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Untrusting Patient

Question:

A little background information. I left school about 1/2 a year back because i attempted suicide and severly got into cutting. well, since i’ve been home things have been looking up. I sought out help and found what i though was a decent psychologist. in the end he ended up trying to rip off the insurance company we go through. i felt betrayed and stopped seeing him. all the thoughts i had last year are beginning to surface again. i’ve been diagnosed with OCD and depression but i refuse to take pills. i tried last year but i ended up downing the whole bottle and causing myself more problems. i know that when i was consistent with the intake of the medication i didn’t fully feel like myself but i was more stable than i am now. I want to seek out help and begin the medication again, but i’m having a trust issue cause of my last psychologist. what should i do? how can anyone be 100% sure they need medication? what medication do i take for OCD&depression?

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  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Dombeck intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
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  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Answer:

It’s an unfortunate fact that the psychotherapy profession has it’s share of unethical members who sometimes will take advantage of their patients. Psychotherapists are not alone in this fact (most professions have their bad apples too), but when a therapist does something that isn’t on the up-and-up, it can severely damage trust. Recognizing that you’ve been legitmately hurt, it is worth your time for you to consider whether you want to let that sad event control your future. If you avoid going back for treatment based on your fear, I think you might be ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’ as they say and letting your fears keep you from getting help. But you have to decide what is most right for you. Certainly most therapists are trustworthy and ethical and are worth working with. Trust me on this one. Nobody in their right mind becomes a mental health doctor or therapist because they want to get rich (there are far easier and more practical ways to get rich). They do it for other reasons, and the most common reason is that they want to help people like you.

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p> There are non-medical psychotheraputic ways of treating depression and ocd, but my best understanding is that treatment programs that combine effective psychotherapy and medication typically have the best results for patients. Most any doctor can prescribe medication for depression, but when you are dealing with a complex depression (in your case, with OCD on the table as well), you’re going to be best off consulting with a Psychiatrist – a medical doctor who has specialized in mental health – as they will have the best ideas on how to deal with your complex situation. With regard to psychotherapy, there are several types of therapy that have been scientifically studied and are known to be workable for depression. These include cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression, and interpersonal therapy for depression. These are special therapies that not just any doctor knows how to offer, but they are increasingly available these days even in smaller communities. It’s not that other types of therapy won’t be able to help – but it is the case that other types of therapy have not been as well studied and are more of an unknown quantity as to whether they’ll be likely to help you.

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