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AIBU to be shocked at my GP openly googling my MH symptoms, meds and treatments?

(34 Posts)
NeopreneMermaid Sun 02-Nov-14 09:06:08

Part of a bigger rant really (I feel a blog coming on). I have PND, anxiety and panic attacks which can't be that unusual can it?

Yet I've spent a year being referred from service to service (three GPs, private counsellor, psychiatrist, family counselling and, worst, social services for which I received an apology) with no-one actually taking me on or offering treatment.

This GP was the most recent I've seen and finished the appointment by googling flicking elastic bloody bands as a cure for panic attacks, clicking the first result and printing off the page without reading it saying, "I've not used this site before but here, take it and read this."

I know there are frequent news reports about inadequate mental health support but this is properly taking this piss, is it not? sad

mausmaus Sun 02-Nov-14 09:11:07

I was about to say 'great, at least they are informing the selves before coming to conclusions' but then I read your post and wtf?

getting more information from reliable sites = great
not processing what information they give out = utter shit
for all you know the website could recommend jumping off a bridge or somesuch

CaptainSinker Sun 02-Nov-14 09:11:43

Well it depends where it was from. Was it There are some site which are standard to print off info sheets. Doesn't sound like it was done in a confidence inspiring way though!

TigerTrumpet Sun 02-Nov-14 09:14:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JenniferGovernment Sun 02-Nov-14 09:19:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NeopreneMermaid Sun 02-Nov-14 09:29:00

Thanks all. I've now insisted on being referred back to the psychiatrist. i had a referral and assessment last year (which felt traumatic in itself) and then they refused to take me on because I wasn't a severe enough case; it wasn't affecting my work or relationships. One year on, my husband can't go away on his own and I'm on a performance review at work, both of which are mortifying for me. It also feels ridiculous that this could have been prevented. It's like I had a sprained ankle and was told they couldn't treat me but to walk around on it until it breaks and then they might reconsider.

The GP in question did suggest (well, duh, thanks) but this site wasn't it.

What is PALS? Have you tried it?

NeopreneMermaid Sun 02-Nov-14 09:32:26

A friend saw this GP once and was told after a set time that the appointment was now over and she should blame the Government.shock confused

CromerSutra Sun 02-Nov-14 09:47:32

I visited a gp like this once. He smirked inexplicably throughout the entire appointment and just kept shrugging and saying "ask your consultant next time you see him"...which was in 2 mths time. It made me feel as if he was laughing at me, god knows why, I was asking for advice on my heart condition. I never complained but I should have. I met some fantastic and some really horrible Drs during that period and it made me very wary of seeking help and advice in the future.

redexpat Sun 02-Nov-14 09:53:27

I see where you are coming from re not getting the help when things started to go downhill. But from their POV they simply dont have the resources to treat everyone who presents, so they take those with the greatest medical need. It is shitty and shortsighted, but now you have met the threshold so hopefully things should start to move. Id be writing to your mp and the health minister.

JenniferGovernment Sun 02-Nov-14 10:07:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

x2boys Sun 02-Nov-14 14:52:01

That does sound bad but to be fair GP,s are not experts in mental health so its good that you have been referred back to your psychiatrist I.m a nurse and I could rant all day about the state of services or rather the lack of the them!I hope you feel better soon.

IsItMeOr Sun 02-Nov-14 15:06:16


I'm really surprised to hear that you have been seen by so many people, given that you're saying you've been offered no treatment at all.

What do you think might help you?

milkpudding Sun 02-Nov-14 15:44:05

I am pleased to hear that you are being referred back to a psychiatrist and it sounds as though you will meet the treatment threshold this time.

Mental health services are suffering huge funding cuts and unfortunately NHS psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists have far fewer resources to treat patients, so they are only treating the most severe.

I would write a letter of complaint to the hospital/ trust and also your MP about the high threshold for treatment and how this has affected you. I think the funding cuts are worth being angry about, not the elastic band incident.

If your GP practice feel your MH problems are too severe for them to treat and referred you to psychiatry only for psychiatry to bounce you back saying you weren't severe enough for them, your GP probably has exhausted his knowledge and just wanted to recommend something in the meantime.

milkpudding Sun 02-Nov-14 15:44:47

PALS is for hospital complaints, not GP.

milkpudding Sun 02-Nov-14 15:46:42

Have you looked into online CBT? It could help whilst you are waiting for your psychiatry appointment. Or Books on Prescription at a library.

NickiFury Sun 02-Nov-14 15:47:19

They all do it. I used to be a medical secretary and was often sent to the hospital library for particular journals so they could brush up on knowledge for a patient presenting with symptoms or a condition they only had general knowledge on. They can't remember everything. Teachers do it too. I don't think googling is much different from that.

gimcrack Sun 02-Nov-14 17:31:08

Op, that's shit. Bravo for insisting on a referral.

spidey66 Sun 02-Nov-14 17:40:06

If the mental health services felt you didn't meet the remit for their service, has IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies) been mentioned? They offer CBT often in conjunction with GPs. If the GP can't/won't refer you, you can ususlly refer yourself.

JamaicanMeCrazy Sun 02-Nov-14 17:49:02

That is awful, but sadly fairly common. When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia I actually gave my doctor a print out of the symptoms and medication options as they had very limited knowledge of the condition. I'm now under specialist care and see a variety of consultants at the hospital, but still have to advise my doctor when I see them hmm

Sometimes the patient knows best, I know my own condition better than most doctors as I have researched it loads and I live it every day. I really hope you get the help you need thanks thanks thanks

raltheraffe Sun 02-Nov-14 17:53:36

If you have an issue with a GP in the first instance you should make a formal written complaint to the practice manager. If you want to take it further you should complain to the Care Quality Commission.

Unfortunately some GPs and hospital doctors have prejudiced views when it comes to mental health. This could be a factor in the doctor's attitude.

In recent years there has been a massive cut in mental health funding and in my area they are even trying to privatize sections of CMHT. Not good.

ovaryhill Sun 02-Nov-14 17:55:40

I recently saw a neurologist regarding possible ms , he told me the painfull pins and needles and numbness in my legs was because I must sit with my legs crossed (I don't) I just picked up my bag and walked out, I've totally given up

blanketyblank100 Sun 02-Nov-14 18:01:47

There's googling and then there's googling. An acquaintance of mine was appalled to see her GP openingly googling PMT because he'd never heard of it before (eventually offered diazepam). There's professional development and then there's GCSE level off-the-cuff research masquerading as something laudable. The problem with general practice is that it's fairly easy to do it lazily and incompetently without being jumped on like a ton of bricks by someone more senior. This is partly because no one doctor bears responsibility for seeing a patient anymore - they aren't required to practice the kind of medicine that leads to outcomes because they often don't see the same patient from appointment to appointment. Therefore it makes sense to offer the simplest, most likely, front-line diagnosis and treatment, often without a thorough reading the patient's notes (who has often received this approach from a few GPs already). There isn't the opportunity to find out if their diagnosis was correct because the patient, unwilling to wait three weeks to see 'their usual' doctor, has ended up seeing someone completely different in the meantime. And the GP in question, convinced that he or she is in the most overworked and stressful profession on earth, is unaware of the gaps in his knowledge and no real vision for how things could be done differently. Learning isn't built up and diagnosis remains hasty, poorly thought through and - increasingly - reliant on Mr Google.

blanketyblank100 Sun 02-Nov-14 18:03:43

I'm sure macdoodle will be along in a minute to tell us all to go to hell.
<exits thread chuckling wickedly>

SexualBernieClifton Sun 02-Nov-14 19:10:46

My GP googled my symptoms as I have a very rare condition and he wanted to check some things.

Your GP sounds like a fool.

JazzAnnNonMouse Sun 02-Nov-14 19:22:14

I went to a healthwatch conference recently and I'm sure they said pals doesn't exist anymore ( perhaps just in the southwest?)
Healthwatch would be a good place to register your experience

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