My psychiatrist doesn’t know what to do with me

“Have you considered seeing a naturopath?”

“No, I’m not going to go to a naturopath.”

“They’re highly trained individuals—”

“I’m not going to go to a naturopath.”

So went the conversation with my psychiatrist this morning.  The topic under discussion was my ongoing fatigue, which comes up at these appointments because I’m pretty sure it’s at least partly a side effect of my medication.  SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) put me to sleep.

I reached this point with a physical therapist once.  When her prescribed exercises failed to fix my hip, she started recommending meditation and some odd relaxation exercises that seemed to imply the pain was in my head.  (I’m not knocking meditation—it’s just that that’s when I knew she was out of ideas.)

By this point, my psychiatrist has suggested quite a lot of ideas for my depression and related lack of energy, including acupuncture and something called “somatic experiencing” (which might be a perfectly valid sort of therapy, but my insurance doesn’t cover it, so nope).  We tried megadoses of vitamin B12.  We tried regular talk therapy, which might be worth trying again sometime, but is an awful lot of time and effort when it doesn’t work out.

Now, apparently, we’re at naturopathy.

I get the impression that psychiatry maybe doesn’t know how to handle people like me, who have to manage depression in the very-long-term.  (To be honest, I think our medical system isn’t very good at handling chronic anything.)  It was obvious that starting me on an antidepressant was the right thing to do when I was falling apart after Little Boy’s birth.  The meds worked.  They still work, but they don’t work perfectly, and the side effects are becoming increasingly annoying.

At this point, you might be thinking that the obvious answer is to find another psychiatrist with some fresh ideas.  That’s easier said than done, but as it turns out, I have to do exactly that, because my psychiatrist will no longer be seeing anyone on an outpatient basis after next month.  She’s given me some leads on other people who take my insurance.

We’re also trying something new and fancy and trademarked, a test by GeneSight that will supposedly tell me which antidepressants will work best for my brain.  I’m a little skeptical—it almost sounds too good to be true—but hopefully it will offer some guidance on finding a medication that works better / makes me less sleepy.

So that’s my crazy report.  How’re you doing?

8 thoughts on “My psychiatrist doesn’t know what to do with me

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  2. *empathy* I think you’re right that medicine doesn’t seem to know how to treat anything chronic. I spent the first 15 years of my own chronic life just trying to find one doctor who didn’t think I was making it up. The last 4 years of working with a good GP who listens and a pain doc who understands how little we know about how to treat it and so is willing to hear me out at length has been refreshing in a very bewildering way. I know it’s frustrating for health care providers not to have answers but it wouldn’t kill them to remember that it’s more frustrating being the person for whom an answer doesn’t yet exist.

    Crossing my fingers for some useful info out of that GeneSight test!

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