Mental Health Awareness Australia

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Recently, I was given the opportunity to write a weekly post for the Mental Health Awareness Australia Facebook page.  I haven't shared any of these posts on my blog so far, but I thought I would share this one as I feel it's an important one.  My other posts, as well as some great support and info from others on the page, can be found at:

S ☓

I've been thinking a lot lately about my experiences with different doctors & psychiatric specialists.  So I thought I would share with you some of my less than desirable bumps in the road.  I am also really interested to know if many others have had similar experiences, so please do let me know if you have.  I'd love to hear your stories.

Originally, when I first started to feel myself breaking down and I realized that it was more than just "feeling a little down or stressed", I went to my GP for help.  Her answer was to change my antidepressants and send me on my way.  After I spiraled out of control and was inconsolable, my fiancĂ© called the GP demanding that she do something, anything to get me in to see a psychiatrist asap.  She told me to up the dose of the pills I was taking and then the following week she finally got me in to see someone, after putting it off for weeks beforehand.

When I went to see the psychiatrist for the first time, I had to have my mum take me as I couldn't drive myself and was in no condition to be out on my own.  She literally had to hold onto me at times, because I was so crippled by anxiety that I couldn't walk myself down the street.  Any way, this psychiatrist turned out to be possibly the worst person I could have gone to in my state.  She sat me down, asked a few general questions, then sent me away with a script.

This went on every week for months.  She charged me $260 per session, did not offer me ANY cognitive therapy of any kind, but sent me away with a different lot of pills almost every time.  During that time I was on Lithium, Seroquel, Zoloft and Xanax all at the same time.  I was getting worse and it was at that time that I became suicidal.  I lost hope that anyone would ever be able to help me.

Finally I found the strength to find myself a new GP, who then referred me to a fantastic psychologist, who then also referred me to a new psychiatrist to get my meds sorted out.

I'm now alternating between psychologist and psychiatrist every couple of weeks, and of course keeping the GP updated and in the loop.

I really believe that if I had kept seeing my original doctors, I would have continued to get worse and I would have ended it by now.  I just couldn't have kept going the way I was.

I thought this was an important post to write, because I hate the thought of others going through the same agony.

Some of these "doctors" can be down right dangerous, so if you ever feel that you're not getting the help you truly need and SO deserve - please don't be afraid to start over again with someone new.

I wish I had have taken that step a lot sooner for myself, but I was so vulnerable and desperate for help - I was terrified I'd just end up lost in the system somewhere and not be able to find anyone else.

I would love to know if any of you have similar stories, so please do comment or contact me if you'd like to share.

Wishing all a fantastic week ahead filled with as many smiles as possible!

Stephanie ☓
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  1. Thank you so much for posting this. It really means a lot to see another young girl talk so openly about mental health. You are such a beautiful example to our generation. Please keep posting. I can't wait to read more! xoxo Kayla

    1. Thank you so much Kayla! Your comment means a lot to me as I'm a big fan of your YouTube videos and blog. Thanks so much for following, you've made my day ☓

  2. The thing is, a lot of them dont truly understand because they've not been through it.. and even some who have been trained in depression cant help themselves at some point and get on their high horses and they can really set you back. In my experience.. they were not helpful, to a large extent.


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S ☓