Saturday, December 19, 2009

A consistent theme

Lately I can't help thinking how incredibly twisted it is that I view being a patient in the mental health system as the most traumatic event in my life. It outranks being physically, verbally and emotionally abused by my mother. It even wins out over being molested as a child. With those kinds of abuse, you quickly learn to expect the invalidation and the violation of your person, as horribly painful and shameful as it may be.

No one ever expects to be invalidated or violated by a therapist, pdoc or other mental health worker. Yet that has been a consistent theme as I've meandered my way through the system. My first experiences should have set off blaring warning alarms that I was entering dangerous territory, but again, it is not what one expects when they're seeking help.

I first met with a therapist when my daughter was about 2 months old because I was severely depressed, nonfunctional and had been diagnosed with panic attacks by an ER doctor. Her treatment recommendation? I just needed to be around other mothers and everything would be peachy keen. About a week later, I had my first psychotic break and had my ex not been home that morning, I doubt my daughter or I would be alive today.

That event led to my first ever appointment with a psychiatrist. After talking with her and answering her questions for about 20 minutes, she finally says to me in a very irritated and condescending voice, "I think you're going to be extremely difficult to work with, but I guess I'll do it anyway". I was stunned. I told her not to do me any fucking favors and I never went back.

Both those instances should have raised some serious red flags. They should have solidified my stance that there is no help out there for me. But I obviously ignored the warnings and I've continued to pay for my ignorance. When will enough be enough?


Blogger Tara Light said...

I am so sorry you had to go thru that. I have learned that I need to be really educated on what's going on with me and what meds are out there. I need to be really proactive before Isee anyone. I have been to many different doc. Keep going until you find the right one. Don't give up. There are caring docs out there. It just takes perseverance.
lots of luck

6:21 PM, December 20, 2009  
Anonymous Lili said...

Keep trying sweetie. You don't want the candy asses that don't have the skills to help. You want the strong ones that can support you through the cycles. They're out there.

2:17 PM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger tracy said...

My first experience in therapy was horrible, just horrible. The lady was a true bitch. i am sooo glad i finally learned there are great people out there who really do know how to help. Please give them a chance.

8:42 AM, December 22, 2009  

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