Dr. Suzanne A. Salhab, is a multi-specialty Medical Physician, board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Multi-Specialties, and Board Certification in Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Addiction Psychiatry and American Society of Addiction Medicine. She recently opened up a brand... more
Mental health AKA psychiatry is a field that boggles my mind. Its one of those areas where if you do not know how to diagnose someone or if you don't know every single thing about the medication you're about to prescribe, please don't.
It amazes me even more how many patients I have come across this last year that have been misdiagnosed, or put on really horrible meds causing more side effects, if anything. One of the biggest misdiagnosed, or rather missed diagnosis, I have run into is PTSD.
PTSD isn't just for war vets, it's a lot of people. Any traumatic event that has led you to criteria A B C and so on. What I love is when someone comes in (a new patient to me, but has been seeing a psychiatrist for 30 years and has a diagnosis of anxiety for the last 30 years) and they are there for "refills". Well, they don't look too happy, so do I really just want to give them refills? No, this person looks miserable.
So I talk to them like a human being. After one question, "So, what was your anxiety from?" I can already tell they don't have anxiety; they have PTSD. What kills me is that this other physician for 30 years never asked what their anxiety was from.
What's wrong with our health care system today? I see it every day, but the more I see it, it kills me. Do no harm to the patient, but take care of your patients! Sometimes we don't realize we do even more harm, and if you suffer from PTSD, it's not fun at all. You learn to live with it. It never goes away. Doesn't matter what trauma caused it; all/everyone ends up with the same ending scenario, symptoms, etc. It's crazy, but what's crazier is that people without PTSD do not know the feeling, yet they say the worst things. They're causing someone with PTSD misery.
I once read an article that suggested if you don't know about PTSD and a loved one suffers from it, read about it, and still you will never understand it. But the ones that do, we get it. PTSD stinks. But I don't sugar-coat things; it will never go away, but a good doctor can help you.
So many people say "Oh that person is not thankful" after leading a certain life, then let's say getting adopted into a millionaires family. Still, that person can suffer every day until their PTSD is addressed. Money and things do not cause PTSD to go away. People need to understand that. Also, saying things that don't help needs to stop. If you don't know about it, sorry; you don't get to comment. That's what I tell families of patients I see every day. But when a patient sees you know their exact feeling, they may think, "Wow, is she reading my mind?" No, my patient. I understand. No you are not crazy; no it will never go away, but I can help you. Please let me help you. In that moment, when a patient sees that someone gets it; someone finally understands them even if they are getting treatment or not, just to know that they are not crazy, they are understood. It is a feeling that overjoys them, and it's a feeling that I as a physician cannot explain. When a patient tells me, not thank you, as I am not looking for a thank you, but when I ask, did I help you? and they hug me and say yes: I know I did my job.
A "thank you" isn't what makes me go on in life, but the fact that I know I helped someone who has been hurting so badly inside makes being a doctor 24/7 worth it. So again, if you have a loved one that suffers from PTSD, read about it. Try it. You still may not get it, but it shows you care.