I wrote the below bit in response to one of my peers on a histamine intolerance support and information group I’m a member of, I then also shared it on Beyond Meds Facebook page with a couple of small edits:
Bottom line is no one ever finds a doctor who will ultimately know more about your body than you do…the best we can do is find health professionals who understand this and support us while we learn about our bodies…and that is a nice thing to have, but it is possible to do a lot of this on our own…and actually necessary too for those of us with iatrogenic injuries and other chronic illnesses too.
This issue comes up again and again among the folks I frequently hang out with online. People so badly want to find the perfect doctor and get very frustrated when again and again they are disrespected and/or given treatments that further harm them. I figured out a long time ago that I understand my body far better than any doctor does and the only MDs I’ll work with now (on an ongoing basis) are people who actually appreciate this. I never enter a new relationship with a health professional with any expectations as well. It allows for much less frustrating experiences. At the very best I’ll find a partner in my care…not someone who will tell me what to do without regard to my own particular experience.
A lot of us are sick with systemic holistic issues that western medicine really doesn’t know what to do with. Not only do they not know what to do, but they often attempt to treat these issues in such a way to make them worse. The worst scenario of course is when our illnesses are denied completely and we’re told we have a psychiatric problem. And of course psych drugs exacerbate these issues even more so the treatment is toxic. In fact they can be downright dangerous and deadly for a lot of us. It’s better to enter all such relationships as if we’re interviewing THEM. And to remember in most instances we don’t have to do anything they say and we never have to go back to them if we don’t want to. (I realize this does not take forced treatment into account…that is a subject for another post and is mostly limited to psychiatry.)
Below I’ve cut and pasted some comments and a collection of posts that pertain to this topic and how we might go about understanding and developing our relationships with doctors.
Our relationship with doctors (or health providers in general):
It should be understood that a great number of the readers of this blog have been harmed by the medical profession. Many of us have been gravely debilitated and disabled. Iatrogenic harm is injury incurred by medical treatment. Such injury is deeply traumatic and largely denied by the perpetrators and also by the medical establishment in general which adds insult to the injury and makes seeking help to heal literally dangerous. Those who have had such injury need to learn how to take care of themselves as they move forward. It behooves everyone else to be aware of the fact that iatrogenic injury is very common so that they might take care to avoid it. See: Medically induced illness: iatrogenic injury
When I posted the this status update on Facebook, someone asked for tips on how to go about finding such enlightened practitioners who’ve been able to overcome their conditioning. I’ve written about how to do that before and am sharing a link below. It’s a skill that needs to be learned, but it’s entirely possible to find good people with practice. I now know many professionals of all stripes who are deeply respectful. It remains difficult to find new ones, but I now trust myself completely and go about doing what I need to do on the occasions that I need to find someone new for whatever reason.
Basically we need to find doctors who understand the issue deeply. Like this guy:
Or this woman:
It’s also helpful to understand that with the internet you can feel people out via email and phone and a lot of MDs are willing to consult via phone. The two MDs I consult with most frequently these days live out of state. Cast your net wide if you need to. Stay safe and well-respected.
More on how to trust Internal Guidance at Mad in America that will help you practice developing your trust in yourself.
Also relevant when healing: Trauma and your body
I will add that in the event of something emergency-like, when you cannot interview the doctor you are going to see it’s sometimes necessary to simply prepare oneself for something that may be quite difficult and even traumatic. Such is life. We do need to learn to negotiate difficult situations as well…it gets easier as we gain confidence in ourselves. We no longer have our eyes closed so if we must see a less than sympathetic MD for something urgent we can navigate to get what we need and then get the heck out and find someone better suited for us once the urgent need has passed.
I also wrote about two different psychologists still trapped by their conditioning with whom I had some painful encounters. I do, indeed, still run into the very upsetting reality those of us who’ve been marked by psychiatry are subject to as well. All the helping and healing professions are subject to this sort of disrespect. It’s hard to find professionals who are profoundly free of such bigotry and conditioning. I understand. I also know that I’ve found many who have freed themselves and continue to find more all the time. Have faith in both yourself and humanity. There are good people everywhere. Find them.
- Demoted…by another “relatively enlightened” mental health professional
- Freaking out therapists: on being subject to the clinical gaze