I have bipolar disorder, that was originally diagnosed as bipolar II. I've been in treatment for it for years, and have a pretty good, stable, medicine routine.
When I got out of school, I got private insurance, and had to find a new psychiatrist. I found someone accepting new patients, and go to see him.
Things go ok for quite a while. His appointments are 10 minutes long, and seem to mostly consist of him writing me new 'scripts, but hey, I'm doing well, I'm stable, and my meds are working.
The bad service
About a month ago, I started feeling pretty horrible mentally. I saw myself heading into a major depression. So I schedule an appointment with my psychiatrist.
He talks to me for five minutes, and puts me on an antidepressant (Bad sign. People with bipolar, even bipolar II, need to be -very- careful with anti-depressants so as to not trigger manic episodes
A few weeks go by. I start feeling worse and worst. Begin to have suicidal thoughts. Decide this is dumb, and make another doctors appointment.
I tell him I'm feeling semi-sucidal, and that I've been doing self injury again. He shrugs it off. He then talks to me for five minutes and triples my dose of anti-depressants
Given how awful I feel, and the fact that I know it takes a while for meds to work, i ask him if he can recommend any additional strategies or groups or -anything- that could help me out. Tell him I really need some additional support and am not sure where to go for it.
He says "you just need to wait for the medicine to work. There's nothing else you can do."
Another week goes by. Things get really really shitty.
I try to kill myself.
(Please don't look at this as some plea for sympathy. It's something that happened, I'm doing better than I have in months.. Focus on the bad service.)
After passing out, and waking up again, I realized this was a stupid thing to do. So I called my doctor, figuring that's got to be the first step. I tell him I just tried to kill myself, but I don't want to die. What the hell do I do now?
He says "Make an appointment for Monday."
This seemed like a stupid idea to me, so I ended up going to the ER, spending four days in the hospital and recovering. The psychiatrist in the hospital said I should never have been on an anti-depressant, much less that dosage, and that being on the med was what triggered the hypomania and suicide attempt. Good to know.
When I get my cell phone back, I have a message from the doctor.
"I didn't get an appointment from you on Monday, so I guess it wasn't so serious after all."
He has since been fired as my psychiatrist. At our last session together, I told him i felt as though he'd let me down when I was in need of serious help, and that he'd brushed off all the signs, and my outright requests for help dealing with a situation that was getting out of my control.
He told me he was sorry I felt that way, and our appointment time was up.
Edited: Hey guys, thank you very much for the advice. My husband and I are discussing the reporting process, who to go to and how to go about it. I admit, that regardless of the horribleness, it will be difficult for me to take action. However, I'm also worried about future patients who might not be as lucky as I was. I truly appreciate you pointing me in the right direction, and will definitely follow up as this process goes forward.