I know what it feels like when your doctor tells you he can’t help you. This has happened to me many times. I have experienced everything from being fired by a doctor to being denied medical care altogether. These are hard things. Every time your doctor tells you that he can’t help you, it’s hard to accept. But there are things you can do, even in that moment. Here’s what to do when your doctor tells you he or she can’t help you.
Why couldn’t a doctor help you?
In my case I’m talking about psychiatrists, but all doctors are basically the same. A doctor may not be able to help you for several reasons, but the main one is that he believes he has run out of viable treatment options. But keep this part in mind: they think They have run out of treatment options. That doesn’t mean that have run out of treatment options. Your doctor is one person. They don’t know everything. His ideas are not the only ones. When a doctor says he can’t help you, there is more he can do.
When a doctor can’t help you: first step
If you’re in a doctor’s office and they tell you they can’t help you, the key thing to do at that moment is ask why. You need to understand why a doctor feels like she can’t help you. Have they exhausted their knowledge? Don’t have access to the treatment you need? Are they retiring? You need to know what’s going on. Understanding the doctor’s perspective can eliminate some of the fear of a doctor saying she can’t help you.
For more information on how it feels when a doctor says they can’t help you, watch this:
When a doctor can’t help you: step two
No matter why a doctor says they can’t help you, the next step is to fix the problem. Primarily, this means getting a second opinion. This is because no matter what the doctor tells you, there are more specialists with different points of view and different arrows in their quivers. Doctors are not gods. They do not know everything nor do they see everything. He is simply a specialist with an opinion. There are many others out there.
Therefore, ask your doctor to refer you to someone new, or better yet, to a new specialized clinic (there are mood/affective disorder clinics). Get a consultation from a major player in a hospital. (You can also go to your GP and ask for a referral.)
(I realize some of those options aren’t available to people. Sorry. The healthcare system in the US sucks. That being said, do your best to make one of them work.)
If your doctor refuses to refer you, use this trick. Have them write in your medical records that they deny you a referral. They usually don’t want that on the written record and will accept it.
If you can’t see anyone else, do your own research. Research new and cutting-edge treatments, old and forgotten treatments, and bring them to your doctor. Force them to tell you why they can’t be tried. Again, tell them to write that they are denying you a specific treatment if that is what happens.
Finally, if the doctor says he or she can’t help you because you can’t access a specific treatment, find a way to solve the problem. Find a program that allows you access. Or find something or someone new. It sucks when your doctor thinks you need a specific treatment and you can’t access it, there’s no doubt about that, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road.
When the doctor can’t help you, don’t give up
Remember, a doctor not being able to help you is a problem, not the end; It is an obstacle, not a dead end. So, solve the problem. Do not give up. Bring reinforcements if you can. Include any loved ones who can lend a hand. Not only can they help give you new options, but they can also help you maintain hope. Having a backup is always welcome.
I know it’s totally unfair to ask a person who is so sick that a doctor says they can’t help them do the job. I know people in this situation don’t have the spoons to deal with this problem. But you have to. You have to defend yourself. You cannot allow a limited human being to make the final decision about your well-being. You are better than that. You are more important than that. Your life and your happiness are more important than that. While it is difficult, giving up on yourself and your health is worse.
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