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Should I Write A "tell You Off" Letter To The Psychiatrist That Really Screwed Up My Life?


Denninmi

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Putting this in Therapy for lack of a better forum. This forum is about as close as there is at this site to a forum discussing doctors and quality of care.

Yes, in my opinion, the first Pdoc I saw was a total quack, misdiagnosed me, and set a chain of events in action that caused me far, far more problems than would have happened IF things had been done my way. I have felt very betrayed, hurt, and frankly, furious about all of this ever since it happened last year. This physician COMPLETELY ignored my wishes, and acted as if they didn't even "hear me". When I stated all of the reasons why the course of action this physician proposed would screw up my life beyond belief, they acted completely unconcerned, completely unsympathetic, and I feel very much forced into doing what I absolutely said I would NOT do literally within 2 minutes of setting foot in their office. If I had a soundtrack to my life in the past year, the title track would be 'Not Ready To Make Nice' by The Dixie Chicks.

I would LOVE to write a scathing letter to this person, just to let them know that, as a physician, I feel that they utterly failed me. Part of it IS my fault, for NOT checking this Dr. out thoroughly, just relying on a hospital referral site and making an appointment based mostly on convenience to where I work.

In fact, I have written several such letters, but never sent them. The "anniversary" of all of this is coming up, and I think it would be a perfect time to do it -- send this off into the ether, and feel like I've at least had my say and moved on.

But, is it appropriate? Is it psychologically healthy?

Should I?

Edited by Denninmi
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Denninmi:

I'm sorry you had a doctor that didn't listen to you and was unsympathetic. That is inexcusable on many levels.

I"ve wanted to write such letters. And it may be the right thing for you to do. My primary observation is that if this person is a poor doctor, unsympathetic, not really interested in what others have to say, then the letter isn't going to do much good.

What is it you'd like to have happen from the letter?

As others have often said, it is often best to write such letters, and then not send them.

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Denninmi, One of my therapists said something once that bothers to me to this day; however, it hasn't bothered me enough to write him. I think that IF you can't let this go, you should write him. I would take a few days away from the letter before sending it, though. If you phrase your letter as constructive criticism, I suppose there is hope it might get through to him.

From your post, it sounds like you're really hurt and that you continue to think about these "wrongs." I hope you can find a way through this and move on.

Have you gotten a new therapist? This could be a great time for you to make a "wish" list for the qualities you want your next therapist to have.

Good luck to you.

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Denninmi:

It sounds like it is important to you to be able to say the things that the doctor chose not to listen to before.

Having one's say is important, especially when it comes to one's health and wellbeing....

I'm sorry the doctor was so unhelpful.

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Thank you both for the responses.

pensiveone, this wasn't a therapist, just put this post in "Therapy" for lack of a better place on the forums. This was an M.D. psychiatrist. I actually have a therapist who is great, who I've seen on and off since .... wow, 1999! And, I found another M.D. psychiatrist last winter who is a night and day difference, great to deal with, very professional, very on top of her game, and really listens to my concerns.

Tim, it's OK. Well, it's not OK per se, but I'm a big boy, and I'm a lot tougher for this experience, physically and mentally. I guess as much as anything, this act of writing a scathing letter would give me some sense of closure, so I can really move on with the new, much more positive things in my life.

The entire experience was really rough on me, in a lot of ways. Work suffered, family thinks I've gone off the deep end, I took a big financial hit. Worst of all, it took my self esteem, which was already low, say a "3" on a 1 to 10 scale, to about a negative 157. But, as I said, I'm tough. I've been doing everything I know how to do to "heal". Working out, losing weight, trying new things - I took boxing lessons and swimming lessons, for example, which were cool. Making a lot of new friends, this pushed me out of my shell, so to speak. And generally looking forward to the future. I'm trying to think of a "master plan" for my life, seriously considering doing something I wanted to do in the past, which was get a masters degree in my field of employment so I can get a more lucrative job. So, I'm fighting back as hard as I can. And, it's working.

BTW, I meant to say "having my say" in the first response post -- I was posting from my iPhone with its tiny keyboard while running on a treadmill at the gym, so "my" got omitted.

Edited by Denninmi
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I sent a scathing letter - two, actually - a while back. It did not bring me closure.

I felt better for getting some anger out, though.

These kinds of letters are not miracle workers. And the shrink you send it too isn't going to care.

But your head might clear a little. Mine did. I ended up having to do more to get to a sense of inner peace, however.

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I do not think letters are ever a good idea because they are "records" and you never want to give a letter to someone who can put it in a file to use later against you.

My opinion.

Yeah, if I do this, I may have an attorney review for any potentially libelous statements, mail under his/her cover, and include a HIPPA request for my complete releasable records. Cost a few hundred bucks but would be so worth it. This circumstance wouldn't fit the standard of common law libel anyway, since the defamation must be knowingly false and made to a third party or parties.

My new psychiatrist is cool - she is the one who suggested I do a HIPPA request - said it would scare the crap out of the quack.

As far as having things used against me or made public or released, my entire medical record is highly radioactive as far as I am concerned. One if my biggest fears is people will somehow find out. I know putting my narrative online is risky, but I need the support of people who have been there. With medical records, at this time HIPPA is my containment vessel. I hope it is never breached. The Obama Admin is proposing relaxing HIPPA in regards to psychiatric records because of the mass shootings. I hope this never happens. It felt like open season on anyone with a MH diagnosis last year after the Sandy Hook tragedy.

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I sent a scathing letter - two, actually - a while back. It did not bring me closure.

I felt better for getting some anger out, though.

I can see how this applies to Denninmi.

The reason why you want to do this is because you are angry, and you internally "want" something from that Pdoc because you feel that they caused you a lot of problems. What you "want" is probably for them to understand the pain they have caused you.

But what really causes this? If you feel the need to take this step, it is because that person still has ownership over some part of your mind. And there is only 1 way to really find peace:

Forgive them.

And how do you do that? It takes a lot of time, maturity, and self-reflection. It's counterintuitive, but true. Once you forgive them, it is YOU who will be free.

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I write letters to people who hurt me all the time, but I don't send them. I think it's perfectly healthy to take the time to put your frustrations with someone into words. Just don't leave them where someone else can read them.

Now, if you do decide to send a letter, make sure that it's a fair and valid critque. Just state the facts about how they let you down. Edit it thoroughly. Don't give into emotion. Don't use inflammatory language. Tell them that you don't think they were really listening to you.

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