Author Topic: Playing doctor? How to respond..  (Read 14272 times)

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DottyG

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #105 on: January 05, 2013, 06:06:23 PM »
I'm speaking to the general population - not in response, specifically, to anything you said.

It was something that was an addition to my previous thought. I merely made it into a new post rather that editing my other one, since it could get lost in the flow there.


DottyG

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #106 on: January 05, 2013, 06:09:35 PM »
And I think you and I agree on the end result of showing the sister it doesn't bother her. We just have a different road to getting there.


Iris

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #107 on: January 05, 2013, 08:54:13 PM »
I'm coming late to this thread because I thought it was a less serious situation than it seems it is.

My angle: One of my DDs was diagnosed with a mental illness. I discovered as a result of this that everybody in the whole world thinks they know how to treat mental illness, and that they all have an infallible 'quick fix'. I also learnt that it is one of those things that people want to Just Go Away and so they will get antsy and decide that the doctors are 'no good' if the patient has not made a full recovery in a few weeks/months. Fortunately for my DD, this was all filtered through me. As it was, standing guard/gatekeeper for her in this particular aspect of things meant that *I* was almost driven to distraction. Note that this was all from people who love me, and her, devotedly.

I am honestly feeling genuinely horrified to think that you might be going through even a half of the pressure that I was exposed to on her behalf, without having someone to advocate for you. Please, don't give your sister, or your mother, even a millimetre of ground. Don't say thank you or anything positive about the gift. This is all happening because they want your problem to 'go away' so that THEY can feel better. The doctors aren't fixing you fast enough for *them*.

In the end, I flat out said to the people that I needed support from "I know you think you are helping, but you are not. DD is in the care of experienced medical professionals. Mental illness is complicated and takes a long time to recover from/control. You need to either back the h-e-double l off or just don't discuss it with me anymore. This doesn't help." There was a slight extinction burst where I would occasionally have to repeat "This doesn't help. Stop now." before people either listened and started being PROPERLY supportive or simply went away.

For the love of all that is holy, PLEASE don't thank your sister for the book. She needs to grow up and get over her insecurities. This is about YOU, not her, and she can either deal with it or get out of Dodge. At the moment she is being really, really selfish and she doesn't deserve your consideration.

Please feel free to PM me anytime.
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mmswm

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #108 on: January 05, 2013, 09:16:03 PM »
To above poster ,they do soumd similar..once they get an idea about somthing it lives forever. I wish I could lay the whole bp thing to rest, hire a minister to give a eulogy and wish it eternal.peace...bp, rest in peace lol complete with grievers like my mom in mourning over having to put bp to its final rest...candles, a eulogy etc.         

A good friend of mine once suggested to me, when I was having a very difficult time with something, that I should throw myself a "pity party".  A pity party is a real party with just myself or one good friend.  I brew myself a pot of my favorite coffee, dig out a pint of my favorite ice cream and then sit on the couch, eating the ice cream straight from the container, drinking my coffee and feel sorry for myself.  The trick here, is to realize that just like a real party, a pity party has a definite start and end time. Once my 45 minutes or hour (depending on how bad things are) is up, the party is over, and I can't feel sorry for myself anymore.  It's been a very therapeutic method for me; far better than anything else I've tried.  I shared my "pity party" method with my therapist (I've been fighting major depression and mild anxiety for most of my life), and he thought it was great.  Maybe you can throw yourself a pity party to mourn the loss of the support you aren't getting from your birth family.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

DottyG

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #109 on: January 05, 2013, 09:38:52 PM »
mmswm, what a cool idea! I could do Worry Parties - that's my thing I deal with.

Thanks for sharing that. :)


Take2

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #110 on: January 05, 2013, 09:55:58 PM »
OP, the thing I had to realize for my method to work is that it doesn't matter how my mother responds. She can scream and cry, she can argue, she can dance a jig, she can bake me a cake. And if her response is within the parameters I have set, I continue to interact with her. If her response is outside those parameters, I can hang up or walk away or escort her to the door. I don't owe her an engaging response to her rude and hurtful behavior.

Also, it is not surprising that my mother diagnoses my young children with depression. She has also diagnosed her own grandmother, posthumously, with bipolar. She has diagnosed friends of mine with depression, just based on a story I told her and without meeting them in person. She once got in serious trouble for diagnosing one of the doctors at the hospital she worked at as a recovering alcoholic.

However, I think it is important to note that this is not maliciousness on my mother's part, and may not be on your sister's part, either. It is rude and presumptuous to diagnose a family member and nag them about it, particularly when you lack the credentials to diagnose anyone. It is not less rude when done out of misguided concern rather than malice or an attempt to be unkind, but I think it needs to be addressed differently. The sorts of responses that would show a showboating relative that it wasn't working such that they would drop it won't work if the relative genuinely believes her rude behavior is crucial to the well-being of a loved one.

Ladybugs

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #111 on: January 05, 2013, 11:06:43 PM »
Takr2,
Wow, that is aLOT of playing doctor.....you, your daughter, your grandma in the afterlife, (at least she was spared this ) your friends and a doctor at a hospital
Does she have other recommendations for others, such as telling them what kind of food to eat, what they need to do for exercise, home remedies, education, etc or does she specialize in medical diagnosis?

Can you briefly remind me of what the interaction was with you, was it her diagnosing you with depression?   


Ladybugs

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #112 on: January 05, 2013, 11:08:35 PM »
Iris,

I'm really glad you posted here....your post helps me more than you may know,

cicero

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #113 on: January 06, 2013, 02:47:28 AM »


A good friend of mine once suggested to me, when I was having a very difficult time with
something, that I should throw myself a "pity party".  A pity party is a real party with just myself or one good friend.  I brew myself a pot of my favorite coffee, dig out a pint of my favorite ice cream and then sit on the couch, eating the ice cream straight from the container, drinking my coffee and feel sorry for myself.  The trick here, is to realize that just like a real party, a pity party has a definite start and end time. Once my 45 minutes or hour (depending on how bad things are) is up, the party is over, and I can't feel sorry for myself anymore.  It's been a very therapeutic method for me; far better than anything else I've tried.  I shared my "pity party" method with my therapist (I've been fighting major depression and mild anxiety for most of my life), and he thought it was great.  Maybe you can throw yourself a pity party to mourn the loss of the support you aren't getting from your birth family.

I am *so* stealing this idea!

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vinyl

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #114 on: January 06, 2013, 05:11:11 AM »

I am honestly feeling genuinely horrified to think that you might be going through even a half of the pressure that I was exposed to on her behalf, without having someone to advocate for you. Please, don't give your sister, or your mother, even a millimetre of ground. Don't say thank you or anything positive about the gift. This is all happening because they want your problem to 'go away' so that THEY can feel better. The doctors aren't fixing you fast enough for *them*.

I think this is a really good point.
My perception may be really skewed because of both my personal experience but I also would be extremely concerned that;
a) your sister is suggesting that you have a mental illness that over a lifetime can be exceedingly debilitating, very difficult to treat and has a much higher mortality rate and negative health impacts that an anxiety disorder; and
b) that neither your mother nor your sister are aware that denial is a symptom of the human condition - it is not a symptom on which any mood disorder would be diagnosed.
Also, I don't know if this will reassure you, but symptoms can overlap across mental illnesses which contributes to the complexity of diagnosis and which is also why people study for years to accurately diagnose.
You clearly have some pretty good medical/theraputic support (and your anxiety support group if you choose to attend) and you seem to be working really hard to manage your anxiety. I know you probably feel really sad/bad that the people you need support from are not capable of providing you with it, but think that you can probably find other people who will fill that role and won't constantly undermine you.
Good luck, I hope that your mum and sister come to their senses. 

laceandbits

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #115 on: January 06, 2013, 10:10:08 AM »
Throw the book in the bin, tell her you read it and say thank you soooo much for buying it for me as it has comfirmed that I definitely don't have bi-polar.  I share a very few superficial symptoms of the depressive stage but none at of of the manic.  I am soooooo grateful to you.

BarensMom

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #116 on: January 06, 2013, 10:50:10 AM »
Throw the book in the bin, tell her you read it and say thank you soooo much for buying it for me as it has comfirmed that I definitely don't have bi-polar.  I share a very few superficial symptoms of the depressive stage but none at of of the manic.  I am soooooo grateful to you.

I know this is meant to be sarcastic, but I think any mention that OP even read the book or did anything other than toss it would be validation for her sister.  At this point, I think radio silence is the appropriate response.

Kiara

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #117 on: January 06, 2013, 11:13:25 AM »

I am honestly feeling genuinely horrified to think that you might be going through even a half of the pressure that I was exposed to on her behalf, without having someone to advocate for you. Please, don't give your sister, or your mother, even a millimetre of ground. Don't say thank you or anything positive about the gift. This is all happening because they want your problem to 'go away' so that THEY can feel better. The doctors aren't fixing you fast enough for *them*.

I think this is a really good point.
My perception may be really skewed because of both my personal experience but I also would be extremely concerned that;
a) your sister is suggesting that you have a mental illness that over a lifetime can be exceedingly debilitating, very difficult to treat and has a much higher mortality rate and negative health impacts that an anxiety disorder; and
b) that neither your mother nor your sister are aware that denial is a symptom of the human condition - it is not a symptom on which any mood disorder would be diagnosed.
Also, I don't know if this will reassure you, but symptoms can overlap across mental illnesses which contributes to the complexity of diagnosis and which is also why people study for years to accurately diagnose.

This.  I've been struggling to figure out how to reply to this thread.  Full disclosure:  I'm on the bipolar spectrum.  I'm one of the lucky ones in that I've been successfully treated/managed for over ten years with it.  Psych illnesses are tricky things.  I've been diagnosed wrong, and I've had fits and starts with treatment, but what was going on was for my doctor and I to decide.  My family only got involved when I was so out of it I couldn't make my own decisions.  Symptoms fit multiple categories, what can be diagnosed changes....there's a reason my first psych always said psych diagnosis was more of an art than a science.

However, all this DOESN'T mean your mom and sister get to tell you what you have.  Another example: my best friend is officially diagnosed with anxiety.  I personally think she has some other issues too, just from knowing her so long and my own knowledge of psych stuff.  However, I would never DREAM of telling her that her doctors were wrong.  What purpose does that serve, you know?  My job is to be supportive.  If I saw her getting worse, I might say something gently, like "Maybe you should look for something else going on?"  But she's not worse, and I don't get the sense from your posts that you are either, OP.  (I'll also admit to wondering what in God's name your sister sees to make her think you're bipolar.  That and anxiety are pretty far apart.  Yeesh.)

Family can be supportive.  I think in a perfect world, they should be.  But they're not always.  Mine were supportive.  My father's weren't.  And when they're not, you need to accept that they can't be what you need, and get that support somewhere else.  And all you can, and should say to your family is "My doctor and I have this covered."  Repeat it, and refuse to discuss it further.  It's none of their business.

I wish you all the best.  My PM box is open if you need or want it.  :)

wolfie

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #118 on: January 06, 2013, 07:15:05 PM »
Personally I think you should cut down on your contact with your mother and sister. They are not helping you and it seems like they are making your condition worse. I really don't like telling people to completely cut off other people but in this case I would give it serious consideration. It seems like you really want their support - but you are not going to get it. They don't want to give it to you and there is nothing you can say or do that can change that. I would suggest talking to your doctor about where else you can find support and leaving the room/hanging up/go home whenever they bring up the bi-polar thing and tell them you refuse to discuss it.

Do you know why your sister insists you are bi-polar? Is it possible to refute those points? I don't know most of the symptoms so if one of them (that you supposedly have) is that you see purple elephants can you tell her you have never seen one? Or will she not believe you? I do think that you shouldn't discuss it with her, but if you think pointing out why she is wrong might help then it is worth a shot. 

mmswm

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Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
« Reply #119 on: January 06, 2013, 07:19:55 PM »
Dotty and Cicero, feel free to steal!  I think it's a wonderful technique to deal with the "downs" of life.  You give yourself permission to say "you know what?  This sucks.  And it's okay that I feel rotten for a little bit, but I have to move on."  Validating the stinkiness of a given situation really helps in dealing with it. 
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)