A New Reality? Talking with my Psychiatrist on the Phone

Is This Our New Reality?

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I know that right now, everything is different than the start of the year. Things change when there is a global pandemic that is continually changing our lives. COVID-19 is the new reality where most jobs are at home in front of the computer or on the phone.

I am all for social distancing, sheltering in place, and working from home because COVID-19 does not play around. I am and have been since 2007, in the adult system of care in my local county in California. All psychiatrists and therapists for the county are now working at home. I am okay with the process, but no much how it is going.

I had plans in March when California went to “shelter in place” to reduce my Seroquel. I know I have talked recently before about this issue, but my doctor’s recent refusal to change any medications when they are unable to meet in person baffles me. In my last appointment on Thursday of last week, I got into an argument about the reasoning. I need to make this change. (Note: Never make a medication change without your doctor’s permission or knowledge; it can be dangerous.) I understood her point of view, but I felt that my side was not taken into account. 

I felt that my voice was useless, and this is common when you are part of the “system of mental health.” I get it. I am a veteran in this world. If this is going to be the new normal, then they need to get with the times. I can meet with anyone visually, so why can’t the county adjust. If this goes until let us say summer, I will be dealing with this issue of wanting to lower my dose. I guess I will have to see where things go from here. I would like to hear your stories. Anyone else having these issues? Stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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11 Replies to “A New Reality? Talking with my Psychiatrist on the Phone”

  1. Good for you James, being your own advocate is a really important part of navigating your own mental health. I have successfully changed, lowered and was eventually ready to get off of all my medications completely. I understand that everybody’s case is different and I was dealing with a misdiagnosis for awhile. Once my therapist and I worked through that and I underwent many EMDR sessions, a lot of my symptoms went away. I was on psychiatric medication for almost fifteen years and it helped me greatly in the acute phases of my healing. My partner just recently completed an inpatient stay for this exact reason. His medications needed an overhaul after 3 yrs of maintaining on the same ones. His situation had a lot more to do with health coverage and covering the prescription expenses since he had been in a long waiting period for SSDI. He was forced into going on and off medications due to our financial strain. It all worked out in the end and I know he is pleased with the care he received while starting a new medication while being watched so closely as an inpatient. He brought himself into the emergency room and for him that is huge! So much of his experience revolved around denial of his conditions and therefore he wasn’t committed to keeping himself in any kind of routine. I could see the difference immediately once he was back home here.
    When I was first seeking help in 2003, my doctor at the time compared finding the right medication for me like throwing darts at a dart board. It takes a few trials to hit the bullseye. Our bodies to change and adapt differently, etc. I wish you nothing but the best as you navigate your own path with medications and using telehealth. Thankfully with this current situation we all find ourselves in, technology can bridge the gap of office visits. We just started using it here too. Many blessings and continued good health my friend 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. It helps to show how things can change and that people can get off medication as you did. I applaud your story and the story of your partner. I wish him luck.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Much appreciated my friend!! Thank you for your support. I believe that’s what we need yo keep doing is advocating for ourselves and supporting one another. It takes a village😉🙏

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  2. This is a tough one isn’t it … I’m guessing that they’re needing to cover themselves in case there’s a downward spiral and there’s no way of physically seeing you. Tricky huh. I don’t have any answers but I’m sending you my very best wishes that soon this will all be over and life can return a little bit back to normal and you can see them in person. 💕💕 Katie

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    1. It does have a lot to do with covering themselves and I understand it at a level. But I am not new to the changing medication and I have always been open with my psychiatrists since 2010. I have a good history. It is very tricky because I understand and yet still I am left frustrated with the process and the fact that it could be a while before this happens. Thank you for reading my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tough call. I get that the docs can’t see the whole of you. They can see your face and hear your voice, but neither might be a technologically perfect replication of you. Moreover, what they can’t see are the vibrations that they get when you are talking with them face to face. They might not necessarily be able to articulate that. But I bet you get it?

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    1. I get it. I just get frustrated with the lack of trust. I have gotten off medication before with little help from my many doctors over the years. These are strange and extraordinary times.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t see why the doctor could not do an appointment through duo or one of the apps that allows you to see the person while talking to them. If things persist the way they are, I think doctors are going to have to make changes to the way they do things or face liability for negligence.

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