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Struggle with pdoc -- thinking of GG (long)

Posted by Aphrodite on December 8, 2004, at 12:51:32

I went to an acclaimed (expensive) pdoc yesterday at my T's insistence. She is a friend of his, and he assured me she was "perfect" and that all of his clients had success with her. (I tend to think the last bit was a warning for me not to let my exacting standards be a problem!)

She was 20 minutes late. She hadn't read the very thorough report my T had sent so we could hit the ground running. She seemed preoccupied. She took a history of my prolonged traumas. I was uncomfortable, but she seemed to be listening so I recounted it all as best I could. It is SO, SO hard for me to divulge these things! That is why my T wrote it up for me in the first place. Anyway, it was a bit emotional to hear all of my life's woes condensed into such a short amount of time -- I felt emotionally overwhelmed.

She put her pen down and launched into one controlled lecture after another. She was accusatory -- "You mean you didn't tell anyone about your csa until now?!?!? Why not?!?!" "Why are you just now seeing a psychiatrist?" My personal favorite was her parting comment, "It seems a shame that you were not placed into the right family of origin, but to then grow up and *choose* to have more problems is especially troubling."

Yuck, yuck, yuck. It's painful enough to be honest but to have that kind of response is devastating for someone highly personally sensitive. I didn't fight back. I was trying my best not to cry.

She also told me I wasn't depressed; I was confusing it with grief. My real problem is anxiety. It was actually a fairly interesting take. I was also pleasantly surprised by her innovative medical approach that did not include an SSRI, and since I absolutely refused to take anything for sleep that was addictive, she gave me a mood stabilizer to calm me at bedtime.

My inclination was to never, ever in a bizzillion trillion years go back to her. I told my T who was very sympathetic and thought that I needed empathy, not a lecture. He said he had forwarned her of my particular sensitivities in the unread report. He said I had his permission to hate her. He even offered to reimburse me for my expense, which I would never take, but I appreciated the offer.

Then I started thinking about GG. She had worked out her issues with her stern pdoc. I often think that my standards are so impossibly high, no one will please me. So, instead of retreating like I always do, I looked at the fact that she has a good rapport and working relationship with my T and that she is innovative in her medication style. I started to blame myself for not communicating well. After all, EVERYONE else likes her, it must be me!

So, I wrote her a letter stating all of my appreciation but expressing my concerns about her tone and criticism and how I felt that I would be inhibited from being truthful if I were met with this kind of response. I said that perhaps we got off on the wrong foot, I blamed my discomfort with the therapeutic environment, but asked her professional advice on this working relationship and told her that since she is so well-respected, could she refer me elsewhere if she thought we couldn't work this out. I was very proud of the letter. I thought I was directly confronting my problem instead of giving up, but I was expressing it kindly and professionally.

I got a voice mail from her today stating, "I was surprised to get your letter. I am perfectly capable of helping you, and I don't know how you could draw a conclusion otherwise based on one visit. Keep your next appt., and if you're still not comfortable, we'll talk about a transfer. I assume you'll tell me if this response is insufficient."


I need advice. Are pdocs just like this? Am I expecting too much? Do warm and fuzzy pdocs exist? Should I persevere with this person?




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