Breaking Up With Your Psychiatrist is Hard to Do

My Mom had to change psychiatrists earlier this year. I’ve been telling her for years that she needed a new psychiatrist, but she wouldn’t listen to me until her psychiatrist announced that she was going to retire. It sounds like an easy thing to do. It’s not.

Getting rid of your psychiatrist is like getting a divorce. There were a lot of hard feelings, misunderstandings and “If that’s her tell her I’m not here!” type of situations I had to deal with. The old psychiatrist recommended several new head docs for Mom — but none of which took Medicare (a big must) OR did they have wheelchair-accessible offices. How the hell can you have a medical office and not be wheelchair accessible? Very easily, apparently. In return, Mom didn’t return most of the old psychiatrists’ phone calls.

Mom also asked to have her medication reduced during this time. The old psychiatrist disagreed for months and suddenly told her to drop an entire dose all of a sudden. (This was a med she had to take twice a day.) I’m not a psychiatrist, but even I knew that this was way too drastic of a drop of a psych med. You usually have to split pills into quarters (somehow) and the second dose would be three-quarters of a pill instead of just dropping an entire pill. Mom nearly had such a breakdown that I wondered if she needed to be hospitalized.

So when you are changing your psychiatrists, brace yourself. If they want to, they’ll get you by the balls. You can’t really complain because you’ll sound as if you were crazy.




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