Should I go to the hospital?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Gazpacho, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

    26,863
    4,052
    113
    This thread has turned into something very special- very enlightening. It's wonderful to read the experiences of so many. Life is never easy for anyone, but there is a purpose to the suffering. Gazpacho, I send you my love- that's all I can do. I don't have a story to share with you, but trust me that many people care about you, and want to help. I hope you feel better. Hugs.
     
  2. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    5,339
    687
    113
    OMG I absolutely cannot believe what I was just told. I'm still having suicidal periods and wasn't able to sleep all night because of bad thoughts. I called the psychiatrist's office explaining that I'm in a dire situation, and I need to see him soon. His assistant said the earliest she can get me in is late May. If I need to see someone sooner than that, I should go to the emergency room. WTF?! Aren't doctors supposed to have empty slots in their schedules for urgent cases? Can't they bump someone who is responding well to treatment and not feeling depressed?
     
  3. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

    9,920
    1,676
    113
    :wall: That's an assistant who doesn't understand his/her job . . . Keep bugging them!!!!
     
  4. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    7,485
    825
    113
    OMG, how awful. I wish I could help. Maybe, some of the hotlines could provide some answers, or at least, some suggestions as to how to get in sooner (or some temporary help until you can see the psychiatrist)
     
  5. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    18,026
    2,370
    113
    Maybe the emergency room would be your best bet, after all, though I know it doesn't sound appealing at all. At least you'd get someone to see you.
     
  6. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

    26,863
    4,052
    113
    That's horrible. I thought psychiatrists do respond to emergency situations like what you described.

    If things are that serious, and you can't get help otherwise, ER may actually be a way for you to see someone ASAP.
     
  7. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    11,214
    1,039
    113
    I would try this. Maybe someone on a hotline could help.

    I'm still :huh: that any dentist worth their salt could book a root canal appointment on short notice, but a psychiatrist can't book someone having suicidal thoughts on short notice?! Just what is up with the state of mental health treatment in this country?!

    But yeah, the ER does seem to be a catch-all for everything emergency-related, even if the hospital is not equipped to deal with your case. :(
     
  8. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    13,003
    1,801
    113
    One would hope that psychiatrists would make time for patients in crises immediately, but it doesn't surprise me that some don't. If I needed to see my family doctor due to an emergency, I don't know if I'd succeed. The clinic is under-staffed and it's hard to get an appointment within a few weeks. They might tell me to go to emergency.

    But maybe it would help if you pleaded your case a little harder, Gazpacho? If that doesn't work it might be best to go to emergency - unless there is a hotline you can call that could refer you to another psychiatrist who could see you immediately.
     
  9. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    It is fairly common for psychiatrists to encourage a patient, in crisis, to go to the hospital. My psychiatrist and therapist do not have an assistant. When I call them, they either answer the phone or I get a message machine. The machine says to leave a message and my call will be returned ASAP, however if it is an emergency go to the nearest ER.

    That said, this doctor seems to take this to a whole new level. I know that I have been encouraging you (Gazpacho) to go to the hospital. However, that would not be a good thing for me, due to my phobia of hospitals. My doctors know that, and would hesitate to send me there, unless it was beyond necessary. My doctors have called me back immediately and gotten me in ASAP when I have had a crisis (my Dad passing, my Mom passing, my anxiety level going off the charts for no understandable reason). In fact, when each of my parents died, my therapist cleared his day to give me two hours and didn't let me pay for it. This is the level of care Gazpacho should have. Some Doctors are not as invested in their patients as others. Gazpacho, I know you had a bad experience, when you were hospitalized before, so I understand your reluctance to go. Do you think you have become phobic? If not, possibly going to the ER, you would not be admitted, but they could send you to a different therapist/psychiatrist. Do you go to your psychiatrist for therapy? The practice I go to doesn't work that way. I see the psychiatrist 3 times a year, for med evaluation. I go to my therapist as often as is needed at the time. That could be twice a week, once a month, or I might go 6 months without needing to go. The psychiatrist and therapist work together. You really need to be seen. Can you contact your health insurance provider and get an in-network recommendation? I know there are not many out there, no one around here takes insurance. I get out of network reimbursement, which isn't much.

    You could also call one of the local hot lines. They can certainly talk to you. However, if they feel you are a danger to yourself, they will want you to go to the ER. They can talk you down from heightened anxiety, but they really cannot treat you. They may be able to recommend a doctor.
     
  10. Gypsy

    Gypsy Watching the Leaves Change!

    4,575
    1,300
    113
    That is so wrong!!! I agree that maybe it is not the doctor, but the idiot answering the phone who just has no clue. Please keep trying. Call them every hour on the hour and keep bugging them. Insist on talking to the doctor. Threaten to report them for not being there for someone who really needs help NOW!!!
     
  11. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    I don't know that that would help. It might antagonize the doctor and, as I said, protocol for a patient in crisis is go to the ER.
     
  12. Gypsy

    Gypsy Watching the Leaves Change!

    4,575
    1,300
    113
    I do suppose that is possible.

    I know that my friend in California used this when she was in crisis. By doing this, her doctor did call her and was angry that the person on the phone had not talked to her and let her know her patient was in desperate need of help.

    She resorted to this because when she went to the emergency room as suggested, they examined her and because they felt she was not in immediate danger...sent her home and told her to call her doctor.

    But truthfully, what will work in one case will not work in another.

    I just wish there was something more I could do to help!
     
  13. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    I know, I think we all feel that way. My thinking, re: the doctor, is that this has gone on long enough that he/she must be aware of the situation. His assistant may be incompetent, but I suspect he is not willing to rearrange his schedule.
     
  14. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    14,614
    2,496
    113
    Please, keep trying to get the help you need,
    This entire episode doesn't reflect well on your therapist, or those associated with him.
     
  15. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    12,827
    2,550
    113
    A therapist cannot be on call for 100% of their patients, 100% of the time. It's just not possible. The advice given to go to the ER in crisis is the standard most sensible advice for that reason. They can't, and should be expected to, rearrange their schedule and inconvenience many other clients - who also have mental health issues - at the drop of a hat. They would be doing it too often, and everyone that sees them needs it - regular, consistent therapy is so important to many, changing times is changing that consistency and not a good thing to many mental health patients (IME it gives them the excuse they're looking for to cancel appointment... :( .I've used it myself, and everyone I know who has been in therapy, has as well.) At my work, we find it the hardest thing to explain to clients that therapy needs to be regular, our clients are mostly weekly, and cancelling should be done only if absolutely necessary, and not for a little cough, or because traffic is going to be bad this week. We have never cancelled a session. I don't give clients the therapist's mobile number, they have mine, and our standard advice to for them to go to ER in a crisis. The therapist has working hours and doesn't work outside of them. Our clients have been given several ER numbers as well as another emergency psych number (some therapists work with all the big hospitals and rotate being on call, but they're all attached to the ERs).

    Cruisin, many would last two seconds with your therapist (I wouldn't like a therapist who cancelled for other clients) - cancelling or trying to rearrange an appointment too often because of another client would make many feel unimportant themselves...and who knows what issues other clients have, they could all be suicidal at some stage. It's not about the therapists not being invested in their clients, it's about respecting all clients and their time, as well as their non-work life. I work (professionally) with therapists, and really they have a tough job with everyone expecting so much of them. They have many clients, and friends and families, and their downtime is also so important for their job.

    Gaz, I really think you should go to the ER, call an emergency hotline etc, if in crisis. It really is the standard advice IME and not just your therapist. I haven't kept up with the thread well. Are you seeing a therapist on a regular basis? It doesn't sound like it with the only appointment being available in May. Is it possible for you to have regular (for example, weekly) appointments with a therapist?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  16. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

    7,249
    2,034
    113
    All of this^^^
    It is the Psychiatrist's responsibility to send someone the the ER in times of psychiatric crisis
    Angelskates, you are very well informed and wise.
    If I recall, Gaz doesn't have a regular therapist as it is too far and is difficult to get there.
     
  17. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    12,827
    2,550
    113
    Actually, our reasoning is also a little different to Gaz's most of the time. Our clients tend to think "crisis" is different to what we would consider a crisis. If we were on call, we'd never stop. And we don't specifically work in mental health. "Emergency" is used far too often with our clients :( I have sent a couple to ER though, and they did go, and it was the right thing for them to do. I don't think it means someone is not invested in their clients, as cruisin implies, because a therapist isn't on call all the time, and won't rearrange his/her schedule. Our therapist is not a psychiatrist (he's a music therapist, actually) but we have clients who asked about being on call during intake. They were satisfied with our policy, which is the same as their former psychologist and psychiatrist's policies.

    Oh, I must have missed the distance factor. :( I actually know some people who offer, and also some who have as patients, therapy over Skype. Is that an option?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  18. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    11,214
    1,039
    113
    Thank you Angelskates, for sharing your experience. You're right - we don't always know what the procedure is when a mental health patient calls in with an emergency. Everyone they're working with has issues, and they can't always give preferential treatment. And for a therapist, I do believe it's important to have some mental downtime too.

    Your solution, in providing several ER numbers as well as an emergency psych number is a good middle ground, I think. I believe Gaz's hesitation in going to the ER was because the one she went to before couldn't handle her case and couldn't treat her. They only held her, and being in a hospital is no fun if you're just sitting there! But if the ER is attached to a hospital that has a good psych department, or someone who deals specifically with psych issues on call, at least she'll know she'll get some actual treatment there.
     
  19. backspin

    backspin Active Member

    996
    124
    43
    **Summing up for those who haven't been following the thread** (please correct me if I'm wrong on anything):

    Gazpacho was actually assaulted in a hospital once, and I believe that is her main reason for resisting going now. It causes her great panic.

    She has been having trouble going outside her house at all, and has not been able to get to see her therapist due to that.

    The ER may be a good option for her, but it sounds like what she may need most of all right now is someone who is there in person to help her navigate some of these issues. She has said it is difficult to reach out and ask for the help, as she has a fear that no one will step up. Not knowing where she is, it's hard to be of much help other than sending encouragement and sympathy.

    I think calling the hotline and asking if there may be services that will send someone to help-- a patient advocate or maybe a neighborhood church who has volunteers who would be willing to help, might be a good step toward a solution.

    The ER may be the ultimate goal, but I think Gazpacho needs help in getting there.

    I'm so glad you're still reaching out and trying Gazpacho. Please keep trying, and please try to find someone who could be of help to you, to get you to the next step.
     
  20. CynicElle

    CynicElle Well-Known Member

    2,174
    373
    83
    Yes, this. Please keep checking in here too, Gazpacho. I think we all worry when we don't hear from you.
     
  21. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    Do you really believe that a therapist would change an appointment with a client who could not handle it? Therapists know who they can change and who they can't. If my therapist called me and asked me to come an hour later, because another patient had a crisis and needed to be seen, I would have no problem with that. He knows that and, so, I would be a patient he could change. So, if he skips lunch and moves one patient an hour earlier or later, I doubt he'd loose his patients. You stay with a therapist because you trust them and they help you. some patients cannot deal with change, but many can, and do.

    I never said that. In fact, if you read all of my posts, I said go to the ER if you are in crisis is protocol. However, with some patients, that is not an option.

    Not quite the same as a psychologist or a psychiatrist. I can't imagine needing an emergency music therapy session.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  22. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    18,026
    2,370
    113
    I can. "Give me 20 ccs of Beethoven, stat!" :D

    Seriously, Gazpacho, keep reaching out for help. That's a good impulse -- go with it. Whether it has to be the ER, or a hotline, or some other way, I pray you get the help and support you need and that you'll be safe and comfortable with whoever you're working with.
     
  23. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    12,827
    2,550
    113
    Maybe you should research a bit then cruisin. Music therapists (and other creative therapists) are therapists, many also social workers, just like clinical counsellors and treat depression, bipolar disorder etc. They are used in the emergency field (especially in trauma and with children) as well as regular therapy, anger and behaviour management, self-harm, anxiety etc. Clinical counsellors are also not psychiatrists or psychologists but are also used in emergencies. A bit different, yes, but that doesn't mean you need to be dismissive.

    You said that some doctors are more invested than others, and while that is true (in every single field) it doesn't mean that Gaz's therapist is not invested because he isn't on call and won't rearrange a schedule. You have no idea about their other clients, his schedule etc. You implied that because he isn't on call and won't rearrange his schedule, like your doctor did, he's not as invested in caring for Gaz. I think that implication is unfair.

    And while your comment may be sarcastic and meant as a joke, Wyliefan, it also shows a complete lack of understanding of what creative therapy is. I wonder if you'd joke about it if it had helped someone you knew when traditional therapy hadn't. We've helped children, parents, caregivers and also professionals like psychologist and psychiatrists through music therapy. In fact we've held workshops for those in the traditional mental health field, and we get referrals from them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  24. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    18,026
    2,370
    113
    My apologies, Angelskates. I wasn't in the least trying to be sarcastic. I think music therapy is awesome and I'm all for it (and Beethoven is my favorite composer!). I was only trying to lighten the mood a bit.
     
  25. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    12,827
    2,550
    113
    Music therapy doesn't often involve listening to music (though it can, and actually receptive music therapy is the oldest kind). I don't think we have any Beethoven in our MT room. Most of the music therapy we do is active or Orff music therapy.
     
  26. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    12,827
    2,550
    113
    Gaz does your region have a listing of therapists who either do house calls or offer something like therapy over Skype? Could you contact either your local hospital or health department to ask? Personally I think I'd rather see someone's face, even not in person, than just hear their voice. Sometimes it offers an additional comfort. Is this something you would consider, or can follow up on just to see if it's a possibility?

    If you'd consider this, you could even choose someone who isn't in the same country as you (though I don't know how that would work with insurance or anything). I know some who have found this effective.
     
  27. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    I am well aware of what music, art, equine therapies are and do. They are components of on going therapy. However, if a patient is in crisis, suicidal, that is not the first line of defense. Getting the patient evaluated and deciding what form of therapy is needed is.

    We only know what is being communicated here. From the sound of it, Gazpacho's doctor is not giving her the level of care she needs. Her (seeming) only contact is via a receptionist. It doesn't appear the the doctor calls her back and/or speaks to her himself. That, for me, is a problem. He/she must have a few minutes between patients where he can at the very least call her and speak to her personally. That is what I consider the care she needs. I am fortunate that my doctors do understand that sometimes they have to triage patients. They know who can manage a change and who cannot. They also understand that sometimes one patient's crisis has to take priority over another patient's routine visit. This has been going on for months, Gazpacho has gotten no satisfaction. Gazpacho, how many times have you spoken to or seen your therapist in the last 3 months? Does he make an effort to explain things to you and do you get talk therapy time? As I said before, around here, psychiatrists do not do the talk therapy, they mostly manage meds. You see an associate of theirs (a psychologist PHD) for talk therapy. They manage your care together.

    I am sure that is true. But, I still do not think creative therapists and/or social workers are the first people to see when in crisis. And my comment was not sarcastic or a joke. I have dealt with crisis, and I want a physician.
     
  28. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    14,614
    2,496
    113
    I had no idea that my comment, upthread, would elicit such a response, Angelskates.
    Given what Gazpacho has shared with us, I don't see how anyone would take issue with what I said.
     
  29. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

    7,249
    2,034
    113
    Licensed counselors/social workers/Psychiatric nurses are often the best people with whom to communicate when in crisis. They save lives every day.
    A Psychiatrist (MD) may not have the ongoing skills or time to do an adequate intervention...many doctors are only equipped for medication management.
     
  30. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    Often, that is necessary when a patient is in crisis. A physician is needed to evaluate and diagnose the patient. Then, prescribe appropriate meds to get them to a state where talk therapy can be effective. A counselor may be able to talk a person down from a crisis, but that is immediate, and temporary. It doesn't address the underlying chemical issues for a person who is bi-polar.