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Next bizarre installmment of my saga, the quest for meds..

dianehelen's picture
Posts: 131
Joined: Nov 2012

So when I last posted, I was having insane issues getting any doc to write a damn Rx for some anti anxiety, or anti depressant meds. Just a quick review, before my surgery I was a total wreck, begged my obgyn , the surgeon, the RO and MO, to give me something to help me cope. They all said NO. The best any of them could/would do at first is make an appt for me with a phsychiatrist , because in their words, its best to have that kind of doc manage those meds. They made an appt for me, at some local doc, I went to the appt, and it was 100 degrees in the office, and about 20 people waiting, over an hour wait. INSANE, I left. Called back my surgeons nurse, and BEGGED for something. She was able to get the doc to call in a Rx for SEVEN pills, for Xanax. It helped a tiny bit, for surgery, etc, but now he wont write any more, and Im back to looking for a psych.

Ok, so I sent 3 HOURS on the phone last week, looking for a doc that A. Had a working phone, (3 I called were no longer ther) B. were seeing new patients, (2 were not) and C. had an available appt before February. After numerous calls I found one, nearby, and made an appointment for yesterday at 2pm/

Here is now that went:

Now keep in mind, I have NEVER seen a psych or counselor of any type, have never really needed it, so really did not know what to expect, tell me if this seems normal.

Before I went I tried to call the office to see if I could find out a wait time, I got only voicemail leave a message stuff.

So I walk into the office, some 20 something young man is sitting at the recpt desk, dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans. He looked VERY disenganged. I asked him, why they dont answer the phones, and he really had no answer and just sorta looked at me, as if he did not give a **** about anything. OK, so I sign in and wait to be called. Im called in a sorta reasonable time frame, for intake, urine sample, blood pressure, height/weight etc. OK, not too bad.,

Now back into the waiting room, a few mintues, then get called in to see the doc, who is a woman.

Now, just some physical visual, so this will make sense. I am not a small person, Im a big, tall, woman. Big meaning overweight, like a size 22 or so, and tall, like 5'10", just so you can picture what Im about to say.

I am lead into the doctors office, and my mouth about dropped open. Now, because of MY size I am sensitive to weight issues, and and not usally shocked at seeing a heavy person. OK

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I sit down and OMFGGGGGGGGGGG Im sitting in front of Dr Jabba the Hut! This is the most ENORMOUS WOMAN I have ever seen. She is the psychiatrist, and she makes ME , a LARGE woman, look like twiggy. I almost lost it.

I sit down and she seems VERY distant, asks a few questions, and the whole time she is looking at her computer screen and typing stuff, not looking at me at all. After the few questions, she says, ok Im going to give you a Rx for a med called Cymbalta. I interjected, that I have seen and read stuff about that, and there are really scary side effcts, like suicide, ughh. She says, ya that can happen, but it doesnt always. I mention that I know several people that take Lexapro, what does she think of that. She says ok I can give you that. A few more questions about anxiety, etc, I tell her about my 7 pill Rx for Xanax, she says ok I'll give you a Rx for that too, but instead of the 1mg, .5. OK. She asks if Im sleeping well, I say no, because I am so uncomfortable. She says ok, I'll give you Ambien. I mention about sleepwalking on that, and she says ok, I'll give you Lunesta.

She keeps not looking at me, looking at the computer (probably busy ordering a pizza, sorry, could not resist), then hands me the Rx with 1 refils, and says make an appt for 6 to 8 weeks to follow up.

Does this seem like a normal psychiatrist?

abrub's picture
Posts: 1862
Joined: Mar 2010

but no, that does not sound professional at all. I still don't understand why your onc or PCP wouldn't prescribe those meds.

My psych gave me valium; my onc told me that I could use a higher dosage than my shrink recommended. My shrink deferred to my onc. My onc had no hesitancy in giving me ativan. I had no depression issues, but my understanding with the SSRIs is that yes, any of them can make you suicidal; it's a rare side effect, but they have to tell you about it. That side effect is of most concern in the under 21 crowd, who are most affected. I've heard of great success stories with Cymbalta. (By the way, I can't take SSRIs, because they absolutely kill my libido, and then I become depressed because I have no desire or response whatsoever. Frankly, closeness with my husband is important to me, and I want to enjoy that! Again, not everyone suffers from the loss of libido, but I had tried a couple of SSRIs back when I had depression issues, and they made me worse.)

If you are not comfortable with this dr, leave a message with one of the drs who claims that they are not taking new patients, and state your specifics. You'd be surprised - many will add onto their caseload. Or if your PCP or onc has recommended them, state that in your message. A referral can override a "no new patients."

You may want to see about finding a psychologist who has a relationship with a psychiatrist for meds management - many people take that route. You'd see the psychologist more regularly, and the psychiatrist periodically (every 1 - 2 months) for meds management, unless issues came up.

Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2012

Everyone reacts differently to these meds. I myself have been on fluoxetine (Prozac) since 1994 with ZERO side effects. My mother-in-law has been on Cymbalta for two months with ZERO side effects. Regarding SSRI's...

The FDA requires all antidepressants to carry a black box warning stating that antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide in people younger than 25. This warning is based on statistical analyses conducted by two independent groups of the FDA experts that found a 2-fold increase of the suicidal ideation and behavior in children and adolescents, and 1.5-fold increase of suicidality in the 18–24 age group. The suicidality was slightly decreased for those older than 24, and statistically significantly lower in the 65 and older group. (That's under the info for Lexapro, so it is not strictly Cymbalta)

This is a RARE side effect and I personally wouldn't let it ride whether or not I take it...if we read the side effects of every med we took and anticipated that we'd get them all, no one would take them and no one would ever benefit. I have known any NUMBER of friends and family who have been on SSRI's who have reaped the positive benefits and have not ever met anyone who had, or knew someone who had, this side effect.

That being said, sounds like you got hooked up with a "pill doctor", but at least you got the meds. Take them religiously, and I MEAN that. SSRI's are NOT to be taken like aspirin, or you will never have any benefit. It must build up in your system over time. However, if you really NEED it, many people (myself included and several family members) had a positive response to the meds within about 48 hours. (Kindof like getting a B-12 shot and feeling like you are bouncing off the walls...shows how much you really needed it, and how deficient you were). You may not notice (though your state of anxiety I would think you WOULD) a change, but your loved ones will surely notice. It's usually the people around you who notice it first. My mother-in-law, who is a recent widow and was forced to move up to be by her son and me (as she is getting on in years) had months of serious depression...hand wringing, crying jags ALL DAY LONG...she never noticed a change at all when she took her Lexapro (first) and then Cymbalta (which she was put on next). I tried to explain the significant improvement in her mental state but she attributes it to "getting used to the new house...etc." which is NOT the case. She was night and day within the first week.

Posts: 3660
Joined: Aug 2009

She sounds to me like a 'pill pusher'. I would be upset to be handed 3 new scripts that I had no experience with (especially when she had never before seen you. OPur bodies are all so different and most do react similarly to certain drugs but not all do. To start 3 new drugs of these types at one time can cause serious problems. Actually when I saw my psych Dr last week we talked about how differently drugs can be for different people. I deal with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) so she is a bit concerned with that duriing the winter. Once I was DX'd I've always been able to handle it with my light box, extra Vit D and keeping active. This year she told me that if I start doing a bit more time walking or biking in the gym from the 15 mins I do 3 times a week to 30 mins 6 days a week (plus the other workout I do) it would be the equivalent of taking 1 of the lowest doses of Zolof (sp?) daily - so going to start trying it after Christmas. I am one of those who do react differently - Valium and librium will have me royally wired. Amylitriptline (sp?) takes all feelings away from - nothing good nothing bad. A year ago I was given a different anti-depressant (Bupropium) to try for my ADD but the first lowest dose of it totally sent me to some other 'world'.

For me, while on Taxol I couldn't sleep at all so Chemo Dr gave me Lunesta but it was horrible - un-Godly nightmares which I never have nightmares. Called my PA and she gave me lowest dose of Ambien and it worked great - but then that's just me - not everyone.

None of my psych Drs have ever done a pee test on me. But then most have either been military or VA Drs so they had/have access to my records. THere have been times I saw civilian ones but they never pee tested either. I see Dr. K every 6 months but when I started with her, I saw her 2 weeks after first appt and then monthly for a few months before going on the 6 month schedule.

I hope that your meds do help you but be very careful til you know how you will handle them. For soome they caan literally be life savers

Wanikiya tonpi wowiyuskin


dianehelen's picture
Posts: 131
Joined: Nov 2012

Susan, i hear what you are saying and part of that is what i was so uncomfortable with. Someone who did not know me, giving me 3 scripts, And two of them were suggestions from me. What the hell do i know other than from what i read or see on tv, or talking to others.

I was really not comfortable with the whole deal.

At this point i don't even really know if i should be on these meds, other than maybe the as needed xanax. I really would have liked some one to talk to me and help me understand all the ramifications and if i really should be considering meds that need to be taken every day.

At this point i think I'm gonna give it a rest and wait till i see the new MO next week, who is highly recommended

Nothin' is easy huh?

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