Raw and Open: The Downfalls of a Temporary Psychiatrist

Guest Author: Jody Betty

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

So I am just over three weeks into a new med called Elavil, and although I am not feeling better, I also am not feeling worse, which for me, could be a step in the right direction.

I have tried so many meds in the last few years, over half of which made my depression even worse, and the side effects of the others were simply too much to bear, especially given the fact they were not helping my depression. I am on a low dose, only 25 mg and aside from the constant headache and brain fog, the side effects have been minimal. I see my psychiatrist in a few days and am fully expecting that she will increase the dose to see if I start to feel better.

I had lost hope in finding one who I could connect with.

It is that upcoming appointment that has me so anxious that I find myself needing to write this blog. As you may or may not know, I have had terrible experiences with psychiatrists and after seeing so many, I had lost hope in finding one who I could connect with. Long story short, but through the backdoor of the system I managed to get a short term psychiatrist through crisis services, which means that I have access to her for three months only.

Friday will be my second and probably my last appointment with her which is causing me great anxiety, to the point of panic. It seems surreal to me that there are so many people and so few resources that I can only get two appointments in the course of three months.

It is not an irrational or emotionally driven fear of abandonment or losing someone, because we have only talked for about 45 minutes, and even I can’t form a bond that quickly. It is the same fear I have been dealing with since I was born…being lost in the cracks of the system. It has taken well over a decade to find someone I feel safe and comfortable with, and that is going to be taken from me very soon. It makes me wonder how to proceed from here on. I will be literally begging for her to make an exception and see me every six months, just for a medication check.

If not, I am going to be left unmonitored, as I have been for the last few years. Sure she prescribed a new med, but what if it stops working, or needs increased? There is no one to turn to, and I certainly cannot afford to see one privately, which leaves getting on the nine month waiting list again, in hopes that I will not have to deal with the same horrid psychiatrist that I ended up with last time.

Yes I have a family doctor and a therapist however, neither are as educated on psych meds as I am. I have read and researched every aspect of every drug I have tried. Nearly every med I have tried has been based on my suggestion to my GP, who then just writes a prescription and I go on my merry way. Each time I have had to stop one, both my therapist and doctor were made aware, yet I was left on my own to deal with the withdrawals. 

Anxiety is like playing “what if” in your head.

As of now, I am about as prepared as I can be that this will be my last appointment with her, and possibly the last time I can see a psychiatrist for months. I will be asking what happens if the increase of Elavil doesn’t work, and if I have to wean off, what is the best way to do so. I will also be asking for a list of the next medications she would suggest, and the starting dosages so I can work off that with my family doctor. I have a list of questions and concerns to be addressed in case I get frazzled and forget all that I want to say, but none of that quiets the anxiety in my head; the voice screams with full force and the memories of the negative experiences.

Anxiety is like playing “what if” in your head all the time, about every single thought that floats through your mind and often the build-up is far worse than the experience itself, however, that does not diminish the stress it causes in the meantime. I know the worst case scenario and am as ready as I can be, but I know that emotionally, it will take a toll on me. It will set me back a bit while I struggle with losing another part of my already small safety net.  

Jody Betty is a guest blogger for SickNotWeak who, in her own words, is a master at the art of survival. She lives with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and is co-afflicted with MDD, Dysthymia and Social Anxiety. She has survived three serious suicide attempts and a handful of overdoses which lets her know it isn’t her time. You can read her blog “Raw and Open” posted tri-weekly on Thursdays on SNW.


Donna Hudson

I honestly don’t know where I would be if I were in your shoes. I don’t even have the words to say how deeply this saddens me. I have had several Psychiatrists over the years, some I liked and some I didn’t. I always had access to Psychiatric care. Now I think Alberta will start to have a shitty Health Care System because of changes that are taking place. I am okay for now, I see my Psychiatrist about once in three months. I also have started EMDR therapy with my Mental Health Therapist. I want you to know I care what happens to you. Please feel free to dm or text me anytime you need. I also have free phone calls in Canada. I hope your appointment gets well tomorrow, and I will keep my fingers crossed that the Psychiatrist will continue to see you. Take care my friend.

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