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Daisy Duke

Utterly Jaw-Dropping Visit To Gp

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Hi everyone

I went to visit one of the GP's at my surgery today as I have been struggling and thought I should go for some advice and support.

She asked me what had brought this on to which I replied I didn't know, nothing in particular. Having suffered from mental health issues since being a kid (I am now 38) I have learnt that this is just part of who I am.

She asked me about my past and what specifically was making me feel sad. So we spoke about that and I said that I try to help myself by eating healthily and exercising. I said that I was spiritual person and tried to treat people around me well and appreciate what I have. She then asked me if I believe in God and if I have asked Him for help?! She said we are all deeply spiritual beings and that if I dig deep and ask Him she felt sure He would answer me and I would get better!!

I decided to humour her to see how far she would go with this. She told me that animals are beings without a spirit that if they are mistreated when they are young it doesnt have a lasting effect as they have no spirit but we are spiritual beings.

I said I work, look after my family, my home etc and that I feel I cannot cope. She replied that we all have those things why can't I cope? That 18 hours a week to work isn't much. That if I don't go to work and sit around feeling sad it would let darkness into my spirit. That I need to count my blessing and go to work.

I asked her why do some doctors say about a chemical imbalance, she replied that if it were a chemical imbalance then the antidepressants would work.

I don't think this woman should actually be a doctor and I am very concerned that if a vulnerable person who isn't as knowledgeable as I am about mental health goes to her in a state of desperation they could end up in a dire situation.

After visiting her I wrote it all down and my mum and my husband both think I should report her. I don't want to get her in to trouble but I am concerned about people with mental illness that go to see her and get the same sort of reaction. She has made me doubt myself.

She basically implied that there is no such thing as mental illness that it is my spirit that I need to pray for. OMG. I am utterly gob-smacked that a GP could say the things that she said to me.

Advice on what you would do would be gratefully received. BTW this is the shortened version.

Thanks

Daisy Duke

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Hi Daisy,

Your doc really does seem strange, if not outright incompetent. She clearly has no understanding of what depression is. In other circumstances, it would be amusing, but she is in a position of dealing with and treating people who are in serious pain, and who may be at risk of hurting themselves, and that makes her more dangerous than amusing. You and I are both living proof that depression is real. While diet and exercise are good things, their influence is small compared to the chemical side of the equation, and your doc should know that.

As far as God helping you, I would never deny that He can do anything. I would never deny that He loves us and is there whether we feel it or not. But we humans have a tendency to limit God, and to restrict His answers to our prayers to those answers we find favorable. Pray to Him, yes, every day. Ask forgiveness, mercy, and grace. But don't expect Him to answer you in the way or in the time frame you expect- it usually doesn't work that way.

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What I think is dangerous is that the doctor said that if it were a chemical imbalance then the meds would work. I still haven't been able to stabilize on meds yet.....and I am certain that I have a chemical imbalance. Also, just thinking about hat doctor triggers me....I am so upset about it because my doctor is also incompetent.....and he says really dumb things and abusive things and I need a new doctor. My advice is to get a new doctor....

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Hi trustinginHimalone,

I agree that it was amusing in that OMG kind of way. I am spiritual, I do have faith but it's my faith and it may differ from hers. Not everyone's faith is the same. And yes if it were a young person who is vulnerable and on the edge of suicide they need someone to support them and tell them that they are not mad, that depression and mental illness is real and that there is help out there. She actually had me doubting myself!

Could you imagine if I was psychotic or paranoid.

I am not sure what to do about it.

Daisy

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What I think is dangerous is that the doctor said that if it were a chemical imbalance then the meds would work. I still haven't been able to stabilize on meds yet.....and I am certain that I have a chemical imbalance. Also, just thinking about hat doctor triggers me....I am so upset about it because my doctor is also incompetent.....and he says really dumb things and abusive things and I need a new doctor. My advice is to get a new doctor....

Hey DreamAgain,

I definately won't be seeing her again! I'm with you on this, I believe I have a chemical imbalance but am just not very successful with medication. I think it would be best for everyone who has a mental illness to just see a specialist in that field. GP's seem to get worse.

Daisy

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Wow, I can't believe your experience, even if it is the UK and the NHS! (I'm a fellow UK'er who's experienced the cr*pness of the NHS resources). Whilst a lot of GPs don't know a lot about depression, the advice and reaction you received is extremely prejudiced. It is also entirely unethical. And you're right, whilst you may think, hold on, this isn't right, for those who haven't had your "experience", I'm not sure what they leave thinking.

And to make you question it is just absurd. Yes some people arrive with a few life stresses etc. Does she not know your background etc? She clearly has extreme views on mental health, which unfortunately do not seem to be based on medical research. Which is what she is there to represent.

In terms of ways forward, are you going to see another GP? Do you have a psych? x

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Wow, I can't believe your experience, even if it is the UK and the NHS! (I'm a fellow UK'er who's experienced the cr*pness of the NHS resources). Whilst a lot of GPs don't know a lot about depression, the advice and reaction you received is extremely prejudiced. It is also entirely unethical. And you're right, whilst you may think, hold on, this isn't right, for those who haven't had your "experience", I'm not sure what they leave thinking.

And to make you question it is just absurd. Yes some people arrive with a few life stresses etc. Does she not know your background etc? She clearly has extreme views on mental health, which unfortunately do not seem to be based on medical research. Which is what she is there to represent.

In terms of ways forward, are you going to see another GP? Do you have a psych? x

Hi taj0112,

Well I am seeing my therapist next week, he's referring me to see the psychiatrist for a med review. I won't see that GP again but I saw her because she is the only one there that I have seen in the past. My favorite GP has left :verysad3: and gone to a different surgery.

I am in the opinion that she is a religious fanatic (?) which is dangerous being a GP. My therapist is religious and goes to church but he doesnt put his beliefs onto me, not ever. This GP today seemed to imply that depression is an illness of the spirit caused by he who lives below which is pretty worrying. It's very irresponsible of her and I feel I should contact the practice manager but then on the other hand - will I just be persecuted. Then when saying that I feel selfish thinking about being persecuted when some vulnerable person may go to her and end up to****g themselves.

Why are so many GPs so inhuman? I know - budgets, lack of time blah blah shame on them.

Daisy

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Hi Daisy,

I am very shocked by what was said to you. I suppose there are bad practitioners in every job and walk of life, but a doctor has so much power and influence when people are at their most vulnerable.

I am glad you reacted with anger to what was said, because I think that is the appropriate emotion here. There is NO excuse for what was said to you. You went and asked for help and you were badly let down.

(((( hugs)))

Meirionne

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I don't mean in any way to downplay what you experienced - I would be offended too, and I wouldn't go back to that GP.

But that's because of the stuff about God - because that's not the right solution for me, and I don't think someone should impose it on someone else. And I would consider reporting her for that too.

I take medication - but I do it warily, because from my research there really isn't any proof out there of the chemical imbalance theory (there isn't even a measurement of a chemical balance, as far as I understand it, so it's hard to know what an imbalance is!) Lots of very well respected doctors, psychiatrists, philosophers, and religious leaders over the ages have argued that depression is a disease of the spirit. And I think in many cases they're right, or at least partly - though not always.

Lots of people as well have argued that work makes people feel better - which is sometimes true as well, though not always. That said, it's definitely not sensitive to ask why you can't just do it - for some people who are depressed, 18 hours a week might as well be 80 hours a week!

I guess what I'm saying is that your GP probably was trying to be helpful, not inhuman - she probably felt she was doing you a service, particularly considering that medications haven't worked for you yet - though it wasn't necessarily the most sensitive or best way to help you particularly.

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Hmmm....I think people can have all different kinds of religious, moral etc beliefs, but they should remain firmly outside of the treatment room....I hope you perhaps can develop a relationship with a different GP fairly soon so you know you have that support at that level (since obviously the NHS don't have psych appointments on tap!)

x

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Hi everyone

I went to visit one of the GP's at my surgery today as I have been struggling and thought I should go for some advice and support.

She asked me what had brought this on to which I replied I didn't know, nothing in particular. Having suffered from mental health issues since being a kid (I am now 38) I have learnt that this is just part of who I am.

She asked me about my past and what specifically was making me feel sad. So we spoke about that and I said that I try to help myself by eating healthily and exercising. I said that I was spiritual person and tried to treat people around me well and appreciate what I have. She then asked me if I believe in God and if I have asked Him for help?! She said we are all deeply spiritual beings and that if I dig deep and ask Him she felt sure He would answer me and I would get better!!

I decided to humour her to see how far she would go with this. She told me that animals are beings without a spirit that if they are mistreated when they are young it doesnt have a lasting effect as they have no spirit but we are spiritual beings.

I said I work, look after my family, my home etc and that I feel I cannot cope. She replied that we all have those things why can't I cope? That 18 hours a week to work isn't much. That if I don't go to work and sit around feeling sad it would let darkness into my spirit. That I need to count my blessing and go to work.

I asked her why do some doctors say about a chemical imbalance, she replied that if it were a chemical imbalance then the antidepressants would work.

I don't think this woman should actually be a doctor and I am very concerned that if a vulnerable person who isn't as knowledgeable as I am about mental health goes to her in a state of desperation they could end up in a dire situation.

After visiting her I wrote it all down and my mum and my husband both think I should report her. I don't want to get her in to trouble but I am concerned about people with mental illness that go to see her and get the same sort of reaction. She has made me doubt myself.

She basically implied that there is no such thing as mental illness that it is my spirit that I need to pray for. OMG. I am utterly gob-smacked that a GP could say the things that she said to me.

Advice on what you would do would be gratefully received. BTW this is the shortened version.

Thanks

Daisy Duke

it sounds to me that she is a "christian" doctor; though i am christian myself i strongly believe that if the patient does not agree with this outlook it should not even be mention by the doc. yes i also agree that prayer is advised but again only and only if the patient agrees with it, if than out the door it goes. she should not have pressed her personal beliefs on you or any one else for that matter. on a side note i agree with her about animals not having any soul but we are not animals and need more than advice, we need meds too, ESPECIALLY since qenuine mental illness IS a chemical inbalance. just a thought: maybe you should get yourself another doctor, just saying.

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This is pretty shocking conduct from a healthcare professional. I wonder if she would give this same diagnosis if a patient came in with an infection or diabetes! Asking the patient if they are religous or spiritual is not a bad idea, lots of people find support in their beliefs and religious community. That said, to suggest that a spiritual failing is the direct cause or cure for mental illness is really irresponsible. She is not your priest but your doctor and should conduct herself as such.

This reminds me of an experience I had with a psychiatrist. I was referred by my GP and had never seen a mental health professional before. After our consultation she prescribed me medication which I was hesitant to take. Never having taken heavy medication before I wanted to make sure I tried all natural/lifestyle approaches before I resorted to medication. When she heard that she said and I quote "Oh, you're one of those". She then proceeded to explain that our body just breaks down materials so everything is actually "foreign" and that something like Diet Coke is synthetic too so really I shouldnt be worried about things being "natural". Still a little hesitant I asked her what would happen if I chose not to go right on medication but pursued other options. She told me that depression causes the death of brain cells and that maybe this was my first/second episode so I can still concentrate but that as I "inevitably" had my third and fourth I would lose more and more brain cells until I was unable to concentrate and process things.

Needless to say I really panicked. Luckily I had the sense to wait to fill the prescription until I had calmed down and thought it through. Looking back I cant believe that a mental health professional would say something like that! Diet coke compared to antidepressants?! Brain death?!! How incredibly insensitive. Depression is ******* your brain... its only a matter of time until you are unable to read a book or focus! Talk about the last thing an already unstable person needs to hear.

Anyways, Daisy I think you should consider either talking to the doctor or reporting her (I have no idea who you would report her to though). That definitely warrants a change in doctor though, you really dont need to be getting medical advice from someone who wants you to just "pray it away".

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I am surprised she didn't try and perform an exorcism on u then abducting there like i gave seen Some American churches perform in people who are obviously mentally ill and possesed by the devil.

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Angry Dad: churches in America don't really abduct people and perform exorcisms on them - it's just sensational television.

That said, Daisy Duke: your experience with this doctor was wrong on too many levels to properly enumerate. It was unprofessional, ignorant, and possibly harmful to your mental state if you had been more vulnerable. As far as what to do about it: I myself would be worried about being taken seriously with a complaint such as yours, even though completely justified. I have found that once a person (patient) is diagnosed with any mental condition, their concerns are treated as symptoms - hysteria or delusion, and I wouldn't want that to happen to you. Sadly, it sounds like she is the only option for a GP in your local doctor's office?

I don't see a GP at all, only a psychiatrist, but that's because I don't have insurance and can see whoever will take cash and give me a sliding scale. I am fortunate to have had 2 good ones who treat me with dignity and only offer spiritual messages if requested. I believe, and I believe in prayer and that prayers are answered, but also agree with another poster that the answers to prayers aren't always the one we want or expect. I generally don't ask God to cure me of depression, but to give me the strength and courage to face up to each day. I hope and pray that for us all.

Best of luck, let us know what you decide to do.

M of P

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Daisy Duke- madness. I would most definitely be writing a formal letter of complaint- and its not a personal attack, it's simply stating what you experienced when you went to see her- keep it factual, to the point. Also- with regards to prayer etc- yes god can help us, but he sends people, medicine, professional help, etc, as answers to our prayers! No quick magical fix, but a journey padded with support, if we are willing to accept it. There is no right or wrong way to treat depression, but hell, if it works- it works! All forms of medicine are here to help us!

Sorry, potentially going off on a tangent here, I'm passionate about this topic. xx

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I lived in England for a while too and I felt like the GP's there are very judgemental when it comes to mental illness. I used to get a lecture every time I went to get my prescription. Here in US it's never happened to me, but I know what you mean.

Run and find another doctor!

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In this situation i would fill my gp in on a long held belief of my own- to feel the need to believe in god is a mental weakness/ilness in itself.

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Interesting thing today a psychiatrist told me today one thing similar to what your doctor said is that some meds don't work because people do not have a chemical imbalance....

However, I think often the problem may be a combination of factors imbalance and trauma or condition. In my case I have always had some kind of depression/anxiety...seems to be connected to my analytical nature...Also I know I have some kind of chemical imbalance...at the very least tied to my chronic illness where, for example, with diabetes, when my blood sugar goes sky high it affects my emotions, and other abilities. Also, there may be a med that works and others that don't. There is no blanket answer. I guess we need to keep trying and trying to find a knowledgeable doctor that will work with us.

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Dear all,

Thank you all so much for your responses, I have read them all and they really help. That flippin woman did actually freak me out! I am going to report what she said to the practice I think, but not like in a rant but just in case this happens to someone vulnerable who goes to seek help and ends up in a right muddle. If I was psychotic or paranoid I could be in a right state now.

Thanks again

Daisy Duke

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Daisy Duke, you report her and do it immediately. She should not be spouting her beliefs to her patients! She holds a medical degree (or... does she?!!??) and the position calls for a medical solution. If you wanted spiritual advice you'd have gone to your spiritual leader/advisor... gah! I can't believe someone would abuse their position in this way!

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I'm coming late to this topic, but I wanted to say as a person who does not believe in god that if that had happened to me, I would have been highly offended. I think religious things like prayer and such should be confinded to ministers and priests. If you had wanted to be told this stuff you'd have gone to your church leader, not your GP!! I also agree with Lauryn that animals have as much spirit or personality as humans do.

This woman was totally off base! Let us know how it turns out!

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I was shocked to read this Daisy Duke, I am so glad you reported her :shocked:

Pets DO have souls :coopcray: What you said she said caused me to start shaking (not your fault Daisy Duke!) :hugs:

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