The Art of a Psychiatrist Who Listens: A BPD Blessing

I have, in my possession, a script for Cymbalta. I can’t take it, yet though. However, I can get it filled, pack it in my hospital bag, and pop my first postpartum antidepressant the morning following birth! SO EXCITED! It’s only 60mg instead of the 90MG I was on, but the full 90mg will follow within a week or 2.

Do you know why I have this script? (Besides the obvious…) Because when I went into my last meds appointment, I sat down and flat out asked for it. Well, I asked for a script for something I could start while in the hospital so that I could be one step ahead of myself. She then asked me what I wanted to start. Did I want to go with my antidepressant, mood stabilizer, or anti-psychotic? After some discussion, we decided the antidepressant would be my best bet right off the bat. And then she asked me did I want to go back to the Cymbalta, or try something else, and did I want the full 90MG I was on, or did I want to start at 60Mg?

I then told her I wanted to be as aggressive in this as I safely could and that I didn’t want to string out getting me back on my meds. I wanted one to chase the other and to be on them all as quickly as possible. And she listened.

None of this was for the first time.

From day one as we added and removed meds from my cocktail, it’s all always been up to me. Need to try a new antidepressant? Ok well, there is this and this and this. This has this side effect but tends to work the best. This has this side effect and works like this. And then this has few side effects but might not work quite the same because. And which gets tried, is my decision. I wasn’t told to go on an anti-psychotic. She may have suggested it or it may, actually, have been me. I don’t remember. But it was a mutual decision that we came too after discussion, listening, and thought.

To some of you, none of this may seem strange.

Isn’t that how it always happens? No.

There are many cases of many psychiatric patients who are told by there doctor what to take, period, and any sign of resistance makes you a hostile patient. If there is a significant medical risk as to why you can’t take said med, they might listen and put you on something else (not always), but other than that you take what they decide is best and you’ll like it or find someone else.

Look, I don’t expect to know more than my doctor. She went to school for this. It isn’t like I automatically know what’s best. A history of trial and error paired with extensive research gives me ideas and opinions, but it isn’t like I know what will work best for me and at what dose. The thing is, my meds doctor (no meds doctor) does either. Sure, she knows the ins and outs of the different medications. She better, it’s her job! But each medication works a little different for each patient because we all have different chemistry. So there is no guaranteed right answer that doesn’t involve trying a few and seeing what works. So the idea of the doctor knowing best and not discussing options with the patient is ludicrous. It isn’t like these are antibiotics.

Case in point, right here. This is only her most recent example of what I’m talking about and why I love my meds doctor so much! Seriously, read her blog. You’ll see what it’s like out there for some (most?). And if what she describes is what you are currently going through in your quest for the right medication, maybe it’s time to move on to another doctor.

In contrast, if your current doctor is anything like mine, hold on tight and follow them to the moon if need be. They are a treasure!

Footnote: We’ve decided we are going to try me out on what I was on before I went off everything. Same meds and dosage. If that combo works again, kick ass. If not, then we’ll tweak from there. At least we have a starting point. But since my entire chemistry changed because of pregnancy, there are no guarantees that what worked before, will work again exactly as it was. It might just mean adjusting the dosage, but it very well could mean whole new meds!

2 thoughts on “The Art of a Psychiatrist Who Listens: A BPD Blessing

  1. You need to dip that doctor in gold, and mount her in your louge-room so as her awesomeness can't be diminished.

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