting (such as, psychotherapy notes, diagnosis, evaluations, etc) was 'Alcohol and substance abuse treatment'. Now, I've never had an issue with either of those so there are no records, but it made me so incredibly angry. I told him it was insulting given that I grew up arounded by this stuff and worked very hard to get away from it and he made some comment about it being good that I've stayed away and I told him again that it was insulting because of this and yet he's asking for these records. To which he responded that it is just part of the screening process they do these days.

    I've done this for years and no one has ever done this before. If you're going to ask the question on the form and not believe me, then why ask? I am NOT my father. I DO NOT abuse alcohol or use at all any illegal substances. Even if I were inclined in my depressed state to use something offered as an escape, I would be too afraid that it would show up on bloodwork and that I would lose all credibility as a patient with my health issues. I've worked too hard to earn that credibility to throw that away over a stupid joint or whatever.

    And that's another part of it. The reason my heart disease went undx'd until I had a heart attack is because no one would look past my history of depression. And even now that I've had a heart attack and I have severe coronary artery disease, a lot of doctors dismiss my phyiscal pain, weakness and fatigue - and even symptoms that you can see and touch - as my 'history of depression'. "Depression does cause aches and pains, you know." If I was dealing with aches and pains, I wouldn't be in the freaking doctor's office. And even after all that it wasn't until I had a neuropsychologist report stating my intelligence (high) and that while I had a history of depression, I was not exhibiting any symptoms of depression - that I was forward-thinking, had hope, etc. - before I was taken seriously by the doctors.

    And now, because I have depression and because my messed (not the word I want to use) up family, I have to endure the insult and humiliation of not being believed about drug and alcohol use/abuse.

    I am sick of fighting stigmas. I was so angry when I left his office, but by the time I got to my car I had dissolved into tears. I'm tired of not being believed. I'm tired of fighting for any credibility. I haven't done ANYTHING wrong. Yet my father - the alcoholic and drug addict - doesn't endure ANY of this. I hate him. I wish he would just disappear.

    I don't know if I can go back to this guy. I'm telling myself that I need to go back and explain why this bothers me and give him a chance to explain it and see if we can work through it. But, I don't trust easily. It takes a long time for me to develop trust. And if it's a one way street, it just ain't gonna happen.

    So....thoughts? You won't hurt my feelings. I realize that my reactions to this are strong. I just need to know if I'm way out of line.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My 2 cents- it was a strong reaction, but it would have rubbed me the wrong way too if he was assuming that you'd had or do have a problem with drugs or alcohol. If it was a standard form indicating that "any applicable documents from therapies as listed below need to be sent" that wouldn't have bothered me.

    It sounds like the real question though is whether or not to continue with this therapist. Only you can answer that but I COMPLETELY understand the frustration over having a hard time finding a comfortable fit. If I hadn't had a good one for myself years ago who I loved dearly and helped me make drastic changes in my life, I would have given up finding the right one for difficult child by now. And, I've been wondering if maybe they are just turning almost anybody out to be a therapist these days- I've ran across a few that don't have as much common sense as half the people seeking counseling. Anyway, I think it's best to follow your gut on that one. If you aren't sure, go back with a list of questions/concerns and see how he addresses them. That is what I'm doing with the current therapist that I'm "screening" before I even take difficult child in.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh- I forgot to add- I have left tdocs' offices many times in tears. Not because they "reached my inner core" but because I soooo needed a counselor to discuss things with and I would be so frustrated and disappointed when I felt like we were just sitting there looking at each other and they had no clue what I was talking about and never would.
  4. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Wow, Your response was a very strong reaction. I can see why based on all that you have been through. But I would give this guy a chance. I went to get a physical from my family physician a while back and when the labs came back the Dr told me that my liver count was to high and that I might want to consider not drinking as much. Huh??? Well problem is, I don't drink. I told him that and he just looked at me as if to say "yea right" I told him that I wanted to have the labs redone. I even went to another lab and while there discovered that many there were having their labs redone due to the machines not being properly calibrated at the original lab and everyones labs were coming back inaccurate. Yikes!!! Needless to say my labs came back just fine the second time around but geeze, I was majorly insulted by what this Dr was even thinking. If requesting the records is just protocol then don't worry about it. You know who you are and you have nothing to prove to anybody. This is minor, Just focus on getting better. He has no way of knowing who you are at this point.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Relase of Information should be tailored to each person. Items should be checked off as the form is made out. However, I can see where a docs office with support staff dealing with mounds of paperwork would have some ready ahead of time with every item their office would ask for for anyone marked off.

    If a staff member did mark the items off in your presence, than they were just going through the motions - they fill it out the same way day in and day out - it is a habit - they do not really look at it on an individual basis.

    I would politely decline signing that form. It shouldn't be a problem for staff to pull out a blank form and start from scratch and mark only those items you agree to. Then, ask for a copy to keep.

    The first visit to docs are so full of gathering info and giving you your rights and so automatic to the doctor's staff. They try to make things more effecient and quicker so you don't feel like you are being drilled. It is perfectly o.k. for you to question anything and refuse to sign something.

    I would encourage you to give this doctor another visit or two. Once he gets to know you, things will be easier. Once you get to know him, things will be easier.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    He filled out the Release Forms right in front of me and marked everything off individually. This wasn't a one form fits all.
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Heather, I can see why you'd find that so frustrating.
    What you need in a therapist is someone who actually listens to you, and helps you make sense of what's going on. If your first impression is that he wasn't listening, then that would set your blood boiling.

    I would make a list of the things that bothered you about the interaction, and give the dude one more chance. Take the list in with you, and go through everything point by point. If you still don't feel like he's listening, then I would find another therapist. Don't rule out a male therapist if this one is a lemon. Male or female, you need to find the one who's the right fit for you.

    Sorry that your appointment was so frustrating. What a bummer.

  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Heather, he could prove to be a real jerk but I would give him another chance, too. It's my guess that over the years he's been lied to several thousands of times by clients who say they don't do this and do do that. I guess I see trust as being a two-way street between both parties.

    I also think seeing a male therapist, considering your reservations about the male sex in general, is very brave and I applaud you for that. If this guy is worth his salt in the long run, he might provide some much valued insight, another plus.

    Make another appointment and level with him. If you still feel that seeing him is not in your best interest, tell him so and move on.

    Good luck.

  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    You asked for it - so I'm going to hand it out.

    I had (key word here is had) a bad marriage. Not tremendously the same as growing up in a dysfunctional home, but there are some feelings in life that just are what they are because of things we've endured. I lived in a marriage of hell on earth. You lived a child hood of hell on earth. I don't and will not ever return to that lifestyle; from your statement I know you will never live a life like that again either.

    With that being said there are similarities in people in general and each and every one of us wants to believe we are unique. Our situations sadly happen every day. So in order to DEFEND the fact that we absolutely and positively, without a single doubt, shred of conjecture -WILL NEVER EVER AGAIN?? We tend to get emotional when we are brought back to that place in time. Obviously one of your triggers is drugs and alcohol. The mere mention of it, sent you into a place in your mind that is mostly and rightly locked up and key thrown away. In modern terms we could just say "don't go there" and it would be left alone. But we NEED to go there to begin to heal. If we let it sit in the storage bin in our head, thinking we've locked it away - it never will. Our body and brain is like a digital camera - the acts can be removed, the digital images will ALWAYS be there - just like a camera.

    SO I THINK YOUR REACTION TO THIS IS FANTASTIC. Really - no joke. I'll tell you why -

    When I first started seeing our therapist I did it for my son's benefit. I figured I needed to find common ground and EVERYTHING was "him" and if we could just FIX HIM? OHHHHHHHHHHH gosh would WE ALL be BETTER. Yeah - all him, this has NOTHING to do with me. (I laugh at myself now for that thinking) because.....like you I had triggers. (whistles - LOADS & LOADS)

    In therapy all it took for me to SHUT DOWN (or react strongly) was to make a sliver of a mention of my x's behaviors. WOW - Would I go off. I wouldn't BE in therapy if it weren't for HIM. My son wouldn't be in therapy if his Dad had to SUFFER any and I mean SUFFER ANY of the stuff WE had to endure. So there I am going on and on and on with this therapist about how he just doesn't KNOW, and how in the world he could even MENTION his name in the same breath with mine. THE AUDACITY!!!!! Like you - I would go off on a tangent. Once I was wound-up - good grief what a load of time I allowed myself to waste in my life for "swallowing" those feelings about how I FELT about my x. I felt if I locked them in a storage unit in my head and never mentioned them- they would eventually go away. But instead I just kept renting him more space in my head and ended up with Uncle Bob's mini-storage of bad memories and traumatized events in my wee brain. Even in real life storage unit junk is sold off. So how do you get the junk out of your head so it's NOT a sore spot? Sorta like HOW you reacted to any mention or questioning about your drug and alcohol use or nonuse sent you into the 101 emotiotions in 5 seconds flat - and I'm sure you have your OWN Uncle Bob's misused mini-storage. We all do - figuring if I don't think about it - it will GO AWAY - and that might have been how our Mothers deal with stuff like that - but we have options to get rid of the junk and be a happier, healthier us.

    Did you survive your childhood? Yeah. Anyone reading here did to some degree and moved forward the best we could. But inbetween the lines, and for good /just cause - there is a boatload of hate for your father that I think either you start addressing NOW so you can find a BETTER and more FITTING way to deal with what you had to deal with .......AND.......LEARN from this therapist HOW to put your father out of your misery for good. (which you have not simply by choosing to forget about him and not ever smoking a joint)

    You DID.......COPE. We all have some form of dysfunction in our families, and as children we tend to find a way to cope. If we have poor, lousy, self-absorbed role models (for childhood, for husbands, for mothers) then what do we expect the children to be? So if no one has ever told you that you need to do more than survive what you lived through as a child - I'm sorry. There is a better life for you. It takes a LOT of work, and remembering painful things and it hoovers big big big time - root canals are less pain. Self taught coping skills allow you to survive; learning to not supress your emotions or put your memories into storage and swallow them; but DEAL with them and get rid of them once and for all is so much better for you, your kids - everyone.

    You are an overcomer and now - with help from this therapist you can work with him to have less and less buttons to push in your life which gives the control in your life BACK TO YOU.

    I didn't have control in my life when I would be ultra sensitive about my x and a dozen or three hundred other things (my driving, my cooking, my body image, my hair, my housekeeping neurotic -and anyone questioned that I myself was there too smoking crack, snorting coke, shooting speedballs, screwing around, smoking dope, heroine, valium, you name it - he was into it - and had taken it in large doses but it was HIM, NOT ME!!!!! I would be infuriated! So imagine my exhaspiration at the ER when they would do the intake and a nurse would sneak and call a security person, or a cop, or when he would beat ME - they called the cops and the doctors did a urine test to test ME for drugs. I too was enraged. OUTRAGED and it made me frustrated, it made me cry, it made me want to pulverize that man into pancakes under the earth.

    Now? He doesn't get that much of me. He has lost the control he once had. I am free. He could stand in front of me with his crack and his controling demeanor and I wouldn't cower - but I wouldn't even speak to him either. Before therapy? Kickin' off flip flops to beat him back....and after therapy? He doesn't count, his thoughts are like listening to jibberish, he's pathetic, small, mindless, whiney, a liar, a thief, a woman beater, his wants, needs, musts - are non-existant.

    And in therapy I was told at the end of the sessions after 12 years of intense counseling sometimes 2x a week, after hypno therapy, after EMDR for SEVERE PTSD (which I think you have) and exercises, books, yoga, meditation, tapes, pills, you name it (anything for relaxing) - I finally walked into his office one day and sat down and the therapist that years ago I did not like or care for; chatted...and in the conversation he said the same thing to me the first day he met me....and I blah de da he dah'd over the answer like I was telling you to get me some eggs at the store...and he just smiled. I asked him what he was smiling about and he said - Do you realize years ago when you showed up here - you were so tense, traumatized, and angry when I mentioned the same thing to you I just did you went on a tangent - wishing him deader than dead and spoke of how you were abused and tortured for years.....and I just said the SAME THING to you - and it was as if he didn't count!!!!.

    I hadn't even realized it. That was the beauty of it all - I was living a different way. At that moment I realized and even said "Well he doesn't." and it was an epiphany. My soul was lighter, I felt like I floated out of that office.......I was free.

    You need to find your free too - So many things you describe about yourself? I was as well, and somethings 10x more intense. So while you think this was a bad thing (perhaps) that you got so defensive - from someone who was the epitome of defensive persons? It's a step in the right direction. Process it with him next time you go. He doesn't know you and unless he gets to know you - he can't help you. I'd give him a few more chances and if you don't like him - (and I didn't like mine to start with either and told him) YOU tell HIM you aren't sure you like him and work on that.

    I think this is marvelous Heather, and had I not lived a parallel life and could now sit back and see it I wouldn't have opened my mouth to share it with you. It was not easy, I still have trauma - but I'm not allowing it to control me like it did....I wish the same for you.

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  10. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Can I provide another opinion.....similar to those above, but since I work for a doctor's office....

    An ENORMOUS amount of patients fail to admit to everything, especially to a doctor they don't know. Please don't take it personally. You have nothing to hide, so you have nothing to worry about.

    You are absolutely correct about the diagnosis of depression being a catch all for the blame of a lot of symptoms and that docs don't quite take you seriously when you have pain symptoms. They blame depression and they blame the ability to cope. I see it a lot. I see a lot of docs ignore true symptoms when they see bipolar as a diagnosis. It infuriates me.

    Give him another chance. Go a few more times. If I were you, I'd tell him that you were a bit defensive today and that you'd like to start over.

    I've taken Missy all over God's creation and I've had my dose of docs thinking that I'm being over-reactive or that "I" need medication. ( yes...I actually had one of Missy's crazy psychologist's say that to me.)...yada yada yada. I certainly understand your frustration, but personally, I think you need to give this another chance. Don't be offended. He's being thorough and doing his job.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I understand your frustration. I also see where Loth is going. A patient may say that they have no history of drug or alcohol abuse, but in fact there may be records as to it available that the doctor can't access without a release.

    The other thing that rings true about what both you and Loth said is the thing about depression and pain. For a long time I answered "no" about depression, even though I had suffered from severe depressions in my life. The truth was that they were "situational depressions" and that they were in the past. If they start in with me about depression causing pain, I am lucky enough to be able to refer them to studies that show that 40% of patients with my MD suffer pain daily. I also refer them back to the new patient form that has "Depression" checked with "situational in the past" written next to it.

    Personally, I hate those commercials about the new medication that is for depression and pain. You know the ones, "Depression hurts..." I am very angry that they have developed and are marketing that medication. It belittles women in particular, and puts our very real physical ailments back into our heads when it took me 20 years to get physicians out of my head and on to my physical well-being.

    But, let me ask this. If it were a woman therapist, would you have been as angry?
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I didn't read the other responses, so I'm just gonna state how I see it.

    I completely get why you found what psychiatrist did insulting. Perfectly understandable. You're an honest person, you expect to be taken at your word. You have no reason to lie or gloss over the truth. In fact, you've worked hard so that you would never need to.

    However, psychiatrist doesn't know any of this. He is looking at a new patient. He knows nothing at all about you. While he may be inclined to take you at your word, and may even believe you, experience tells him that he needs to make as certain as he can as to your history. As he likely will be basing alot of his treatment based on it as well as what you tell him during sessions.

    Nothing worse than trying to treat a patient who swears they don't do alcohol or drugs when in fact they do, worse yet when they're abusing them. It drastically changes how medications work, as well as often the patient will request medications that enhance the "drunk" feelings.

    I'd have never even considered that aspect until my best friend got so heavy into the drugs. Her dxes are bipolar and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), yet I strongly suspect she has neither. She's been drinking or using drugs since she was 11. Symptoms didnt' appear until early 20's and by then she was already a pretty solid alcoholic.

    This friend now will actively seek medications that enhance that drunk feeling. And when too broke to buy her drugs of choice will take handfuls of her psychiatric medications at a time to get the same sort of high.

    Last psychiatrist got informed by me this was going on and adjusted medications accordingly. (I'm on her paperwork for HIPPA) Old psychiatrist told her that if I informed her again friend was still using shed dump her as a psychiatrist. This new one she has has also been informed, and I just talked to friends Mom yesterday and medications are being adjusted again. Odds are this guy will get to the same point.

    I can't blame them. You can't treat a patient like that because it's almost impossible to tell which symptoms (if not all) are drug related and which are actual symptoms. Plus the risk of ODing and you're most likely feeding the addiction.

    I wouldn't take it too personally at this point. For this doctor it's most likely routine. Honestly, I like that he has the foresight to do it.

    I'd give him a bit more time, especially since you're wary of men anyway. The two of you might not click, but then again you just might hit it off wonderfully.

  13. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Wow, you've gotten a lot of good responses and I think I'm in the majority. I wouldn't write this guy off yet. There are tons of (valid) reasons he could have for requesting those possible records. Of course, the first one that comes to mind for me has been mentioned. People lie. Especially those with drug/alchol problems. What that person sees as social use, everyone else see's a big huge problem. Does that mean he thinks you are a devious little liar? No, of course not. To me without having been there, I see it as a doctor that is being thorough and covering all the bases.

    I think part of the reason you reacted so strongly (aside from the subject being a trigger for you) is just because of how you've been lately. It's something that would have rubbed you the wrong way anyway, but because of your mood/state of mind/insert favorite term here, lately...it was magnified. Kind of like dealing with a difficult child. On a day when you're in a good or even just an ok mood, their (for example) verbal tics get on your nerves but they don't send you over a cliff. But deal with it on a day when you're in a bad mood? It's like Sybil on crack.

    Just my opinion but I think you should go back. Make a list, print out this thread, whatever you need to do to get your point across or verbalize it. But sit down and explain how you feel and why. Lay it all out for him and basically tell him your personality, how you best communicate and what you expect from a therapist. Consider your first visit the application process (for him) and the next visit the interview. I honestly think he has valid reasons of his own for the paperwork and without knowing your feelings on the subject, he won't know what he's done "wrong". Even if you still don't feel he was a good match, you never know. You just may teach him something that will help him help the next person.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Heather, I'm with Star especially - she said what I was going to say, only she has the benefit of personal experience.

    Your reaction - understandable. But also very healthy. His responses - very normal for therapists. Unfortunately perhaps, but it is the way they are taught. It DOES sound patronising but it's not meant to be.

    You say you're a direct person - tell him. Be upfront with him, tell him the way you are, tell him why the subject of alcohol abuse is such a sensitive one for you. Your reaction probably told him a lot of what he needs. But he DOES need the paperwork too.

    I do know how it feels to get the idea you're not being believed. I'm getting this now - I have a damaged liver and people ALWAYS assume it's due to alcohol. I've seen specialists who always make the first assumption that I'm a secret drinker, and my insistence that I don't drink only seems to confirm this opinion - I could be an alcoholic who is refusing to admit to it. I also have to take strong painkillers, and people (and some doctors) assume I'm an addict, without necessarily checking. My last GP (a lovely bloke who I had to stop seeing because he's taking a break to specialise in addiction medicine - ironic!) had moved towards the end of our association, and I had to see him at an addiction clinic. Very awkward - all the other patients knew each other from the streets and I felt very uncomfortable. mother in law was seeing him too, she was really feeing awkward in the clinic waiting room. We weren't the only General Medicine patients, but the assumption was always there with the staff that we were all addicts. But mother in law & I put up with it because he's a darn good doctor.

    Mstang has put it well - the things you're saying to us, you should also be saying to your therapist.

    I also make lists. I would take the lists to various doctors I had to see (especially doctors I disagreed with). Sometimes I'd do it as a letter, sometimes I'd send the letter on ahead as a fax. That way I didn't have to hold all these ideas and points in my head, once they were down on paper I could mentally relax, knowing I wouldn't forget to communicate the issues but I didn't have to have a head full of them in the meantime.

    If he's a good therapist, he will take this in his stride. If he labels you (or you feel he has labelled you) with something you feel is a bad fit, then again - put it in writing, explaining why you feel he is wrong and what you expect from him.

    It helps. It really does.

    And you feeling like this - it is a really good sign, for the likelihood of therapy being able to do a lot of good for you fairly quickly. You do not sound like a person in denial - instead, you're more the sort of person who stands there and faces problems square on, honestly. It's just that lately you've had more to deal with than you can handle and they've left you emotionally battered and injured, you need some help to heal and get your strength back.

    Heather, strong people like you and like me - we need to learn to bend before we break. We're good at doing a lot of this for ourselves, but sometimes we need someone outside of us to give us a hand.

  15. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    sweetie you do not need a male therapist, you just need to find a female therapist who also shoots from the hip like you do, I know you'd love my therapist, she tells me to cutt the carp! on a regular basis!
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Male or female I dont think is the problem here. I understand the trigger because I also deal with the same trigger. With bipolar and borderline the assumption is that most self medicate so I am constantly having to defend myself as being in the few that dont. Im hardly ever believed until proven innocent. It hoovers.

    This new therapist probably had no clue until you went off...if in fact you did in his office...about your father and his completely horrid treatment of you because of drug abuse and child abuse. Just a statement that you grew up around drug abuse doesnt let him know what you really lived with. He really needs to get to know you to understand.

    You and I are both therapy resistant. I only went this last time to prove that it wouldnt work...lol. Now 3 years later...well...I found one I think is a keeper. In the beginning I flat told her I was only there because I didnt believe in therapy and I thought it was a bunch of junk and it wouldnt work for me. I was too smart for it because I already knew what the right answers were. I wasnt stupid. She kinda looked at me funny and said...there arent any right answers. That ticked me off...lol. We fought for months. I refused to give up because I didnt want to be the stereotypical borderline patient who gives up on therapy...lol. Thats my ODD kicking in.

    Give the man a chance. Tell him exactly what you expect from him. Dont pull any punches. If he is any good he will respect that.
  17. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    You all make good points and I probably will go back, if for no other reason to get it off my chest, but....

    I am informed patient. Anytime I have labwork done - at my GP's office or hospital or ER - I ask what tests they are running and then I ask the results. I am actively involved in my health care. I don't - any longer - have blind faith in any doctors. Not that I think they are bad. Just that I realize they are human and oversights are made and it is my responsibility to keep track of my health and health information. And because I use this information to educate myself and research my health conditions or possible conditions.

    So, when he 'slid' that in there without first discussing it with me - and then patronizing me with his comments - it ****** me off. I know that people lie. I'm aware of that. But, to treat everyone as though they are lying is wrong. I am tired of paying for everyone else's sins. And his response that it is 'standard screening process these days' is not valid. I've never had it done before. I haven't been in real therapy for 4 years, but I did see a therapist briefly after my heart attack and it never came up other than a box to mark on the paperwork.

    Maybe this is just self-righteous indignation. I don't know. But, I do know that the friend I got back in contact with just started seeing a therapist last week and her therapist didn't bring up substance use at all. And during the time my friend and I were not in touch, she started smoking pot. Imagine that.

    And when I was severely depressed before and for years after - until I got the GP I have now - and suffered from insomnia for years (averaging 4-5 hours of sleep a night for years), I was either offered an AP with a lot of side effects or told to take melatonin. Yet a male acquaintance of mine calls his doctor because he doesn't sleep one night and his doctor - who diagnosis'd (erroneously) this guy with bipolar - called in 30 ambien with refills. And he abused them. Took a couple and drank. Did the same thing with Xanax. Called his doctor cause he was getting divorced and was stressed, his doctor calls in a bunch of xanax with refills. Next thing you know, I'm talking to him and he's taken 5 Xanax and is drinking heavily. He really didn't like it when I told him that if he did it again I was calling his doctor and informing him.

    I found it very arrogant and insulting. Not just that he's pulling those records - of which there are none - but that his responses to me were condescending and patronizing. Nuh uh. I don't do passive-aggressive. I am not there to waste my time by lying nor am I there for attention. I hate going. If he can't believe what I tell him then he is wasting my time. If he is going to second guess me then there is no point.

    So, as you can see hours later I still feel very strongly. I will go and get this off my chest and see if he can handle a woman with a strong personality, who doesn't pull any punches and who expects to be informed and aware of what is going on regarding her health/mental health care. And see if I feel like I can trust him. Cause right now, I don't. It may not matter. He may not like what I have to say to him and not want to see me anymore. I got the impression that he's used to doling out platitudes and, well, that just doesn't go over well with me.

    And just for clarification, this is a therapist not a psychiatrist. He's not prescribing me anything. Besides, even if he could and tried, I probably wouldn't take it. I'm happy trying the lamictal in addition to my lexapro and am not easily swayed when it comes to my medications.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would be royally ****** off if a doctor told me that checking for substance and alcohol abuse records was "standard". MANY people see docs that don't check for this stuff.

    I think giving him one more try is probably worthwhile. It will give you an idea whether or not he is going to continue to patronize you and mistrust you and treat you like an idiot if you continue therapy with him. I HATE it when the therapist patronizes you. But STar has some very good points.

    One of the things therapy is for is to help you deal with your emotions. And this doctor can obviously trigger strong emotions in you, so maybe he could help you deal with them. But maybe not.

    Is it possible for you to make an appointment with a different therapist? I would keep one more appointment with this male therapist, but would have an appointment with another one set up. You can cancel the appointment iwth the other therapist if you decide to stay with the male one.

    I am sorry he was such a jerk.


  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Heather, something I have done (which is why I wrote all those letters I mentioned before) is - I view people like this bloke, as a challenge. I EDUCATE them. I only give up on them when they clearly are never going to 'get it'.

    Even though it annoys me, I always go through the motions and show willing, I make it clear that if our relationship/interaction fails, it won't be MY fault. Like my current gastroenterologist - I'm sure he's convinced I eat loads of junk food and drink like a fish, when in fact I eat very carefully and haven't had alcohol (apart from a taste every six months or so) for YEARS. And I gave it up, not because I couldn't handle it, but because I chose to, for the sake of a liver which inexplicably is unhealthy.

    I've done this before - I did what I had to do, had all the tests, told the doctor all along that I knew the results would come back negative; and when they did, I gently said, "I told you so. NOW will you listen to me?" I also pointed out, at THAT point (which is why it's worth working towards and waiting for) that I had showed far more patience with his idiotic and unnecessary process than he probably would have, if he had been in my shoes.

    The trouble with him is, your behaviour pattern (mine too, in similar situations) is exactly the same as someone who is a substance abuser but denying it. They have to do this. My specialist had me in hospital ten years ago, the only ward available happened to be the AIDS ward. I was there because I was an immunology patient. If I'd been on the ward the doctor had wanted me on, there would have been no problem, I would have been taking my medications as dispensed, in a far more normal way. But on the floor I'd had to be admitted to, it was policy that ALL patients had to be checked to see that they weren't palming or cheeking their medications for later sale on the street. My doctor told them to stop it in my case, but often a new nurse who hadn't been on duty for me before, would come in and insist. I went along with it; it was easier, in my case. But it did make me feel very uncomfortable.
    In my case then - they knew I wasn't there for AIDS or drug addiction or anything like it, but protocol had to be followed. (Visiting time was interesting - I had a husband and kids coming to see me, all clean and freshly scrubbed. And I was a middle-aged housewife, I just didn't fit in with the other patients - three in regular contact with me were an ageing emaciated actor, a female junkie hooker on methadone and a prisoner from the local jail who was under protective watch).

    So Heather, hang in there. Don't let him have the satisfaction of thinking he was right about you having a drug or alcohol problem. Teach him, by sticking around and proving his suspicions unfounded, to not be so judgemental. Trust me - it is VERY satisfying!

  20. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Sorry, not me. I would be looking for another.
    in my opinion - I am there NOW for a reason. Lets work with that and go from there.

    I do not like therapist's. My experience has always been like yours. Counseling has worked much better with me.

    Hope you find what works for you.