Fifth (And Last!) GP Appointment

After the previous appointment, I was hoping today would be the last appointment I would have with Dr L before my first psychiatrist appointment on 28 May. And it seems I have been given what I had hoped for…! I shouldn’t really be so smug about it, considering I may have been slightly dishonest…but it really was getting to be pointless, repetivive and mundane. To the point where I could almost predict the conversation that we would be having. Still, can’t complain too much considering I didn’t have to pay a single cent for my appointment today. Dr L chose to bulk bill, which meant the bill in its entirety was sent off to Medicare. Saving $25 is not a huge concession, considering I have recently been slapped with a $738 ambulance fee, but right now I am grateful for every dollar I can save.

Every single appointment I’ve had, he’s been fixated on the idea that exercise can play a significant part in curing depression. Where I may have bent the truth a little is when he asked me how much exercise I have been doing since I last saw him two weeks ago. Three or four times a week was my answer…three or four times MINUS three or four times a week would have been closer to the truth.

Believe it or not, with the exception of certain situations, I do try to be an honest person. So I felt some guilt in having blatantly lied about actively engaging in daily exercise rituals. I justified it by thinking that it isn’t really that significant and the consequences of admitting I have not exercised would have been worse. However, it now presents a new dilema.

Dr L wrote me a referal letter to see the new psychiatrist a month ago when I first went in to see him. He’s since updated this letter and printed off a new one. It’s exactly the same as the first one but with an additional sentence tacked on to the end of it. As of today it reads,

[Original referal letter]
4/5/10
BtF has been regularly exercising and generally her mood is significantly better with far less suicidal preoccupation.

He has asked me to throw away the previous referal letter and replace it with this new one. I am reluctant to do so for the following reasons;

1. Lying to Dr L about it is bad enough. If I give the new referal letter to the new psychiatrist, it’ll be like I’ve lied to two people, as I have not been regularly exercising at all. I am also questioning as to whether I really am less suicidal or whether I just lack insight into my own moods and emotions and make things out to be worse than they really are.

2. I’m afraid that if the new psychiatrist reads this letter and agrees that exercise is of benefit to me, she will push me to continue with it. I absoultely loathe exercise. When my eating disorder was worse than it is now, I did increase my exercise, though this increased amount of exercise wasn’t great at all, considering the minimal amount I did before. This increase did not last long however, and exercise was never a big part of my ED.

3. Perhaps my strongest objection to this new letter, I feel like I have to justify being ‘sick enough’ to warrant seeing a psychiatrist. In my mind, only those who are severe need to see one, otherwise a GP and psychologist should do fine. I’m already doubting the necessity of going to see a psychiatrist for my mental health issues. So if he is saying that I’ve improved markedly with just exercise, what the hell am I seeing a psychiatrist for? There is no need, if he is saying that my mood and suicidal thoughts can disappear by walking around the neighbourhood for an hour each day.

Yes, my mood has improved since I took the OD a month ago. I haven’t taken any pills that I shouldn’t have and I haven’t even self harmed in two or three weeks. Considering I haven’t regularly exercised in two or three weeks either, I can guarantee it’s not attributed to the amount of exercise I have partaken in, contrary to his belief.

Thus, I am considering ripping up this new referal letter and handing my new psychiatrist the original, unedited one. What’s holding me back is the question of whether I will get caught out or not…

3 thoughts on “Fifth (And Last!) GP Appointment

  1. Hmm difficult dilemma – you could be super honest and hand in both? I know how hard it is, given that I have been less than truthful with professionals in the past about things, but I think when you make your decision you have to think about what is best for you and your health, regardless of what other people might think.

    Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re not ill enough or don’t deserve help, because you do.

    Well done for not self harming in the last few weeks, because that is a brilliant achievement, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are all better and don’t need help.

    Sarah x

  2. Isn’t there some saying about the tangled twisted web of deceiving? Hmmm, can’t remember it though.
    I don’t blame you for fibbing. I’ve been encouraged to exercise too and I hate it and rarely do it. It never really occured to me to just lie and get on with whatever else.
    I’d just give the new psychiatrist the original referal. At least you’d be starting out fresh with the truth.

  3. I think Sarah’s solution of handing both over is a good idea. By the time you get to your appointment you could say that you aren’t exercising any more, you just don’t have the motivation. However, there is truth in the saying ‘oh what a tangled web we weave when first we start to deceive’.

    It is possible that your GP may send a copy of the referal letters anyway.

    Either way I’m sure you will do what is best for you. Well done for not self harming that is a massive achievement and you should acknowledge that to yourself. There are many ups and downs with mental health, good days and bad days everyone deserves help and that includes you xx

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