My husband needs a new psychiatrist who is good with Bipolar dx. Do you have any recommendations in the Detroit Metro Area?
I am sure many people who have Bipolar Disorder have had the question, “When do I need a new psychiatrist?” I, too, have had this question and have had to take action in the past to help myself. Unfortunately, nobody takes care of us and we have to advocate for ourselves. And just because a person has M.D. behind his or her name doesn’t mean that he/she has all the answers or that he/she is for you.
I believe these are some points you need to consider about your current practitioner before you make a change.
*Do you feel listened to and believed?
*Does he/she try and keep your medications at a level where you can function?
*Can you trust your provider?
*Does the provider support your decisions?
*One I believe is very important, do you respect each other?
If you answered no to many of these questions or maybe just a few of the questions then you may consider making a change. I would recommend from personal experience that you interview a few providers before you make your decision. And if you know others with the same illness, ask around and see who others recommend as well.
When I was 22 years old I was referred to a county mental health clinic because I had no medical insurance. I had to find a place to prescribe my medications with little to no cost. I was working full-time but I also had several leaves of absence from work when I was becoming more stable. However, this particular nurse practitioner was over-medicating me. I had no life. I was trembling like a leaf. I felt drugged all the time. And my husband insisted I find a new Doctor. And he was right!
These were a few questions I had to ask myself before I went to the new doctor so I was prepared.
*Does this provider have my best interest in her/his mind?
*Will this provider listen to me?
*How will I know if this doctor is or isn’t for me?
*Will he/she be available if I am in a crisis?
*Will they be able to prescribe the medications I am currently taking?
*Will this doctor support and believe me?
Personally, this particular time I took somebody else’s advice on who to see for a psychiatrist. However, I went with a list of questions before I asked him to be my doctor permanently. I really believe that people with Bipolar Disorder need to be listened to first hand. Most likely, we have had a hard go of it. We need a bit of compassion. A doctor who will know when to switch our medications or tweak the dosages of what we ingest. I did stay with this doctor for a few years. As I have gotten older and more seasoned with the disorder I have learned what to look for in a doctor.
Here’s some possible questions to ask a new doctor.
*If I am a in a crisis, who do I call?
*Are you or another doctor available after hours if I need help?
*Will you keep my current medications the same?
*When you work with the patient, do you believe in educating them?
*Are you willing to try new medications if the current ones are not working?
*What are your procedures for refills?
*Will you work with me when I am struggling?
*Is your office staff trained to help patients in a crisis or if they have a need?
*Do you allow me to be part of the decision-making process for medications and treatment?
Those of us who have this disorder know what it’s like to possibly be rejected, not believed, told we’re crazy or insane, or a whole other lot of items we don’t need to hear.
I would suggest that you not go into a meeting with a possible provider with a negative attitude or a chip on your shoulder. Doctors pick up on this. Even though pdocs are usually pretty good at staying neutral I have met a few that don’t.
Advocate for YOURSELF! I have learned that is so important. And EDUCATE yourself on the disorder itself, too. Learn the ins and outs of the disease so you can learn your triggers and more. This is so important!
Me, I was diagnosed twenty-one years ago with this disease and it’s only been the last 10 years where I am stable with few ups and downs. A tiny bumpy road versus a big roller coaster feels so much better.
Be easy on yourself and keep on keepin’ on for YOU!