Friday, June 5, 2009

Keys to Abusive Behavior in Treating Patients

People often ask victims of abuse, "Why didn't you report this the first time it happened?" The victim generally has no good answer, because he or she has been the unwitting subject of a psychological campaign by the abuser to prevent any disclosure of what is going on. Here are the main means by which abusers are able to continue their cruelty for years.

1. Isolate the victim
2. Tell the victim nobody will believe his/her story.
3. Threaten the victim with harm if he/she tries to tell the story anyway.

Read more how institutions in the U.S. and G.B. follow the classic behavior of abusers in their treatment of patients with M.E. or a diagnosis of CFS at my latest blog post:

Mary M. Schweitzer, Ph.D.
* * *
BTDT. On the one hand, the doctor kept promising "I want to help you" but on the other hand, whenever his interventions failed, he blamed me rather than himself. Which half of the Jekyll-and-Hyde personality do you believe?
A friend with a more accepted diagnosis also saw this same doctor and also had the same experience of being verbally abused that she "doesn't want to work" when, in fact, other medical practitioners were telling her that she could not work, and that continuing to work risked permanent disability.
I went to other doctors in the same highly-respected medical group, who were more concerned with covering up his malpractice than with improving my health. At one point, I was given a prescription that another doctor pointed out could kill me, because I'd had bad reactions to related medication before -- he then mused that if they killed me, my claim for medical malpractice would die with me. That's how far they were willing to go to make sure I didn't sue.
They can get away with it because at least one insurance company in this area (I've had their insurance in the past) basically limits you to that medical group. They know if you have that insurance you can't go elsewhere without paying for it yourself, and therefore, you have to put up with the way they treat you. They can abuse you all they want and there's nothing you can do about it.
In my case, I had Disability forms that needed to be filled out. A doctor cannot certify that you were disabled prior to your first appointment with him, so it was in my best interest to stick with a doctor who could certify me as of 2000, rather than as of 2001. When they ran out the clock on my application causing me to miss the deadline, I had nothing to lose in changing doctors.

I've had patients who met post-traumatic stress disorder criteria... where their trauma was their interaction with their physician around this illness. They came to a doctor with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; they left the doctor with PTSD.
– Nancy Klimas, M.D.

Miami Herald, March 24, 2009

No comments: