Podcast: Bizarre Questions Psychiatrists and Therapists Have Asked
There is an assumption among many Americans that doctors are pretty darn smart and always know what they’re talking about. Psychiatrists work with the mentally ill, so they are certainly smarter than their patients. Because, after all, their patients are “crazy.” Right?
In this episode, our hosts discuss all the times that psychiatrists and therapists didn’t live up to the hype – or stereotype.
“Therapists and psychiatrists. . . They don’t know everything.”
– Gabe Howard
Highlights From ‘Psychiatrists and Therapists Questions’ Episode
[1:00] What is the strangest thing a psychiatrist has ever said to Michelle about her illness?
[6:00] What is the strangest thing a therapist has ever said to Gabe about his illness?
[17:00] Michelle’s first psychiatrist was . . . not great.
[19:30] Gabe once had a legal issue with a therapist.
[26:30] What you should do if you’re dealing with a bad psychiatrist and/or therapist.
Computer Generated Transcript for ‘Bizarre Questions Psychiatrists and Therapists Have Asked’ Show
Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you.
Narrator: [00:00:09] For reasons that utterly escapes Everyone involved. You’re listening to A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic and A Podcast. Here are your hosts, Gabe Howard and Michelle Hammer. Thank you for tuning into A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic and A Podcast.
Gabe: [00:00:21] I’m Gabe, bipolar.
Michelle: [00:00:23] I’m Michelle, schizophrenic.
Gabe: [00:00:24] And we’re here to talk about. Well weird shit that doctors have said to us about our mental illness and to clarify we mean psychiatrists, therapists, psychologists, emergency room doctors, social workers, general practitioners, the weird lady at the urgent care. We’re encompassing all medical staff. Michelle!
Michelle: [00:00:50] Yeah.
Gabe: [00:00:50] What is the weirdest thing a Doctor has said to you about schizophrenia?
Michelle: [00:00:56] The weirdest thing about schizophrenia..that doctors have ever asked me? Well I…before I was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia.But I knew I had schizophrenia. So it was just kind of get trying to get to go see a psychiatrist. There was a therapist I was talking to and I was just kind of sitting there not really talking and just saying that like I can’t concentrate. I was like seeing things. Stuff like that.
But I knew I had schizophrenia. So it was just kind of get trying to get to go see a psychiatrist. There was a therapist I was talking to and I was just kind of sitting there not really talking and just saying that like I can’t concentrate. I was like seeing things. Stuff like that.
Michelle: [00:01:19] And I was just laying there and she says to me “you know you’re not acting like a woman of what you’re attractiveness should act like.”
Gabe: [00:01:28] What.
Michelle: [00:01:29] Yes.
Gabe: [00:01:30] What diagnostic criteria do you think that wait wait.
Gabe: [00:01:34] Is this a true story.
Michelle: [00:01:35] This is a true story. She said to me multiple times multiple times she said this to me. You are not acting what a woman of your attractiveness should act like.
Gabe: [00:01:45] Because you had so much confidence that she just figured that because you’re so ugly you should just be more.
Michelle: [00:01:50] No. It was like it was like No yours. It was like almost like you’re way too pretty to be acting this weird.
Gabe: [00:01:58] Are you sure that’s where she was going.
Michelle: [00:01:59] I think that’s where she was going with it.
Gabe: [00:02:01] You just assume that she was calling you pretty she wasn’t like.
Michelle: [00:02:04] She was calling me attractive.
Gabe: [00:02:06] Really. I agree. I’m giving you a hard time.
Michelle: [00:02:08] You really are.
Gabe: [00:02:09] Do think that there is any. Again we try to examine things from all sides.
Gabe: [00:02:16] What do you think her purpose of asking that question was.
Michelle: [00:02:20] It wasn’t a question it was a statement.
Gabe: [00:02:22] What do you think the purpose of that statement was.
Michelle: [00:02:25] It all I felt like was OK. She thinks I’m good looking and that I’m not acting normal.
Gabe: Yeah you’re seeing a mental health professional.
Michelle: [00:02:33] But I don’t understand.
Michelle: [00:02:34] I don’t know what it was ugly with it. Well what if I was extremely ugly then she would have said well you’re just not acting right.
Michelle: [00:02:41] She wouldn’t have added in that attractiveness. What does attractiveness have to do with mental health and mental illness and schizophrenia. What does attractiveness have anything to do with that with that idea.
Michelle: [00:02:52] I it just made no sense to me attractiveness and acting a certain way. What what.
Gabe: [00:03:00] I completely agree.
Gabe: [00:03:01] And that really is the weirdest thing that you’ve ever been asked.
Michelle: [00:03:04] That I can recall as a right now that is just the strangest thing anyone’s ever said to me. Another thing that this woman said to me was has any boyfriend or girlfriend ever told you that they love you.
Gabe: [00:03:18] Now I can now hang on.
Gabe: [00:03:20] I do think that that is a weird question on the surface but that that could have some diagnostic criteria. I mean how you feel about yourself. Have you been in stable relationships. There’s a good follow up question how did you feel when somebody said that to you. Because I had a therapist once asked which which I did I’ll fully admit I thought was weird at the time asked me if my parents told me that they loved me. And I thought yeah they tell me that all the time. And I thought it was a really weird question. But years later I learned that if I would have been like no my parents hate me like that would be a good indication of my home life or maybe some other struggles that I’m going with. I do think it’s a bit weird the whole you know have you ever been in like a like a romantic relationship with it but. That. That might be one of those weird questions that could have some some value.
Michelle: [00:04:10] It could have some value but it’s really odd. Apparently if I’m not acting the way a girl of my attractiveness is supposed to act then I guess I’m not you know nobody’s telling me that they love me as as well.
Gabe: [00:04:21] Just out of curiosity Michelle.
Michelle: [00:04:22] Yes.
Gabe: [00:04:23] Do you feel that you act appropriately for a woman of your attractiveness.
Michelle: [00:04:27] What is a woman of my attractiveness supposed to act like.
Gabe: [00:04:31] Oh I see what you did there. No actually I don’t. What.
Gabe: [00:04:36] I have no idea. That’s just nuts. It’s nuts.
Michelle: [00:04:40] define find me that in a medical journal of levels of attractiveness and personality.
Gabe: [00:04:47] Well that probably does exist. Our looks do determine the types of jobs we get the type of health care we get where we live our level of success.
Michelle: [00:04:56] Excuse me Danny DeVito is quite successful despite his looks So not really.
Gabe: [00:05:01] Yeah. And so as Steve Buscemi. But you have to admit that the majority of leading men in Hollywood don’t look like Steve Buscemi and Danny DeVito.
Michelle: [00:05:15] That’s true. That’s true. But I’m saying for a woman in Hollywood they usually have to be way hotter. Like all those sitcoms you know it’s the hot wife and the ugly husband.
Gabe: [00:05:24] Oh yeah. Yeah. That gave me hope as a child. I’m not going to lie because I was I was like an ugly ass teenager and I would turn on the TV and I’d be like yeah I’m going to be fine.
Gabe: [00:05:33] You’re going to get Lisa Remini.
Gabe: [00:05:34] Totally. Is it Layah?
Michelle: [00:05:37] It was Leah is it Leah!
Gabe: [00:05:39] Oh it’s Leah. Really. Oh sorry sorry sorry Leah Remini. We forgot your name.
Gabe: [00:05:44] She’s cool now that she’s left Scientology.
Michelle: [00:05:47] Good for her. Good for her.
Gabe: [00:05:49] She did go back to Kevin James for a season of a show that got canceled because it turns out you can’t redo your show with a different title 20 years later where they made the mistake is that they should have just brought back the same show 20 years later.
Gabe: [00:06:06] Yeah I don’t know.
Michelle: [00:06:07] Ok. What’s the strangest thing that you’ve ever been asked.
Gabe: [00:06:11] I’ve been asked a lot of very strange things that I have now come to realize have a lot of intrinsic value. as you know one of the things when we were mapping out the show we talked about how all of our doctors have asked us about our masturbation habits and how that’s really embarrassing and we’re not going to spend a lot of time on it. But I always thought that that was frankly the weirdest question. Do you masturbate? How long does it take you? Oh my God why are they asking me this? But of course the sexual side effects of medications being as they are. That’s actually a really good question for a psychiatrist to ask. It’s really important it’s the number one reason that people stop taking medication so steering into that curve and discussing it is really good. But I’m not going to lie. When I was 25 years old sitting in a doctor’s office in front of a 60 year old man who kind of sat with a hunch and he was like “Do you masturbate” I like my I just wanted to be like No no no no. Like all of my Catholic guilt just came like flooding into my body. And you know I do. And I did and I did answer honestly because that’s how you get good care.
Gabe: [00:07:15] So that’s a good question. But definitely a weird one but this is the story that I want to share. This isn’t the weirdest thing.
Gabe: [00:07:21] It’s the most offensive thing that ever happened to me in therapy and it still bothers me to this day.
Michelle: [00:07:28] I cannot wait to hear this one.
Gabe: [00:07:30] There was a period of time where I wasn’t quite in recovery but I certainly wasn’t as sick as I was at the beginning. So I always say that it took me four years from diagnosis to reaching recovery which I define as spending more time living my life than spending on bipolar disorder. So probably about three three and a half years in I was doing pretty well wasn’t quite there but very very close and I was working with a therapist on you know what are my next steps. What what does life after fighting bipolar disorder look like.
Gabe: [00:08:03] And I said you know I think I’d like to be a public speaker. And he said Why do you want to be a public speaker?
Gabe: [00:08:12] And I said the person in history that I really kind of admire the most and read a lot about and study is Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.
Gabe: [00:08:22] I really like him because it he changed the way that people felt about things that largely using his words he explained things to people in a way that people could understand. I didn’t live through the civil rights movement I wasn’t born until 1976 so I’m reading all of this backwards but I watch his speeches and I just think wow he is taking a very complex social structure issue and made it so people can understand it and people followed him and they respected it. And I wanted to be like him. I do I want to this day to be like him and I said I want to be a public speaker just like Dr. King. And I was proud like this is this is what I wanted. This was my dream. And he looked at me and he said that is grandiosity. You need to talk to your psychiatrist. You need to get that treated. You will never be as good as Dr. King.
Michelle: [00:09:16] Woah.
Gabe: [00:09:17] And I said No no no I I’m I’m not saying that I am as good as Dr. King or that I’m going to be as I’m I’m just saying that I want a career like Dr. King’s I’m just I’m pulling a famous person out of my ass to explain it or somebody that I look up to because if I said hey I want to be a public speaker like John Doe you would say Who’s John Doe. I’m not saying that I think I’m as good as Dr. King or I’m going to be as good as Dr. King I’m saying that’s like my dream. My goal.
Gabe: [00:09:46] And he’s like you need to understand that that kind of thinking will only serve to hurt you.
Gabe: [00:09:51] You need to understand your limitations as a person living with bipolar disorder that you cannot do that he is one of the greatest orators of our time and you mentioning your name in the same breath with him is it is.
Gabe: [00:10:04] Is it’s just a mental illness.
Michelle: [00:10:08] Interesting. Just mental illness is that is the difference.
Gabe: [00:10:12] And I said Look you’ve never heard me speak. How do you know. Maybe I’m already as good as him. I don’t think so because I’m terrible but really I can’t I can’t strive to be as good as the best. Like every single person when when they sit down in their chosen career they should not look to whomever the best is and aspire to be that good. Just because you’re aspiring to be as good as the best doesn’t mean that you think you are. every single rookie basketball player when Michael Jordan was playing. They worked really hard to be as good as Michael Jordan.
Gabe: [00:10:45] Nobody hit it but somebody eventually did. Hats off LeBron.
Gabe: [00:10:50] But there is a difference between wanting to be as good as somebody and delusional thinking that you are. I never once said I’m already as good as Dr. King never said it. I still don’t say it and I am a fantastic public speaker. I work really hard to be a good public speaker and I strive every day to be a better public speaker. But I would never say that I’m as good as Dr. King. That’s not for me to decide. That’s for an audience to decide.
Michelle: [00:11:19] That’s true.
Michelle: [00:11:20] Is for the audience. It’s how much you you like touch them in the audience. Not bad touch no good touch bad.
Michelle: [00:11:28] I about that but how. It’s the what they learn from what you’re saying and how powerful it is. If people pay attention. If you are engaging in all of that. I remember when I told my my doctor I wanted to be a public speaker I said I want to be as good as Obama. And he kind of said to me well that’s that’s a very that’s someone to look up to yes I know he had a lot. He said that he has a lot of experience and he has help with his speeches but you ca strive to be as good as Obama.
Michelle: [00:11:56] It’s gonna be a challenge but it’s a good person I look up to I guess.
Gabe: [00:12:00] That and that’s that’s all I really wanted and what really bothered me the most is for me it was kind of a throwaway statement. I was just looking for an example of somebody whose career I wish to emulate.
Michelle: [00:12:11] You were looking for encouragement. I really was. He just shut you down. Yeah. Did you get rid of this guy?
Gabe: [00:12:17] Yes. Good. Yes I did. Good. But it still took a couple of weeks. I mean I went for a couple of more sessions and I brought it up again because I wanted closure. I thought that maybe he misunderstood. So a couple of weeks later I had another appointment and I said hey you know I want to talk about this Dr. King thing.
Gabe: [00:12:35] And he reiterated he asked me if I talked to my doctor about my grandiose thoughts. If I was hypo manic and no matter what I said he wouldn’t get off it. He really truly believed that the best help for Gabe Howard at that time was to make sure that I understood that wanting to be a good public speaker and wanting to be as good as one of the best public speakers in history was an example of grandiosity and I just I didn’t say that I was. I said that I wanted it to be and I was willing to put in all the work. I’m still willing to put in all the work but but listen I have a dream of clarity. I don’t understand why we can’t learn from the people above us. You know people talk about how we don’t learn from history and history is doomed to repeat itself.
Gabe: [00:13:27] And I come in and sit down and I say I’m learning from history I’m respecting the people that came before me. I’m learning about the people that came before me and I really respect that. Dr. King was nonviolent. I really respect that. Dr. King did not antagonize his enemies. I respect that Dr. King didn’t call people names. I respect that Dr. King spoke up at great personal risk to his finances his personal life and ultimately his safety which I do not think that our cause is quite as dangerous obviously.
Michelle: [00:14:01] But I mean yeah. You do everything that you can do to be a better public speaker. I mean one time we were talking you said you even watch preachers speak.
Gabe: [00:14:09] I do. Yeah I do pretty good for an atheist right.
Michelle: [00:14:11] Yeah because I was I guess I was watching TV on like a TV that barely any channels.
Michelle: [00:14:17] I got stuck on watching a preacher speak and I was like oh look at this preacher go. He is great.
Michelle: [00:14:23] And I told you about it and you’re like Oh yeah I wasn’t a preacher because all the time just how they do it how they how they command an audience how they tell a story like I’m not I don’t listen to preachers ever really ever because I’m Jewish. Listening to this guy talk. I was like wow he has his audience captivated with the story that he’s telling. I want to be able to captivate an audience like that.
Gabe: [00:14:48] Yeah.
Michelle: [00:14:48] That’s not grandiosity. No that’s me wanting to be that good and trying to understand what that person did to be able to control a room that well.
Gabe: [00:14:57] Right. Right. Yeah. And look therapists they don’t know everything. If you go to a therapist and they tell you something that doesn’t sit right. The first thing that you should absolutely do it’s talk to them about it. You shouldn’t just assume that the misunderstanding is then being an asshole. I went back and discussed it with him and he doubled down. And then I realized that I needed a new therapist. But I did everything I could. I put there was two weeks between those two appointments so I let the dust settle. I calmed down I talked to other people about it. I talked to my friends I’m like hey you know this guy said X to me and and that’s really why I did it cause they encouraged me like Look maybe you misunderstood it like that. That doesn’t sound right Gabe. And they weren’t saying that to be mean. They’re saying that because misunderstandings happen all the time. They do they misunderstandings happen all the time.
Gabe: [00:15:41] So I went back and tried to talk it out with him but he was very clear that I would never be a public speaker.
Michelle: [00:15:50] Umm he can suck it.
Gabe: [00:15:51] Yeah yeah yeah. Every time I walk on stage sometimes I think of him and it makes me smile.
Gabe: [00:15:58] Remember those two thousand people gave me a standing ovation.
Michelle: [00:16:02] Yeah yeah yeah yeah. You should send a video of that to him.
Gabe: [00:16:05] God I wish I had it.
Michelle: [00:16:08] Let’s pause and listen to a commercial.
Gabe: [00:16:10] We’ll be right back.
Narrator: [00:16:13] This episode is sponsored by betterhelp.com secure convenient and affordable online counselling. All counselors are licensed accredited professionals. Anything you share is confidential. Schedule secure video or phone sessions plus chat and text with your therapist whenever you feel it’s needed. A month of online therapy often costs less than a single traditional face to face session. Go to betterhelp.com/PsychCentral and experience seven days of free therapy to see if online counselling is right for you. Betterhelp.com/PsychCentral.
Michelle: [00:16:44] And we are back.
Gabe: [00:16:45] Michelle what are some other weird things that doctors have said to you. What are doctors medical establishment mental health people general practitioners just anybody but your mom. Let’s leave your mom out of this episode.
Michelle: [00:16:56] The first psychiatrist I saw when I was 18 the first week she gave me a prescription for some medicine. And then when I showed up the next week she was talking about giving me the more samples of the medicine. I said well no you prescribe me a prescription last week and she goes oh I gave you a script last week. What did I give it to you of.
Gabe: [00:17:18] She didn’t even know?
Michelle: [00:17:18] She did even know she had to give me a prescription and she didn’t know the medication. She gave it to me. What medication she even prescribed to me.
Gabe: [00:17:26] So you were seeing a doctor they didn’t know what medication you were on.
Michelle: [00:17:29] Or that she’d even wrote me a prescription.
Gabe: [00:17:31] I mean that’s that’s great medical care right.
Michelle: [00:17:33] Yeah. Right there.
Gabe: [00:17:33] How did that make you feel.
Michelle: [00:17:36] Made me feel like she did not care about me. She was not doing anything in my best interest. And after the whole debacle of my cop story that you may have heard and in previous episode she was fired.
Gabe: [00:17:48] Oh wow.
Michelle: [00:17:49] Yes.
Gabe: [00:17:49] We all know there’s not good care. I don’t I don’t think anybody listening is like Oh when your doctor doesn’t know what medication you’re on you’re getting good care. We all know that that represents not getting good care and it doesn’t matter if it’s psychiatric or any health space. If your doctor doesn’t know what they prescribe you that’s pretty sad. But you’re 18 years old.
Michelle: [00:18:07] First meds I’ve ever been on.
Gabe: [00:18:09] First meds you’ve ever been on, a doctor is very cavalier.
Michelle: [00:18:11] Yeah.
Gabe: [00:18:12] Like did that set you back as far as getting medical care.
Michelle: [00:18:16] Yes because I was also never told that medication could make you more upset. So I would take it and then I would stop taking it and then I would take it and then I would stop taking it. And it just never went well because I thought Oh I’ll take medication. I’ll feel happy I’ll be better.
Michelle: [00:18:32] Didn’t work because I was diagnosed as bipolar which we now know is incorrect. So I was on the wrong meds in the first place. So when she asked me how I was doing I was miserable but I wasn’t running around like a maniac anymore. I was like I guess I’m good I’m I’m good I guess. But like her being a psychiatrist should have noticed that I’m saying yeah I guess I’m happy. I’m like I’m I’m good.
Michelle: [00:18:53] Don’t you think a psychiatrist would have noticed that that’s not an example of happy behavior?
Gabe: [00:18:59] You know I wasn’t there but.
Michelle: [00:19:02] But if I was like I feel so great right now I love these meds! as opposed to I you know I guess I feel good.
Michelle: [00:19:11] Yeah I feel good. Yeah. I mean yeah yeah I know OK.
Gabe: [00:19:16] Yeah you seemed very like a flat.
Michelle: [00:19:18] And say that’s what a doctor is supposed to notice about you when you go to these things and she obviously didn’t she was not doing her job correctly.
Michelle: [00:19:28] Gabe tell me another ridiculous thing a doctor a practitioner a therapist psychiatrist anybody whatever what have they said to you.
Gabe: [00:19:37] The you know sadly I have I have one that involved a pseudo lawsuit and I have to be very very careful not to give a lot of details but the bottom line that I want to discuss as I was seeing a therapist and the therapist started doing some weird things like some things that are not OK and I told the people around me I told a couple of my friends that this was happening and they didn’t believe me. And I said this is happening and he is doing these things and they’re like No we don’t believe you. And I just kept insisting that it was happening and nobody nobody would believe me. And eventually after several weeks of this I quit I quit that therapist. I said I’m not I’m not going to him anymore and I switched I switched over to a different therapist and had to start the program over and it was kind of a mess and then a year goes by. And people were mad at me for quitting. They told me that I acted irresponsibly that therapists don’t behave this way that that kind of behavior is illegal and that that would never happen. And it was all in my head and this was just part of my paranoid delusions and I was so desperate for help and now I was quitting on this great therapist and I they they really really shamed me.
Gabe: [00:20:44] It was it was intense. Fast forward about a year year and a half get give or take. And I’m sitting at work and he calls my boss. just just picked up the phone and he calls my boss. So he says that he has a client and he won’t give the client’s name but that that client reported that I was hitting on her that I was I was asking her out and this is inappropriate because she is in such a vulnerable place. I want to be quite clear about a couple of things real quick. One at the time I was single two this woman was well over the age of majority. She was she was in her late 20s and three it never happened. I never asked this woman out. I didn’t. I never asked her out I never flirted her with her I never hit on her. No way.
Michelle: [00:21:38] No no no winks no massages.
Gabe: [00:21:39] No no winks no massages no nothing. She was she was a volunteer for an organization that I worked for. The reason that I say that we were both adults and that we were both single is because even if I had asked her out there’s no crime here. You don’t call somebodies boss to report them for hyper sexuality because they asked a single woman out.
Gabe: [00:22:00] But the fact that it never happened was just even worse.
Gabe: [00:22:05] And he said I want you to know that I know Gabe’s long history of inappropriate sexual behavior which in fairness I do have a long history of inappropriate sexual behavior.
Michelle: [00:22:17] The therapist said this to your boss.
Gabe: [00:22:19] Yes.
Michelle: [00:22:19] Isn’t that breach of contract.
Gabe: [00:22:21] I that’s that’s the way I saw it I. So. So my my boss of course came to me and said I I’m I’m getting reports of this. Do you know anything about this. And I said I said I haven’t asked anybody out that is dealing with our workplace like nobody. Like for real I’m I’m sort of half with my ex-girlfriend. It was it was a weird time I said so I have no idea. And she said Okay I’m going to monitor the situation. A few days later a letter came in from the person who listed all of the times that I made her feel uncomfortable and I was allowed to see the letter and it was it was such hokum. It was like you know he made me feel uncomfortable because he texted me at home. When I told him I didn’t have a ride he offered to get me a ride. Things that did happen. And then she went on to explain that she was just in a very vulnerable place and that she didn’t want this attention for men. Listen. It’s completely her issue and any good therapist would have said look if a man is asking you out you need to tell him no.
Gabe: [00:23:33] If a man is not respecting your boundaries you need to let him know or he could have said look you’re a volunteer for an organization. He’s the volunteer coordinator. It’s his job to follow up with you. So you’re misreading the situation. Any of those would have been more appropriate than him picking up the phone and trying to get me fired from my job.
Michelle: [00:23:49] I can’t.
Gabe: [00:23:51] He ended the call to my boss with you need to rethink his employment.
Michelle: [00:23:57] Oh I would have.
Michelle: [00:24:00] Oh my God I can’t even imagine what I would have done.
Gabe: [00:24:02] I hired a lawyer immediately. Good day.
Michelle: [00:24:04] You’re smart Gabe because I would have. I can’t say that out loud.
Gabe: [00:24:07] I hired a lawyer and I filed a complaint with both his boss and the ethics board. Would that certify social workers. I filed complaints immediately. The ethics board came because a social worker. The the ethics board came back and said that he did not break any laws because he had a duty to warn. I’m a volunteer manager for a charity.
Gabe: [00:24:31] And he had a duty to warn a duty to warn.
Michelle: [00:24:34] He he told your personal information to your boss.
Gabe: [00:24:37] Yeah. Yep the ethics board said that that was OK and they were closing the case.
Gabe: [00:24:41] The I did get back the lawyer got a statement that that this would never happen again and that we would never speak of this again which is why I’m being very very clear not to use names I’ve changed the genders and things like that. So I just want to be very very very very very very clear that the reason that this is so incredibly damaging is of course because I refuse to see a therapist for two years after two years I finally went to a therapist to discuss this exact thing and that therapist who is still my therapist today was incredibly responsive said that no under no circumstances is that reasonable.
Gabe: [00:25:17] All of the people who told me that that I was being crazy when I reported to them hey I think this person is off their rocker. You know pardon the pun. I apologized profusely to me and said that they should have listened to me. They should have investigated more. And I tell the story now for two very important reasons. Sincerely one if you think that your medical provider is off tell somebody get help and ask them to investigate on your behalf. And the second reason I tell this story is because if you are currently telling your loved ones this or your friends or your support system and they don’t believe you play this podcast for them I’m not saying that you’re right. It is certainly possible that you are in the wrong but if your support system won’t even investigate won’t even have a conversation won’t talk to the person supervisor and won’t get to the bottom of why you feel this way. You’re doing yourself a great disservice in therapy because if you’re going to therapy feeling like you’re being abused you’re not getting good therapy. So I told the people around me because I wanted them to investigate on my behalf because I could have been wrong.
Gabe: [00:26:22] I I’ll be the first to admit I have been wrong about therapists doctors etc. because I have delusions I have paranoia I have low self-esteem I have bipolar disorder. So it would not be unrealistic or unreasonable for me to misread the situation but nobody was even willing to investigate because of my diagnosis and that made me feel really alone and really vulnerable.
Gabe: [00:26:49] So please take people seriously because even if we’re wrong it doesn’t change that we feel this way. In this particular instance I was correct but there are other instances where I’ve been wrong. But the good thing is is anytime I complain now people investigate and keep an open mind and help me and I feel that this has led to me getting better care and having more trust in my providers.
Michelle: [00:27:12] That that therapist or psychiatrist or whatever needed to be fired fired fired and fired.
Gabe: [00:27:20] Straight up I have no idea why they dislike me so incredibly much but but they did the things that they told me in the therapy were incredible.
Gabe: [00:27:29] I mean just I knew something was wrong by the way that they were behaving. We would be in groups and because there was a group component to this particular type of therapy and the mocking was intense I felt bullied and abused. And when I reported it to people they’re like No no no that’s the type of therapy. And I would get on the Internet and I would read about it and I was like nowhere in here does it say that you’re supposed to call people names. I just it was it was awful.
Gabe: [00:27:58] And it was intense but listen I don’t want to scare you away from getting medical treatment. If you listen to this podcast and heard don’t seek treatment for mental illness you are not listening to what we are saying. We are simply telling you that we have been there. We have had awful things happen to us but we stayed the course. We found better providers and we got help and we got well at no point did Michelle and I decide hey we can handle bipolar and schizophrenia on our own.
Michelle: [00:28:25] That’s true. Cannot handle it on my own whatsoever.
Gabe: [00:28:28] Cannot find a good medical care replace bad medical care but do not opt for no medical care.
Michelle: [00:28:35] Yea don’t offer no medical care.
Michelle: [00:28:37] Don’t have one bad experience and say you’re never going to do it again. That’s what I did and that didn’t work out when my whole deal went down with my infamous cop story. I said that I was never going to get care from those people ever again and then I ended up back in the hospital. So that didn’t work and when I got out of the hospital I had to go back to the health center therapist and talk to them and I was explaining to the therapist there how it was their fault because they put me on meds that I didn’t like at all. And then they were saying no that’s not us.
Michelle: [00:29:09] That’s the psychiatrist that’s the health center. That’s not the therapist center.
Michelle: [00:29:14] So the school was saying it wasn’t their fault in the therapy. It was it was the medical psychiatrist which had nothing to do with the therapy even though the therapist suggested I go see the psychiatrist. They took no blame.
Gabe: [00:29:30] You’re saying so you had to advocate for yourself.
Michelle: [00:29:33] I had to advocate for myself like the woman was like that’s not us.
Gabe: [00:29:36] And because you advocated for yourself.
Gabe: [00:29:40] You now have a podcast right and a clothing line.
Michelle: [00:29:44] Right.
Gabe: [00:29:45] And you’re friends with Gabe. That’s right. Two out of three ain’t bad.
Michelle: [00:29:49] Yeah.
Gabe: [00:29:49] Thank you everybody for tuning in this week. We need you to do a couple of things for us so grab a pencil and paper one. Head over to iTunes leave us a five star review and write something they like it more to share this on Facebook. Social media e-mail it to a friend. We love that. Three go to PsychCentral.com/BSP and there’s comments under each and every one. Leave a comment we love and those conversations get started. And finally last but not least please have a great week.
Gabe: [00:30:15] We appreciate all of you listening in and we will see you next week.
Michelle: [00:30:19] Attractiveness!
Narrator: [00:30:20] You’ve been listening to a bipolar a schizophrenic kind of podcast. If you love this episode don’t keep it to yourself head over to iTunes or your preferred podcast app to subscribe rate and review to work with Gabe go to GabeHoward.com. To work with Michelle go to Schizophrenic.NYC. For free mental health resources and online support groups. Head over to PsychCentral.com Show’s official Web site PsychCentrald.com/bsp you can e-mail us a [email protected] Thank you for listening and share widely.
Meet Your Bipolar and Schizophrenic Hosts
GABE HOWARD was formally diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders after being committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2003. Now in recovery, Gabe is a prominent mental health activist and host of the award-winning Psych Central Show podcast. He is also an award-winning writer and speaker, traveling nationally to share the humorous, yet educational, story of his bipolar life. To work with Gabe, visit gabehoward.com.
MICHELLE HAMMER was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 22, but incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18. Michelle is an award-winning mental health advocate who has been featured in press all over the world. In May 2015, Michelle founded the company Schizophrenic.NYC, a mental health clothing line, with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. She is a firm believer that confidence can get you anywhere. To work with Michelle, visit Schizophrenic.NYC.
Podcast, N. (2019). Podcast: Bizarre Questions Psychiatrists and Therapists Have Asked. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 28, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/podcast-bizarre-questions-psychiatrists-and-therapists-have-asked/