Thank you for your response.
About 17 years ago I had my first diagnosed episode of depression and it was treated successfully with antidepressants. Over the years I have had a few episodes of depression but nothing more than that. For those episodes I was also prescribed antidepressants. I have been taking antidepressants, successfully for about 17 years. From July to August 2009 I had to travel overseas and initially forgot (jetlag, time difference etc.) to take my medication. In the end I basically went from 40 mg per day of Citalopram to no medication, cold turkey. I would take them when I remembered but I was so busy on my feet 10 hours a day in very hot temperatures. When I returned home I had what turned out to be my first diagnosed supraventricular tachycardia and was put on Sotalol. As a result, I hit rock bottom. I was described as having an absolute flat affect and it was put down to the Sotalol. I was taken off the Sotalol and had my Citalopram increased to 60 mg (which was FDA safe back then) but I did not improve. I saw a psychologist and I was diagnosed with burnout. I was working 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a year before the overseas trip. The psychologist fired me saying she was unable to help and my family doctor forced me to go to a psychiatrist and another psychologist against my will. Prior to this, my family doctor had been an absolute source of support (the psychologist was not). The psychiatrist and psychologist pressured me to do DBT and I refused because I do not like or feel comfortable with group interventions. The psychiatrist and psychologist told me family doctor not to support me anymore and told me not to discuss any mental health issue with my doctor.
Anytime I attempted to talk to the psychologist about things that caused me stress, fear, or anxiety, I was made to feel guilty, I was asked if I was going to be putting all of my energy into this. Basically any concerns were ignored. I was just stared at with no response being given. Many lies were told by the psychologist, psychiatrist and doctor (I always found out by probing because one of them always slipped up and revealed something). The very clear message I received following the BPD diagnosis was that my feelings, thoughts, and me in general do not matter. The behaviour of the psychologist (i.e., secret meetings about me, not being informed about my case which is illegal, not gaining informed consent to name a few) caused me stress, plus the way I believe they were dictating how I should live my life. Forcing treatment is illegal in this country. The psychologist admitted that the doctor was told not to support me in order to force me into therapy. The website for the psych service states a number of patient rights. A great many of them were breached in my case. Whenever I tried to get answers, I was ignored. I asked the psychologist on two occasions if I had BPD (the attempt to force me into DBT made me think they thought I had BPD). On both occasions the psychologist told me that she saw no evidence of it but would tell me if she did if I wanted to know. I said I wanted to know. Due to all of the events, secrets, etc. I decided to contact a health board and request a copy of my records. The record stated that the psychologist diagnosed me as having BPD before I even asked her if I had it. This was yet another lie she told me. On many occasions I told the psychologist that she was causing me great stress and anxiety and that it was effecting my physical health. She continually said “you will have to tolerate it”. Never did she say “how, let us talk about that”. Under that psychologist I made 9 suicide attempts. Never ever in my entire life had I come near to doing that. I told them this and was just stared at. I told my family doctor about this and she always said that If I did not go to therapy she would not prescribe me medication. I was in a no win situation. The more I complained about the psych service, the more they restricted the family doctor involvement. The psychologist left and I refused to see another one. I made verbal threats to storm in and find out what was going on if the service did not answer my questions (as per patients rights according to their website). In the end they contacted the police and I now have a trespass notice and am not allowed to contact the psych service or enter the building. I have no problem with this except that I feel they have gotten away with not being responsible in answering my questions as to how they came to the diagnosis and why the psychiatrist refused to remove Venlafaxine when I told her it was making me worse, causing chest pain, fast heart rate (and I have SVT) to name a few side effects. I entered the service with a depression and a little anxiety. I left as a person that trusts no one, has anger and anxiety every time I think about them. Just before Christmas 2012 I reached a low point and my family doctor contacted the psych service (that I was no longer a patient of). They told the doctor not to prescribe me and that if I wanted medication, I would have to see the service. I had stated that under no circumstance would I ever enter that dangerous service again and they were well aware of this. A psychiatrist who had never met me made the decision and it left me unmedicated over Christmas and the New Year (a stressful time at best). Even if I did go to the service, it was days away from Christmas and too late to get an appointment. Basically, they all know I need medication and yet they were all irresponsible enough to allow me to go unmedicated. They all know the risk of an unmedicated depressed person. The psychologist and psychiatrist are not willing to admit that they harmed me (although the service manager did admit in a letter to me that the service made me worse) and so they continue to dictate to my doctor. Obviously I could get another doctor but I don’t want to. Also my medical record would have to go with me and that contains a lot of personal information. I would be treated no different. Since entering the service I have lived in isolation and refuse to talk to anyone unless I absolutely have to. Given that I am no longer allowed near the service, that is, I am no longer a patient there, my family doctor continues to treat me (ignore me) according to their rules. If they truly believe I have BPD, their treatment is nothing but pure invalidation. The psychologist also asked inappropriate and unnecessary questions which were absolutely in no way came near to being related to what we were talking about. This seems odd given some of the suggested causes of this disorder. Finally, every time I attempted to protect myself, minimise my stress etc. By telling them how they were effecting me seemed to backfire. They all seemed to increase the very behaviours that I stated were harming me. I took the appropriate legal approach and contacted the health and disability commissioner. The service refused to answer my questions and the commissioner said that is there choice. I came out of the service feeling more worthless, hopeless, and helpless than ever. For the last two years I have not been on a consistent dose due to all the threats of ‘do therapy or don’t get medicated’ This of course has had an effect on my mood. I have had to increase, decrease so that I don’t have to go cold turkey.
Sorry, this is very long but I am trying to cover everything to give you the overall picture.