In the doctor’s office

90 day humility by katyhutch

90 day humility by katyhutch

Anna David shares her personal experience with an all-too-common problem. Doctors who don’t understand addiction and do more harm than good:

I continued to see my pinkie-ring psychiatrist for the next year or so, because he told me I had to if he was to keep prescribing me Paxil and Ambien—drugs I was convinced I needed. I thought he was a terrible psychiatrist and a worse person, and found the $250 half-hour sessions a serious financial strain. But he was a professional, and I was desperate and afraid.

Then one day he calmly explained that he couldn’t continue to see me, and I “must know why.” I theorized it had to do with my constantly telling him I’d gone out of town again and—would you believe it—had left my bottle of Ambien in Houston or Vegas (in reality I was barely leaving my apartment and taking roughly 10 times the amount he’d prescribed me). But I was too ashamed to say anything, so I only nodded.

He told me to find a new shrink, and that he wouldn’t give me any more Paxil; then he handed me a prescription for six months’ worth of Ambien. At no point did he mention AA, rehab, or even the words “addict” or “addiction.” I left his office hysterically crying, scrip in hand, feeling like he hoped I would kill myself.

It’s a big enough problem that we decided to add it to our education series.

3 Comments

Filed under Controversies, Harm Reduction, Treatment

3 responses to “In the doctor’s office

  1. I understand that it is hard for both the patient and the physician to be in such a situation. As a patient you are just too paranoid about your anxieties while the other would be desperately looking for ways to help you until such time that he will be a victim of his own frustration.

  2. Big thanks to Anna for her bravery in sharing her story. This is frightening and scary, I deeply hope for more support and education around addiction for the doctors and medical professionals who have the power to make the situation worse instead of better.

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