Someone asked me today what steps I had taken till I was referred to a psychiatrist. I realized in my reply that it has been quite the process. Here is the outline.
I” had gone to my family doctor last Fall and complained that I really felt my Effexor wasn’t helping me and given he wasn’t my original prescribing doctor, he admitted that he wasn’t sure why I was on them, other than he knew I was and just kept me on them. When I told him I wanted off of them, I also told him the diagnosis that a different psychiatrist had given (and he has a copy of) of Borderline Personality Disorder, he realized it was better for me to be seen by a psychiatrist so I could get a thorough diagnosis and have my medication checked. I had to wait about 3 to 4 months and have now seen him 3 times now. In my case, it has worked out very well.
I have taught myself that the only one who will look after me, is me; no one else. That it is up to me to seek the treatment I deserve to have, because I do not want to live like this anymore.
Since I have been back to Vancouver, it has taken me 3 1/2 years to get this far, but it has taken continuous work, seeking help with a mental health worker who helped me a ton, she suggested the walk in mood disorder clinic to see the psychiatrist who got the ball rolling with my diagnosis of BPD. From there, I went back to the mental health worker, and worked with her and getting into rapid access group therapy. I did 8 weeks of group therapy there once a week.
From there I got a referral to Group Therapy Services at the hospital and for the next 18 months, I did every program in the sequence, one of which went for 30 weeks.
From there, I went and conversed with the therapist who oversaw my file. We talked about options and how I would have to take about a 6 month break because it is not healthy to continue for long long periods (I disagree but that’s me).
Combined with her and back to Mental Health, it was determined I would benefit from an Interpersonal Group at the hospital. I started that program in April of this year. I am in this program for 16 weeks.
I have also considered alternative health and have been working with a naturopath regarding diet and nutrition. I’ve worked at trying to incorporate exercise into my routine, and have struggled with that, due to a history with an eating disorder and excessive exercising.
To anyone seeking further support other than just their family physician, have a heart to heart with your doctor. Be honest, tell him/her what your symptoms are, that you are nervous to be open with him/her because you are afraid you won’t be taken seriously. It is true that we have to be our own advocate.
Failing all the above, there are advocates who will help you~ I know this first hand and yes, they have helped me in the past.