Sunday, June 26, 2016

Training the Psychiatrists

I am sure psychiatrists get all sorts of training, but from the patient's point of view, we want them to be trained to understand our problems. My first therapist ever, after a bad boyfriend breakup, was very helpful to me but she hadn't had cancer and didn't get all that part of my emotions. but she was very helpful to me.

After breast cancer, I got a new therapist. She had had breast cancer. She really got that part of me. Then she retired!!!

I tried a new therapist who told me about her ailments more than I told her about my ailments. Then I canned her and found a new one. While she hasn't had cancer, its okay because she understands the rest of me and cancer is not currently my main issue. Actually, I need to rephrase that. Cancer is not my main health issue currently. My main health issue is that my health sucks.

But I digress. This morning I stumbled across an article from The Psychiatric Times explaining breast cancer to psychiatrists. This is a great idea. It discussing its incidence (12% of women world wide).

"To support patients with breast cancer, it is important to understand the trajectory and practical logistics of breast cancer treatment. Psychiatrists should also be aware of possible medication interactions, psychiatric or neurologic adverse effects of treatment, and signs of disease progression—issues that are the focus of this article. "

Um, yes, hello! I have spent a lot of trying to manage medication interactions. Because of all my medications, needing antibiotics gets complicated quickly.

"Adjustment, depressive, and anxiety disorders are the most common forms of neuropsychiatric illness in patients with breast cancer. Risk factors include younger age, receipt of chemotherapy, hormonal disruption (amenorrhea/hot flashes), and marital discord. Symptoms appear to be most prominent at specific points in the course of the illness:
  • At diagnosis
  • At completion of active treatment, when patients are confronted with existential angst and fears of recurrence in the setting of less active follow-up with medical providers
  • At diagnosis of recurrence or metastasis"
Yoo hoo, that end of active treatment where you oncologist says come back in six months and we all fall apart. That is a key point for cancer patients. I'm not thinking about that last bullet, just shutting it out of my brain.

But I am happy to see this. If a psychiatrist has not had the ailment which is the cause of the anxiety/depression for the patient, they do need additional training so they understand.

1 comment:

Arla said...

Haven't been on in awhile now, Caroline, but this post is spot on. And a main reason I quit writing. The anxiety of it all. My sister who along with myself, was also diagnosed TNBC, was diagnosed multiple myeloma yesterday after being NED since 2008. :( Dammit. And suddenly, even being 6yrs NED myself, my anxiety level kicked up a notch ya know. You get it. Wish you were feeling better. Sending you warmest regards.

Arla