If There Wasn’t Trauma Before, There Will Be After Visiting This Doctor

by admin on October 8, 2012

I decided I had to get help for my mental health. I was in a very bad place. So when a friend told me about a great place she had been to, I booked the first appointment of the day. This is because I get anxiety when I am in crowded rooms for a long period or time. The secretary informed me to be there at least 20 minutes early or I would be charged a late fee. I was there 30 minutes early, but they did not open their doors until 8:55 am. The Secretary was very snotty about me “being late”. I apologized and said that she didn’t open the doors until just a moment ago. The fee was thankfully removed.

I spent a good 20 minutes filling out paper work and expecting to see “Dr. Brown” any moment. While waiting I watched as a woman walked in looking as if she just rolled out of bed. She had on pajama pants and a T-Shirt and I heard the Secretary call her Dr. Brown. I had been waiting an hour total and the Doctor was just walking in. Mean while the waiting room was filling up with people, several waiting to see Dr. Brown. I wanted to walk out then, but I told myself that I had to get help.

After another 30 minutes she finally calls someone back, and even though I had been there first, that person wasn’t me. It took another hour for her to get to me and the first thing she asked is if I had been raped. I was shocked and I stammered no, I was just really depressed. I thought maybe this was a normal question until she said: it would have been much easier if you had. Then in the few minutes she had seen me she told me I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because it was “obvious I had been abused”. She also told me to “be on time”, they waved the fee this time but wouldn’t do it again. After waiting 2 hours my appointment lasted 15 minutes.

My appointments with Dr. Brown never went anywhere because I “wouldn’t admit to being abused” (because I never was).  After 5 sessions they (the snotty secretary) accused me of not paying and told me they were getting ready to send me to collections. I just turned around and walked away with out paying another cent. I went to my family doctor who was very unhappy with how I had been treated. She sent me to someone who was able to help me get into a much better place. They confirmed my suspicions that I did not have PTSD. Looking back I can see that I was treated pretty awful, I just lacked the knowledge and confidence to stand up for myself. I am in a much, much better place which is why I decided to submit this.    1002-12

About 15 years ago I knew a licensed counselor whose schtick was to tell new clients that it was obvious they had not been wanted by their parents.  She no longer works in the field…good riddance.

{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

Cat October 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I am concerned about Silverlily. We both came from abusive homes and have some terrible memories. I came through it with only bad memories, which makes me very fortunate. She got hit with an illness, which is much worse than just bad memories.
Many illnesses which we see as “mental problems” are really chemical imbalances which present themselves in behavior rather than in rashes or fevers. Most can be controlled, but not cured.
My thought is, don’ t give up or see your life as ruined. Your past is over and no one can change it. I would like to give your granny a good slap. My mother’s favorite line was, “You have to let your brother do whatever he wants to to you. If he does it to anyone else, he’ll have to go to jail. The only important thing is that the neighbors don’t find out what he’s really like.” In short, I didn’t matter; he did. I’d like to give her a good slap too. Lesson one in how to teach your child that she is inferior to all else on earth.
Keep working on the meds until you find the combination and dosage that works for you. Some days are going to be better than others. That’ s true for us all. Find something or someone to hold onto.
I was very religious from an early age and, in it, I found the strength to survive. Other people find strength in groups, in activities, in pets, whatever. I don’t think it matters what, so long as it comforts and strengthens you. Become a Harry Potter witch and cast spells on your wicked uncle, whatever. Alcohol and recreational drugs won’t do it so don’t go there.
I’ll hold you in my thoughts. No one is truly alone, no matter how it feels at the moment. There are a lot of us out there. Sunflowers always turn towards the sun.

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Drawberry October 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm

This one is very personal to me, when I was around 15 or 16 I was recommended by family services to see a youths psychologist where I was diagnosed with ‘mild’ depression and social anxiety disorder. None of this surprises me as an adult, these where just behaviors I’d had my entire life and never thought twice about being 9 years old and standing out alone in the playground clutching the fence and desperately fearing my parents where in horrible danger and I was going to be orphaned and alone.

All of that unpleasantness aside move on to when I meet the doctor who was seeing me for around 3-4 months. The choice ‘event’ with her that ultimately lead to my mother pulling me out of her care was when in response to me tearing up and admitting to feeling ugly and disgusting because of constant bullying over 6+ years the doctor looked at me blandly and said “What’s stopping you from putting on a little lipgloss”.

To this day I look back on the times I sat crying on her sofa for 20 minutes at a time without her so much as acknowledging me and cringe at how I wish I’d been more confident to say something.

Some people should never have gotten past their first college class and definitely not allowed to assist the mentally troubled.

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Cat Whisperer October 8, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Okay…in a lifetime of dealing with various counselors and therapists and mental health workers and psychiatrists in the treatment of my father’s mental illness, as well as spending time on my own in counseling dealing with the traumas of growing up with a bipolar parent in the days before lithium, I learned a lot about the profession.

First off, some light humor: what do you call a counselor who graduates at the bottom of his/her class?

Counselor.

What I have learned is that the mental health profession has some very, very good people in it, very smart and utterly dedicated to their field and to helping clients; and it has some very, very, very bad people in it, who are themselves very destructive and damaging and sometimes are damaged people themselves. In between, you have every shade of grey: good counselors who have been burned out, bad counselors who have their own agenda, counselors who are in the business to make money, counselors who are eager to help but are very, very, very new to the profession; counselors who are jaded with too many horror stories, counselors who are perky and optimistic, counselors who have jumped on the fad du jour and earnestly believe it, counselors who cling earnestly to long-discredited theories. They’re out there, and if you spend time in counseling, you’ll run into them.

In judging the credibility of a counseling service, your first clue is the people running the administrative end. If they’re disorganized, if they’re unprofessional, if they’re bad-tempered and rude, they’re very likely a reflection of the mental health professionals who employ them or of the larger service they work for. So in OP’s story, the business about charging her for being late is a baaaaaaad sign.

Good mental health professionals take their profession seriously and dress, act and behave accordingly. They may not be fashion-plate chic, but by god they’ll be clean, neat and appropriately attired. If they’re not, that’s another baaaaaad sign.

Good mental health professionals will start out with a new client by introducing themself, speaking about their credentials and experience if appropriate, and will then allow you to present why you are there to see them. (Good mental health professionals recognize that they are not going to be a good fit for every client who walks in the door, and usually start out with an introductory session; if they feel they aren’t a good fit, they’ll refer you to someone else. They will not pressure you to make appointments if you don’t feel comfortable with them.)

Good mental health professionals will be very clear that if you want counseling to work, YOU’RE the one who is going to have to do the heavy lifting. A counselor can help you clear out the stuff that’s getting in the way of seeing what you need to do to get where you want to go, and can help you figure out what you need to do to get there. But it’s up to you to put one foot in front of the other and start on that road, and a good counselor will tell you that they can’t get there for you. You gotta do it yourself, or you won’t get there.

A good counselor will also accept that if you aren’t making progress with them, you might need to try another counselor’s approach, and they will refer you to someone else or accept your decision to change counselors.

The weary-making thing in seeking counseling is that you have to decide for yourself, personally, if the person you have sought out is actually going to be able to help you. I’ve gone to a couple of counselors where it was obvious after a few minutes that they did not have real experience in dealing with families who are severely impacted by a parent who has a mental illness. (When you find you know more about the treatment of that mental illness, and how it presents in people who have it, than the counselor you’re seeing, that’s a bad sign. When you find the counselor has misconceptions about the mental illness and you’re having to re-educate him, that’s a very, very, very bad sign.)

I regret to say that there are also people in the counseling profession who are deliberately exploitative and who want to victimize people who are in a vulnerable time of their lives. Predatory would be a good word for some of these people.

That’s why, when you have your first meeting with a counselor, you have to remember that the person who graduates on the bottom of their class in school and barely scrapes out with a credential is still called “counselor.” And you have to be prepared to walk out if you find, as OP did, that that’s the counselor you’re seeing.

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Mini Monster October 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm

When I was in school to get into the mental health field, I had a lot of classmates that had no business being there. It was worse in undergrad than it was grad school, but even then there were some that made some of my other classmates and I wonder what they were doing there. I myself realized that I didn’t have the personality to work with clients with addictions due to my parents being alcoholics and some issues I had there, so I made my career choices accordingly (I ended up going in a totally different direction and got into helping older people find work instead, and I find myself using my mental health background surprisingly often).

Yes, we do require supervisory hours before “hanging out a shingle” but the only explanations I have for a “therapist” like this is that she either had a bad supervisor or was on her best behavior until she got her license and then decided to do things her way afterward. Clinical social workers are also required to take hundreds of hours of practical training before graduation. I don’t know how licensed professional counselors or psychologists work, however.

I agree with others that say you should report this “therapist” to your insurance carrier and you should also go on Angie’s list or another similar website and review her. Get the word out and hopefully it will stop someone else from having this happen to them.

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Sarah October 8, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Everyone so far has some very excellent points. I want to touch upon something that hasn’t been talked about much yet… health care waiting rooms. In the above story, the doctor booked appointments at 9 AM and made this poor lady show up at 8:30 AM, but didn’t even get into the office until 10 AM. Then she doesn’t see this patient until 11:00 AM, and the actual visit only lasts 15 minutes, in which time she gives completely wrong advice. I’ve been in a lot of different doctor’s offices, and this kind of thing is very very typical, a rule rather than an exception.

Much more often than not, a doctor’s visit is an all-day or at least a half-day ordeal. I can understand falling behind due to a medical emergency in the office, or if someone comes in without an appointment, but most of the time it’s not that. Doctor’s offices just generally run way, way behind, and don’t really care if you’re feeling miserable while you’re waiting. On top of that, they charge you fees if you no-show, fees if you’re late, and fees if you get fed up and leave. Then the actual appointment barely lasts 10-15 minutes, with the doctor only doing the most cursory examination of you and hustling you out the door as fast as possible. Only the healthcare field does this on such a large scale. Why is it acceptable?

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admin October 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I’ve been in a lot of doctors’ offices, too, and have not had that experience at all. The only exception was the OB/GYN who was delayed with an emergency.

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Goldie October 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm

It enrages me when these so-called counselors say hurtful or harmful things to kids, like damaging adults isn’t enough. Before my oldest son was finally diagnosed with Aspergers, we went through a lot of counseling with him, most of it school-mandated. As in, his elementary school would call and say things like, If you don’t take him to a counselor, any counselor, by next week, we’re calling social services on you. (They never helped me diagnose him, though. His middle-school counselor did, years later).

Anyway, one time when he was ten, we came to this new counselor, who had this whole old-school grandma image going on. Meaning, she was old enough to be my mother, and she apparently enjoyed coming across as tough. First session, she talks to us both for an hour, and at the end of it, says: “I know what the problem is with your son – he’s spoiled. Does he have chores at home?” I stare. “See? All he needs is more chores and everything will be all right.”

When I called to cancel our next appointment, she was puzzled as to why. “Did I say something to offend you in any way?” No, but you didn’t say anything constructive, either!

FTR eventually we got properly diagnosed, went to an amazing therapist for two years, which helped immensely. My son graduated 10th in his class, is doing great in college, gets along great with his roommates, and speaking of chores, he cooks, cleans, mows, shovels and generally does so much around the house, I’d be lost without his help.

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Kendo_Bunny October 8, 2012 at 11:31 pm

@ Dani – no, it won’t make it worse to seek help. If you had a compound fracture and the first doctor you saw poked it with a stick, then put a Band-aid on it and sent you on your way, would you say that your awful experience meant that you couldn’t trust another doctor to help you with your gaping wound? It’s not going to go away on it’s own.

I thankfully only have one horrible therapist in my past – a grief counselor after my mother died when I was 5 and my sister was 7. He told my sister she had every right to be angry, without giving her any tips on how to cope with her anger. Since my sister already had a violent, hair-trigger temper…. he also praised me for handling things so well and told me my being so quiet and mature must be a huge help to my father, and the two basically set up a pattern for my childhood. My sister, unable to control her rage, would lash out at me, the most convenient target. I would try to keep the worst of it to myself, so as not to cause any worry. This set up a pattern for abusive relationships in my life: I was physically abused by a nanny, emotionally abused by my stepmother, emotionally abused and sexually harassed at school, emotionally and physically abused by my sister, and emotionally and sexually abused and neglected in my first serious adult relationship. I kept as much of it in as possible, and punished myself with bouts of self-harm whenever I was in too much pain to cope with keeping secrets.

I have a great therapy team at this point. I’ve been able to move from weekly therapy sessions, active bulimia, and severe depression to bi-weekly, eating disorder tendencies (I have not purged since August 2011 – the temptation still exists, but I have not given in to it), and mild-to-moderate depression. I’m on low dose antidepressants and I see a nutritionist to try to fix my relationship with food. I get along great with my therapist, my psychologist, and my nutritionist, and while I’m not “cured”, I’m a lot closer to being well – fulfilled, happy, and not hopeless, and not a target for abusers than I have ever been in my life. That’s the ultimate goal.

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Katana October 8, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I now feel how lucky I was to have a good psychologist when I had depression. My sister (a doctor) found her to help with my AS and she helped me with a lot of things.

I came from an emotionally abusive home and I also worked with my abusive stepfather, so there was no escape. Long story short, I attempted suicide and I moved interstate to live with my Dad. I had a few dark months, when I was walking around feeling empty or feeling like a passenger in my own mind as well as being extremely emotionally fragile. But she listened and she gave me strategies to get myself put of it, which I did without the aid of medication.

I’m now engaged to a wonderful man and very happy, particularly when we fell in love when we really needed each other.

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Cat Whisperer October 9, 2012 at 12:42 am

After thinking about this posting a bit, it occurred to me that “Dr. Brown” may just possibly have been running a “disability mill,” i.e., assisting people in producing evidence of a disabling condition so they qualify for disability payments. That would explain a lot about the way “Dr. Brown” acted and some of the things she said.

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Emmy October 9, 2012 at 2:22 am

My mother begin seeing counslers when I was in high school. Now my mom was a functioning (still is). Got up, went to work, paid her bills, had a social life, but she needed to deal with food issues (complusive overeater), issues with her parents, anger, ect. and finaly decided to seek help.

The first guy she went to see was very Type A, my mother is more Type…Q. His advice to her when she talked about how she disliked her job was that she was an Orange, trying to fit into an Apple world. I was a sophmore in high school and when she told me that I said “So, his advice is, you’re kind of different, deal with it?” she said yes and I said “I only have a tenth grade education and I could’ve told you that”, she quit seeing him a few sessions later and decided a female counsler would be a better fit.

Number two gave her excellent advice when she noticed my mom was forgetful (she still is). Write things down. My mother was in her 30s, she worked an admin job, she functioned on to-do lists. The problem wasn’t her writing things down, she’d write them down, put the list down, forget where she put it, spend 20 minutes looking for it, get distracted by 6 projects on the way to find the list, and then never get anything done. The counsler gave her advice as if my mom was a teenager, not an adult.

Number three sent her to a pyschrist because my mom went well…a bit wacky around this time. So she went to see the nice man who could dole out scripts, and boy howdy did he. At one point I counted she was on six different pysch meds. Seriously?

Number four was actually really great, my mom liked her a lot. Unforuntely she stopped taking my mom’s health insurance and mom couldn’t afford it without health insurace.

Numbers 5-7 were through the state after my mom lost her job, they…well…sucked. Nothing that really jumps out at you.

Finally she found one who said “Gee, I don’t think you need all these medications, have you had your thyroid tested? Like a full panal done?” well, no, she hadn’t. So she went and got one done and turns out she’s only the normal amount of crazy we already suspected, but has hyperthyroidism. That’s under control now, she still see the counsler once a week, and much happier. Still can’t remember anything, but that’s just kind of her shtick.

The ones I’ve seen have blamed my mother for being a single mom which means I don’t trust men (or I hate men), tried to “cure” my bisexuality (I wasn’t dealing well with a break up with another girl, which why I went to see her in the first place), claimed I was sucidial because of the music I listened to (Sex Pistols t-shirt means you want to kill yourself…apparently), and one gave me a list of so many mental conditions I had I was surprised I was able to function at all. Still haven’t tracked down the right one for me, I like talking to my nutrionist more then anyone. And my health insurance covers her completely.

I have some good stories about bad regular doctors too, don’t get me wrong. But I think a regluar doctor is bit like…well, like a mechanic. They listen to your symptoms, diganois your problem, give you a solution, and send you on your way. It’s very much a science. Mental health is more of an art. Strep throat will be cleared up in the same way for each person, the majority of the time. The formula will fit. There are few formulas for mental health, you have to deal with each individual person differently. What worked for Depression Patient A, might not work for Depression Patient B. It takes a certin talent to be good at it.

And some people (like the OP’s “doctor”), should probably not be interacting with people on a regular basis anyways. I bet a research job would’ve been a much better idea for that particular mental health professional.

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Lex October 9, 2012 at 3:38 am

Good god what an awful experience – this struck a real chord with me as I’ve been going through something similar to what you describe – panic attacks in public places, terror of crowds. I’ve been hyperventilating when I go out on my own – I won’t go food shopping without my partner as I’m terrified I might have an ‘incident’. So I can fully appreciate the anxiety you are experiencing here. LeBoyfriend has encouraged me to see a therapist and whilst I do have abuse in my background (my relationship with my father is volatile and has been ‘physical’ for a long time in the ‘hitting me’ context, not the other thing) I believe my current issues stem from the very severe workplace bullying I suffered at the hands of my previous employer. I have evening sessions with the therapist in a quiet, empty building and I have no issues with him – he’s very non-threatening and challenges me to reveal the thought process so we can work on first identifying then modifying the way I think about situations to try to resolve these issues. Although I must confess to still wanting to exact revenge on the vile woman responsible, but that is another story. It sounds to me as though this ‘therapist’ is a bit of a charlatan!

I would recount everything in a complaint to the practice manager and CC to whatever regulatory body is applicable here as it’s not acceptable to blindly diagnose an issue as a result of something that never happened! What a terrible woman – I hope she’s stripped of her right to practice!

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Just4kicks October 9, 2012 at 7:34 am

May I just say God bless you, OP. There are many good doctors out there. You’ll find one….keep looking until you find one. I went through a similar situation of being told either my pain was in my head or being accused of trying to scam pain meds….neither was true. I had an emergency hysterecomy at age 35 and was still having pain months after. I made a follow up with my female ob/gyn and heard her say to someone “what is she doing here!?! There is nothing left for her to be in pain about!!!!” I left in tears and soon after took one of my kids to our family doctor for a check up. He took one look at me and asked why I was walking doubled over. I explained and was very upset at how I was treated. He gave me the name of a pelvic and sexual wellness doctor whom I have been seeing for six years and diagnosed me with a handful of ailments. I feel much better. I hope you do too very soon Op!

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slappie joned October 9, 2012 at 7:52 am

This past summer, my nine year old daughter went to bed with one of her eyes a little swollen but no big deal. When she woke the next morning, the entire eye was swollen shut and about the size of a golf ball. I called a family practice very close to our home who said to bring her in asap. When the doctor finally comes to examine her, he looks at her very swollen eye and asks to see MY right hand. Huh? Then he says “well, mom, your knuckles aren’t bruised….I guess YOU didn’t do this to her!!!!” I was beyond angry and haven’t been back since. I assume he trying to be funny…I didn’t find it amusing in the least. Btw: turned out my daughter had an allergic reaction to a bug bite on her eyelid.

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Chocobo October 9, 2012 at 9:29 am

@Dani, please don’t be scared off by horror stories of a few bad eggs. If you feel that you need help, you should absolutely seek it! You’ll notice that a lot of people on this board are talking about one bad therapy experience, but that eventually they found someone wonderful who helped them. Or that they are grateful none of their doctors ever behaved like this. Just make sure that you feel comfortable, and don’t be afraid to explore practitioners until you find the right one and the right therapy for you. You have the right to good, quality care! I hope you feel better.

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Angel October 9, 2012 at 10:17 am

Stories like this make me not trust therapists at all. And I have a good friend who is a therapist! Reading the OP’s story made me also want to punch that receptionist in the face. What business is it of hers WHY the OP is seeing a therapist. Isn’t it her job to set up the appointments. I would NEVER tell that bitch anything!

People like this need to have their licenses removed. Sorry you went through all that OP :(

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Jones October 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

The best therapist I ever went to was my first. I was a teenager, suffering suicidal thoughts and depression. After a few sessions she point-blank said that it was her impression I was mostly copying what I thought was normal, as my mother has bipolar and used to threaten horrible things regularly. It was the counselor’s impression that she may have put these thoughts into my head, and as she continued occasionally making threats or physically abusing other family members (never me for some reason) it reinforced the negative behaviors in my head. I did suffer some “teen onset” depression, but my parents and I were blowing it out of proportion, possibly for attention.

Naturally, when Mom found out she was being blamed, she pulled me out of that counselor’s care and shopped around to find counselors (yes, in the multiple) who reinforced her thoughts: I was depressed because I am a sinner, I needed drugs in order to function, it wasn’t my fault that mankind is faulty but (catch 22) I really needed to work towards being righteous and perfect, self-punishment would help reinforce proper behaviors, etc. Counselors can be found who will follow any script that can be invented, as shown by the number of people in this blog thread who have said they were referred to a counselor “by a friend/family member/trusted colleague”.

Continuation of my story? I secretly quit taking the antidepressants, I pursued reading on the subject of parental influences, and started seeking out other adult models. I dropped all counseling upon turning 18 and leaving home (which I did with haste). I quit hurting myself and attempting suicide, and have so far managed my adult life with only some mild post partum depression. I am one of the lucky ones, I know. I knew a diagnosis that I felt deep down was correct before I went to cherry picked counselors who would have stripped me down and rebuilt me, and I was able to hold to that diagnosis through periods of self doubt and mental pain. I was able to find “normal” adults who would have been horrified to pull some of the antics my mother did. If I had been dropped into the scripted counselors’ offices without knowing what the game was, I would have been devastated, possibly beyond repair.

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Lilac October 9, 2012 at 11:15 am

I have had overall very good experiences with the counselors I have encountered with one exception. Soon after my divorce, my ex decided that he would no longer visit our two children. This came in retaliation because he felt the court ordered child support was too high–or at least he used this as an excuse to drop out of my kids’ lives. I called, asked his family to intervene, wrote letters, etc. He then cut himself off from his own family so he wouldn’t even see the kids at holidays as I still brought them to visit HIS family. My son started to have some behavior issues–meltdowns, anger etc. He was about 7 or 8 at the time. He first saw a very good counselor that was helpful. That counselor got another job and we ended up with another one who was horrible. She got it in her head that I was the reason that the kids were not seeing their dad–that I was keeping the kids from him. This could not be farther from the truth. I actually had been welcoming him into my home to tuck them into bed, give baths, etc. I brought them to visit their grandparents, at whose home he could have seen them easily. I wouldn’t have even known about it, if it had been something I would have objected to. But I didn’t. It was all his decision and behavior. At the last visit to this counselor, she asked my son if he would want to see his dad if he was contacted to have a visit. This was after telling her repeatedly that he would not answer the phone and would not respond to messages from ANYONE about the kids. To say this to my son, getting his hopes up, was absolutely the last straw. I knew a visit wasn’t going to happen but I would have been happy to have her help to try to arrange something. What infuriated me was that she consciously bypassed me because of her preconceived ideas of vindictive, ex-wives. We never went back and my son grew out of the most concerning behaviors. It’s been almost 10 years and he is a fabulous kid. There is one unfortunate offshoot though. He recently went into counseling at school because of some stressful social situations that were of some concern. The counselor he spoke to was great but she almost immediately picked up on the fact that he has Aspergers. He is very high functioning–we jokingly call it Engineers Aspergers because he is whip smart. But he thinks differently. Like so many of the kids with high functioning Aspergers, he loves engineering and math and wants to be an engineer. I think back to those early behaviors and wonder if a competent counselor would have spotted it 10 years ago. I wouldn’t change anything about him, but it really would have helped others to understand his unique way of thinking.

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Robert October 9, 2012 at 11:29 am

@Sarah

Like people are saying about psychiatric help, keep looking for a new physicians office. My old doctor was perpetually running late as you described and I finally couldn’t take it any more so I changed to a new PCP. My new doctors office is always on time (so far, I really won’t mind if they have an emergency and are running late because they have proved that is not the norm for them). I show up 15 minutes before my scheduled appointment and I am often in the office talking to the doctor before my scheduled appointment time.

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The Elf October 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

((virtual hugs)) to all who had run in with these disreputable sorts of therapists. Dealing with someone like that is difficult for anyone, more so if you’re supposed to be letting your guard down, trusting someone, and working through very difficult issues. I’m sorry you had to deal with that.

Silverlily, please try again. Your life is not ruined. You just need a helping hand from the right therapist. You can tell the therapist that you don’t want drugs due to previous bad reactions. It’s your therapy to control.

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Drawberry October 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm

@Just call me J; Funny because I am into fantasy, video games, comic books, arts, crafts, and writing and I met my boyfriend at a convention too!

Isn’t it just the oddest thing how sometimes a guy and a girl (and any combinations there of) have things in common and hit it off? What a crazy idea.

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Toni October 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Just had to put in a good word about my doctors’ office. My family and I have been going there for over 20 years, and there is only a handful of times I waited beyond my scheduled appointment. In those cases, there was always an apology from the doctor for keeping me waiting. Only had one bad experience with a therapist. My teenaged daughter was having issues. He talked to her and I for about 30 minutes and diagnosed her as Bipolar AND ADD. Then he further offered that he would “put money on the fact” that my husband and I probably had both conditions also. We never went back. And, he was wrong about all three of us.

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David October 10, 2012 at 12:08 am

Had to share my own “bad counselor story”.

I had been needing to discuss an issue for a while, and figured it needed professional attention. Had a few friends who were seeing a counselor, so I asked them for recommendations. A couple of them were seeing one counselor and recommended her highly, so I made an appointment and went to see her.

You entered her office door and were immediately in a waiting room with 2 chairs and a bookcase in it. I read and whenever I am shown a bookcase, will check it out. All of the titles were kind of the same – Horrible, disgusting men and the perfect wonderful women who love them and why they shouldn’t – it made me very uncomfortable.

I waited for a while and then she came out to greet me. She walked up and I went to shaker her hand and she said; “All of my patients are depressed, so I am going to put you on anti-depressants.” I looked at her, mouth agape and said; “Shouldn’t you talk to me first and find out if that’s my problem?”

I only went a few times – every session ended up about how her professors used to treat her with misogyny when she was a student, and how she showed them. We might talk about my problems for 10 minutes if that.

I did continue for

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Kate October 10, 2012 at 3:54 am

OP, you should be incredibly proud of yourself for walking out. Many people have terrible experiences with doctors or therapists, but don’t feel comfortable leaving because ‘they must know what they’re doing, they’re a doctor!’.
I had a psychiatrist a few years ago – the first one I was referred to, when I was 18, having just been diagnosed with OCD, depression and general anxiety disorder. He told me that my dad must have abused me and flat out refused to believe me when I told him it wasn’t true, my dad had never mistreated me, and the reason I was in an abusive relationship and had mental illness was not my parents’ fault. I continued to see him for a few months despite getting absolutely zero benefit from it, which was not a good idea.
I’m glad you have since been in contact with a more helpful doctor, because they can do a world of good.

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Twik October 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

Quite the little setup they have there – tell people to be 20 minutes early, then not let them in. Follow by charging for not being there early as requested!

I think as soon as they showed themselves to be so unreasonable (surely they can see the flaw in their scheme), one should have expected the appointment to be a disaster.

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Nancy October 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I’m in nursing school right now, and I’m seriously considering pscyh nursing as a specialty when I graduate. I happened upon psych by accident; it was a place I could get a job with my sociology degree post graduation. I’ve found that I’m good at it, I like dealing with it, and I’m passionate about it. This story makes me sad, but I wish I could say it’s rare. In my job, every client is seen by a psychiatrist or psych nurse every 4-6 weeks. There are some psychiatrists that I would totally recommend and think they’re amazing, and would send my best, dearest friend to see in a heartbeat. There are other psychiatrists that I consider to be dangerous, after having sent clients to them in crisis and having them just slap a little extra Risperidone on it. There have been psychiatrists that the nursing staff were floored to realize they even still had a license.

Here’s the dirty secret about psych. There are very few people who WANT to go into pscyhiatric medicine. Everyone wants to do surgery, or NICU, or Peds, or…. really anything but psych. So, it’s much easier to get a job in psych than pretty much any other specialty. Psych units will hire new grad nurses without batting an eye, but want BSN+ with experience for basically every other kind of entry level job. Even if this lady was a medical doctor (and if she was, you seriously need to report her to the local board), psychiatry is seen as where all the “losers” in med school go. Yet, if you go into neuroscience, you’re seen as a “god.”

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Silverlily October 15, 2012 at 7:28 am

I want to express my sincere thanks for the support offered by some of the commenters, despite this not even being “my” thread. Though it’s anonymously offered, it still helps.

@ Nancy – That explains, well, everything!

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Gears3Lover October 22, 2012 at 8:49 am

@Just Call Me J, when my boyfriend found out I played video games, he asked me to marry him. ;-)

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