Skip to content


Visit our Crisis Assistance Link for resources. For immediate help, get to the ER.

*No Dr Outside Contact Please*
How to know when to change Dr's
unperfectlyhappy posted:
I am seeing a pdoc now and I'm not sure that he is right for me. he has me on Effexor XR 150 mg but I'm still having problems. I recently went through a manic high for 3 weeks with little to no sleep and all he did was take me off the Effexor and so when i crashed i crashed hard. He doesn't seem to take me seriously and when i see him he only talks to me about what's going on for about 5 mins and then the rest of the 20 mins i get with him its basically about the weather or just plain stuff and its irritating to me. I feel that he could be doing more to help me manage my bipolar instead of struggling by myself. I feel so alone and can't even trust my own pdoc to help me and I'm on SSI and SSDI and can't really afford to find a decent Dr. I'm struggling and feel like giving up half the time. There has to be other medication out there or something to help me manage my symptoms. I mainly have depression with few manic highs a year. Mainly I'm depressed all the time but i just feel like there should be something else he could do to help me and i feel that since i am on SSI and SSDI that he see's me differently and treats me differently. Any suggestions as to what I should do?
ddnos responded:
Hi, I'm sorry that things aren't going well with your pdoc. How long have you been seeing him? Sometimes it doens't even matter if we're seeing a good doctor - if it's not a right fit and you don't feel that he/she hears you, then it's best to find a different doctor.

You said that typically, the first 5 min of your apt, your pdoc asks how you are doing, etc, but the remaining 20 min it's more like small talk. During those 20 min, do you ask him questions, tell him that the meds you're on aren't working, tell him your frustrations etc? Being proactive in your treatment is crucial. He needs as much of your input as possible; and if you are communicating it but he's still not hearing and/or listening to you; then it's time to find someone else.

How many different medications have you tried to date? I know that it can be frustrating and sometimes it can take a while before finding the right med or combo of meds, but keep at it!

I know that you are on SSI and SSDI, which can put limitations on what doctors you can see. Do you have Medicare? If you do, you should have a bigger choice of who you can see. Maybe yu have friends or family who knows someone they can refer. ALso, Psych Nurses are qualified to prescribe and manage medications, so you might want to try that avenue.

I hope that you and your doctor are able to find a medication (s) that will help alleviate your depression.

Feel free to write some more

Take care
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
DizzyJgirl responded:
My one suggestion is to write out what you want to talk about. Give him that list to address...maybe that will keep him on track.

Also, if you look on the right hand side of the page here there are helpful links. Look for Dr. G's links about meds. It is a video series that is very helpful. Maybe get some information, some meds you think you might want to try and take that to your dr too. Does your dr realize how unhappy you are with the meds? I have given my dr some of my journal pages where I kind of let loose and that helped (even though it was hard to do). Also, I find my drs will talk about "life" because I think they are trying to gauge how I am doing. I actually like that it isn't just all about the meds.

That said...Listen to your instincts. Maybe this just isn't the doctor for you and if you have your doubts, it might be time to move on. You might have more options than you realize. I go to a teaching hospital and have been very happy there.

Good luck!
Live Life Loud
unperfectlyhappy replied to ddnos's response:
I've been with him for 6 years. After he asks about my medication and I try to bring up how i'm feeling he just says "oh you need a vacation" Seriously a vacation isn't going to make my bipolar go away. He just seems to brush off my concerns and changes the subject. I have gone in with list's to try and keep him on track and he looks at it and throws it away telling me that its nothing to worry about. I have a appt with him on Wednesday and im hoping to get a med change because just being on Effexor alone isn't helping. I have read alot about topamax helping out alot so i'm going to suggest that. He will try me on basically any medication i suggest he just gets out his prescription pad and asks what i want. I want him to tell me what would work for me but lately i have to do my own research on medication. I have lost count after 30 different med changes in 6 years and he keeps going back to the Effexor because it helps my moms depression it just has to help mine is what his theory is. I'm just frustrated with what he has been doing lately. He hasn't always been like this just within the past year it feels like he has given up on me.
doxielover10 replied to unperfectlyhappy's response:
OH, my previous reply was not in any way regarding this behavior.
I have a Psychiatrist I see whenever I want. We have been together 19 years. I am an extremely bad rapid cycling Bipolar and I take a huge amount of meds.

As Dr. G says, on my first appt. he covered my entire life from the day I was born. We had GREAT chemistry, which I believe is essential. We had a terrible time with meds, they just did not work. I was also really scary, all it took was the adrenalin to start pumping and I was ready to kill someone. These issues were covered by my therapist. I have discussed medication with my Psychiatrist but he certainly does not ask me what I want !!!

My first request would be Dilaudid for my chronic, disabling migraines. If you feel like this person does not have your best interest at heart, if it was me, I'd find another Psychiatrist.

Every single time I have to see a doctor, I check all his credentials. Where he went to school, interned, residency and all complaints, if any.

You deserve the best treatment you can get.

Good Luck

Featuring Experts

Joseph F. Goldberg, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. He also maintains a private prac...More

Helpful Tips

Differentiating bipolar disorder from borderline personality disorderExpert
Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people can very easily become angry and upset in response to stresses -- especially ... More
Was this Helpful?
114 of 131 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.