I need advice.

I suffer from panic-attacks and depression and I have a good medication for it, it does not help me to use a bus or attend mass and when I need to go to shop I must choose a time when the shop is as empty as possible from customers but my life is a bit easier with these pills. When we (me and my dog) did move to a new place in February 2012 I also was forced to change doctor. The first time I saw her she did accuse me saying I have a “serious drug-problem” (the medication I take is also, alas, one that some people do abuse) and she did make it very clear that I must stop taking them, and she also was very concerned the pills I get I may sell on the street to get money. And the icing was when she wanted to measure my blood-pressure asking first if I am right or left handed. Well, that is pretty obvious she wanted to see if I had any needle marks on my arm, and she was very harsh. I really had no other possibility to start reducing my medication, luckily very slow and during a long time. I did ask her how this will help me and the answer was that it is wrong to use these tablets for a long time and that twelve years are way to long time. Problem though is that they help me to get along, but she does not understand that. And since that day she has somehow been able to mess up almost every prescription someway, last was the “best”. The prescription is valid only eight days but she have told the pharmacy that they can not sell them before 6.11.13! (In Finland a prescription is usually valid one year.)

OK, here is the problem. She is old, well, old and old, I am 53 but she is most likely older and I think she will retire soon, but before that she have many opportunities to do real harm to many patients she treat. I know I have no legal responsibility to do anything but if I do not report her and she happen to kill someone I must live with that the rest of my life. I don’t want to do any harm, I mean, she have the right to retire without any stains on her record, so, what shall I do. I am between the rock and the hard place. I don’t like her, and what she accuse me is absolutely wrong. I do not abuse drugs neither do I sell them on the street, but even if I don’t like her I can not do anything wrong against her, at the end of the day all we have is our [good] reputation. So what shall I do? She has made up her mind about me, and could not be more wrong but that mean that if I talk with her she will not listen because all she see in me is a “drug addict” trying to get all pills I can. If I report her I may destroy her reputation. To report her may save someones life, but destroy her reputation. So, what shall I do?

Do you have a regular confessor? I would suggest that you should talk with him about this.

I don’t mean to be off-putting on this matter, but it would be much better if you could talk to someone who knows you well and talk with them in person…

Peace
James

It would probably not do any good and would involve you in a lot of stressful situations. I would just try to find a different doctor. The best thing for you would be to stop thinking about yourself and do some volunteer work helping others, and go for long walks and get a lot of exercise and fresh air.

Linus2nd

I am sorry to hear that you were wrongly accused of being a drug addict. Maybe a letter to whoever is in charge will help and maybe you will get an apology.
As for not reporting her and as you said " and she happen to kill someone" I think that that statement is a harsh one to make. I don’t see how her wanting to take people off medication that can be abused is harmful. If this medication is being sold on the street by people then I would imagine that it can be highly addictive. I think that she is being responsible and infact trying to save lives. I think that she has a duty to question how long her patients have been on medication. It is best imo that alternatives are offered as a way of coping with life without the use of relying on medication when the person doesn’t have to.
I am wondering, why not seek out other coping stratergies and therapies? I would also wonder why after all these years of being on these meds, are they really working, because as you say, you still suffer with panic attacks and depression? Maybe her concern is that you have become dependant on these meds.

Oh…you also wrote… “And the icing was when she wanted to measure my blood-pressure asking first if I am right or left handed. Well, that is pretty obvious she wanted to see if I had any needle marks on my arm”
No…it is not obvious that she was.

Dearest Lasting Faith,

Can you look for a new doctor soon?

Once you have the new doctor, ask to be treated with both medication and therapy for your disorders of panic attacks and depression.

Have your new doctor do a complete new evaluation and determine the best medication for you today. Also ask for a therapist or counselor who can help you know how to make changes in your life and your thought processing to help you with your sufferings.

You want to be able to feel comfortable with the doctor who treats you, this doctor you have today does not bring you peace.

(For how to deal with your struggle if you should report the doctor, you can discuss this with your priest when he comes to visit you.)

May God give you peace in your search for the right doctor and therapist who will work with you to heal your sufferings in your disorders. May God relieve you of your concerns and sorrows you feel from this doctor. May you enjoy today in all of its beauty.

Thank your answers.

I have been struggling with this wretched disorder since 1980 and after almost twenty years of therapy and different medications this is the only thing that work and she is taking it away from me. Yes, I am dependent on these drugs but rather that then a life where I can’t even go to the shop. (Why do you think one of our priests come once a month to hear my confession and giving me Communion?) I do know that some people do abuse this type of drugs, but that does not mean I would. I am retired and my pension is very small, so I can not go private, I must stay within the public health system, which is not so bad here in Finland. Before we did move to the place where we now live I was told that this medication is for the rest of my life unless someone invent a “wonder drug” that is not so addictive, but as for now this is the best they can offer me. Sadly this doctor don’t seem to have gone thru my papers because all she need to know it is right there.

And my comment on her possible future doing a serious mistake I have a feeling she very well might do one. If she is able to mess up a pretty straight forward prescription (all she need to do was to write “4+½+3 pills each day, minus ½ pill each month” and the name of the drug) she seem to have some problem of her own, and I can’t help that I feel responsible for what may happen if I don’t do something. Problem is that I don’t know what. I am stuck with this quack for a long time I am afraid, the public health system here has one flaw, you can not change doctor if you want to.

I don’t know what you think about me or think I am like, but I can assure you that I am not a drug addict. Yes, I am well aware that they come in all shapes and colors and some you never will spot even if you see him/her every day, but I am not one of “those”. For thirteen years I have been tied to a area as big as I can walk with my dog, in the early years of this millennium I was able to attend Mass on Sundays but that was a long time ago. I can go to the shop when I know there is not much people but that is that. So you see, y world is not so big anymore. Of course I would like to be “normal” (what ever that may be) but as for now it is not possible. This medication was the best they could come up with and it do help, or rather, did help, a bit but now when the dosage is about half of what is was it don’t do much good anymore. And I did feel a bit offended when she did accuse me of being a addict, which I am, but not as people think, and also selling these pills on street, and when she wanted to measure my blood-pressure it was only for one reason, that I am sure about. I am not saying she is the “doctor from hell” but I do think she is not competent as we hope our doctor should be. Yes, she may be a good doctor and by no doubt, if not anymore she have been once. I don’t want to be like this, but what can I do? Convince my self that I am healthy and do not need any pills anymore? If it only was that easy. All I can do is to walk with my dog, clean the flat, watch TV and sit in front of my lap-top waiting for the first Friday each month when the priest come. My children do come sometimes but not as often as I would like to, and I do want to see my grandchild but as it is now it happen less then once a month. So these pills do not make me “happy” but they did help as much as I could ask for, and now she is about to take that from me, and I am worried she make a mistake with some patient.

If it is definite that she(your doctor) is going to take you off the meds completely, then another solution will have to be found…CBT maybe?
You are in my prayers. Hugs:gopray2:

I am not sure what evidence you think you have to “report” the Dr. That is just listening to gossip and I think you are leaning this way because you didn’t like the advice to get off of the long term use of medicine. If you are taking drugs to deal with the anxiety which sounds severe. You need to be in therapy as well. It is brave of the Dr. to point out you maybe be dependent on prescription drugs. In reality, prescription drugs are the biggest abuse drugs more so that illegal drugs. Since you are in a new area, you needed to find a therapist as well. I think asking about which are you use in order to take your pressure is very common and it isn’t an expection of your arms for drug use. You are reading into that way too much. You have no basis to report the dr. it sounds like she didn’t do anything wrong and in the long term makes you look bad for making a false report over advice you didn’t like.

Find a different doctor. Soon.

I don’t think you should do anything. The doctor didn’t do anything medically wrong and she isn’t going to “kill someone” by trying to find out if they are addicted to their medication. It is normal for a doctor to ask a new patient how much of a drug they are taking, how long they have been taking it, and to check their blood pressure. Pretty much all doctors check your blood pressure no matter what you go in for. Frankly, you sound paranoid. If you don’t like the doctor, than get a second opinion. Everything you described is normal behavior for a doctor who is seeing a new patient in your situation.

So I am the “bad guy” in this sorry situation?

I did see a shrink for almost twenty years and the best they could offer in the end was this medication. And BTW, I am not paranoid. I don’t have the money needed to go private and the public health care do not anymore provide me with a psychiatrist because they can not help me so I really don’t have much to choose. All I need is help, and these pills are the best they can offer me. And now I don’t have any options left. (And that is pretty scary.)

I do understand that you take the doctors side, well, not all of you, and to call me paranoid is not very nice, I don’t think that is what Christ did teach us. I did ask this question, and I am sorry it did upset your world where everything is nice and shirpy but outside there are real people with real problem. I understand well that mental problems are not something you discuss at supper so I am sorry I did ask.

No matter what you think about me, I am a fellow Catholic who did reach out for advice what to do with a doctor that most likely are not competent anymore. This has nothing to do with my health or what maybe is wrong with me, I only had to give you the full story because it is relevant to my question. If I would have problems with let us say my heart most answers would have been very different. But as I did write, I am the “bad man” and the doctor a Saint. All I am concerned about is the fact that she maybe do a serious mistake. That was the real question, I never thought it would become a debate about how much I have done wrong and am I or not a drug-addict. To answer that, no, I am not. (If these pills would be for my heart nobody would have said anything, and a person with heart problem are in a way also “addicted” to the medication.) Let us put it this way: your neighbour own a gun and he is talking about shooting someone with it, would you report that somewhere? Reckon you would. And here is a doctor who can’t even get the prescription right, that do indicate that she is not “up to date” anymore. But, I should never had ask this question, I just thought I would have got a few friendly hints what to do, somehow they did blend in to my “illness” and what I should do to, which was seek help for my problems. I have done that, have I not?

Actually, I am well aquainted with mental illness. It’s discussed at my dinner table with great regularity. I have immediate family members with depression, anxiety, bi-polar, and addiction problems. None of them like it when their doctors tell them ‘no’ either. I already told you the best course of action for you to take. If you think your doctor is wrong about your medication, then you need to seek out a different doctor whom you trust. That doctor will probably also take your blood pressure and ask you questions you don’t like in order to determine if the medication is right for you. However, they may come to a different conclusion than the first doctor did.

People have offered you advice and you do not like the advice that has been offered. Comparing someone with a heart problem needing medication with someone with depression and anxiety is like comparing apples and oranges. Totally not in the same category. Have you asked your doctor what you should do to deal with your illness after the meds stop? If so what did she say?
I thought it helpful to be solution orientated, that’s why I mentioned CBT.

No one here is thinking you are a bad guy or Catholic. You asked for advise and were given honest replies. My husband is a social worker and deals with these sorts of things all the time. People who struggle with anxiety and depression and are taking medication for it should be in some kind of therapy. While the medication helps with some symptoms, medication does not deal with the root causes of these types of problems. If you have health insurance to see a medical Dr, you should have coverage to see a psychiatrist which is a medical dr, or a psychologist or even a social worker. There are community resources for you, you need to search them out.

When I did post this question my main concern was, and is, are this doctor competent or not. I was foolish enough to tell you the reasons why I must see a doctor or why I am retired. That part of this issue have for some reason start a life of it’s own. My mental problems is not the issue. And I did mention her behavior only to give you a view of her way of handling [patients] me. I am so sorry I am sick, that seem to be a bigger thing here then my main concern. I can not do anything about my own mental health because all that can be done is done. Time to wait for the “wonder-drug” that someone may invent at some point. All I can say about her decision to slowly get me “off the bad drug” has nothing to do with the question. And yes, I do get offended when someone tell me that I am paranoid, and most likely I am not the only one. So if we please, could get back to the subject. You really don’t need to feel sorry for me, or tell me that I am addicted to this drug, I have come to the conclusion that a Catholic living in Europe, or even worse, in Finland, are not PC on a mainly US web-site. (So much for a Catholic Church, Catholic do mean “universal”, does it not?) And no, I don’t have a drug-problem, I take only as much as prescribed, I am reducing the dosage as planned, or dictated, by my GP. I do not sell drugs nor do I buy them on the street, I get them perfectly legal from a pharmacy. And yes, it will be a big problem for me when I am no longer able to even go to the shop but I think that it is not something you will lose any sleep for. For some reason nobody maybe ever will know I am not very popular here, but that is really not my problem. What was it Jesus did teach? Ah, now I remember, “love thy neighbor as you love your self”.

All what I really want to know is what would be the appropriate action when a patient both see and understand that the doctor is no longer able to fulfill his/hers duty against the sick people who need care? After debating my “drug-problem” and “paranoia” I think that can’t be so hard to do, I guess?
So, from what I have seen during the last year and a few month’s she is very nervous, she mess up even the most simple task and are not very well trained in how to write a prescription using a computer, we don’t use paper-prescriptions anymore in Finland, it is a system that connect all doctors and health care centers with all the pharmacies. It is a very good system that prevent any falsified prescriptions and help doctors to see what the patient do use so that they can make sure all drugs are safe together. Actually, it makes it impossible for anyone to get more drugs they need, and for doctors to see if they need them at all. But back to the question. In your mind, what should I do? I think she knows that everything is not OK but are to proud to admit it, and all I want is to help her so that she can retire with a clean record and maybe help some patient who can be treated in the wrong way by her. After all your good advice what I should do, or actually, not do, it can’t be that hard. BTW, is it wrong to care about someone you really don’t like at all and also care about people one don’t know at all?

You are in my prayers. Some of the other posters mentioned to seek out another Dr. I think you are judging this Dr because you didn’t like the advise given which was to get off of the long term use of Psychotropic medication. No one here accused you of dealing with drugs but it is a fact that the biggest abuse of drugs is prescription not illegal. You need help.

Can you contact the doctor’s office and speak with the nurse? Ask the nurse to get the correct prescription amount sent from the doctor to the pharmacy so that you get your proper amount of medication.

Find out from the nurse what the doctor is planning to do to help you once she has lowered or discontinue your current prescription which works well for you.

This way if the doctor has been making other mistakes, it will come to the attention of her nursing staff. Plus, hopefully, you can get the required number of pills needed.

Speak with the priest when he comes to visit you. Tell him your concerns. He will understand your concerns and be able to help you determine if you should “report” her mix-up with the number of pills she is ordering and her lowering of the medication.

Maybe there is a way to send a complaint about the doctor’s mistakes which would be different than “reporting” the doctor. Hopefully the priest will know the best course of action.

Thank you for your prayers.

I am not judging this doctor because she want me to stop taking the medication I need. If I would judging her I would have write that. I do, however, wonder how she think my life will be better when I can’t anymore even go the shop, but that is my problem and I deal with it when needed. The rate I am supposed to stop taking this medication (Xanor in Finland, and I think it is Xanax in US and UK but the drug is the same, alpratsolam) is very slow, last pill I take will be in the beginning of 2015 so that is not the problem, the problem is that I don’t think she is “up to date” with medicine, and my concern is and remain the same, I am worried that she one day will make a mistake. So why does it worry me? Because I know it, and even though I have no legal responsibility I do have a moral one. If someone will drive while under the influence of alcohol we very often call the police, and in my mind this is the same situation, I am far from sure that this doctor all the time know what she should do.

And about the " you need help" comment? If these drugs would be a problem for me I would, but they are not the problem, I am not a drug-addict. I take the medication that a doctor has prescribed, not more and I don’t even use alcohol so I think I am pretty “clean”. And one thing is sure, if my medication would be let us say for a heart problem nobody would have said a thing about “you need help”. What did Jesus say? “Don’t judge” This is a Christian and Catholic forum and I did think I would see a Christian answer to my question and that I did not see. You don’t need to understand, and I am very offended by many of your answers that have nothing to do with my problem which is the doctor and the possibility of a serious mistake she may do.

Finally a civilized answer, thank you.

I am getting the right amount of pills I need, the only problem is that she mess up the prescriptions and have no answer for what to do when I am “drug free”, right now there is no other medication that can help me to at least go to the shop when I want. And yes, I did speak with the nurse yesterday, and I did get the feeling that they are a bit fed up with this doctor and her errors. I can not ask for another doctor, one small flaw in the otherwise perfect system we have. I can write to the senior physician at the health center but most of all I would like to get this thing done so that my doctor will not get in any trouble, but that may be impossible. I have a appointment whit her next month and maybe I can try to switch the roles and talk to her, that would be the best solution, but that is a big but. (And yes, I know that the word “but” also mean the…hmm…rear end of a person but that is not what I mean, she is not fat.)

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