Home | Articles | Resources | Stories | Weller-than-Well | Links | Search | [Successful Schizophrenia logo, RETURN TO HOME PAGE]

Psychiatrists Don't Listen, They Diagnose and Prescribe!

by Susanna Lehtonen

Dear Dr. Siebert:

I just read your article about treatment of schizophrenia, and I found it very fascinating. I'm a 24 year-old student from Finland and I've had quite serious depression for about 5 years now. When I was searching for a therapist for myself some years ago, I found out what a curious way of thinking psychiatrists have and my experiences certainly aren't conflicting with your thoughts.

For example, when I went to meet a psychiatrist to get a medical statement about my disease, he acted kindly and listened to all I had to say about my bad experiences with people and social fears. But I was really shocked when I read his diagnosis of me. He wrote that I was delusional, that my real experiences with people weren't real and so on. (My problems had to do with my neighbors who were alcoholics and disturbing our family life at the time. The psychiatrist had asked whether other members of my family could hear that noise caused by our neighbors that was disturbing me. I told him the truth, that my mum couldn't hear it cause she's almost deaf. Perhaps that's why he thought I was having delusions.)

I think I acted quite normally there at his office and I wonder many times later on why he couldn't "see" I was normal instead of diagnosing me as deluded after hearing about my problems with these people. After all, having alcoholics as your neighbors aren't something that can only happen in Mars! I can assure you it's really common problem, especially in my country.

Well, I've also seen other psychiatrists during this illness and I must still tell you one incident when I met a woman psychiatrist that was supposed to give me a prescription for depression medication. I told also her about this disturbance problem at home and she wrote me a prescription for Peratsin (in addition of depression medication). I've been told it's a neuroleptic for treating psychosisa! After getting the prescription from her I tried to say her (half as a joke) that if I still hear those alcoholics having drinking sessions behind my wall after taking these pills, I can be sure they are existing and not delusions. I couldn't finish my sentence, when she interrupted me saying "....then we must increase the dose." She was saying this fast, as some kind of general truth about my state, and it was certainly something that had to do with things she had learnt to say, not something one says after serious consideration.

Okay, this was all I had to say, I just wanted to show that all you say in your writings seems to describe some Finnish professionals as well.

With kindest regards,
Susanna Lehtonen


[Successful Schizophrenia logo, small, RETURN TO HOME PAGE] Home | Articles | Resources | Stories | Weller-than-Well | Links | Search

Disclaimer: Material found on the Successful Schizophrenia website is for your information only. We are not able dispense specific advice for your situation. If you are under a doctor's care, you should talk with him or her about your mental health goals and if they are not on the same page as you, ask for a referral to a doctor or counselor who is. It may mean interviewing several. If you are on your own, you may wish to contact your local county mental health department to ask for local resources. Our site exists to show people that there are all varieties of mental states and assessments of those states; that sometimes 'mental health' is in the eye of the beholder; and that the mental health profession needs to continue to open itself up to the new paradigm ... progress is being made!