Written by a patient
22nd August 2020
The organisation was undergoing computer-related difficulties when I phoned, but the lady on the other end was friendly and reassuring. I wish they would have allowed me to make an appointment online because the need to phone meant I delayed doing it. I find it difficult to make decisions on the on the fly and would have preferred to choose a psychiatrist in my own time rather than be assigned one.
The quality of the video call was poor, but I anticipated this given the coronavirus situation meant many people are likely working from home and do not feel it had a particularly negative impact.
Sadly I am not happy with the appointment itself. I found the assessment itself very stressful but reading the report I was sent it seems the psychiatrist did not notice, he thought I was calm and relaxed. Perhaps this is a shortcoming on the medium. I feel on the whole that doctor did not really listen to what I said, and he dismissed claims that I made about the difficulties I have had. For example, getting good exam results "proved" that I did not struggle at school when to me it felt like an uphill battle fighting against myself. Whole portions of relevant symptoms did not even appear in the report. The report makes several assertions that I do not believe to be correct, some of which I argued against at the time.
In the end the psychiatrist denied me a diagnosis (which I acknowledge is his business) but made a pharmacological treatment recommendation that I told him I would refuse. He made it anyway, my GP offered it and I refused it. No alternative treatment was yet been offered. I wanted to know what some alternative conditions or treatments I could pursue were but none were forthcoming. So I have been put back to square one with no information to go on and, no matter how much I read, the original condition I was seeking diagnosis for is the only one is still the one only which has ticked the boxes.
It has recently become a trend to acknowledge women's unique presentations of neurological conditions. Despite being a man I find I often identify more with the female stereotypical symptoms of these conditions (not just for the condition for which I was seeking diagnosis but also for prior diagnoses made separately from P-UK). I am left to wonder whether I would have been given a diagnosis had I been a woman.