After my PCP asked me in no uncertain terms to have my psychiatrist provide a progress report (and after seeing “under-treated depression” all over my PCP’s chart), I made an appointment to see him.
I started seeing a psychiatrist about a year before I suspected I had Cushing’s. Depression can be caused by Cushing’s and it was one of the first signs of Cushing’s for me. So, this psychiatrist has actually been treating me longer than anyone through my health adventures over the past three years.
I shared with him my recent correspondence with my PCP and some of my other doctor appointments of late (such as this memorable one). He was shocked that my Cushing’s diagnosis was being questioned and exclaimed “I watched your body transform in front of my eyes” with outrage. And he’s right – he did. I was depressed, but tiny, when I first started seeing him with sleeping trouble and clear signs of depression. He watched me struggle through one failed attempt after another to get diagnosed. He saw my mental and cognitive function improve dramatically after surgery. He recounted all of this to me and I agreed.
We went through the standard list of questions about my mental state now to verify that in fact I wasn’t depressed. He confirmed I have zero signs of depression and he thinks it is normal for me to cry in doctor appointments when I keep being told nothing is wrong or that I am not going to be sent for more tests. He can’t believe this is happening to me again.
He is writing my PCP to tell her that it is his opinion that I am not suffering from depression, that there is some sort of endocrinopathy that needs to be addressed. And that he thinks I should start receiving my care (with the exception of my care from him) outside of the hospital where I have been receiving care (using the term “care” loosely here of course). And off the record, he had some other very pointed advice about what I should do with my medical care from this point onwards that I also agree with and will follow but won’t repeat here for his sake.
I told him that I was starting to wonder if there was a secret file on me at this hospital with the word “Munchausen” on it. He assured me that he has made the Munchausen diagnosis a few times in his decades of practice in psychiatry but that this diagnosis never crossed his mind in my case.
I am going to continue to see him, even though I am not actually receiving any treatment from him at all (he only prescribes meds, he does not conduct therapy and I am currently not on any meds because I don’t need them). If nothing else, a check-in every three months will ensure that if I do require his services he is up to date on what is going on. Definitely it is worth seeing him every few months just confirm for myself that at least my psychiatrist doesn’t think I am crazy.