Posted by katekite on April 19, 2002, at 15:54:15
In reply to help! (rant; advice?), posted by Elizabeth on April 19, 2002, at 1:52:57
I have moved a lot. I've seen, I am counting now, probably 10 pdocs in 10 years.
Some have big issues about benzodiazepines, but if benzos work for you and you feel comfortable with it, that's more important than dependence concerns. My life vastly improved after a valium prescription 4 years into working on finding meds that helped. Now finally I'm in a position, happily, to get off of them altogether and can't wait. But that's beside the point.
Last summer and fall I had my first pdoc who doubted me. I had moved from leniant CA to conservative east coast. He felt I was "non-compliant" after I took the sample pack of paxil from him in his office (after he badgered me into agreeing to try it after I repeatedly said no, it didn't work before, it puts me to sleep, I don't want it thankyou, what are the alternatives etc etc etc well fine ok i'll try it again) and then once home got disgusted at myself for wimping out, changed my mind, realizing that I'd only agreed out of wanting to end the conflict. But I used tiny doses of paxil occcasionally as a sleep aid (5 mg knocks me right out). I didn't call because I couldn't deal with it at the time.
So to him, not only was this non-compliant, I was 'self-medicating' and 'playing doctor'. And here I was basically too shy to call him to tell him I wasn't going to take it, would have told him at the next visit, and was just trying to make it through to that next visit. Wow. He never got over that. Every time I saw him after that, maybe 4 more times, he would ask me "are you really taking that much?" "So what else have you taken?". Every time asking me what I was taking, with this composed face so that he wouldn't raise his eyebrows if I said '400 mg of ativan a day'. Shit like that that only made me feel bad. As if I would take heroin on a whim, or for my birthday start dropping acid daily.
It was news to me that using previously prescribed meds in the way that helped me, without becoming dependent on them, was considered so terrible. 6 previous pdocs and 2 previous therapists had never made a comment on my educated guess uses of medication, one even went to phone only consults because it was more convenient and they trusted me to verbally convey what was going on, they understood I was poor, etc.
I was so down at the time I went along and saw him for months after his trust deteriorated, I assumed he would 'like me' if I 'was good'. I even spent time feeling bad about it. I just stopped telling him that I occasionally used paxil to sleep. Then I felt bad, was nervous in the appointments. Not a good solution. Need to be able to tell them everything.
So I've had extremely variable levels of trust and it doesn't seem to have anything at all to do with ME.
You need to find a pdoc to work with that you trust and who has some respect for you. Keep looking!
Incidentally I've now found it helps to control their benzo addiction worries if every time I mention benzos or sleep aids I also say how much I hate using drugs of any kind, that I worry about the addiction potential. Not every appoitment, but definitely the first time. It seems to turn the tables and they sit there and tell me really its ok. I know, that's manipulative, but darn it, we need to be assertive and get what we need.