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Old 04-04-2009, 12:16 AM   #1
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continuously changing doctors...

hi all, is it true that people with bipolar tend to do a lot of 'doctor-hopping'?

 
Old 04-04-2009, 12:22 AM   #2
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Re: continuously changing doctors...

I can't speak for everyone, but I did doctor hop, and that is actually a very important thing to do. If you do not connect with any doctor, your tdoc or pdoc, you MUST find another doctor. Because if the patient does connect with the doctor, the treatment will not be effective. There must be that connection and if you don't feel that with you doctor, you will not feel comfortable enough to open up, be honest and tell everything, and you will also not trust the doctor. So doctor hopping does happen, and there is nothing wrong with that. If I meet with a new doctor and I just don't feel it, I will not go back. I keep going until I find the doctor that is right for me. It's a good thing to doctor hop. You must do this until you find the one you can open up to and trust.

 
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:35 AM   #3
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Re: continuously changing doctors...

thanks caitlin, that all makes perfect sense...my tdoc referred my to new pdoc...iv'e been seeing new pdoc for 6 weeks now and don't feel any better than whe i started seeing her, i don't have confidence in her knowledge of bp and bp meds..but my tdoc said i must weigh up whether i want a doc that is knowledgable in bp but does not have that personal relationship..in other words, keeps it strictly professional, no sms or e-mail contact or after hours calls or someone that does all that but have to consult with other docs about illness...it's very important for me to have that personal relationship with doctors, otherwize i can't open up like you say..what to do? tdoc reckons will never find pdoc that has both qualities...

 
Old 04-04-2009, 03:30 AM   #4
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Re: continuously changing doctors...

I agree with caitlin's post.

I had an old pdoc who was very friendly, but inattentive to my needs. Everytime I complained about rapid cycling or mania, he ignored me and told me to return to his office in 3 months. I put up with this behavior for 1.5 years (don't ask me why) until I found another pdoc.

The next pdoc I saw was wonderful, but he recently decided to drop me as a patient because he thought my case of bipolar was too difficult for him to treat.

Although I didn't like the way he ended our professional relationship, I do owe him for finding me the right med combo and giving me some stability that I haven't had for a very long time.

I'm now working with another wonderful pdoc who is kind, compassionate and knowledgeable. I think you can find all of these qualities in a pdoc if you look hard enough.

While it may be okay to settle for a pdoc who is knowledgeable about BP, I think having a good relationship with them is equally important (if not more) since you will be relying on them to tweak your meds and make changes where necessary.

Speaking of relationships, my new pdoc tends to be more straightforward in his approach than my old pdoc, but that doesn't bother me because I know he's being honest.

When I saw him on Monday, he told me that my case of bipolar is considered "severe" and that I shouldn't have the expectation of no longer rapid cycling, being manic and/or depressed or hearing voices. I appreciate him saying that because I know what I'm dealing with and can be realistic about what I can expect in terms of my bipolar symptoms.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 04-04-2009 at 03:33 AM.

 
Old 04-04-2009, 10:19 AM   #5
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Re: continuously changing doctors...

I prefer not to doctor hop. I get a referral from my GP who i've had for 10 yrs who knows me very very well. then I research that doc via the web very well, including an intellius background check to make sure he's on the up and up. I met with him once to get a "vibe" it seemed okay I then met with him for a few times and everything clicked. Then i asked him to refer me to a psychologist, because at the time he didn't have space in his practice to do "therapy" just med management, and he knew a psychologist that would work well with my personality and I've loved her from the beginning. I would not trade either my pdoc or tdoc for anything in the world. I like to do referrals from trusted doctors that know me, because that seems to work the best for me. I get frustrated and antsy if I have to Dr. shop. I like to go with trusted advice from my current doctors. So far this has worked very well, it's when I try to find docs by doctor shopping on my own that I run into all the quacks.

kat

Last edited by katlin09; 04-04-2009 at 10:20 AM.

 
Old 04-04-2009, 10:32 AM   #6
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Re: continuously changing doctors...

Unfortunately, not all pdocs are on the Internet and if they are, you need to pay a service to read about their credentials and educational background.

I find that when I am able to see 2-3 pdocs (or any doctor in general) for 2-3 appointments each, it gives me a feel for their personality and how well they will click with me.

I've tried using pdocs that were referred to me by my GP, but they always turn out to be substandard. One clinic I was referred to never answered their phone. When I double-checked the number, it was legitimate, so there was no reason for the phone to remain unanswered.

I've found that calling a psychiatric hospital or getting a referral from a pdoc for a tdoc or vice-versa seems to be the best way of locating a doctor.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 04-04-2009 at 10:34 AM.

 
Old 04-04-2009, 06:39 PM   #7
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Re: continuously changing doctors...

I guess it also depends on what area of the Country you're in, if there are major medical centers available like where I am at the reference services are outstanding and it makes it easier to get good reccomendations from your currant doctors for new ones. Also if you have various medical conditions you need doctors that will work with and around those medical conditions and that's where your GP can be a very good resource for finding a new pdoc.

kat

 
Old 04-04-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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Re: continuously changing doctors...

There are only 2 excellent psychiatric hospitals in my area. The other psychiatric hospital has a bad reputation and I wouldn't trust them to recommend a pdoc if my life depended on it. They were the ones who referred me to a pdoc following my IP stay who never looked at my discharge IP paperwork and told me after 3 months that it was my choice to take meds even though she knew I had BP. I prefer to contact the 2 psychiatric hospitals that have a wonderful reputation. I trust their judgement and one of those hospitals was the one who referred me to my current tdoc and pdoc.
Both my tdoc and pdoc have stellar reputations and are well respected in the mental health community.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 04-04-2009, 07:44 PM   #9
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Re: continuously changing doctors...

Blue,

I see you're in Cape Town, do you have many resources to choose from in the way of physcians and hospitals?

kat

 
Old 04-05-2009, 09:00 AM   #10
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bluegreensky HB User
Re: continuously changing doctors...

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
Blue,

I see you're in Cape Town, do you have many resources to choose from in the way of physcians and hospitals?

kat
Hi Kat, we have a few private clinics, which the average person such as myself can't afford, and there is one gorvernment institution, with which I've had a terrible experience quite recently...I don't have a private medical aid, so I don't really have luxury of trying out pdocs for few sessions until i find suitable one because the first few sessions are normally extended which results in double the cost of standard sessions..can be very discouraging, but i am positive about this professor i'm seeing on thursday, and i've done some research on all the meds that you guys have mentioned on this board and some i found on ***** site and will discuss options with him in detail...blue

 
Old 04-05-2009, 09:52 AM   #11
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bluegreensky HB User
Re: continuously changing doctors...

kat, read on other thread that you phoned your tdoc at night for some help...we don't have that luxury here, there are all these ethical boundaries etc. so i don't have that line of support because not allowed to contact docs after hours..the only advice they have for after hours support is 'go to nearest hospital'..it really sucks...

 
Old 04-05-2009, 04:25 PM   #12
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Re: continuously changing doctors...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegreensky View Post
kat, read on other thread that you phoned your tdoc at night for some help...we don't have that luxury here, there are all these ethical boundaries etc. so i don't have that line of support because not allowed to contact docs after hours..the only advice they have for after hours support is 'go to nearest hospital'..it really sucks...
Going to the nearest hospital is the best advice that can be given. I don't know what the quality of care is in South Africa, but here in the U.S. it isn't too bad.

My pdoc recommends that I go to the ER or IP if I'm manic, severely depressed or psychotic. I can also call for an earlier appointment as well.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 04-05-2009 at 04:26 PM.

 
Old 04-05-2009, 04:37 PM   #13
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tigger5150 HB User
Re: continuously changing doctors...

blue
It must be difficult there as you definitely don't have the same options as those in the US (which I used to live there/from there) or here in Australia. I was just lucky with my first pdoc in the US as my girlfriend who was also BP used him so I just went to him and he and I clicked and it was great until he retired. The 2 doctors that he could provide for me, 1 I couldn't see as our schedules just couldn't mess (which he was the 1st selection) so I ended up with number 2 and it was awful. I was just getting ready to look for someone new when I moved to Australia. MY

 
Old 04-06-2009, 01:47 AM   #14
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bluegreensky HB User
Re: continuously changing doctors...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreams in neon View Post
Going to the nearest hospital is the best advice that can be given. I don't know what the quality of care is in South Africa, but here in the U.S. it isn't too bad.

My pdoc recommends that I go to the ER or IP if I'm manic, severely depressed or psychotic. I can also call for an earlier appointment as well.
i'm too depressed and demotivated today to exert energy on bashing our state healthcare, but i can assure you that i will never willingly rely on it ever again...i phoned this morning for earlier appointment, no luck...

 
Old 04-06-2009, 03:00 AM   #15
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Re: continuously changing doctors...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegreensky View Post
i'm too depressed and demotivated today to exert energy on bashing our state healthcare, but i can assure you that i will never willingly rely on it ever again...i phoned this morning for earlier appointment, no luck...
I'm sorry to hear that.

If you don't mind my asking, why were you unable to receive an appointment? Did anyone answer the phone? Did you tell them you were severely depressed and needed to see your pdoc ASAP?

Don't mind me. Sometimes I tend to forget that the health system here in the U.S. is very different than it is in other countries.

I have two friends with mental illness. One lives in Canada and the other in Europe. Both of them have a very difficult time scheduling appointments with their pdocs. One of my friends had to threaten suicide in order to see her pdoc because she was experiencing severe side effects.

Needless to say, that's sad and inexcuseable.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
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