I am between psychiatrists right now and that is a bit scary for me. After months of debating whether to stick with the doctor I had I finally made the decision to find a new one. Dr. W. was really good for me in the beginning. She seemed to be right on with med changes and I was encouraged to finally have a doctor who "got" me. That was three years ago.
In the last year, my appointments with her either left me feeling that she was still right on, or completely the opposite. Sometimes I would visit her and she would seem to be completely up on what we've tried, where we're headed and what changes would be best. Other times she seemed as unfamiliar with me as if it had been a year since I last saw her, even when it was only 2-3 weeks.
Lately, though, I had a sneaking suspicion that she was pushing certain drugs on patients. I have no proof of this other than my experiences in her office and some snippets of conversation overheard in the waiting room. No matter what side effects I complained about, she would pass it off as something else or attribute it to a medication I had been successfully taking for months if not years.
I recently started a medication that is commonly used for bipolar and schizophrenia. I tend to have very bizarre reactions to medications. Reactions that are so bizarre they are sometimes not even recognized as problems with the medication. This time it was pretty obvious that it was the medication. Weight gain and blood sugar issues, along with some minor side effects were making me uncomfortable on this new med, but my doctor breezed through our appointment emphasizing all the drug's positive attributes. It was at this time that I decided I needed a new doctor.
I had other issues with Dr. W. She rarely returned my calls, was getting worse and worse about running way late on appointments. She couldn't be counted on to be at the top of her game. And since she doesn't bill insurance, it was costing me a great deal out of pocket to see her, not to mention the medication changes and the costs involved with that.
So I have a new doctor - Dr. K. He runs a bipolar and depression clinic and is supposed to be top notch. In fact his waiting list is a bit long, so I will finally get in to see him in early December. I got on his list at the end of September. I dread changing doctors because it can be a lot of work to establish where you are, where you've been and where you need to go. However, Dr. K has a packet for new patients that is about 36 pages long, so we should be on fairly familiar territory by the end of the first appointment.
In the mean time, I knew I couldn't take this new drug anymore. So, I weaned myself off of it which you should never, ever do. It is a very bad idea to quit meds without doctor supervision. And I knew this but did it anyways. I told Kyle it was probably going to be a rough couple of weeks as I withdrew from this medication, and it was. I have been very depressed, very lethargic, sleeping a great deal more than I should, and experiencing lots of symptoms like fevers with chills and horrible headaches. It's a really frustrating experience.
Thanks to a wonderful therapist and the support of Kyle and that of my little dogs, I am getting through the slump, but it sure isn't pleasant. It's amazing to me how one little pill can either pick me up or really let me down hard. This is probably one of the hardest withdrawals I've gone through, and I have been through a few.
Looking forward though, I'm excited about a new doctor who may bring new expertise into my treatment and hopefully get me in a good place to enjoy the holidays and greet the new year.