Author Topic: Playing doctor? How to respond..  (Read 15115 times)

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DottyG

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #75 on: January 04, 2013, 07:17:09 PM »
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I think I will probably tell her "thanks, I asked my therapist and she said even though its mainly written for bipolar, there are some useful tidbits I can apply to my own condition, like meditation is good for anyone..I was glad that even though its for bipolar some parts if it can still be applied to anxiety...

Why would you validate what she did in this way?  All you're doing is showing her that you have no boundaries at all and she's free to do or say whatever she likes without your doing anything about it.  You don't have to be rude to her, but absolutely do not destroy any kind of possible boundary you could put up for yourself.

It sounds like you might benefit from some training in how to be assertive.  Notice that I said assertive and not aggressive - those are completely different things.  Talk to your therapist about this; you seem to be having some difficulty in that area.


DottyG

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #76 on: January 04, 2013, 07:19:24 PM »
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I could just mention that even if I do have it, I can't fnd a doctor willing to treat me for it, so ill have to muddle thru

I just noticed this follow up post.  Please do not do this.  I'm very concerned that you have even considered this as a possibility.

Edited to change my "kinda concerned" to a "very concerned" - the more I think about it, the more I'm scared that you'd actually do something like this.  You need to find the doctor that YOU think is treating you in the best way for your health.  You are, I presume, an adult.  That means that you, alone, get to decide who works with you in your healthcare issues.  You do not want to open this up to their trying to find a doctor that agrees with them regardless of what's best for you.  Can I ask how old you are?  Are you out of the house, or are you still living there with them?  That might be a key point as to how to deal with them - what someone who's living there does may be tweaked somewhat for someone who isn't.
 
 
 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 07:26:13 PM by DottyG »

judecat

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #77 on: January 04, 2013, 07:21:29 PM »


I could say in the most sincere way "I know your probably right about this now..I have seen the light...but the problem is my doctor refuses to treat me for it...he insists I just have anxiety. I asked my therapist too and she won't treat me for it either. I don't know what to do bc it looks like even if I have it, I can't find a doctor willing to treat me for it.....ill have to muddle through somehow and maybe someday ill find a doctor who knows as much as you do sis  :)

Ok, I wouldn't be quite that sarcastic...but I could just mention that even if I do have it, I can't fnd a doctor willing to treat me for it, so ill have to muddle thru

I don't think this is a good idea,  because that will just lead to your sister,  or mother to decide to "help" you find a doctor who will treat you for bi-polar. There are people who seem to "shop" for a doctor who will treat them for what they think they have instead of what they actually have.

BarensMom

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #78 on: January 04, 2013, 09:59:12 PM »
Do not give your sister any validation or ammunition by saying you even read the book or found any part of it helpful.  Do not mention it to her or your mother EVER, unless it is to say, "It didn't pertain and was of no use to me, so I got rid of it."  Stop sharing any information with them - if they ask, you're fine, you're okay, you're doing good, then stop.  Respond to any question about your condition or its treatment with "I'm fine."

You need to discuss this situation with your therapist for ways in dealing with your know-it-all sister and mother.  This should be part of your treatment.  I'd be willing to bet a buck that a lot of your anxiety disorder is a cumulative effect of dealing with those two over the years.  If you're able to learn how to ignore or shut them down, it can only help you.

As for support, there are groups that your doctors/therapist can put you in touch with.  There are also crisis phone lines for extreme situations or, in some places, "call a friend" lines.  I have utilized them all when I've been in a downswing.  Sometimes talking to a unknown friendly stranger on the phone is better - if they don't know who you are, they can't throw it in your face later like a family member can.

Is your sister communicating misinformation about your condition to others beside your mother?  If so, I think that could constitute "slander."  I think if you say that word to your sister, it may have the desired effect.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 10:13:36 PM by BarensMom »

Starchasm

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #79 on: January 04, 2013, 10:02:30 PM »
Honestly, I'm with the person who suggested saying (if asked) "Why yes, I thought the book was fascinating!  I never realized how totally different anxiety and bipolar disorders were!  I'm more convinced than ever that I am not bipolar, nothing in that book was familiar at all."

Honestly, what does your sister expect you to do with her "diagnosis".  You got a second AND THIRD opinion and they all agree!  Sure, doctors sometimes make mistakes, but it's very rare that three will make the same mistake in tandem. 

(I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that she doesn't practice personal injury, workers' comp or any other type of medical-related law because three medical professionals agreeing on something is pretty darn rare.  And I say this as an attorney that handles a lot of medical cases  :P )

mbbored

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #80 on: January 04, 2013, 11:41:16 PM »
OP, you've mentioned that your doctor encouraged you to get family support. Perhaps you should start to think of people who are like family, or family by choice as opposed to family by birth. The important part is to get support, and if your birth family isn't offering that, then you need to look else where.

zyrs

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #81 on: January 05, 2013, 12:31:25 PM »
I didn't read this thread until it hit 6 pages, because I assumed it was about how to politely handle finding your child playing doctor with a neighbor child.

OP, the best way to handle the gift of the book would be to write a thank you note.

"Thank you for the gift of 'book title'.  It was interesting."

As far as your family's present lack of support - I don't think there is any magic phrase or statement that is going to fix the situation with your mom or your sister.  Good advice has been given by many posters on no longer discussing your treatment with either of them.  If the subject comes up the best solution is to bean-dip.

You asked earlier what bean-dipping is.  Bean-dipping is politely changing the subject in order to protect the other person from continuing to be rude. 

for example:

Your sister: "When will you admit to me that I am right about your having bi-polar disorder?"
You:  "I am happy with the medical professionals I am seeing.  Here, would you like some bean dip?"

Your sister: "When will you admit to me that I am right about your having bi-polar disorder?"
You: "I am happy with the medical professionals I am seeing.  Hows about that local sports team?"

Your sister: "When will you admit to me that I am right about your having bi-polar disorder?"
You: "I am happy with the medical professionals I am seeing.  Kittens are cute, aren't they?"

Your sister: "When will you admit to me that I am right about your having bi-polar disorder?"
You: "I am happy with the medical professionals I am seeing.  So, what did you think of last night's TV special?"
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 12:33:11 PM by zyrs »

Ladybugs

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #82 on: January 05, 2013, 01:50:34 PM »
Take2,

Oh dear, I feel for ya on that one...now she is diagnosing your daughter?  It sounds like you handle it really well...when you try to divert her does she get angry as in "did you hear what I said"  or does she basically back off?

I hope she doesn't start now telling to your daughter " grandma thinks you have depression", hopefully she at least won't say it directly to her.




Ladybugs

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #83 on: January 05, 2013, 02:05:41 PM »
Zyrs,

That alot of bean dip, and I like bean dip...I guess I tried some of that last year with her, I didn't know it was called bean dipping but I tried some of it I guess when she would start in on how she knows it and wants to steer me to the light basically, I tried to step out of the conversation with some variation of "I have a really good doctor,..he's treating me for anxiety...did you see that new movie?"   But she didnt take the bean dip offered.  :-\.  She would ask me why did you change the subject?  Several times she said how I'm doing that bc I "can't bear to hear the truth, and denial is a classic symptom

She seems to be somewhat immune to beandip

Do people generally "take" the beandip?   In my case, she points it out "your changing the subject, I know its bc its u comfortable for you to hear this,but I'm telling you bc I care.....Susie, Susie, denial is a classic symptom. Your only proving it more that you have it by being defensive about it

I tried to disengage with her and for months she didnt bring it up again, she might have been preoccupied with other things, or not sure, but in any case months went by and no word was said of it....I was starting to think it was bc she finally relented, whether or not she agreed. But then the issue was like I said brought up again when she handed me this book.

I think I will send her a card saying its an interesting book, I was able to find a few tidbits such as relaxation that could be useful even for those without bipolar

LeveeWoman

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #84 on: January 05, 2013, 02:17:40 PM »
Zyrs,

That alot of bean dip, and I like bean dip...I guess I tried some of that last year with her, I didn't know it was called bean dipping but I tried some of it I guess when she would start in on how she knows it and wants to steer me to the light basically, I tried to step out of the conversation with some variation of "I have a really good doctor,..he's treating me for anxiety...did you see that new movie?"   But she didnt take the bean dip offered.  :-\.  She would ask me why did you change the subject?  Several times she said how I'm doing that bc I "can't bear to hear the truth, and denial is a classic symptom

She seems to be somewhat immune to beandip

Do people generally "take" the beandip?   In my case, she points it out "your changing the subject, I know its bc its u comfortable for you to hear this,but I'm telling you bc I care.....Susie, Susie, denial is a classic symptom. Your only proving it more that you have it by being defensive about it

I tried to disengage with her and for months she didnt bring it up again, she might have been preoccupied with other things, or not sure, but in any case months went by and no word was said of it....I was starting to think it was bc she finally relented, whether or not she agreed. But then the issue was like I said brought up again when she handed me this book.

I think I will send her a card saying its an interesting book, I was able to find a few tidbits such as relaxation that could be useful even for those without bipolar


As others have suggested, won't she just use that as justification that she's right and you're wrong?

cicero

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #85 on: January 05, 2013, 02:18:31 PM »
Zyrs,

That alot of bean dip, and I like bean dip...I guess I tried some of that last year with her, I didn't know it was called bean dipping but I tried some of it I guess when she would start in on how she knows it and wants to steer me to the light basically, I tried to step out of the conversation with some variation of "I have a really good doctor,..he's treating me for anxiety...did you see that new movie?"   But she didnt take the bean dip offered.  :-\.  She would ask me why did you change the subject?  Several times she said how I'm doing that bc I "can't bear to hear the truth, and denial is a classic symptom

She seems to be somewhat immune to beandip

Do people generally "take" the beandip?   In my case, she points it out "your changing the subject, I know its bc its u comfortable for you to hear this,but I'm telling you bc I care.....Susie, Susie, denial is a classic symptom. Your only proving it more that you have it by being defensive about it

I tried to disengage with her and for months she didnt bring it up again, she might have been preoccupied with other things, or not sure, but in any case months went by and no word was said of it....I was starting to think it was bc she finally relented, whether or not she agreed. But then the issue was like I said brought up again when she handed me this book.

I think I will send her a card saying its an interesting book, I was able to find a few tidbits such as relaxation that could be useful even for those without bipolar
ladybug you got a lot of really good advice but you seem stuck on trying to hold on to this relationship with yoru sister and mother.

bean dip isn't about the other person "taking it". it's about *you* setting a boundary and *you* not crossing it. she can talk all she wants about your problems - but you do't have to be part of that "dialogue". (or lecture). so what you do with bean dip is keep "offering it":
sister: ladybug i read this thing on the internet and i did this test for you and you have bi polar.
ladybug: I don't want to discuss this. did you see the christmas episode of TBBT? that jingle bells had me cracking up
sister: but you have to listen to me---
ladybug: I don't want to discuss this. so they had sheldon, howard and that guy from the comic book store ---
sister: you know, the first sign of bi polar is---
ladybug: Oh is that the time? i have to go. bye now

as for the book - i wouldn't do that. your sister was very mean to give you that. it's not as you said upthread, as if someone gave an overweight person a diet book. it's as if someone had cancer and was on chemotherapy and losing a lot of weight and someone gave them a self help book on anorexia.

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SPuck

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #86 on: January 05, 2013, 02:23:23 PM »
I think I will send her a card saying its an interesting book, I was able to find a few tidbits such as relaxation that could be useful even for those without bipolar

Ladybugs, there is nothing in etiquette that says you have to say thank you to every gift given, especially when there is an agenda behind it. Your not thankful for it, so you don't have the say you are. There is a difference between being cordial and being run over by ::) well meaning :P relatives. 

Ladybugs

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #87 on: January 05, 2013, 02:51:06 PM »
Dotty and judecat

Very good point, I'm not gonna do that, bc I think they will run with that and offer to find some doctor somewhere who will treat me for bipolar.  I hadn't thought of that, I was thinking if I said my doctor refuses to treat me for it, they'd back off but I think They would go doctor shopping

I think the only way for me to deal with it is to sadly not look to them for support, kind of a lonely thing to have a medical condition you can't talk to your own family about but bc of the golden child dynamic involved, nothing will help my mom to even consider sis is incorrect.  She will take her opinion as more weighty than that of any doctor. One thing a while back she said about my doctor was he doesnt know everything (my thought is who does know "everything" but he does know medicine) really grated on my nerves but I bit my tongue and stepped out of the phone call bc I knew any attempt I made to call her on it would be a pure exercise in head banging frustration
For the first couple yrs my mom was supportive but that changed last year when sis got this idea and like I said she didn't just offer it as a possibility, she preaches it as gospel truth and anyone who doesn't see the light such as me or my doctor,she explains away. In my case I don't see the light bc I'm in denial,aha, one of the symptoms. In my doctors case, she explains this by a blanket well doctors don't know everything, and he must not be a good doctor.
I am trying to resign myself to the idea of not realy beng able to have their understanding as I continue to manage this illness. 
I thought of the idea of mailing them my official diagnosis from the two docs and therapist..
Maybe I should just skip that though, why should I have to justify or prove to them anything. The whole dynamic of this is the golden child thing. If anyone's experienced that a parent elevates one child to godlike status and becomes an expert on basically anything even if its unrelated to their field

I'm gonna talk to my therapist about possible ways I can feel some support in this but I know it isn't the same as family
 I guess somehow I have to start letting go of the idea in my mind ofmgetting support from them

zyrs

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #88 on: January 05, 2013, 03:11:47 PM »
Ladybugs;

You totally have the right to set boundaries with your sister as to what is and isn't an appropriate topic for her to discuss with you.  That is what bean-dipping is for.  It is you politely setting a boundary that you are not going to discuss a subject.  If the person continues to try and force the subject the next step is to politely remove yourself from the situation.

This can be ending the phone conversation by saying; "Oh look at the time!  Got to go!" and hanging up the phone; ending the visit by saying; " Oh, look at the time!  I must be going, I have errands to run." then getting your things and leaving, or ending their visit by saying; "Oh look at the time, I have to go, I have errands to run." then getting their things and showing them the door.

In my case, I practiced these techniques with my therapist until I could do them. 

AmethystAnne

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #89 on: January 05, 2013, 03:13:13 PM »

<snip>

as for the book - i wouldn't do that. your sister was very mean to give you that. it's not as you said upthread, as if someone gave an overweight person a diet book. it's as if someone had cancer and was on chemotherapy and losing a lot of weight and someone gave them a self help book on anorexia.

And  probably add bulimia because of the vomiting.


OP, my Dad is like your sister. Once he gets an idea, that's it forever. We used to get into discussions when I was in my late teens/ early 20's about things I researched, and everything I said was not right. I used to think that if  I got an M.A. and Ph.D in something, and went onto practice for 20 years, I would still be wrong if it differed from my father's opinion. Eventually I gave up expressing my opinion, and just kept my opinions to myself, and found other people for support.