Dear Doctor – An Open Letter to Psychiatrists

Dear Doctor,

Do you really see me? Really? Because when I look in your eyes all I see are memories of my manic episode. All I imagine you can see in me is the worst. The side of me that scared me too, the side of me that needs to be subdued.

But that’s not me today. Can you see me today? Did you ever learn about who I was before I came in to the hospital? Because I know I’m still good. I know that this terrible thing has happened to me but deep down, I am still me. I am still someone who deserves love, and joy, and a good life. There is still so much more to me.

But, Doc, you have one tool. You have a hammer and all I look like is another nail. 500mg of this, 3 g of that, 1000 mg of another. An upper, a downer, a leveler – do you really believe that will do the trick? Or maybe, deep down, you know it will not. But you don’t know anything else.

Have you lost a patient? Have you prescribed some cocktail and then that patient never came back? How do you know if a patient has committed suicide… is there an alert for these kinds of things? How many times does it happen before you become doubtful of your training? You start to ask yourself, am I helping or hurting?

What about the non-compliant one. You remember, she said she couldn’t stand the side effects and thought there must be another way. She seemed healthier than so many of the others but what does a healthy mental patient even look like anymore? Are they just better at toughing it out through the side effects and don’t complain? The one that just went on disability because they can hardly get out of bed but they take their doses religiously?

We’re all on the same team here – the team called humanity. We’re all good, deep down. Do you truly believe your prescription based on a diagnosis from a 15 minute meeting is healing?

I challenge you to dig deeper. Forget your training and start over. Maybe there is something more to this story. Maybe there is a nutrient deficiency, metal toxicity, microbiome imbalance, pest/parasite, or other root cause. And maybe therapy could help, but can it heal?

Let’s not rest. Let’s not just settle for this half-life with drugs. Demand full body analysis, don’t just chalk it up to a chemical imbalance. Unless of course, you can Measure those brain chemicals you claim are imbalanced. I would like to see that. I also would like to feel better, not worse, when I’m supposed to be healing.

Doc, it’s not working out here. I can’t take it any longer and your “treatments” I can’t afford. How can we find a better way?

Remember, we’re on the same team. Don’t give up on me and I won’t give up on you. You’re part of a system and you can’t do too much about alone. But maybe you can do more together if more docs felt this way. Let’s not give up. Because bipolar doesn’t discriminate and God forbid it reaches you close to home.

Until our next appointment…

Your noncompliant patient

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