Author Topic: Playing doctor? How to respond..  (Read 14225 times)

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katycoo

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2013, 09:24:40 PM »
Honestly, if you do't want to cut them off, I'd just give up and agree with them.  And continue doing whatever you're doing under your actual doctor's guidance.

Nuala

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2013, 09:28:46 PM »
Your sister is a bully, and is using her diagnosis to make herself feel superior.  Anything you engage her with is fuel for her fire.

I agree with this. Apparently being the golden child is not enough, so she needs to find a new way to assert her dominance over you.

It's rather sad, really.

JenJay

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #47 on: January 03, 2013, 09:48:38 PM »
 >:(

Exchange the book for one on Narcissistic Personality Dissorder, put it in the gift bag and give it back to her. When she protests that she doesn't have NPD tell her she's in denial.

As for your mom I'd try one more time. I'd wait until you had a quiet moment alone with her, look her in the eyes and say "Mom, I need you to hear me. I understand that it's hard for you to imagine that Sis is wrong, but she is. I have three physicians looking after me and they have all reached the same diagnosis, independently of each other. I don't know why Sis is convinced I'm bipolar but she's mistaken. It's very important that I have your support while I'm going through treatment. I cannot stress this enough. Having you question my diagnosis and treatment exacerbates my symptoms. Please trust and support me." If she argues I'd say "I'm very hurt that you would rather side with sis than support me. The subject is no longer up for discussion."

Autumn Rose

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #48 on: January 03, 2013, 10:29:10 PM »

No wonder you have anxiety!   Good grief!
I have not read any of the other responses...but here are my 2 cents.

Your sister is the golden child.   Her thoughts must be correct, because, well, she has always been smarter/cuter/better.

You have two choices.   
     a)  Ignore them.
     b)  Try to get them to see your/your therapist point of view.  (which is useless...but you could TRY)


If you choose B - tell your sister and mom that you would like them to meet your therapist.
This would give your therapist a good look at your family dynamic.    And the opportunity for the therapist to tell them that arm-chair psychiatry is NOT helpful.

((hugs))

Regardless of what ANYONE says...you know yourself...take care of yourself the best way you can...

Take2

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2013, 10:30:07 PM »
I am sorry. My mother does this, her diagnosis of choice is clinical depression. One of her therapists once said something to the effect that it would be almost impossible to grow up with my mother as a parent and not develop clinical depression. My mother has taken this as proof and an official diagnosis of me, by a man I have never met.

My own therapist helped me to come up with a workable response. It was "Look, you can believe what you choose about my mental health. But this subject is now closed. You have made your concerns quite clear, I have heard them and addressed them as seems best to me. Any mention of my mental/psychological state going forward will end the conversation. I will hang up the phone/leave your home or any public place/escort you immediately to my front door. I know you don't like this, you don't have to like it. This is the way it will be."


Ladybugs

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #50 on: January 03, 2013, 10:54:12 PM »
Feeling sorely tempted to

*** let her know that I would like to advise her on her current pro bono case, because I have a groundbreaking idea that will help her win the case....   8)

When she asks how I can do that bc I'm not a lawyer, I will just pat her hand and say, but I'm smart and I'm your sister

Or when she tells me about her latest court case I could say in a concerned tone "oh....I was worried you might go that route....this is how you need to present these cases....well first, ...." 
When she objects to my expert legal advice, I could drop the subject but follow up later by mailing her a book on her bday in March, titled How to revise your legal strategies

I can dream, right?

 then I could let mom know I have been doing some reading on sisters area of law, and that I am concerned she has been taking the wrong legal approach, but not to worry bc I know how to help her revise her courtroom approach?

« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 11:04:09 PM by Ladybugs »

sevenday

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #51 on: January 03, 2013, 11:27:32 PM »
Hmm. It's tricky, really... I've experienced the family "know it all" too in case of "I know better than you even though you live in your body" kind of thing.  I was diagnosed with depression and took medication for some time, in conjunction with therapy, to help straighten things out.  I was told repeatedly "you don't have depression, you're just attention seeking."  I promptly dropped all discussion of my medical history.  When other person attempted to bring it up, I told them calmly, "That's between my doctor and me.  I'm not going to discuss private information with you."  And then physically turned away.  (This worked in my case because I am deaf, and turning away severed all attempts at communicating with me.) 

I will say that there are times when you WANT people to question diagnoses and medications if they think they are not working for you or working inadequately.  I remember a case of a friend's father who was being treated for Disease Y when it ended up that he needed to be treated for something else, something that another friend recognized through their own experiences.  The family friend sat down with the father and explained what they thought was happening, and politely urged the father to at least bring it up in discussion with his doctor to double check that they didn't miss something when they were diagnosing.  The side effects of Medication A were not pleasant, and changing to Medication B helped his condition and improved his life.  BUT it's all in how you execute it.  A polite discussion of concern ONCE is all that's really permissible.  Beyond that it gets aggravating and becomes nosy and so forth, as the OP knows.

In the case of the book, quietly dispose of it.  Do not mention the book to your sister.  If she brings it up, and she likely will, you might say, "Oh, I glanced at it, but it's really not something that will be helpful to me as I do not have bipolar disorder.  I gave it to someone who might find it useful."   If she starts in on her usual lecture of 'CRUD MONKEYS! you have bipolar stop denying it!' Tell her point blank, "My doctors and I have agreed that I do NOT fit the criteria for bipolar, no matter what you believe.  You are doing more harm than good by continuing to harp on this subject.  I feel hurt that you feel that your need to be right is more important than your love for me.   I am asking you to love and respect me enough to let this drop and stop discussing this from here forward."  She'll probably continue whining to your mother, who will complain to you, at which point you can tell your mother pretty much the same thing. 

BabylonSister

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2013, 11:48:59 PM »
In the case of the book, quietly dispose of it.  Do not mention the book to your sister.  If she brings it up, and she likely will, you might say, "Oh, I glanced at it, but it's really not something that will be helpful to me as I do not have bipolar disorder.  I gave it to someone who might find it useful."   If she starts in on her usual lecture of 'CRUD MONKEYS! you have bipolar stop denying it!' Tell her point blank, "My doctors and I have agreed that I do NOT fit the criteria for bipolar, no matter what you believe.  You are doing more harm than good by continuing to harp on this subject.  I feel hurt that you feel that your need to be right is more important than your love for me.   I am asking you to love and respect me enough to let this drop and stop discussing this from here forward."  She'll probably continue whining to your mother, who will complain to you, at which point you can tell your mother pretty much the same thing.


Absolutely. I would be even shorter than that and play the broken record of "I only discuss my health with my doctor. Please stop," and tell your mom and your sister that you will hang up/leave the room/find some way to end the conversation right there. And if they won't shut up, do just that. They must know that every attempt at discussing the matter will mean the end of the conversation.  That's sad, but that's how you deal with unreasonable people.

Ladybugs

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #53 on: January 04, 2013, 12:29:07 AM »
Seven day,  I did actually do this, even though this diagnosis came about from three seperate medical professionals, just to be a bit gracious I did tell my sister I would double check with my doc about it, to make sure....he looked puzzled and said he didn't know where she was getting that, and reassured for the record I just have anxiety.
I guess in your case it sounds like the person had some personal experience with y syndrome health condition but in my sisters case, she hasn't had personal experience with it, its just sometng she came up with.  After I double checked with doc I let her know he said not to worry  that's not what it was. And she continued to persist on about it

I don't know it might be hard for her to know how to back track on this maybe she feels like since she stated it so firmly, she doesn't want to now look like she was incorrect....I could be wrong but it ight be hard for her to admit she may have been wrong

She sometimes tends to do this with other issues but those are usually harmless, albeit out of place. Fr example she told me her friend was wrong for trying homeschooling bc the kid according to her needed public school. She had gone to public school and it worked good, why would anyone want to homeschool kind of thing. I didn't know this friend of hers well and don't know if she gave advice to that friend on why she shouldn't homeschool or kept it to herself.
When our cousin had a baby she wondered why she didnt try to breast feed, and that everyone should try it etc but I don't think she actually told cousin this


scotcat60

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #54 on: January 04, 2013, 06:30:29 AM »
Thanks for the book. It makes a great door stop/prop for my rickety garden table/ seomething useful to stand on when reaching up to a shelf....

Coley

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #55 on: January 04, 2013, 08:33:26 AM »
I am sorry. My mother does this, her diagnosis of choice is clinical depression. One of her therapists once said something to the effect that it would be almost impossible to grow up with my mother as a parent and not develop clinical depression. My mother has taken this as proof and an official diagnosis of me, by a man I have never met.

My own therapist helped me to come up with a workable response. It was "Look, you can believe what you choose about my mental health. But this subject is now closed. You have made your concerns quite clear, I have heard them and addressed them as seems best to me. Any mention of my mental/psychological state going forward will end the conversation. I will hang up the phone/leave your home or any public place/escort you immediately to my front door. I know you don't like this, you don't have to like it. This is the way it will be."

POD this. OP, your family members don't have to like or agree with your diagnosis, and you don't have to continue explain it to them. My suggestion is to speak with your treatment team about how to address this with your family members. Take2's phrasing above could be a starting place.

In addition, I would point out that your sister is not licensed to practice medicine or therapy, which means she is operating outside the boundaries of her professional licensure. This could be perceived as a violation of her professional ethics.

(Edited to fix spelling error.)

Blondie

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #56 on: January 04, 2013, 08:47:21 AM »
Could this possibly be a case of family dynamics at work? Your sister has always been the smart one, the golden child, and you have always gone along with it, because up until now it wasn't really important to you. Well, now it is important (what's more important than your health?!?) and your sister and mother are upset and pushing back because this is not how the script reads to them. From past experience it should be:

Golden Child: You aren't anxious, you are bipolar!
You: Oh my, you are right! I am cured!

By not doing this, it throws them all off and they dig in their heels and insist that you MUST be bipolar! If you want to look at it from a somewhat twisted view, they are doing it because they are concerned about you and want you to be cured. You are just being stubborn and fighting it. In reality, we all know there is no cure, and it is hard work and you need support. But it is hard to see that in a family member, to know that there really isn't an end all, be all cure.

Now that is all a long way to get to- I don't think there is any amount of convincing them that will say otherwise. Just as there is no magic cure for you, there is no magic phrase for them. Were I you, I think I would sit each of them down alone and ask to not be interupted until you have said your peice. I would lay out for them that you are looking for

a. Support
b. To not be questioned about your medical health

If they are not able to do this, tell them that you will be cooling the relationship for as long as is necessary. Given the JADEing you have done on the board and that I suspect they are still expecting to badger you into believing it is true, I would calmly, rationally, explain to them the consequences of what they are doing to you. And then find some healthy space for yourself and ignore all chatter until they can act like adults and decide whether being a family or being right is more important to them.
"He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which." Douglas Adams

caz

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2013, 09:18:46 AM »
Thanks for all the input, its given me some helpful things to consider.....apparently some of you have been the subjects of relatives running around playing doctor also. It takes some amount of strength to seek treatment for a mental health issue and when a family member does this is makes it even more difficult. I was told by both doctors and my therapist that family support is key (actually its key to physical things too...when my dad had a heart attack we all supported his care and my mom made low fat meals etc.  But, as has been discussed here, you can't get support for something you don't have

Here is kind of a brief summing up of how I kind of see this

***   I didn't mind her initially telling me she thought maybe I have this ..although I wouldn't overstep another persons medical treatment in this way, I chose to assume the best, that she was just trying to offer a suggestion. I responded graciously and told her ok, I would ask doc about it. I did so and he clarified I have anxiety. From that point, all she should have done is offer support for it. To continue to insist this is manipulative imo.  I stopped discussing it with her although we continued to talk about other things. However she found a way "around" my not discussing it, by handing me a book on it. Like I said, she is smart.

**  you can't support someone for something they don't have. If she was a diabetic, and I was always telling her what she really needs is to have her gallbladder removed, that would not be helpful and imo would be completely out of place, ..harmful not helpful

**  since the dynamics between sis and mom is like this, it makes it impossible pretty much for mom to consider sis may be incorrect. She seems to have a need to see sis as infallible basically. I thought about bringing mom along with me to doc appointment but I feel like this would be an exercise in frustration, mom would go to apointment with a closed mind firmly believing sis is right. I can see my mom telling the doc something like I realize your a doctor, however my daughter is very bright and she's done some research. We think you might have missed this and feel Susie needs to be in treatment for bipolar..or some variation on this

** I wouldn't mind if she felt this way and mentioned it once or twice to me. However she has interjected herself into my treatment by continuing to tell our mom I'm bipolar. Tis has been to some degree harmful to me and causes me more anxiety. When I told my mom my doc would change my anxiety med, she said "IF that's what you have.....doctors don't know everything".  It was obvious she got this from sis, bc this is exactly what sis told me earlier. My mom also told me my anxiety group is a waste of time.....its hard enough to seek treatment without feeling alone like that. It seems like others in my group have their family support, boyfriend spurt etc but I don't

I'm in limbo how to reply to this gift. I wonder if I should be straight and tell her thank you but she knows its not my diagnosis so the book is irrelevant and ask why she didnt simply get a workbook on anxiety if she wanted to help. It seems its more important for her to be right than to support.  If I gave a heart patient a book on epilepsy, how would that help?

Catch 22 though, she says if I say I don't need it, that's a classic sign of it...denial

Ill think more aout this and see any other replies....thank you guys

Would you consider inviting them to come along anyway?  The therapist will see EXACTLY what you're dealing with and might be able to give you better advice on how to deal with them.  And, if they decline, you offered!  It's an hour maybe out of therapy, that you have to pay for, but it might be worth it?  And if your mom is like my mom, a lawyer trumps a doctor that she hasn't met, but a doctor always trumps a daughter (in this case, it might suck, but work in your favour?)

weeblewobble

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #58 on: January 04, 2013, 09:23:36 AM »
Give her a self-help book for diabetics? When she protests that she's not diabetic, tell her she's wrong and you know best?

Somehow I fear she still wouldn't get it.

Seriously, what does she want you to do?  Ignore your doctor's diagnosis, buy street meds to treat bipolar and wear some sort of badge that says, "My sister was right?"

This sounds way less about being concerned for you and more about wanting to control and embarrass you.  A self-help book for a diagnosis you don't have?  For Christmas?  Really?

And shame on your mom for going along with it.  I don't know if it would help for Mom or some other family member to go to the doctor for the "Ladybugs doesn't have bipolar" chat.  Because Sis would just repeat her 'Doctors make mistakes' mantra.  Arguing won't work because she's using the "but... but... but..." tactic, where she will return to the "but I know I'm right no matter what you say" position.

I would just ignore her.  Try to distance yourself from her and unsupportive mom, find new friends and supports, build Team You from the ground up.

magician5

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #59 on: January 04, 2013, 10:11:28 AM »
You have said that your doctor wants you to get support from your family. I'm sure your doctor will understand, when to mention this issue, that you gave it a good try and that the support won't be possible. Have to try something else.

It would have been good, but it's just not going to happen.

That helps "shut the door" on paying any attention at all to what your family says.
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