I just want to make one point clear: it is a myth that someone with schizophrenia cannot recover, they just have not found the right treatment that works for them, yet, but they should keep looking and keep hope alive! A lot of my readers with a mental illness are success stories.
I had a doctor that I don't think really cared about her work. She wasn't there for me when I needed her. I complained to her about the restlessness I was experiencing from the side effects of my medication. I had trouble sleeping at night because I felt like I had to stay in motion, therefore, I moved my legs around a lot in bed at night. Fortunately, there was an alternate doctor on site that gave me more medication to help cope with the side effects of the anti psychotic medication.
The alternate doctor took over my case when I was really sick and catatonic, my other doctor was on vacation or was not available. Also, I requested my main doctor, not the alternate doctor, to change my medication because I did not like the side effects. I believe any person should have a say in their treatment- it's their right! I suggested a medication because I read about it in an article about bipolar disorder, I thought I was bipolar because nobody told me what my illness was, they just forced me to take medication. She did not take into account my request because she said I may slip into a catatonic state again. As a result, I did not share my concerns with this doctor, but I did not have a choice; however, I always requested the alternate doctor whenever the opportunity arose.
I also have experience working with an awesome doctor. Dr. X, he switched my medication to to the one I wanted right when I got into his care (and I did not have a relapse!), because the medication I was on put me at risk for developing diabetes, which is also prevalent in my family. I guess this was carelessness on my other doctor's part!
Dr. X went beyond his duty and arranged a meeting with my mother and treatment team so that she will have a better understanding of my illness. I had to sign a form allowing him to discuss my personal business with my mother, since I was over the age of 18. This meeting was held during the time of the major fires in San Diego and Southern California. My mom had a hard time getting there because all of the roads were blocked, shut down without notice. Dr. X actually stuck with my mom and navigated the trip for her to make sure they met that day. He and my social worker stayed until she arrived and held this very important meeting, with no regard to time or the fact that they were off work. He gave her important information on my illness, the scope on various medications and signs to look for in case of a relapse. He scheduled this meeting in advance and told her to come prepared with questions she might have. My mother, my stepfather and my sister worked together to make sure they created a list that would help with my recovery. Dr. X also told her there was most definitely hope for me because I was young and very active. He said he wanted me to succeed!
I have a lot of respect for Dr. X because he actually listened to my concerns and actually cared, which showed in the way he spoke to his patients. He was the one that gave me the news that I have schizophrenia, he wasn't like the previous doctor I mentioned above that shoved medicine down my throat and expected me to understand my illness without warning. Dr. X made an analogy between schizophrenia and diabetes to explain that treatments will be needed forever, since there is no cure schizophrenia or diabetes, yet.
Finally, there are good doctors and there are bad doctors, that's life, but nobody should have to suffer the burden of the bad doctor. My advice to you if you are facing a challenge such as my follower where your doctor lacks faith in your recovery switch that doctor immediately. And if you can't change doctors find a good support group that you can share your concerns with and get more information on schizophrenia or whatever your mental illness, or medical ailment is.
Schizophrenia or any sort of mental illness or medical ailment for that matter needs to be nurtured. For example, people with diabetes, like my mother, needs to monitor her diabetes and have a good diet, and in some cases take their medication. Likewise, people with schizophrenia need to take their medication in order to control symptoms like people with diabetes need to control their sugar levels.
As I may have mentioned previously and I will keep on mentioning this, recovery demands medication compliance, support, and a positive outlook. There are a lot of places where you can get support, not only from family but also from organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness or Schizophrenia Society of Novia Scotia(Canada), online support groups such as SchizophreniaConnection.com and Schizophrenia Support Network.com.
Have you ever experienced a bad doctor?- How did you handle this and what advice would you give to others in this position?
I want to thank you for taking the time out to read more about this illness and my story. I really appreciate your comments, advice, and questions, and I encourage them so that others can learn too! God Bless you and yours!