Rating my psychiatrist

I went to a bunch of doctor rating sites today and rated the doctor who over-medicated me into oblivion.

It was a painful exercise. You see I still have warm, if also terribly conflicted feelings for him. Like I also feel a palpable sense of betrayal and abuse. He destroyed my life all the time thinking he was acting in my best interest and the sickening part is I believed he was. He did many things that were downright incompetent and at best terribly ignorant. He did them with a smile on his face and genuine feelings of warmth for me.

I answered questions honestly on the rating sites. I said he was punctual and personable. I said he listened. The thing is he listened with tunnel vision (tunnel ears?) He knew nothing but his bag of tricks which included drugs, drugs and more drugs—and ECT too. Yeah, he tried to get me to do ECT at one point. I drew a line there. God knows why, I was so smitten with the man.

I loved him. Cliche that that is to love your shrink. I cried in the car as I traveled cross country to my new home. I shed tears feeling that I was leaving someone who cared about me deeply.

Thank god I left that man and found myself and a doctor who really listened—without tunnel ears. Someone who believed me when I figured out it was the drugs poisoning me and ultimately disabling me. What would have happened had I stayed in California. I miss California with a painful agony, but getting away from that man was the best thing that could have happened to me.

Anyway. As I rated him I said what was good about him and I also called him incompetent, ignorant and dangerous.

Someday I will talk to him. Some day when I am off all my meds and I am recovered I will confront him. I need to do it because I still care about him and I need to let him know what he did. It will probably be a lost cause to get him to hear me. I imagine men like that operate in a dark cloud of denial or they wouldn’t be doing what they are doing. But I have to do it. I have to tell him what he did.

Ten years I spent with him as he watched me become less and less functional—a direct result of extreme over-medication—I was on more drugs than anyone I ever met and I worked as a social worker with the “severe and persistently mentally ill.” Not once did I meet someone on as many drugs as me. And in general I was on well over double what most people were on. No exaggeration.

Ten years I took the drugs he prescribed and then the drugs he prescribed to try to ameliorate the side effects of the first drugs he prescribed—all the while being told it was my disease, not the drugs making me sick. Ten years I whined to him about how awful I felt and he never said maybe the drugs are making you sick—he never said take a look at yourself and your life and your mind. He never suggested I might have psychological problems and drug toxicity. He never questioned the diagnosis I came to him with even though there was no reason to cling to it—I displayed no symptoms of mania the whole time I was with him.

I needed to deal with reality. That’s all. And he simply was not clued into reality. Those doctor reviews were painful to do. I hope someone is dissuaded about seeing him as a result of my efforts.

29 thoughts on “Rating my psychiatrist

  1. Rich, Millstein:

    Do not give up. Rich — if you SLOWLY come off the neuroleptics, you will get your brain back. I went through it and I’m ok now.

    Millstein — I also understand your anger — believe me. you are not alone. I’ve spent 7 years healing from the damage, and there are still days when I get very angry, but the angry days pass, too — if you hang on. I’ve had to learn a lot about forgiveness — what it isn’t and what it is. My path top healing was truly started when I read “The Great Failure” by Natalie Goldberg.

    Peace to you both.

    Phoenix

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  2. Millstein,
    I’m really sorry you’ve been hurt so bad. And this is a safe place to talk about it if you want to share your story. Many of us have been gravely hurt by psychiatrists.

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  3. My apologies – I didn’t realize it could cause any harm – I saw other doctors’ names mentioned in some of the other posts – perhaps they were “made-up” names – I just didn’t know. Dr. “R” has screwed me up so bad, I just can’t think clearly right now. Millstein

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  4. Millstein,
    it wasn’t difficult to google the man you speak of and find everything about him and where he works.

    I’m not interested in being involved in possible liable so I changed his name to just his initial.

    Feel free to tell us about what he did to you if you need to get it off your chest…

    many of us have been harmed by psychiatry.

    there are many places to seek support among us survivors online…regardless of who our doctors have been.

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  5. After a year and a half of seeing Dr. R, I have concluded that this doctor is a cold-blooded and vindictive psychopath. Perhaps I would have seen it sooner had I not been so desperate due to a severe and disabling depression.

    Without giving any more details about this doctor, and certainly not revealing the state or facility he is connected with, I am just curious if there is anyone out there who has had any dealings with him – any former patients? If so, what kind of experience was had? Perhaps an online support group can be created for his vicitms. Thanks so much, Millstein

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Phoenix,
    we cannot be the same, but I’m learning to be thankful for the lessons I’ve learned, painful as they may be.

    I’m glad you’ve found us too.
    peace.

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  7. Gianna, et al:

    Thanks for your comments. To those of you who beat on yourselves for going on the medication in the first place, be gentle. That can be a slippery slope and does not make the damage incurred from malpractice “ok”.

    I’ve learned to live with what happened, much like someone who has a leg cut off and gets a prosthesis learns to live with the amputation. I am basically alright, but I am not the same person I was before this occurred. There are good things about that, but bad things as well. And for the latter, I grieve from time to time. I am grateful that I found this site. Take care, everyone.

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  8. I experienced hell through psychiatry. My initial fear of psychiatry began when I was a teen.

    It started when my mother found out I self harmed- so she had my brother beat me. They said they were dumping me in a psych ward. The psych ward was used as an abandonment threat if you tried to talk things out.

    When I finally got psychiatric treatment in my 20’s I was carted off to a drug ward. I was not intoxicated, nor was I on drugs.

    They medicated me with a major tranquilizer, and tried to accuse my ex-boyfriend of giving it to me, even though I had no contact with the man. It was not possible. I think they did it deliberately to avoid admitting to drugging me and allowing him in to see me. The nurse said they were giving me a sleeping pill that first night. Yet it was not listed as a part of my medication.

    I had contacted police about him. He had tried something on me a while back, and it freaked me out. I was not sleeping at night because of it. I had not formally pressed any charges though. Yet they let him in the hospital, while I was drugged. Then tried to accuse him of giving it to me. It had been 8 months since I’ve seen him.

    I was labelled bipolar but never took the meds and never relapsed.

    I know this doesn’t make sense, but that’s how it happened.

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  9. Dear Phoenix,
    thanks so much for sharing your story.

    I’m in the midst of healing from withdrawal and can’t say more now, but greatly appreciate your comment.

    I hope you find a peaceful resolution to your journey which seems to be at a crossroads.

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  10. Gianna:

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. In my former career, I was a well-known therapist with an outstanding reputation. In 2001, the woman who mentored me professionally, but was also my therapist for 19 years, misdiagnosed me with alcoholism and over-medicated me to the extent that I ws hospitalized twice and put in a recovery facility despite no trace of illegal drugs or alcohol. Because I trusted her implicitly (she was the first person in my life who believed in my capabilities), I could not recognize the counter-transference that had occurred.

    I developed a condition called akathisia:

    “Akathisia may range in intensity from a mild sense of disquiet or anxiety (which may be easily overlooked) to a total inability to sit still, accompanied by overwhelming anxiety, malaise, and severe dysphoria (manifesting as an almost indescribable sense of terror and doom). The condition is difficult for the patient to describe and is often misdiagnosed. When misdiagnosis occurs in antipsychotic neuroleptic-induced akathisia, more antipsychotic neuroleptics may be prescribed, potentially worsening the symptoms.[1] High-functioning patients have described the feeling as a sense of inner tension and torment or chemical torture.” ——from Wikipedia

    My reputation was ruined. I lost all my friends and family. It took a couple of years for me to figure out what had happened. My mentor shunned me profesionally and personally. She also violated my confidentiality. As we are both part of the gay community, which can be like a small town, I was smeared horribly.

    It’s now been several years and the personal sense of betrayal, shame and humilation is still there. Yes, it’s lessened, but this woman has gotten away with a crime.

    I healed myself through meditation practice, but I may have to leave town to finally put this behind me. I’m so releived to see more and more people speaking out about the horrors of over-medication. At least I know I’m not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you Doe! That is really sweet of you, but I am just a windbag.

    Sometimes I sits and rambles, and sometimes I just rambles!

    Ifound a “Rate Your Doc” website for Britain.

    You pull down a menu to select the doctor’s specialism. Almost every other branch of medicine is there but curiously, psychiatry is not an option.

    I bet the database was so overwhelmed with complaints about the shameful industry that they were forced to remove psychiatry as an option!

    I see the CCHR has set up a “Psychiatric Crime Database” – Report Psychiatric Abuse – It’s a Crime”.

    Maybe I’ll file there instead!

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  12. Gianna, good point about taking some personal responsibility too…I think about that sometimes…I got on prozac when I was 23 years old (I’m 40 now)…it had just come out…man, I couldn’t WAIT to get on the drug bandwagon. I remember writing in my diary “I need to get on drugs”…I just wanted the pain to go away. I cut myself some slack, b/c I was young and naive…and of COURSE I just wanted something easy…of COURSE, I had no idea what the longterm consequences would be…I guess psychiatry didn’t either. And who knows, at 23 when you think you’re immortal, even if they had said “You might have a really hard time getting off of these, or they could cause brain damage”…I might have still said “I don’t care, give me the drugs”, thinking that it, of course, would never happen to me.

    Funny thing is, it was much harder to get put on medication back then. I remember trying to convince a nurse practicioner that I really needed to be put on anti depressants and she refused! I was so mad! I went to other doctors and had to practically beg…now there’s no hesitation whatsoever for people who want to go the route of meds.

    This is off topic, I realize, and I’m sorry about that.

    In addressing Susan’s point about wishing her doc had just said “We don’t know anything about these drugs and how they work”, I had one psychiatrist actually say those words and I was so grateful for his honesty. He said “The brain is kind of like this black box and we just try things and see what happens”. That was probably 1991 or so.

    Sloopy your story is incredible and so well told. It reads like something out of One Flew Over The Cuckhoos Nest…You are a great writer and I loved your vivid descriptions (“He was a towering hulk of a man with a permantly crimson face” !)…even though the story itself is rather horrifying…

    Thanks everybody for sharing…it’s obvious that thinking about this triggers visceral memories for all of us.

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  13. I certainly agree that the hubris shown by the psychiatric profession is monumental and frightening.

    I believe it was the STEP-BD studies that showed that antidepressants made bipolar worse —including increased instability—I’d say they create bipolar period.

    I know that it definitely showed ineffectiveness, it may have been another study that showed instability.

    There have been similar smaller trials that show that lamictal and depakote do nothing….people simply move into stable periods of time with or without meds. I believe they can create stable times that have longevity with wellness activities and lifestyle, as we both write about.

    blah blah blah…could go on forever about this stuff. I wish I had better recall on exactly what the studies all were and what they said…I know where I read about them and if I spent a few hours I could collect them all and site them…but I don’t have the time…mom will be up soon.

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  14. Gianna,
    Of course, you’re right. I should have mentioned that my psychiatrist did provide a list of three other doctors who would take his patients. But the point was: How can you leave without saying goodbye?

    I guess I would have felt better about my psychiatrists if they would have said to me, “We know nothing about bipolar depression. In fact, no one does because there have been so few clinical studies on the efficacy of medication for this illess–and almost none of any breadth and depth until STEP-BD (Systemtatic Enhanced Program for Bipolar Disorder sponsored by the NIMH). And, despite the millions of dollars they poured into that study, all they concluded (as far as I’m concerned) is that more people kill themselves during the depressive phase of bipolar disorder than the manic one.

    “So, rather than pretend we know what we’re doing, or know what impact medication will have on you, we’ll be truthful, and tell you how little we truly know.”

    A little honesty would have gone a long way. Instead, they not only lied, but they said, “Non-compliance of medication will have a long-term deleterious effect on you.”

    As far as I’m concerned, they are not only guilty, but they are responsible for the pain and suffering of so many people.”

    Susan

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  15. that is really a horrible thing to do to people who are relying on you….I’m glad you chose to blow him off…

    One of the reasons I show a certain amount of tolerance for misguided docs is because I take some responsibility for my own stupidity in trusting all the hype out there…

    Some people intuit immediately that psychiatry and medication is all wrong for them. I wonder why I wasn’t that smart? I was looking for a quick fix….I realize I didn’t do that without coercion on the parts of docs and that they do indeed bear more of the responsibility, but I am not without fault in my drugged out adventure.

    I’m grateful I now have learned to cope with difficult feelings and have learned the dangers of these drugs but I too bought into the pharma lies. The truth is out there for anyone who wants it doctors and patients—-so are all the lies and crap.

    My current doctor who is truly radical started out as a traditional psychiatrist…she became enlightened over time…she saw what the drugs did…we can hope there will be more like her. But she too at one time bought into the bull because she studied at a typical medical school and that is what they are taught. Med school is rigid and dogmatic.

    Human beings in general are rigid and dogmatic….some of them are in positions of power that hurt and maim.

    It is the rare individual that rises above what they are indoctrinated into. It is the problem with humanity and it is why our planet and our very existence is in danger.

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  16. Gianna,
    Well, I guess we aren’t that different then. But, no, I never had a doctor like that. My last one, who incidentally was the only one who gave me medication that worked, and whom I genuinely liked although he, too, didn’t “get it,” nor was he innovative, wrote a form letter to all his patients to say he was quitting his practice. Can you believe it? It didn’t even have his signature or a personal P.S.

    In the past, I would have made a last appointment to say goodbye, because after all I am an adult and can act like one when others don’t. But I finally thought, “Why do I always have to be the adult in these relationships?” Screw him; I don’t need to say goodbye. I’m fine without him.

    Susan

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  17. I’m not sure we’re truly different I simply had a ten year relationship with a man I grew to care about and who cared about me…I’m not sure you had that sort of relationship with any of your doctors….

    believe me the reason it’s difficult is because i do detest him as well…

    he’s not a healer no…he is ignorant and dangerous as I stated…

    that does not make him inhuman…we all err. they are all under the criminal spell of big pharma….

    I’m not making excuses for him…but blame and hatred won’t heal me either. In the realm of evil doctors of which there truly are some…he rates very low and had good intentions that were terribly dangerous and wrecked my life.

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  18. Dear Gianna,
    Here’s where you and I are truly different. I detest my doctors who gave me medication without knowing what they were doing. I consider them to be “false healers” whether or not they knew that the medication would harm me tremendously. If I had their job, I would consider it my responsibility to truly know what I was doing. It’s part of the Hippocratic Oath that you shouldn’t “harm” your patients!

    Susan

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  19. I had vile psychiatrists too Sloopy—and yes it was awful as well… but for me they were easier to dismiss actually than someone I liked and trusted….though I’m not trying to minimize the damage done by vile psychiatrists….I suppose some of the worst traumas were committed by them

    But for whatever reason, I don’t even think about the vile ones anymore…I think about the one I trusted and liked and feel more betrayed by him….

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  20. Funny that you should mention that but I rated two psychiatrists today myself: the one I see regularly and the one I saw on the inpatient. The first gets halfways decent marks for trying and listening when I want to get off of something; the second I flat out called a jerk.

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  21. I guess I’ve been luckier than you guys. I always got the vile psychiatrists, and never put any stock in their ability to heal.

    Consultations with my regular head shrink were always highly charged and confrontational.

    He was supposedly one of the most eminent psychiatrists in the east of England. He was a towering hulk of man with a permanently crimson face. More importantly, his manner was repulsive. He was an aggressive bully. Most of his nursing staff were frightened of him.

    When I was detained on his ward, a visitor left me a copy of Breggin’s Toxic Psychiatry. Other patients began to read the book, and were horrified, too. They demanded a stop to their forced injections, to be spared further electroshocks, and to be released without delay.

    The shrink was clearly rattled by the awakening of these patients. Breggin’s book helped them realise that he was a dangerous charlatan. The shrink ordered the nursing staff to confiscate the book. I never did see it again.

    In one of his weekly ward rounds, I demanded the book’s return. He refused and became very agitated. His voice was now angry, and menacing. He said Breggin was “a very evil man”. Weird words coming from a shrink..

    On another occasion, I remember telling him that his Haldol injections were chemically lobotomising me.

    I shall never forget what he said in reply:

    “So what? You need to be lobotomised!”

    He added “If I didn’t have drugs to do the job then I would lobotomise you with a knife.”

    Definitely one to avoid for those living in the Eastern region..

    Liked by 1 person

  22. it’s an incredibly painful sort of abuse because it’s done with our trust in that person….so I think your metaphor is totally appropriate….and the memories are traumatic.

    and for me because I trusted Dr. Marcus so implicitly the betrayal is all the worse. The conflicted feelings leave me feeling sick quite often—I can still feel the love I felt for him—ugh, yuck….oh healing demands a lot from all parts of us.

    and yes…drugs will lead one to believe they are bipolar…I wouldn’t be surprised if 50% of the bipolar population got their diagnosis from an adverse drug reaction to antidepressants.

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  23. I still think about the psychiatrist too, that got me on too many meds…I initially went to the psychiatrist to get OFF meds. Thinking I was doing the responsible thing, I looked up an expensive, very credentialled one to try and taper off the ONE drug I was on. I ended up being on 3 drugs, diagnosed bipolar (which is ridiculous–w/o having to tediously explain why, just trust me…it’s ridiculous…what’s even more ridiculous was that the extra mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics began to exaberate my symptoms so that I started to believe maybe I WAS bipolar!)…anyway, my point being, that I too still think about this psychiatrist. It feels similar to remembering an abuser…fantasies about the things you wish you would have done or said, contacting that person for some sort of closure. I wonder how many of us think about these people that nudged us down the road to hell? It’s been 10 years, and I still think about Dr. Jane Pope.

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  24. I have my doctors email address too…I’ve written to him for information from my records. I’ve also actually talked to him since I started my withdrawals—but when I first started my withdrawals I hadn’t realized what had been done to me. It took about two years of withdrawing for my befuddled mind to clear enough to realize the enormity of what had been done to me…

    so I actually talked to him when I was first withdrawing and told him about neurofeedback which is how I got my start and I was excited and sharing it with him…I sent him info on neurofeedback at his request but he never responded which has me thinking he thought it was horseshit.

    In any case the last two times we briefly exchanged info he got quiet. I think he knows I’m changing…I suspect he won’t welcome what I have to say to him when I finally spill the whole story…

    I don’t know if I’ll write him or talk to him on the phone yet either….

    and yes ng, you are recovered!!

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  25. I feel just l ike you I feel that in three more years:

    You said,” Some day when I am off all my meds and I am recovered I will confront him. I need to do it because I still care about him and I need to let him know what he did. It will probably be a lost cause to get him to hear me. I imagine men like that operate in a dark cloud of denial or they wouldn’t be doing what they are doing. But I have to do it. I have to tell him what he did.”

    I want to wait until I have been off meds and stable for five years. I want to be working at a job that totally support me.

    Sometimes I think about contacting him. I found his personal email from an unrelated topic. I emailed him incognito. He responded and my heart raced. I never emailed him again. I do want any accusations of me being a kook.

    I will recover, totally. (Last night I was laying awake thinking that I am probably recovered. I just need to wait a couple years.)

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