The NEW doc says I need to see a psychiatrist!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pearls, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Some of you may remember my old primary care doctor (Dr. S.) leaving town, which I didn't find out until later when I had pneumonia. After that, I decided to try the new internist coming to that office. Today I saw Dr. S's replacement for the first - and last - time.

    This new doctor looked over my records and asked me a lot of questions. I answered them and discussed my fibromyalgia at some length. Then it came:

    "Dr. J. says he'd like for you to see a psychiatrist."

    "But Dr. J's a cardiologist."

    "Why do people always object to seeing a psychiatrist? You know, if your doctor wanted you to see a cardiologist you would go to rule out heart disease. Why don't you want to go to a psychiatrist?"

    "But my old doctor didn't want me to see a psychiatrist." I was wondering why he started in on that, considering I had just met him. He didn't know me from Adam and already wanted to send me to a psychiatrist!

    "You know, psychiatrists are doctors, just as cardiologists are doctors. Dr. J. says you are obsessive-compulsive."

    "But I didn't know anybody wanted me to see a psychiatrist. Dr. S. didn't want to send me to a psychiatrist, and none of my other doctors asked me to see one, either." I started to add that I had been frazzled during my visit to Dr. J., and I thought my fumbling around in some files I had brought with me to remember all my meds and tests might have influenced Dr. J's observations, but I was cut off by this new doctor who didn't want to hear any of that. Then a light started to flicker in my mind...I asked him, "Do you know much about fibromyalgia?"


    I smiled broadly, "Then I'll teach you."

    He shook his head. "Fibromyalgia is very controversial."

    "That's starting to change to acceptance," I answered.

    "No, it's changing to the other way. Fibromyalgia is VERY controversial...The WORST thing a doctor can do is put someone on narcotic drugs."

    "No," I retorted (nicely). "The worst thing a doctor can do is not give a fibromyalgia sufferer the drugs they need for intractable pain and have the person commit suicide!"

    "It's very controversial. There are no tests that show anything wrong. You know, dementia can happen to people at a younger age. You really should see the psychiatrist to rule that out."

    Even though we continued the conversation for awhile longer, I'd already made up my mind I'd never go back to this doctor again! All I had to do was walk in his door, say I had fibromyalgia, have that guy see the term, "Obsessive-compulsive disorder," written by a cardiologist - of all people - in my records," and this visit was an instantaneous waste of my time and the insurance company's money by a bone-headed doctor who admmittedly didn't know anything much about the very condition he says is, "Very controversial!" I hope he doesn't need me, because I sure don't need him!

    I hate having to go through this all over again. What a jerk!


    [This Message was Edited on 06/10/2003]
  2. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member


    So sorry that you have having this problem.
    Doctors can be such jerks!
    I hope you will be able to find a better, more
    caring and understanding doctor soon.


    NATUREGIRL New Member

    I'm so glad you didn't let that Doctor undermine you and I'm glad you stood up for yourself and all the rest of us. Too bad those so called intelligent persons don't have a clue about so many things. I have had the same thing happen to me on many occasions. We are at their mercy. I cannot get a prescription for my depression pills without going to a psychiatrist. I used to have a prescription for Valium that my family doctor insisted I take, but then when he died a new doctor who took over his patients told me that to get a refill, I had to go to a psychiatrist. To make a long story short, I got up from the table and stomped out of the office demanding my medical records. (She probably thought that I was nuts, but I had had enough of this crap).

    Some doctors are purely business men and women and most do not practice preventive medicine. They are trained to see as many patients they can see a day (MONEY) and after you get sick they will prescribe something only if they feel that it is necessary.

    Try to see a reputable oriental medicine doctor and they can make you up a tea of natural herbal ingredients that will work for your problems. Please don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great doctors out there who are good and do understand these diseases. I did find one, but she spent too much time with her patients and the practice she worked for let her go because she spent more then 10 minutes per patient. What a shame. She truely cared. So much of everything today is quantity, not quality.

    Thanks again, for standing up for us. It's appreciated. Have a good day and take care.

  4. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    What the heck are they teaching these doctors at schools????? Or is this the result of seminar sponsored by insurance companies???

    I thought you handled yourself EXTREMELY well. Way to go!

    I wish I handled this type of disagreement with doctors as well as you did. I have definitely come across similar before.

    I WANT to see a psychiatrist or therapist to help me cope with tough issues in my life, many resulting or being brought to the surface by my disabling illness. But the last one I was referred to asked me on the phone if I worked. I said no, she said "Well then, I wouldn't be the doctor for you." I asked why and she said because the latest most cutting edge research shows that people with CFS must return to work. That's the cure, I guess she means.

    Gimme a break....It's docs like that who prevent more money from being spent on research for CFS or FM. I mean, it's not a physical problem right??

  5. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    My "old" doctor kept insisting I needed prozac and counseling. I kept saying NO... She finally got angry at me one day and actually hollered at me in the examination room. She then referred to a nuerologist who diagnosed me with FM within 5 minutes in the examination room. I had never even HEARD of FM before, so couldn't make up the symptoms. Go figure. I now have a GP that believes in FM and does what she can to make life easier.

    Marilyn :)
  6. Lynda B.

    Lynda B. New Member

    I agree that you got another nut of an uneducated doctor and that he had not reason to suggest you see a psychiatrist for the reasons he had in mind.

    On the other hand, I see a psychiatrist and have for years. I see her about once a month or less. I saw her because all of these meds and different specialists were getting thrown my way and I wanted someone who could tell me what these meds could be doing to me psychologically or emotionally. Since a psychiatrist is a medical doctor, they are often familier with this area. It is not pscho-analysis or anything like that. It is more educational. Me describing what is going on and her responding and educating me in some things I would not know otherwise abouth meds, effects or dynamics out there in the medical world.

    She is one of my best resources and doctors. The fact the I do see a psychiatrist and that she can see I am perfectly sane is nothing but a plus for the doctors I do see. They immediately take me seriously and don't go there. I also had a neurologist blame all of my symptoms on a childhood experience that I probably forgot--he too was an idiot.

    Anyway, psychiatrist tend to be sympathic, they can often explain some dynamics within the medical community to you that you know is there but can't quite put your finger on, can prescribe meds to you that your PC would never prescribe, etc.

    When I visited the Mayo Clinic, a psychiatrist was the lead physician with chronic pain patients. That was because they look at the patient more as a whole and take into consideration the things I have mention above.

    Regardless or why these nutty docs are telling you to go, I am just saying I went for other reasons and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

    None of my docs ever question my "stress" or "my personal life" or anything like that because of my history with the psychiatrist. Plus she is wonderful and very understanding (plus, I think the fact that she has children of her own and is a woman helps).

    Her expertise has been vital in my managing FMS.

    Take care,

    Lynda B.
  7. tiredTina

    tiredTina New Member

    I couldn't believe he would do that! He's a fairly new doc for me, but had seen me for my fibro, and seemed like he understood and believed in it. Then, when I start telling him about some new problems I've been experiencing, he tells me I should see a psychiatrist! I went to a new doc last week, and I told her about the experience, and she is sending me for tests that I desperately need for these other problems! But, she did ask if I was seeing a psychiatrist, because that other jerk had written in my chart that I needed to see one!! I am so furious!!! I know how you feel, and good for you for sticking up for yourself and all of us with fibro!!!!
    Thank You,
  8. JQP

    JQP New Member

    I'd be grateful to be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, so I could prove my sanity and that I am not 'manifesting all the pain because I am feeling down'!
    Used to see one after bad op really affected me physically and mentally. She was great. Had some really good conversations with her. And the pyschologist specialism was chronic pain. Do I regret moving away from that area, had a lot of support there.

  9. dojomo

    dojomo New Member

    I have not been confronted by a doctor in this manner..... But I would ask him to SHOW ME THE STUDY!!

    I would ask him to find three good studies that prove we are psych cases and.....then I would go see a shrink.

    He would have a hard time finding any recent studied that indicate a psychiatric disorder as the main cause.

    In fact sending him a search for info may educate him/her......

  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Because you will have to go through the trouble of finding a new doc, but in the end, it will be better for you. This guy just lost out on a great opportunity to learn more about our illnesses.

    Love, Mikie
  11. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member

    When I had to change doctors in Portland OR, I got names from my local CFIDS Association chapter. Since then I've moved to rural ND and the local chapter doesn't keep track of things like that (plus there are no CFS specialists in the state). So my first doctor here didn't believe in CFS as an illness.

    After 3 months of seeing her, and her writing a somewhat damaging report for SS, I changed docs. The first question I asked was whether he believed in CFS as an illness.

    So now whenever I have to change docs (this guy's gonna have to retire sometime soon), that's the first question I'm gonna ask.

    As far as psychiatrists go, I was seeing one before I got sick, merely to prescribe anti-depressants. (I was seeing a counselor for the actual counseling.)

    I'd only seen him for a year before I got sick. After I got sick, my medical records all said "this could be [psychocomatic], but her depression has never manifested in this way before", so it really sounded like he didn't think it was psychological in origin. In the chart note for my last appointment before I moved, he said "continue to think her symptoms are psychosomatic". What a weasly jerk!!!

    I think seeing a psychiatrist should be something to consider, at least to rule out the psychosomatic (all in your head) crap. But you need to find out whether they believe in the illness.
  12. idiotsinc

    idiotsinc New Member

    See a shrink!
    It's the best thing I've done for my fibro. If nothing else it will help weed out a few more possibilities of the origin of your fibro. Been saying for a long time that fibro starts in the brain, as a neurological problem or something similar to post traumatic stress syndrome. If nothing else it can help you cope.

  13. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Thanks, all, for your responses. I've enjoyed reading them. However, let me make this clear: I am not against seeing a psychiatrist and sometime I may do just that. But this guy, who had just met me, did not believe in FMS or CFS, and thought the reason for my symptoms was that I'm nuts. He even used the word, "dementia," in reference to me and would not listen to what I had to say.

    I hadn't written every word uttered in that visit, but when I read one of the responses where one of you said you had never heard of FMS when you came down with the symptoms, I had to bring up the following: I tried to tell the same thing to this doctor! I told him it didn't make sense to me that I'm crazy since I had never even heard of fibromyalgia when I came down with all these symptoms consistant with FMS. THAT, of course, did not make any difference to this doctor at all because he doesn't believe in FMS or CFS anyway. He undoubtedly doesn't believe ME, either.

    I can assure you all that I will ask for recommendations from all of my other doctors next time. I just happen to like the receptionists and nurses in that office and the fact that it is quiet - no tv's or radios blaring - and very few children climbing the walls when I'm there. I was just giving the new guy a chance. The other doctor is quite elderly and has a lot of patients already.

    By the way, this doctor is from either India or Pakistan. From what I've read, American medicine is ahead of other countries in understanding FMS and CFS. Perhaps these foreign-born docs, which are in the majority in this area, are more likely to give me grief about my FMS than American-born docs. (Now, I don't have anything against foreign born doctors. I'm just wondering if that might be the reason for this doctor's ignorance in this matter.)

    [This Message was Edited on 06/11/2003]
  14. Lynda B.

    Lynda B. New Member

    Before I had ever seen my physciatrist (that I think if great) I went to a top notch neurologist. Of course, I should have asked that question of whether he believed in FMS or not because he obviously did not. He blamed my physical pain on being a young mom (though I was in my early 30's--not 16 or something) or that I had something happen in my childhood that I was suppressing.

    The funny part is that he treats both of my parents and is their neurologist. They still see him and like him very much. These are the people that HE accused of causing some trauma. I thought that was ironic.

    His suggestion was to get my husband to rub my back at night, take some anti-dpressants until I got better and than titer off the meds.

    It is sooooo true to find out first if a doc believes in FMS as a diagnosis. I have learned that it is okay to go through several docs before finding one that works for me.

    Lynda B.