26-06-2020 05:31 PM - edited 26-06-2020 06:12 PM
Limited options and limited time
I'm A before April, I'm in my early 30's and was diagnosed with and started treatment for ADHD, Depression and Anxiety about 12 months ago with a psychiatrist through <Redacted>.
After a few months of treatment, I started to see myself better, understand more about myself and slowly came to the realisation that I was Trans which came as a bit of a shock to a post 30yo me.
Fast-forward to last month, and I'd started going down-hill emotionally. I'd spent three weeks getting stuffed around by my psychiatrist's admin staff, started having some "bad thoughts" for the first time and of a severity that had me extremely worried.
Because of these thoughts, I tried getting in contact with my psychiatrist, first by sending an email to the clinic explaining everything and then calling the following morning (with a few follow-up calls throughout the day).
Eventually at 8:30pm that night, my psychiatrist calls me and basically says that if I need help that I "need to call someone who can help". Here I am, having a mental breakdown, worried about the thoughts in my own head, and my psychiatrist, the one person I rely on for my mental health, is telling me to call someone else.
The whole event didn't end well, and I will never be going back to that clinic ever again. After 10-11 months of treatment, I ended up in a far worse mental and emotional state than I had ever been previously.
We now come to yesterday. I'd had an initial appointment booked for a new psychiatrist with <Redacted> in a couple of weeks. This had been booked over three weeks ago.
Last weekend I'd gotten a little anxious and sent them an email, asking to confirm if their patient-record systems were able to support updating gender as well as pronouns. This was the first time it had been mentioned to them that I was trans.
Yesterday I received an email and phone call from <Redacted> to let me know that they had cancelled my appointment as the psychiatrist "doesn't feel he is equipped to take on my care." The only thing that had changed was that they were now aware I was trans.
So now I'm two weeks away from running out of medication for my ADHD (which is going to be loads of fun going through those withdrawal symptoms) and have no psychiatrist.
I have been searching and searching for the last two days for a psych in Western Sydney, but unfortunately all the ones in my area (<Redacted>) all appear to be owned by either <Redacted> or <Redacted>.
Anyone know of a good psychiatrist out this way that isn't transphobic, isn't in the habit of abandoning their patients when they're in need and isn't owned by <Redacted> or <Redacted>?
Edit: I was hoping that I might be able to find some help here, unfortunately naming the two clinics that have caused me so much grief in the last two months and mentioning an area that spans over 12,000sqKM is a breach of the anonymity rules on the forums and I have been asked to modify my post.
02-07-2020 11:22 PM
Re: Limited options and limited time
ONE step at a time! Your need for your ADHD medication prescription to be re-issued is the pressing need. Make JUST THAT your priority. The first thing you deal with. No-one needs to know about the gender issue, to deal with that, so as to ensure continuity of your medication. I have also found that once a pharmacy/chemist gets to know you, they are willing to "advance" you your regular medication, if your script runs out, as long as you get the new script ASAP and bring it in. That might not be possible with ADHD medication... If you don't know WHO can prescribe it, try ASKING a local pharmacist - hopefully you do have a regular one? Now to NEXT issue: Not EVERYone is going to be able to help you with EVERY issue. I'm sure you wouldn't want any therapist to waste your time trying out any old thing, as you gradually come to realise they don't know what they're doing!! So don't be offended that the clinic called you back to say "We are not the right place for you". Their honesty is a good thing! Find a local support group where others will share what they know about who IS and who IS NOT the best person to see to talk about the gender issue/s. Then seek an appt there. Patience might be required! But it will be worth it. Very best of luck to you.
16-07-2020 12:29 AM
Re: Limited options and limited time
I hope you have been able to get some help...
Um, psychologists or psychiatrists would prefer you to ring hotlines when distressed... (hasn't really helped me)
I've even been in a position of a psychiatrist accepting a referal (waiting two months) and then less than 20 mins in the initial appointment being told that I was too complex and the psychiatrist was too busy - he knew about his existing medico legal work when he accepted the referal initially...
Also, I had a psychologist tell me to ring a state mental health line or contact the Uni counselling services when it said it wasn't for people for ongoing conditions... The number didn't even work re state mental health line because it was out of date - and it had been replaced by a new number (the psychologist didn't even ask (when I told her it didn't work) what I was distressed about subsequently)... and the uni counselling service had a masters student who didn't seem to be aware that antidepressant induced hypomania could wreck past friendships with people - got the impression it was like the flu from the student...
I don't know where you can find trans friendly psychiatrists... Unless you can find a GP who knows about this... possibly, the GP can give you a prescription... I don't know if https://qlife.org.au/ would be able to help...
17-07-2020 06:00 PM
Re: Limited options and limited time
Just an update.
Thank you for the suggestions, Oz Grace. I knew that my GP could potentially prescribe the medication, but my GP getting the Authority from the State Government was an entirely different matter, as that requires an individual application for a patient for that medication (NSW Govt. restrictions on prescribing psychostimulants), and for that application, a GP requires a letter from the originally prescribing specialist (my former psychiatrist) handing over care or giving reasons why the GP should be able to prescribe (such as difficulty travelling to see the specialist, etc.).
The problem was getting the letter. The good news is that mt GP eventually did get the letter from my former psychiatrist, though less than a week before I ran out of the medication.
I ended up managing to get the script filled with only one day remaining before I would have been completely up "that" creek without a paddle.
In terms of not everyone being able to help with every issue. I was not able to book an appointment with the new psychiatrist until AFTER they had read my referral and approved me as a new patient. One of the areas they specialise in is Adult ADHD, suggesting they would be quite capable of providing treatment for an adult with ADHD (as well as the resulting Depression and Anxiety of going years without even a diagnosis)
They had approved my referral, seemed happy to take me on as a new patient, that suddenly changed the week I emailed their admin staff a technical question that indicated that I was transgender. In no way had I indicated that I was in need of any psychiatric help with my gender identity, just that I wanted to check if their computer software supported gender diverse patient information.
At no point in my further communication with the admin staff has any one of them, after I have outright accused the psychiatrist of discrimination and being transphobic, either defended them or suggested that there was another reason they no longer wished to take on my care. Seems pretty telling to me.
As for local support groups, I'm over 25, I don't live in the middle of the city and we are in the middle of a global pandemic, meaning I'm too old for most of the support groups available, what is available is almost 2hrs travel from here and lastly, isn't running at the moment because nothing is running at the moment.
Thankfully after exhausting pretty much every avenue and had almost given up, I was recommended a psychiatrist that is trans-friendly and I have an appointment with them tomorrow.
Lastly, thank you Abcd, generally places like QLife and similar do not make recommendations for Psychiatrists and such, they leave this up to the person's GP, I had unfortunately already spoken to my GP (who is fantastic and goes above and beyond when needed) who was unfortunately not familiar with any other psychiatrists in the area that fit the bill.
Again, last minute I was able to get a new script for the medication, and I was able to find a new psychiatrist with whom I have my first appointment tomorrow, but the last three weeks were anything but a smooth ride.