It’s good that the conversation with my current psychiatrist is actually a proper dialogue. We talk about what matters – to both of us. I’ve made it clear that I’d like the normality of knowing a little more about his role and life experience, about how that informs his practice. He on the other hand wants to know what has worked for me that he might be able to share with others. He’s genuinely interested in me and how I calibrate myself. Unlike some previous examples……
……and he makes time for me.
He openly encourages a broader discussion. Last time we met, we sat and looked up a medication together. Him with his textbook and me using his computer to find the guidance on the Mind website (check out treatment / drug advice here if you need some factsheets) – he even asked me to bookmark the page for his future reference. We discussed how the particular medication might interact with my current regime and also the potential drawbacks. He let me go away to think about it and make my own decision with the caveat that I needed to take some action and if it wasn’t this then we would need to consider what else it might be.
Well, I’ve thought and thought. Turned it over in my mind and also experienced an increasing number of “breakthrough” symptoms on my existing medication regime. Which means it’s time for a change, well an addition. If this doesn’t work out then my next option is probably the rest of my life on a different, more invasive medication. The psychiatrist wanted to give me a chance and exhaust all my options rather than taking what might be an easier route for him.
I’m conflicted about it. I don’t want more medication, more adjustments, the time taken to work out the titration and side effects. It feels like another small defeat. An abdication of responsibility for my mood is not a good thing but perhaps it is a temporary measure – that’s what I’m telling myself right now. So whilst it feels like another little chipping away of my agency I also know that I can discuss it and get good advice from him. The kind of advice which will allow me to make my own decisions.