Sunday, August 16, 2009

Psychiatry: A Racket For The Bad Doctors

There are some good psychiatrists out there, of this I have little doubt. I'm certain it is only a huge coincidence that I have yet to find one of them, but that has very little to do with this short post. Maybe another time I will feel inspired to rave about all the "good" doctors. working tirelessly to help people with mental illness, but today I am sort of "all fired up" about the bad ones, of which I am equally sure there are many. In fact, I've met several.

Most people struggling with Anxiety or Depression (or both) face many factors when deciding to see someone about their problem. Factors such as the emotional effects of these illnesses and the fear of stigma can make it difficult to talk to someone, especially a professional. And then there's always the money factor, as these services seldom come cheaply. However, if the pain outweighs these considerations, a doctor visit is often scheduled, and sadly these visits leave many folks shaking their heads, some feeling worse than before they went in.

This was the case with me anyway and it was frustrating. I waited three months to finally be scheduled, and when I finally got in, my appointment lasted no more than 10 minutes. I left more dumbfounded than when I arrived, holding a prescription for some drug I never heard of, which promised to cure all my ills, and instructions to come back in three months! Three months?

Fortunately I have insurance or this little adventure would have cost me a bundle. When I saw what the psychiatrist actually pulled in for this less-than-brief little chat, my mouth fell open. Three-hundred dollars for three minutes of his time seemed a bit extravagant, and that's not to mention what the pharmaceutical company made from this little deal. But here's the real kicker: the meds actually kinda worked, and once they ran out (not surprisingly, they ran out in three months), I needed to go back to him to get more. AHA! Now I see. You don't have to hit me over the head.

Bad doctors, in my humble opinion, are the ones who explore only one option, usually medication, and while their patients "fly solo" through this process, they sit back and collect the reward. They see patients just long enough to write a refill, schedule the next quarterly appointment, and Thank God for their good fortune. It's a racket and it's one that many fall prey to while trying anything for relief. If you are new to this process, and you have gone through anything like I described, I urge you to talk with your doctor and explore ALL treatment options. Hold him accountable as part of your recovery team (a paid member) and don't roll over. You are much to important for that.


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