The Discriminating Doc: My Experience With Stigma And A Mental Health Professional

The Discriminating Doc: My Experience With Stigma And A Mental Health Professional

I feel I need to reblog this post after I received some discrimination today by a GP at my own surgery. I am absolutely mortified to think these people exist in the mental health profession. I was told the physical pain I have been living with the past few months was all psychological ( I never mentioned any mental health issues, he’d read my file and he mentioned to me that he had)
I was patronised and he didn’t believe a word I said, his parting words to me were ‘The best thing you can do is keep taking your meds and see a psychologist’

Wow thanks, great advice, I wonder why these things have never crossed my mind! It’s all so clear now. *sarcasm*,

It makes me wonder what these people say when you leave the room, or how many other people believe this nonsense because the ‘GP knows best’.

I was already disliked before I walked into the room, this doctor had no empathy for what I was going through and if anything, triggered my mental health issues. with his derogatory attitude and belittling comments .

If only his perception of BPD acknowledged the caring, intelligence and sensitivity of many who are pushed into this diagnosis group.

 

I have penned an open letter and sent it to my surgery

Dear Surgery,

I received some discrimination  by a GP (DR OLLEY) yesterday at my surgery (Village Green Practise).

I have Borderline Personality Disorder and I feel like I was already disliked before I walked into the room, this doctor had no empathy for what I was going through and if anything, triggered my mental health issues. with his derogatory attitude and belittling comments. I am absolutely mortified to think these people exist in the mental health profession.

I’m aware of the stigma towards BPD and how people pay attention to the more negative traits associated with BPD, including being called ‘attention seekers’ ‘manipulative’ ‘deceptive’ ‘demanding’ regularly within the medical profession. I think this Doctor had a lack of understanding for my condition, which is common.

I was told the physical pain I have been living with the past few months was all psychological. I never mentioned any mental health issues, he’d read my file and he mentioned to me that he had and he was aware of my mental health problems.

I understand that stress and mental health problems can affect periods, fertility etc and I have been experiencing heightened anxiety recently which I am dealing with. But I always have done, I don’t remember a time in my life I didn’t have to deal with the same issues regarding my mental health.

I was patronised and he didn’t believe a word I said, his parting words to me were ‘The best thing you can do is keep taking your meds and see a psychologist’ I didn’t visit about that!

I went in to talk about fertility, I have missed 2 periods and have had pain and discomfort for a few months and pelvic pain which at one point I went to A & E as it was very painful, I still have discomfort and  I was worried it was all related.

He told me that in my file, when I went to the hospital the doctors there had said that ‘there was no problems and I was just ‘upset’

I would like to add that on this occasion, I had waited in a waiting room for 5 hours after being sent there a following a 1 hour wait in a walk in centre.

Eventually, I was given some advice, reassurance and a pregnancy test and sent on my way. I was in pain for weeks thereafter and pelvic pain was very uncomfortable and embarrassing to have to talk about as I have had to get many internals and prodding and poking around in a private part of my body.
At the time, having to explain this to various doctors at the hospital was pretty humiliating but the pain was bad. If I had only went because I was ‘upset’ or seeking attention and being dramatic, then the 5 hour wait with no medical attention would have certainly put me off. But I waited as I was worried. After yesterday, I now think, did they not believe me either? Is it true what they said? Can I trust any of these professionals? Or is it just the opinion of this narrow-minded doctor?

I kindly insisted Dr Olley refer me to the scan that I had been advised to have , which he did but told me he didn’t think there would be a problem, so didn’t see the point. He also questioned the advice of the DR that took my first scan (and recommended a second) , saying it made no sense.

I mentioned my mother has had fertility and ovarian problems similar when she was younger, which gave me concerns and he said ‘Well why does she keep telling you that? Is she a medical professional?’

Towards the end of my appointment after being patronised, I asked what about the pain and discomfort, will it show on the scan if there’s a problem related to this he simply said No.
I asked what I should do then, he said again its all physiological, come back when the pain is so bad you can’t get on with your daily activities and its making serious impact on your life.

It makes me wonder what these people say when you leave the room, or how many other patients in my position believe this nonsense from these type of Doctors, because they have faith in the caregivers or system.

If only his perception of BPD acknowledged the caring, intelligence and sensitivity of many who are pushed into this diagnosis group.At first it made me question everything I have learnt so far, I actually doubted myself for a minute and became a little angry and upset by it. I felt like a monster again, like the first day I got diagnosed and I Googled Borderline Personality Disorder and seen the negative blogs, websites and forums and seen the terrible things that people had to say about this type of disorder.

But then I gathered my thoughts and realised that actually, I have been treated. I have attended therapy for years, helped many others through blogging and have over 300,000 hits. through this. I thought about when I was finally offered help via the mental health team and finally given the right coping strategies and tools to work with, I slowly learnt how to better regulate my emotions and manage my reactions and moods.

I certainly don’t feel like I did back then and have a better understanding of BPD, meaning that I know the triggers and how to handle them.

I have researched BPD for years, So I’m aware of what people think…but what I can say is that when I have had problems it is because I have genuinely felt pain, If I ever attempted suicide it was not for attention as I was genuinely debating whether to go through with it or not, If I needed a doctor I needed to see one, just like everyone else.

I don’t get angry like I used to, I don’t cut, I live as normal a life as possible and function well and I am part of the community like everyone else. I wouldn’t have been able to do so without the therapy or treatment I received and all the hard work I have put in. I could probably teach this General Practitioner a thing or two about mental health and BPD.

I felt the need to write this as when I got home last night, I sobbed. I had a moment of weakness and was upset and again feel like I can’t trust the Doctors and felt discriminated against. I am still concerned over the issues I went in with. If there is no problem with my concerns, then peace of mind or reassurance would have done.

For the people with mental health problems that have not got the coping strategies and cannot recognise when things could go wrong or how to control their feelings or reactions, this would have triggered an episode. So It could not be left unsaid.

I have previously added a post relating to the Stigma towards BPD (Common Misconceptions And Myths Attached To BPD, Lets Get a Few Things Straight!. )

I’m going to share with you something that has made my blood boil for the past 2 days…

So I was talking to this guy recently, just general chit chat.  He is a mental health worker in a Crisis Unit in a Hospital. We got onto the subject of me studying mental health and completing my course and I mentioned that I would like to concentrate on some specialised learning in Personality Disorders because it really interests me.

See, I would like to do some charity work as when I was diagnosed, leading up to it and after the diagnosis,  I wasn’t happy with the care I received from the NHS and I  felt fobbed off. I know a LOT of people who feel the same…

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